GLOW Season 1 Review

 

Season 1

 Season 2

 

Episode Guide

Pilot
Slouch. Submit
The Wrath of Kuntar
The Dusty Spur
Debbie Does Something
This Is One of Those Moments
Live Studio Audience
Maybe It’s All The Disco
The Liberal Chokehold
Money’s in the Chase

 

GLOW is an interesting comedic drama that manages to deliver an authentic portrayal of 80s wrestling while boasting excellent characterisation and memorable characters in the process. The show takes inspiration from Orange Is The New Black in terms of its humour and dramatic beats but GLOW stands out with its vibrant colour palette and 80s infused soundtrack making it an enjoyable watch.

The story follows Ruth (Alison Brie), a struggling out of work actress down on her luck after multiple rejected auditions. When the lucrative prospect of the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling (GLOW) is presented to her, she, along with a plethora of colourful characters, begin training and working to become an established talent in a predominantly male sport. There’s some good story beats here, with a few unexpected twists and turns and along with the evident love for wrestling woven throughout, GLOW does a great job of telling its story with a refined focus on the characters. There’s a distinct feeling of female empowerment here, but its not overbearing to the point of shunning a male audience which is a nice touch.

This empowerment extends to the script writing which does a great job of fleshing out the characters, making each unique enough to stand out whilst giving enough backstory and weight to their subplots to prevent them becoming caricatures of the roles they’re given. With a fusion of humour, wit and dramatic tension, GLOW manages to hit the right notes at the right time. Although the first couple of episodes are a little slow and are used just to establish he character dynamics, as the season progresses, so too does the pacing and urgency helping to move the plot along.

For all of its positives, GLOW is still a bit of an acquired taste. It borrows heavily from Orange Is The New Black with the way the characters are presented and their diversity. The wrestling aspects do help to break up some of the familiarity this brings though and in this department GLOW shines. There’s something really special about GLOW and like the other 80s centric netflix original Stranger Things, GLOW is dripping in nostalgic beats from that era. Whether it be the tapings of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair matches or the wrestling moves and vocabulary unique to the sport, GLOW does a great job of understanding the ins and outs of the sport and presenting it in a way that doesn’t alienate people who aren’t accustomed to wrestling. The finale is by far the best episode, culminating in showing the wrestling spectacle itself. Its here that the story, whilst left unresolved with a frustratingly open plot, does a great job of weaving humour, over the top wrestling storytelling and engaging characters in and out of the ring in a great way.

Overall then, GLOW is most definitely a hit. If you aren’t a fan of Orange Is The New Black or felt the humour just wasn’t your style, then you might have issues with GLOW but the way the wrestling aspects of the show are woven throughout is clever enough to break some of this up. With great characterisation, memorable characters and some pretty impressive wrestling choreography, GLOW is one show that’s well worth a watch, even if it does feel strangely familiar to its inspiration.

  • 8.5/10
    Verdict - 8.5/10
8.5/10