Early Thoughts on GLOW

Originally posted to Facebook on 6/23/17

Thoughts on the first 5 episodes of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling)

First off, Alison Brie is a national treasure. Her flawed, struggling Ruth is fascinating to watch. She’s one of those protagonists that’s not really easy to root for, but that doesn’t make her any less interesting.

Overall, the series is quite good, par for the course for Netflix original content. My biggest complaint is that, so far at least, the show has trouble establishing a tone. It’s like it can’t quite figure out if it wants to be a comedy or a drama. There’s just something a bit off with the juxtaposition of those elements. It’s certainly not a show-killer, but something I definitely hope improves as the series goes on.

Most of the supporting cast has the same tone oddness as the show in general, with no clear establishment on how seriously we are supposed to take them. Though, perhaps that’s by design and we will see the characters get deeper as time goes on. A great example is Shiela the She-Wolf. What starts out as just a played-for-laughs caricature, grows into a character with surprising depth. If they do for all (or even most) of the characters what they did with Shiela, then I will have even more praise to heap on.

Something I really recommend watching before getting into the series is the documentary on Netflix also called GLOW (confusingly) that covers the real events of this short lived phenomenon. The documentary is fantastic and had me in tears by the end. It’s important to note that the series is very fictionalized, none of the actual wrestlers are depicted, which gives the series a bit more creative freedom going forward. Though there are some clear parallels (Machu Picchu being an obvious stand in for Mount Fuji, for example).

Despite the tone weirdness, I really recommend getting into it so far. It’s been a fun watch for sure.

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