Review: GLOW - The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

Callum Costello reviews this new Netflix Original series.

Callum Costello
27th February 2018
Image Credit: YouTube

In a marriage of two very different small screen trends, GLOW brings the world of professional wrestling to Netflix. 

Wrestling is enjoying a global resurgence and it was a smart move by Netflix to capitalise on the interest by dramatising the story of short lived eighties promotion Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling - or GLOW, in the coveted short order series format that has worked well for Stranger Things. But this is as much about wrestling as the original promotion was, and the strength of the series derives from the talent involved and a pivotal twist at the end of episode one - which turned this fun, woman-empowering comedy series into a complex character study. I’ll spare the twist for fear of spoilers, saying only that it works whilst also flipping all the dynamics of the protagonists and antagonists on their heads. Instead I’ll look at the talent, which much like the radicals the series bases itself on, is made up of misfits and supporting talent whose time in the spotlight is long overdue.

"A comedic, performance driven psychodrama about women struggling for fame, equality and respect"

Created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who cut their teeth on Nurse Jackie, Weeds and Homeland, with supporting input by Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, the entirely female executive talent are tone perfect for what the show is; a comedic, performance driven psychodrama about women struggling for fame, equality and respect. Leading the line is Community’s Alison Brie who was long overdue a series lead, with support from a dozen actresses character actors including Betty Gilpin and Sydelle Noel, popstar Kate Nash and radio host Marc Maron - who is revelatory as co-lead Sam Sylvia. This is far more than a drama about wrestling, but rather a study on the complexity of womanhood and ambition in the dirty world of eighties Los Angeles.

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