Glow (glamorous ladies of wrestling) is the 80s inspired Netflix original that follows a group of women wrestlers and the obstacles of running a Vegas-style show. This is a show that I was in love with since the first episode , but not many people around me sharing my opinions on the show which I understand as it’s a show the appeals to a very niche audience as it’ about wrestling (which isn’t exactly mainstream) but also is a retro show about empowering women which unfortunately narrows the number of viewers, but I was extra excited considering the time I had to wait for the third series of this fantastic show.
The great thing about this show is that the dual-perspective shown but each character. Each actor has their normal character with realistic names and personalities but also their wrestling personas that are so over-the-top that it’s comical. These means we get the real representation of women, friendship and relationship but also the entertainment factor of these massive wrestling characters.
Some of the favourite actors in this series are Kia Stevens, Gayle Ranking and Brittney young. Kia plays the role of Tammè Dawson who is caring and down to earth mother but her character the “welfare queen” who embodies the derogatory term for someone who lives off money from the state and is proud of that fact.
The creative team push this character to the extreme to the point where it becomes a caricature rather than an offensive stereotype. This, in my opinion, was done to not offend or to take the mick out of anyone in particular and so going so far out with the character was a clever idea. The best thing about this actor is that she is actually a real-life professional wrestler. Kia wrestles across many wrestling promotions (such as WWE, AEW and TNA) under the guise of awesome Kong/Kharma which must have been a very interesting experience imitation a wrestler on a tv show while you are actually a real-life professional wrestler.
Another one of my favourites is Brittany young who plays the role of Carmen who wrestlers under the name of Machu Picchu who is based on a real wrestler known as mount Fiji.
This character is also the character who actually has a passion for and experience in wrestler due to her family connections so the characters name/inspiration was cleverly chosen by the creative team on this show. I feel that during the other series’ Carmen was not as vocal to the story as she should have been. But in season 3 she because somewhat of a main character and had what, in my opinion, had the best match of the entire series.
Finally, Gayle Rankin plays the role of Shelia who wrestles as the she-wolf.
This character had the greatest character development of anyone in this season. We as the viewer discover a softer and genuine side of Shelia and as her character is so outlandish is intriguing to watch. Gayle manages to play the crazy she-wolf character and the genuine person perfectly which shows true talent due to the contrast of both sides of the character.
Although I have talked about how Glow is about wrestling and how wrestling has influenced this programme, series 3 slightly takes the focus off the actual wrestling and focus on more real-world issues. This programme deals will important issues such as family struggles, relationships (both homosexual and heterosexual), body image and identity. There was a character in these season for every type of person, race and sexuality and so I believe they aimed for it to be a method of empowering whoever is watching rather than showcasing actual wrestling. As a result of this sometimes there were continuity errors such as rules for wrestling and no pins when there such by and pins when there shouldn’t be which was bad but as the focus was on the themes rather than the actual
wrestling which many people would not realise.
This season revolves around how these ladies and the show producers struggle to keep the show in Vegas popular and relevant and shows the bonding process of these group of girls become closer and closer friends which were fantastic to watch.
I was, however, a little disappointed in the amount of nudity involved in episode 3. At first, the nudity made sense within the story and was comical but after a while, it became very uncomfortable to watch and to be honest very unnecessary.
For the narrative itself, I think the season could have finished on episode 6 as it completed stories and would have made a perfect end to the season but the ending they actually used was also disappointing. The creators decided to finish with a Christmas special which makes sense as it is the period when all the wrestlers would go home and so there would be no shows but they chose to create a Christmas carol inspire show and while it was very entertaining, and also I really enjoyed the undertaker reference within this final match, it was not really a great way to end the session. But I believe they decided to end the season with incomplete storylines and a mild end as they are planning to make another season which I am excited to watch.
As I have been a wrestling fan for many years GLOW was a fantastic reverence to the retro wrestling of old while being an incredibly empowering for everyone who is watching it. It was deep, meaningful and empowering while also being fun and comical. The creators and cast blended the seriousness of the themes with the fun nature of wrestling perfectly and should be appreciated for this difficult task. I would rate GLOW 4 out of 5 stars and would encourage any fellow wrestling fans to get up to date with this show before the four-season is inevitably released.