reflection

'GLOW' is going to be a huge hit for Netflix and everyone should check out the show when the episodes drop this Friday.
Acting
Writing
Production Design
Music

Netflix’s ‘GLOW’ – A Dazzling Spectacle Of Spandex And Empowerment

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Glow‘s strong narrative combined with an incredible ensemble performance make this show one the best of the summer television season.

Summary

The show centers around failing actress Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie). Ruth ventured out to Hollywood in search of stardom, and all she has found is poverty and no roles that suit her. Faced with the prospects of either turning to roles in erotica, she takes an audition for what is described as “interesting women.” She is encouraged to keep going for her dream by Debbie (Betty Gilpin) who once gave up her acting dream to start a family. She arrives at the audition, and former B-movie director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) lays it out to the ladies that this audition is for a women’s wrestling show (GLOW). Ruth is faced with the decision of going through with an audition for a show she knows little about or to just hope another gig happens for her.

What Worked

The production value of the show was top notch. The spandex, the fluorescent colors, and the hair are all meant to take the audience back to 1985.

The soundtrack to the show was skillfully but together. The music becomes integral to certain moments that take place in the first episode.

The strength in the show isn’t in the leads but the ensemble as a whole. While Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron are certainly fantastic, Kimmy Gatewood/Rebekka Johnson deserve praise as well. The chemistry this show exhibits is reminiscent of the same chemistry you see in Orange Is The New Black. With some shows, you can envision certain cast members not being part of the narrative, but that certainly isn’t true in GLOW.

Loved Alison Brie’s character a great deal. While her character is seeking to achieve some measure of fame in Hollywood, she’s not settling for any parts that are demeaning.

Betty Gilpin is beautiful as well. She represents the other end of the acting spectrum. Alison gave up acting to become a stay at home mother. She appears to love being at home for most of the first episode.

Marc Maron just oozes the type of sleaze that a wrestling promoter from the 1980’s would have. Perfect pick and allowing him to just be Marc Maron was even a better call.

Liz Flahive (Nurse Jackie) and Carly Mensch (Orange is the New Black) have created a show that both celebrates the empowerment of women along with the glitz/cheesiness of the 1980’s. Remember in an era where the WWE was dominating the wrestling world that just the idea of a female-driven wrestling program was absurd. GLOW succeed because of the hard work of wrestlers like a “Ruth” that created unforgettable personas for the audiences to latch onto.

Overall

Beneath the glitz and the flying elbows, GLOW is a pretty smart show. It’s not a documentary of the organization based out of Las Vegas from 1986-1990. It a narrative about a group of women finding their way in a profession (acting/wrestling) that was dominated by men. Audiences will be leaping at the chance to binge watch this series, and I imagine Netflix’s announcement of the second season of GLOW will follow shortly after.

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.