On your marks, get ready, GLOW – 10 reasons to watch the gorgeous ladies as season two arrives
- Credit: Erica Parise/Netflix
High-leg leotards, women dealing with outrageous sexism, big hair, big characters and a soundtrack that will transport you back to the decade taste forgot. GLOW is The Breakfast Club in Lycra and here are 10 reasons you should watch it.
Glitter, girl power and grappling – GLOW is back and it's packing another mighty punch.
The 1980s wrestling show is returning in a cloud of hairspray as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling bring us another season of Lycra-clad ladies-only fighting inspired by the real-life shenanigans back in the decade that taste forgot, when David McClane created the original GLOW and WOW: Women of Wrestling.
Set in Los Angeles in 1985, the show features Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), an out-of work actress who decides that the way to rescue her career is to turn her attention to the televised female wrestling scene. She auditions along with dozens of other women and wins a role in the show, despite her tendency to overact.
When Ruth's former best friend – retired soap opera actress Debbie Eagan – arrives at the ring, their confrontation promises to make or break the show. FIGHT!
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So far, we know that the new series will tackle a timely #MeToo storyline and that Ruth and Debbie will settle into the day-to-day of making a season of TV together, they confront lingering issues at the heart of their friendship. Sam is still Sam, but now he has a teenage daughter living with him and 20 episodes to churn out – the wrestling is harder, the stakes are higher and the hair is even bigger.
10 Reasons to watch GLOW
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1) It's charming: It helps that Alison Brie is the lead and she's utterly adorable (who can forget her sunshine-filled performance asTrudy in Mad Men, the wife who illustrated just how hard Pete Campbell was punching above his weight) as the failing actress who finds her niche playing a wrestling Russian harpy waging war against America. But then Gilpin as Debbie is equally wonderful with her hell-hath-no-fury turn as Liberty Belle. While the show isn't flawless, it has a huge amount of heart and it's a slice of fun in the TV pie.
2) The binge-watching potential is massive: According to BingeClock, my go-to website for the low-down on how long I'll be low-down on the sofa, GLOW weighs in with an easily-doable-in-a-day five hours and 25 minutes (if you skip the opening and closing credits, you shave off 10 minutes). That's duvet day material right there.
3) It was acceptable in the 80s: From the second the first series began, and we saw Ruth and Debbie at an aerobics lesson throwing some suspicious moves, it was clear how important the decade would be to the show. There are plenty of references from the 1980s to look out for, from Bash's Short Circuit-style robo-butler to songs from Yentl to a soundtrack which features artists ranging from Billy Joel to Bon Jovi. There's even a Grange Hill-style Just Say No episode – it doesn't feature Zammo scrabbling around on a school toilet floor for heroin, but it does show the GLOW ladies attending a wealthy socialite's Just Say No fundraiser (albeit they appear as drug takers who need cash).
4) The cast really care: Alison Brie (Ruth 'Zoya the Destroya' Wilder), Betty 'Liberty Belle' Gilpin, Sidelle Noel (Cherry 'Junkchain' Bang, Britney Young (Carmen 'Machu Picchu' Wade), and Marc Maron (Sam Sylvia) and the backbone of the series and are supported by a fabulous set of supporting actors that include Kate Nash (Rhonda 'Britannica' Richardson) , Chris Lowell (Sebastian 'Bash' Howard), and Rich Sommer (Mark Eagen). In a bid to make the action look as realistic as possible, the cast trained for months so they would be able to perform all their own stunts in the ring.
5) Sisters doing it for themselves: With female-led stories, female creators and actresses who are given exciting and memorable roles, GLOW is all about the sisterhood.
6) Because it stars all kinds of women: GLOW accepts that not everyone who appears on TV is a size four and under the age of 28. There are larger ladies, women of colour, thin ladies, short and tall women – you name it, they're there and, to paraphrase a line from Kimmy Schmidt, they're strong as hell.
7) The costumes: There are star-spangled leotards, off-the-shoulder Russian villain-style leotards, shimmering gold bodysuits, fur-covered corsets – and that's just everyday wear. Beth Morgan, who designed the costumes for GLOW, researched what the characters would wear by looking at lots of awkward family photographs from the 1980s (she asked the cast to send her their own group shots) and also watched the original GLOW and Cheers for inspiration.
8) It's funny: If the cocaine-serving home robot doesn't get you, Brie's performance as Zoya will: 'In Soviet Union we have one chair. We take turns to sit in it. You miss your turn, too bad. You sit on floor for rest of year.'
9) You don't have to like wrestling to enjoy it: Even if you've never understood the appeal of a sport where everyone is fake shrieking and over-reacting to absolutely everything (if this is the case, what is WRONG with you?) then GLOW will appeal. It's impossible not to be bowled away by a show that dives headfirst into the genre with such aplomb – it's like a soap opera with added brainbusters and chokeslams. GLOW takes wrestling and turns it into an emotional battleground where women fight for a better deal for themselves.
10) It's camper than a row of tents in the biggest campsite in Camptown: And that's why I love it.
GLOW season two is on Netflix from June 29.