Netflix does it again!
Created by: Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch and Starring: Alison Brie, Marc Maron & Betty Gilpin
Girls wrestling? That could never be popular, right? Especially back in the 80’s.
Oh but it was! GLOW is the tale of the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling. A primetime cable TV show that feature women wrestling WWE style. Big hair, loud costumes and outlandish characters created this genre into a huge success. Netflix has now decided to go History channel on us and deliver a really fun look at how it all came to be. No, this isn’t a documentary but I wish it was one because these characters and storylines were easy to get hooked on!
The best part of the series isn’t the acting, the direction or even the plot-line. It is the transporting you to 1985’sh with an effortless ease. It doesn’t beat you over the head with definitive background, fashion, cars or timeline defining signage on the streets. It is the subtlety in which all of these elements get blended into the series. Yes, all the women have 80’s style in fashion and hair, but not to a degree where it jumps off the screen at you to scream what decade we’re in. Alison Brie is so well done that for a brief moment you may not even recognize its her. The costuming for when the girls finally become actual wrestlers is fantastic but also perfect for where they’re at as far as a show and their budget. All around it was the part of the series that stood out to me the most.
The casting is spot on. Marc Maron couldn’t be more perfect in this role. The different chemistry that he is able to have with multiple characters really sells his performance. Brie and Gilpin do a great job together. Their characters used to be best friends but an egregious indiscretion between them drove them apart. Now because of this show and the opportunity it could provide they are forced to work together in a very intimate work relationship. The simultaneous anger, guilt, awkwardness and yearning to regain a lost friendship is evident from these two characters from start to finish.
The story is pretty simple. A low-budget director has an idea that could be a huge hit and just as easily be a massive flop. Learning more and more details of these characters and their personalities is what truly drives the film. The side storylines become the actual show while the wrestling is simply what binds them all together. Abortion, racial inequalities, fighting personal stereotypes, daddy complexes and proving your place in the world all are covered in this series.
I enjoyed this series. It was funny, intriguing, entertaining and filled with drama. It moved quickly and is an easy binge that actually leaves you wanting more at the end. I recommend watching this series.
7.5 out of 10
Let’s start off this review with some honesty. I grew up watching GLOW and I’m not ashamed to admit it. There is still a section of my brain full of names like Mt. Fuji, Big Bad Mama, Little Egypt, and Jailbait. Lil’ Craig would sit in front of the tv on Saturdays just watching these women battle it out just like my WWF heroes would, and I loved every minute of it. So when I heard Netflix was coming out with the series “Glow”, I knew I would either absolutely love it or despise it. Lucky for me and my fragile childhood psyche I was not disappointed, but for reasons I couldn’t even anticipate.
“Glow” tells the story of the formation of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling television show in the 80s and how normal actresses became true wrestlers. Created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, “Glow” is a scripted show showing a sort of loose true history of how everything happened. Now they changed a few small things, such as wrestlers names and all who were involved in the making of the original television series. But honestly, unless you already know, it’s not even something you would notice. This Netflix series is so well done and I can easily see it rising to the top with shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Funny, original, and even heart breaking at times, the writing is extremely well done. Throw on top of excellent scripts the amazing acting skills of some of these women. Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin may be the two main stars but every single woman in this show shines for some many various reasons. I especially see Britney Young who played Manchu Pichu going on to bigger things from this role. Marc Maron as the director of this insane idea was spectacular. After watching just a few episodes you will realize that no one else but him could have probably played this role. There was also a view good wrestler cameos from people like Johnny Mundo and Brodus Clay, which marks like me absolutely loved.
The 80s-ness of the show also brings me so much joy. The clothes, the hair, the cars, the attitude. It was all there. You couldn’t help but laugh and then feel weirdly nostalgic for all of it. The music they used throughout the entire series couldn’t have been better. Every episode used a different theme song, while throughout the episodes 80s rock made every scene better. I am waiting for a true and complete soundtrack to the entire series to come out so I can jam out in my car to it on the way to work.
The only problem I had with the show was some of those small changes. While I understand some of the reasoning behind it, I think changing the wrestlers’ names from what they originally were in Glow is a big disservice. It takes away to me some of the credit that those real women actually deserve. Especially back then, the show idea was so groundbreaking and those women truly were pioneers. Using their actual wrestling names I think would have been a nice tribute to them.
9 Gorgeous Ladies out of 10