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August 6, 2018 | by  | in TV |
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GLOW Season 2

GLOW is a netflix original based on the 1980s women’s professional wrestling show The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch draw from the personas of the wrestling ladies of the 80s to weave an ensemble narrative that shines for its compelling characters and strong handling of complex emotions.
Firmly centred on struggling actress Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), Season 1 dealt with the creation of GLOW and Ruth’s conflicts with GLOW’s director Sam Sylvia and her former best friend Debbie Eagan, a has-been TV actress who joins the cast of GLOW.
Season 2 follows the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and the syndication of their show on cable television. Again, Ruth’s romantic life and her difficulties working with Sam are the focus of the show. Although the show focuses on Ruth’s storyline, which is endearing and hopeful in itself, Season 2 makes a welcome exploration of “Liberty Belle” Debbie Egan’s life as she assumes more power in the show’s production while coping with her divorce.
As an ensemble show, GLOW faces the potential difficulty of having an abundance of characters it struggles to utilise and develop. While some of the cast don’t receive full character arcs, GLOW excels in making the viewer feel like they’ve still spent a valuable amount of time growing and sharing experiences with the supporting cast. This is a treat, as the ensemble itself is such a lovable, interesting, and varied range of individuals, not just shoehorned caricatures. Despite learning most of their story threads from comedic moments, they still make for entertaining and meaningful explorations of minor characters. My investment in the characters and my surprising knowledge of the personal details of their lives is a testament to the show’s clever writing.

The beauty of GLOW lies in the brutality with which it handles emotion. GLOW shines by truly meditating on its characters as they wallow, cope with, and work through their difficult situations. Whether it’s the harshness of divorce, longing for a functional relationship between father and daughter, or a fear of disappointing the most important people in your life, GLOW’s ensemble is suitably saddled with complex, multi-faceted, and genuinely moving stories. While there is a great deal of melancholy throughout the show, GLOW succeeds by making warm and pleasant moments meaningful and genuinely uplifting.
Such powerful character arcs can only be delivered through equally strong performances. GLOW has this in spades. The fragility portrayed by Alison Brie, Marc Maron, Betty Gilpin, Kia Stevens, and the other stars defines GLOW as less of a drama about women’s pro wrestling than one about real, multi-faceted individuals. The cast disappears into each of their respective roles, balancing humour, melancholy, and the desire to succeed as a wrestling production so well that the “ladies of GLOW” feel like an actual family with real life shared experiences, whether they’re hanging out backstage or going to the mall.
Having binged through this season in one sitting, I found myself enthralled, overjoyed, and moved by a second season that improves upon an already stellar first season. Not having touched upon the beautiful production design, settings, costumes, nor the extremely fun “episode within an episode”, the show is a powerhouse of entertainment. The women who create and direct GLOW have struck something special in the follow up to their first season. Worth a watch? Fuck yes.

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