GLOW: Another chokehold for Netflix

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Photo credit: Netflix

It appears that Netflix has delivered another highly addictive, easy to binge and immensely amusing Dramedy  in GLOW.  GLOW is a fictionalized account of the start of the very real G.L.OW. (Gorgeous Ladies Of wrestling) all female wrestling television show looking to capitalize on the Wrestling craze of the 1980s.

As an avid wrestling fan during the Hulk Hogan Era, I recall catching glimpses of G.L.O.W. following the locally televised broadcast of WWF Superstars on Saturday afternoons prior to the advent of the American Gladiators.   It was the one show that could keep your wrestling high going if you didn’t get enough of a fix via the WWF.  Although G.L.O.W. never provided great wrestling it did provide plenty of laughs and enough heel and face drama to keep you tuned in.

What’s great about Netflix’s GLOW is how it captures the essence of 80s Era wrestling with it’s over-the-top stereotyped Characters all geared towards stoking the love and hate from the crowds they were pandering to.  Many of the characters play on the racism and politics of the era to really bring the “heat” to the matches.

Glow follows a great ensemble cast of characters from all walks of life trying to keep their dreams of being entertainers alive, led by Alison Brie’s Ruth Wilder, an actress struggling to make a career for herself in Hollywood.  When all else fails Ruth unknowingly answers a casting call for an all women’s wrestling program, and just when you’re ready to root for her to succeed, Ruth’s own ambitions and poor life choices get in the way of her success.  Alison Brie does an excellent job playing Ruth, whose up and down story will have you loving and hating her much like a baby face turned heel.

Betty Gilpin plays Debbie, Ruth’s former best friend turned adversary, as Debbie finds out that her best friend has been having an affair with her husband.  The former actress turned housewife, Debbie shows up at the gym with the explicit purpose of really kicking Ruth’s ass, and just like that a star is born.

Marc Maron delivers as GLOW’s salty B-Movie director Sam, who recognizes that the real life grudge match he witnesses between the former best friends is the headliner he needs to tie the whole show together.   An angry boss, critic, and babysitter all rolled into one, Maron delivers some of the shows funniest moments having to deal with Ruth Wilder’s all too “professional” approach to professional wrestling as he tries to find the magic he once had in film making.

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Photo Credit: Parise/Netflix

The show takes off from there to deliver a fun way to experience Wrestling’s Golden age all over again.  From the creation of the wrestling personas to the over the top crowd reactions, glow delivers on everything that was great about that era, all while providing a depth to these characters that we never got from the WWF.   Even if you don’t enjoy wrestling, GLOW provides enough laughs and drama to keep you hooked and it’s definitely a must watch.  Season one of GLOW is currently streaming on Netflix.


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