Netflix has done it again with its new original series, GLOW.
The new series is different but original and unlike anything else out there, and it puts women front and center in a sport primarily dominated by men. The show, which is set in the 1980s, revolves around a group of actresses who audition to be part of a women’s wrestling league television series. It is truly the beginning of a new wave in Hollywood that is showcasing women more than ever before.
The series follows Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a struggling actress, who auditions along with a dozen other women in a professional wrestling promotion called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Ruth is also at odds with GLOW director Sam Sylvia due to her tendency to overact. When Ruth’s best friend and former soap opera actress, Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin), arrives at the ring, their confrontation about Ruth’s affair promises to either make or break the show.
The performances were award-worthy across the board. Brie is the clear star as Ruth “Zoya the Destroya” Wilder, and serves as the main protagonist throughout. Brie gives the performance of her career with this one by showcasing not only her dynamic comedy performance but also her strong dramatic side. Her character was incredibly dynamic and complex, so it was great to see Brie tackled that and succeed so well. She embodied the character and brought out the best parts of her while also showing to the audience that she is also vulnerable.
Supporting characters, which include Kate Nash, Britt Baron, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britany Young, Marc Maron, and Chris Lowell, also gave memorable performances. In some cases, the supporting cast dominated, but that proved to be worthwhile as these performances truly benefited the show and also drove the show forward. They gave the entire GLOW world further depth. The backstories of the supporting characters also benefited Brie’s Ruth; as they became more and more fleshed-out, it also brought more layers to her.
The main storyline that drove the show was Ruth’s aforementioned affair with Debbie’s husband. The aftermath of the affair was centered in most of the 10 episodes. Ruth and Debbie’s conflict was often at the center of some of the best moments, and through those, you saw the true concept of the show. While it was humorous, it also made audiences relate to the idea of struggling in a conflict with your best friend.
The show as a whole was executed brilliantly and was well written. The dialogue of each character was distinctive and unique, to the point where if you closed your eyes you would know who was speaking. The dialogue was also fresh and young and was never too extreme or forced to fit a specific archetype.
The only thing the series could change going into a potential season 2 is to add some surprises during each episode as they lead up to the moment that expresses what the episode was truly trying to tell. Provide more to catch the audience off guard.
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This story was written by Samantha D’Amico. If you want to follow her on Twitter, you can do so at @SAM_iamXO.