Jazmin Kopotsha | Culture Writer | Monday, 26 June 2017

GLOW Just Filled The Netflix Binge Gap You Didn\'t Know You Were Missing

GLOW Just Filled The Netflix Binge Gap You Didn't Know You Were Missing

The Debrief: Meet the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling. Here’s everything you need to know about Netflix’s brilliant new TV show

I don’t know about you but didn’t it seem about time for Netflix to casually drop another life stopping, binge-worthy TV show in our lap(top)s. Most of us have just about gotten through the emotional roller-coaster that was season 5 of Orange Is The New Black and the next instalment of Stranger Things is too far in the distance to think about right now.  

Somehow, though, Netflix managed to take aspects of what we adore about each of these now iconic shows to create GLOW, a new 10-part series full of nostalgia and a cast of complex, interesting and damn funny women at the helm of a story that many of us haven’t been told before. 

 Interested? Of course, you are. Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about your new favourite telly binge. And don’t worry, spoilers have been kept to a minimum and are virtually non-existent. No guarantees that you won’t promptly stop everything you’re doing and go watch the entire series in one sitting, though.  

What’s GLOW about?

So, GLOW stands for Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling and the show is very literally about gorgeous ladies who wrestle. We’re first introduced to a lady called Ruth (which is ‘not a great name’, apparently) who is an out of work actress with no money, not much of an apartment and very few incoming job prospects. Until, after a terrible audition she’s put forward for a show that’s looking for ‘unconventional women’. 

Next thing you know Ruth finds herself in a beat up old gym with 11 other women, learning to throw herself around in a wrestling ring without injuring themselves for a television show by a halfway down and almost out coke snorting director called Sam. 

Created by the geniuses behind Orange Is The New Black and set in the 80’s, GLOW is every bit as exciting and empowering as it is a stark look at how industries are often driven by sexism, stereotypes and exploitation. But what’s also great is that it’s also very much about actual wrestling as opposed to using the sport as a buzzy angle to a story about something else entirely.  

Who are the wrestlers in GLOW?

Much like Ruth, most of the other women who find themselves training to wrestle for a new, fairly ambiguous TV show aren’t actually wrestlers but rather people looking for their big break or next pay cheque. 

There’s a fantastically (and genuinely) diverse cast of women, many of whom you probably won’t recognise. Alison Brie (off of Mad Men and loads of other things) plays Ruth, while Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie) plays Debbie aka Liberty Belle. Yes, the stage names are fantastically awful and overtly offensive – Welfare Queen, Machu Pichu, Junkchain, Scab, Zoya the Destroya and Fortune Cookie all feature too.  

How is Kate Nash involved? 

That’s right. Kate Nash aka the British singer-songwriter who released Foundations a whole ten years ago (bet you still know all the words, don’t you?) is now over on Netflix. She stars as a character called Rhonda Richardson, one of the gorgeous ladies of wrestling. Her stage name is Britannica. Because she’s British. Yeah. 

Is GLOW based on a true story?

Well, the Netflix series and the series within the series (I know, it’s basically inception) is of course scripted. This GLOW isn’t meant to be a documentary and we watch as this brilliant group of women create personas to play in their own wrestling show. But the idea for the series does come from a documentary called GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, which is about a real female wrestling show that did actually air back in the 80s. 

If, like the show's creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensh did, you were to go and watched the 2012 documentary and the episodes of the 80s that it inspired, you'll almost definitely see similarities in the characters (and the stereotypes they portray) that we're introduced to in the 2017 show on Netflix, though. 

Will there be a season 2 of GLOW?

I want to say yes. I feel it in my bones. Also, I have a hunch. In an interview with Enterainment Weekly Alison Brie said that she doesn't know what would come next if there was to be a second season. 'We really don't know. I think we won't know until... everyone gets a chance to see it', she explained. But apparently, the first season was still being scripted as the team were filming so if that's anything to go on, it'll be pretty unlikely that we'll find out what's next for the gorgeous ladies of wrestling before we have another ten episodes to watch. 

Like this? You might also be interested in… 

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Tags: TV We\'re Unashamedly Watching, TV That Matters