Netflix recently released season two of its original series GLOW, which is set in the 80’s. GLOW stands for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and is a fun show with a group of really well written women characters. This article will go into detail about why I liked season two so much and will give a rating out of ten to indicate just how much I enjoyed it. If you haven’t seen either season, then I encourage you to watch both.
–SPOILER ALERT FOR SEASONS ONE & TWO OF GLOW–
This show is overflowing with well written women characters. We see this in the character development that Debbie undergoes as she continues to emotionally spiral due to her recent divorce. The divorce is partially due to the protagonist Ruth sleeping with Debbie’s husband. Debbie’s resentment towards Ruth shows us just how psychotic Debbie can be. During a wrestling match, Debbie intentionally breaks Ruth’s leg in order to prevent Ruth from wrestling for the remainder of the season. Additionally, Debbie has several public emotional breakdowns that are brought on by the stress of divorce. Whether you like her or not, Debbie’s character development into a psychotic cold hearted person is very fitting of her situation. The season ends with her apologizing to Ruth by writing, “I’m sorry I broke your ankle” on Ruth’s cast.
The director of the women’s wrestling show, Sam, is best described as a likable jerk. He’s a jerk in both seasons, but season two demonstrates that Sam has the ability to be a caring jerk. This caring nature manifests (in part) as a result of having to care for a 16 year old daughter (Justine) that he never knew about until late into season one. He goes from resenting her to genuinely caring for her well being. All of Sam and Justine’s father/ daughter bonding scenes were deeply moving and developed their relationship well.
Another scene where we get to see the softer side of Sam is when Ruth confesses to knowing why their wrestling show is getting moved to a 2 AM time slot in favor of a men’s wrestling show. She tells Sam about her meeting with a sleazy studio executive who clearly expected Ruth to have sex with him, where she left the situation before they had sex. He sides with Ruth and expresses disgust at the actions of the studio executive. His concern for the wellbeing of his wrestlers is one of the most humanizing things about Sam this season.
I thought that the wrestling commentator had a great storyline this season. The death of his butler Florian, who is implied to have died from AIDS, is very moving. The way that the show communicates that Florian dies of AIDS is very subtle and appropriate- Bash orders Florian’s room to be cleaned from ceiling to floor with bleach. Essentially, people in the 80’s didn’t understand how AIDS was transmitted, and Bash probably thought he was playing it safe by bleaching the room. Additionally, Bash realizing that Florian is gay is perfect, and it is left up to the viewer to try and work out if Bash was romantically involved with Florian before he died. The implication is that probably not, and that Bash is gay but still not out to himself. This is elaborated on later when Bash unexpectedly proposes and marries one of the wrestlers in order to help her stay in the country to avoid deportation.
The show has some pretty amazing wrestling personas with equally as fun wrestling costumes. It also seems to put the characters in 80’s accurate fashion. I think it is worth noting that they don’t try to make the characters look like “hot” 80’s girls, they actually look like they are from the 80’s. Some of the clothing and hairstyles are unflattering, but it’s accurate to the era, and probably what they would have been wearing in real life. Essentially, I appreciate that the show doesn’t pander to much to the male gaze.
Overall, I loved season two of GLOW. It’s much more manic and energetic than the first, and we got some really great character development in this season. I’d give this season a 8/10.