TV Series Review: GLOW

Rating: 5/5 Stars

“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Fan Tan Hotel in Las Vegas! It’s GLOW! The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling!”, bellows a young millionaire Bash Howard through the microphone to an audience about to watch one of the strangest shows of the 80’s: female wrestling. Think: hairspray, leotards, and glitter eyeshadow thrown around a fighting ring. It’s a show within a show! 

Inspired by a true story, “GLOW” has three emotionally-gripping seasons featuring a dozen complex characters in the dog-eat-dog world of television. Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress with a never-die attitude, is a main character next to Debbie Eagan, a business-savvy blonde who wants the world. Together, they form the most hilarious duo. Ruth plays “Zoya the Destroyer,” a Communist soldier from the USSR, sporting a mohawk, aggressive black makeup, and a shiny red cape. Debbie plays “Liberty Bell,” a young red, white, and blue-spangled American mother with a heavy Southern accent. Despite their friendship, they play enemies in the ring. 

Speaking of enemies, that’s how the whole show got its start. Ruth and Debbie began their acting careers together but drifted apart over time. Debbie became famous for playing a nurse on a doctor show and was married with a son—the ultimate definition of “success” in 1985. Ruth had a stronger passion for acting, but never reached Debbie’s level. Out of spite, angry Ruth slept with her once good friend’s husband and destroyed their friendship. It’s no wonder they ended up playing the roles of the U.S. vs U.S.S.R.!

The first season portrays the fallout of this mistake. Enter Sam Sylvia: a B-rated director with a control-complex and a script for a ladies wrestling show. In a stifling hot warehouse, a bunch of desperate actresses in LA audition, but only eight made the cut. Among them, the fighting Ruth and Debbie. Bash soon joins the team as the trust-fund kid they needed for financial support. This clash of personalities from three different worlds makes for an unexpected comedy.

Hilarious characters and raunchy costumes are made. Bodies are thrown into the air. Bruises, broken nails, and torn tights are a daily part of training. It became the strangest job these women had ever seen. They were underpaid actresses trying to make a bizarre sport look glamorous. Every episode is a front row seat on an emotional rollercoaster you can’t look away from.

Over the next two seasons, the hair gets bigger, the fights get wilder, and the show becomes famous. “GLOW” gets noticed and moves to Las Vegas, where the girls perform nearly every night. Living in hotels far away from chill LA, the crew is faced with new challenges. Relationships break, characters evolve, friendships are tested — all the while being ridiculed for acting in a “man’s world.” It is a TV experience unlike any other. “GLOW” is an inspiring show about how an unlikely group of women become a family.

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