The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling attacked our TV’s in the late 80’s. With such roster stars as Big Bad Mama and Thunderbolt, the show was easily imprinted on me as I grew up. It was a pretty amazing idea at the time as women’s wrestling was regarded as a joke (not unlike women’s wrestling of the mid 2000’s). The original GLOW had four seasons and made an impression on many of women wrestlers today.
Fast forward to today. Netflix’s new series GLOW is finally released and it is full of 80’s nostalgia. From the opening credits of the pilot we get Patty Smyth’s “Warrior” blasting as we meet our main focus, Ruth (Alison Brie). Ruth is a seemingly failed actress in Hollywood as she is trying to steal roles from Steve Guttenberg (good luck). We meet her friend, Debbie (Betty Gilpin), who is in the middle of a classic 80’s aerobics class. Debbie was on a soap opera and “decided” she wanted out, “Getting pregnant and being written off was the best thing that ever happened to me.”.
We follow Ruth home, who stays in a modest studio, which by todays standards would probably go for $2500 a month. Ruth listens to the messages on her answering machine and gets clued in to an audition that calls for “unconventional women”, and also “it’s not porn”. Ruth heads to Chavo’s gym (Named after Chavo Guerrero Jr who helped with the training). There we meet Sam (Marc Maron), a failed B-movie director who has been tasked with making a different style of wrestling show. Marc Maron plays this part like a champ. He says cunt punch a few times in a hilarious moment of describing wrestling moves.
In Ruths apartment we meet a fling that enters through her window. We find out they’ve had sex, and that he’s married, and that Ruth has tried to call it off. They bang again. We go back to the gym where Salty Sack Johnson (Johnny Mundo) is teaching the basics, and Sam is cutting from the roster. When it’s Ruth’s turn to do the hair toss, she decides to improvise, which only annoys Sam. He makes Ruth and another star of the show, Carmen (Britney Young) to plead their case. Ruth says she’s a trained actor, Carmen is the daughter and sister of a premier wrestling family! Needless to say, Ruth is cut.
Ruth doesn’t let this stop her. She goes home and studies her tapes, watching Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. Ruth shows up the next day to Chavo’s in full blown gear, singlet make up and cape. She begins to cut a promo (taken from ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’) until Debbie crashes in. Turns out that dude Ruth banged is her best friend Debbie’s husband. They cut some promos on each other and Debbie realizes, “I just want to beat you up”, and goes after Ruth. Sam begins to fantasize (not like that ya perv) about Debbie and Ruth having an amazing match, crowd cheering and booing. People going nuts. Salty snaps him out of it and counts 1…2…3.
Episode 1: Pilot- 9/10
We pick up episode 2 (“Slouch, Submit”), with Sam snorting a line of coke in the back (hey it’s the 80’s). He has the girls line up in the ring and has them say their name and any skill, power or favorite sexual position. He gets to Ruth and asks, “Where’s your friend? The one that beat the shit out of you?” It’s clear who Sam wants and he puts one of his stunt actresses, Cherry (Sydelle Noel) in charge of training and heads to the locker room. She follows and watches as he goes through everyones bags. We find out they have a history (including a threesome) and Sam is apologetic about not talking to Cherry since the “Womb Goof” (miscarriage). Sam finds Ruth’s address book and heads to Debbie’s place.
Cherry is trying to teach the very basics along with Carmen, who shows everyone how to do a lock up. Melrose (Jackie Tohn) is unlikeable from the start of the episode and continues throughout. She is sloppy in the ring and Cherry isn’t having it. Melrose complains that it’s all fake anyway what does it matter. The argument ends with Melrose being put in a basic sleeper hold. We find Debbie breast feeding as her son causes her to bleed. She rushes to the freezer for a bag of frozen peas, that she presses against one boob and holds her son with the other arm. Sam knocks on the door and he begins talks to get Debbie to be his star performer.
Melrose is complaining about how Cherry could have killed her and steals a bottle of ketchup from lunch. As they run drills back in the gym Melrose takes a flat back bump and acts like she had a miscarriage, spraying ketchup all over her crotch and the ring. Cherry is visibly upset and tosses Melrose out of the ring. Sam comes back with Debbie, who explodes when she sees Ruth. Yes Sam lied, but the result from the lie will be worth it. As Debbie is yelling at Sam, Cherry starts in as well, until the word “miscarriage” is said and Sam focuses on Cherry. Cherry makes Melrose show Sam what she did. The reaction is not what Cherry was thinking.
Sam goes into who would kick someone who is pregnant in the stomach? A home wrecker, Ruth. She has Melrose and Ruth in the ring go over the psychology of this. Ruth the failure, no friends, no job, no money, home wrecker (“Her hair is brown, the color of shit”). Melrose the successful, rich, beautiful, blond all american, and she has Ruth “kick” her in the stomach. Melrose starts to yell at Sam tells her “put it into words!”. Debbie finally sees what Sam saw and is onboard.
Everybody is leaving and Ruth is furious. She thinks she’s being fired because Debbie is on. Sam tells her she’s fucking nuts, she’s the main bad guy. Ruth fights it and Sam replies “I don’t like you. Think about that and maybe stop giving a fuck.”
Episode 2: Slouch, Submit- 9/10
So far the series is GREAT. It’s incredibly written and the actresses on the show are perfect. I want to watch it all at once, but I want it to last! I HIGHLY recommend this even if you aren’t a wrestling fan.