GLOW (TV series)Wikipedia open wikipedia design.
|Created by||Liz Flahive|
|Opening theme||"The Warrior" by Scandal|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||30 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||26–46 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Tilted Productions|
|Picture format||4K (UHDTV in high dynamic range)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||June 23, 2017 –|
GLOW is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch for Netflix. The series revolves around a fictionalization of the characters and gimmicks of the 1980s syndicated women's professional wrestling circuit, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (or GLOW) founded by David McLane.
The first season consists of 10 episodes and was released on June 23, 2017. On August 10, 2017, Netflix renewed the series for a second season of 10 episodes, which was released on June 29, 2018. The series was renewed on August 20, 2018, for a third season, which was released on August 9, 2019. On September 20, 2019, the series was renewed for a fourth and final season.
In Los Angeles in 1985, Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress, auditions along with many other women in a fledgling professional wrestling promotion called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). Traditionally minded in her approach to acting and highly idealistic, she clashes with GLOW's director Sam Sylvia due to his cynical demeanor and often unconventional work style. Ruth discovers early on that Sylvia has employed her former best friend, retired soap opera actress Debbie Eagan to star in the show. Ruth and Debbie had fallen out with one another after Ruth had an affair with her husband, Mark, who she then divorced. The tension between the two women promises either to make or break the developing show. The series follows the personal and professional lives of the fictional show's numerous cast and crew as they navigate the 1980s in Southern California and Southern Nevada.
- Alison Brie as Ruth "Zoya the Destroya" Wilder
- Betty Gilpin as Debbie "Liberty Belle" Eagan
- Sydelle Noel as Cherry "Junkchain"/"Black Magic" Bang
- Britney Young as Carmen "Machu Picchu" Wade
- Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia
- Britt Baron as Justine "Scab" Biagi (season 2–present; recurring season 1)
- Kate Nash as Rhonda "Britannica" Richardson (season 2–present; recurring season 1)
- Gayle Rankin as Sheila "the She Wolf" (season 2–present; recurring season 1)
- Kia Stevens as Tammé "The Welfare Queen" Dawson (season 2–present; recurring season 1)
- Jackie Tohn as Melanie "Melrose" Rosen (season 2–present; recurring season 1)
- Chris Lowell as Sebastian "Bash" Howard (season 3–present; recurring seasons 1–2)
Introduced in season one
Introduced in season two
Introduced in season three
The show's cast features several real-life professional wrestlers, most prominently Kia Stevens (Tammé), who has wrestled as Awesome Kong in TNA and as Kharma in WWE. Others with formal experience include:
- John Hennigan as Salty "The Sack" Johnson, a trainer who appeared in the first episode of Season 1
- Tyrus and Carlos Edwin as Carmen's wrestler brothers
- Joey Ryan as a wrestler known as Mr. Monopoly
- Laura James (both Ryan's then-wife and a professional wrestler herself) as Mr. Monopoly's valet, "Crystal"
- Alex Riley as a wrestler known as Steel Horse
- Brooke Hogan as night club manager Amber Fredrickson
- Chavo Guerrero Jr. as Chico Guapo
- Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian as unnamed wrestlers
|1||10||June 23, 2017|
|2||10||June 29, 2018|
|3||10||August 9, 2019|
The idea for the series came when Flahive and Mensch, who at the time were looking to make a new female-centric show, came across the 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Before this, neither woman had heard of the GLOW wrestling promotion, and they became intrigued by the premise of producing a fictionalized version of it. Both women found the storyline intriguing as a way of exploring the aftermath of the 1970s Woman's Liberation Movement, with Flahive telling Rolling Stone, "We wanted to look back on the 1970s, coming out of the women's movement, and into the 1980s, and ask the question: Did it work? Did things get better?" To this end, it was important for the series to maintain a tension between whether the league was exploiting women or empowering them.
Ursula Hayden, the owner of the GLOW company, served as a consultant on the series and helped Flahive and Mensch with creating the show. Hayden was also on the original 1980s promotion as Babe, the Farmer's Daughter.
Chavo Guerrero Jr. of the famous Guerrero wrestling family also served as a consultant on the series and helped train the actresses. His uncle Mando Guerrero had served in the same role for the original series.
The series has filmed in several locations in Los Angeles; mainly in the San Fernando Valley. Chavo's Boxing Gym, which is GLOW's training grounds, was a combination of two locations: the interior was a studio set while the exterior was the rear of the San Fernando Masonic Lodge. The Pink Motel in Sun Valley was used as a stand-in for The Dusty Spur Motel, GLOW's sleeping quarters. Other notable locations include the Mayan Theater and the Hollywood Palladium.
Principal production on season 2 commenced in October 2017.
For the Spain market, Netflix España released a series of promo videos featuring singers Marta Sánchez and Vicky Larraz. The first video, titled "No Controles", features Sánchez imitating Ruth's imaginary wrestler scene from the first episode. The second video has Sánchez and Larraz squaring off in the ring.
The series features several songs from the 1980s, as well as tracks from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The opening theme used for the full-length opening titles in episode 1 of each season is "The Warrior" by Scandal.
