If you’re looking for some entertaining TV shows to binge watch on (you know, before Game Of Thrones S7 begins), then make sure you put GLOW on that list.
GLOW – short for Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling – is the creation of Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who were inspired by a 2012 documentary on the actual ladies of GLOW (which is available Netflix). The real gorgeous ladies of the wrestling world made a name for themselves back in the mid-1980s; the TV show ran for four seasons until 1990 and was a big hit in the United States.
The new series, also available on Netflix, follows an unlikely group of 14 women who are brought together as a wrestling team by sleazy B-grade filmmaker Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) and wannabe film producer Bash (Chris Lowell) with too much money.
It stars Alison Brie as down-and-out actress Ruth, Betty Gilpin as Ruth’s soap opera star best friend Debbie, Sydelle Noel as Cherry, Britney Young as Carmen and Gayle Rankin as Sheila. British singer Kate Nash is also on the roster.
Here are six reasons why we got hooked on GLOW.
1. It’s based on real women wrestlers.
Sure, women wrestlers are quite common today but back in the 1980s they were only just starting to make waves. And though this series is a fictionalised version of the real GLOW, it still gives you an idea of what things were like for them back in the day.
2. The show is fun and funny.
To be fair, however, it starts off rather … boring. What we see in the beginning is the typical life of an out-of-work/struggling actor living in Los Angeles. Ruth is not just an actor, she is an “actor”, but nobody wants to hire her for that exact reason.
But don’t let Ruth’s bland, boring life deter you from watching on as the fun begins when she meets the other ladies; this happens in the first episode itself.
Imagine the chaos and drama that take place when a group of women who don’t know one another are thrown into an actual ring. Then take it up a notch, add some funky costumes, cool wrestling names, body slams, witty banter and profanity (yes, there is a lot of it) and you have GLOW.
3. The 1980s never looked so bad, that it’s good.
It’s set in the mid-1980s, when Madonna and Cyndi Lauper were a big deal in the entertainment scene as well as the fashion world. Expect to see lots of high-cut neon leotards and fish net leggings, blinged-out bustiers, shoulder pads, oversized jackets, big wavy hair, side ponytails and everything else that have somehow become trendy again in the new millennium.
There’s also the wrestlers’ awesome costumes. Except for the um, “white sheets”, the ladies get their looks down pat for the ring.
4. The music playlist is perfect.
Again, it is set in the mid-1980s so the soundtrack is filled with songs from that era. But that’s not why we’re impressed. We love the fact that each track complements the selected scenes perfectly.
For example, at some point in the series the ladies learn how to properly do a choke hold. The accompanying track? Thompson Twins’ Hold Me Now, sung by the wrestlers themselves.
Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure is also used in the show but not for what you would expect, like a fight sequence. Instead, it is used for a scene that involves – for the sake of keeping spoilers to a minimum – some sort of chemical set.
Other songs in the show include Head Over Heels (Tears For Fears), Car Wash (Rose Royce), Ready Steady Go (Generation X) and We Don’t Get Along (Go-Go’s).
5. The alter-egos, wrestling jargon and cameos.
Part of the series’ subplot revolves around Ruth having difficulty finding her alter-ego for the ring. The rest of the ladies, however, had no problem getting theirs.
There’s the She-Wolf who is, well, wolf-like; Britannica the smart British girl; the stereotypical Welfare Queen; the all-American Liberty Belle; the Fortune Cookie who is actually Cambodian; and Machu Picchu, who comes from a family of wrestlers!
Also, hardcore wrestling fans might recognise some familiar faces in the show. One of them is wrestler John Morrison aka Johnny Nitro aka Johnny Mundo. He plays Salty The Sack Johnson, who trains the ladies in the first episode.
If you don’t know anything about wrestling, then be prepared to get schooled on some famous moves and jargons. Don’t worry, you won’t get confused. Much.
6. Diversity at every which way you turn.
The 14 women – and their alter-egos – come in all shapes, sizes, colour and background. Better yet, the women (and men) embrace their differences and celebrate the very things that make them unique.
Now that’s inspiring.
Bonus (personal) reason!
7. There’s a robot butler and a denim cutoffs-wearing butler.
Producer Bash owns a robot butler, whose main job is to serve alcohol and drugs. Bash also has Florian (Alex Rich), who seems to be his assistant or butler of some sort. These two “characters” serve no purpose to the show but we would love to have our own robot and human butlers.
Except instead of drugs, our butlers will serve us food and massage our feet. Or something like that.