- Season 1 songs
- "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Sylvester
- "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" by Journey
- "Stir It Up" by Patti LaBelle
- "The Look" by Roxette
- "We Don't Get Along" by The Go-Go's
- "4-3-1" by The Jetzons
- "Every Little Bit" by Jackie James
- "Life in a Northern Town" by The Dream Academy
- "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" by Billy Joel
- "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears
- "Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song)" by Alice Cooper
- "Rock You Like a Hurricane (2011 Re-recording)" by Scorpions
- "Ready Steady Go" by Generation X
- "Dare" by Stan Bush
- "Theme of Exodus" by Ernest Gold
- "Angel" by The Jetzons
- "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie
- "Car Wash" by Rose Royce
- "Magic Moments" by Perry Como
- "Things Can Only Get Better" by Howard Jones
- "Invincible" by Pat Benatar
- Season 2 songs
- "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel
- "Just Like Honey" by The Jesus and Mary Chain
- "It's Like That" by Run-DMC
- "Sweat" by The System
- "Situation" by Yazoo
- "Baby You Got It" by Brenton Wood
- "You're All I Need to Get By" by Aretha Franklin
- "Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat
- "I Know What Boys Like" by The Waitresses
- "Far From Over" by Frank Stallone
- "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates
- "Destination Unknown" by Missing Persons
- "Makeover" by the GLOW Girls
- "Don't Kidnap" by the GLOW Girls
- "Kyrie" by Mr. Mister
- "Cross My Heart" by Richard Myhill
- "Can't You See the World Through My Eyes?" by Donnie Barren
- "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League
- "Crazy for You" by Madonna
- "Man on the Corner" by Genesis
- "Chapel of Love" by The Dixie Cups
- "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship
- Season 3 songs
- "Quando quando quando" by Engelbert Humperdinck
- "Baby Let Me Kiss You" by Fern Kinney
- "Disorder" by Joy Division
- "Big Mess" by Devo
- "Gypsy" by Fleetwood Mac
- "Light of a Clear Blue Morning" by Dolly Parton
- "When the Chips Are Down" by Ricky Nelson
- "Cities in Dust" by Siouxsie and the Banshees
- "Barracuda" by Heart
- "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush
Quiet Riot's cover of "Cum On Feel the Noize" was used for the Season 1 trailer, while "Maniac" by Michael Sembello was used for the Season 2 trailer and "Listen to Your Heart" by Roxette for the Season 3 trailer. Songs covered by the cast include the Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now" and Barbra Streisand's "This Is One of Those Moments".
GLOW was praised by critics upon its release. On Rotten Tomatoes, season 1 has a 94% approval rating with an average score of 7.66/10 based on 103 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "With spot-on 1980s period detail, knockout writing, and a killer cast, GLOW shines brightly." The first season has a Metacritic score of 81 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly gave the first season an A rating, calling it "a silly-smart masterpiece, with an ensemble cast entirely made up of breakout characters". Sophie Gilbert of The Atlantic said, "...it’s just a blast to watch women having so much fun. GLOW fully owns its campiness and its showy aesthetics, but it’s smart and subversive underneath the glitter."
The second season received even higher critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, season 2 has a 97% approval rating with an average score of 8.83/10 based on 79 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fearlessly led by its excellent ensemble, GLOW's second season adds a new layer of drama without sacrificing its self-effacing, delightfully silly humor." The second season has a Metacritic score of 85 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
On Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has an 89% approval rating with an average score of 8.03/10 based on 53 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "GLOW dives even deeper into the lives of its divas to deliver a knock-out third season that solidifies its place as one of TV's most compelling—and hilarious—character studies."  The third season has a Metacritic score of 81 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Wrestling community response
The series received mixed reactions from some of the original GLOW wrestlers. Jeanne Basone, who wrestled in the promotion as "Hollywood", commented that "Some of the training and the gym and the outfits they get correct." Patricia Summerland, who played "Sunny the California Girl" in the promotion, saw Marc Maron's character Sam Sylvia as a stark contrast to original GLOW director Matt Cimber. Eileen O'Hara, who was known as "Melody Trouble Vixen (MTV)", felt that the series did not properly represent the promotion. Lisa Moretti, who competed as "Tina Ferrari" and would go on to the greatest fame among GLOW alumni as Ivory in the WWF/WWE as a three-time WWF Women's Champion during the Attitude Era, said that she was relieved that the series isn't a documentary because it was more entertaining to have a mix between fact and fiction.
More positive reception came from mainstream wrestling figures including Kurt Angle. Ethan Sapienza of Slate noted accurate comparisons between the series and WWE as well as the various regional promotions that made up the National Wrestling Alliance during its heyday.
A four-issue comic book series based on the show was released in March 2019 by IDW Publishing, written by Tini Howard and illustrated by Hannah Templer. Flahive and Mensch served as executive producers on the comics. A second four-issue series by IDW Publishing, GLOW vs. The Babyface, co-written by former professional wrestler AJ Mendez and actress Aimee Garcia and illustrated by Templer, will have its first issue published in November 2019.
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