When I first heard about GLOW, Netflix’s show about women’s wrestling in the ‘80s, I was intrigued. After all, I grew up watching wrestling. Also, Alison Brie was attached to star, and I was a fan of hers from her work on Community. I was a little wary, because Jenji Kohan’s name was attached to the show, and I thought Weeds was hot garbage. I never watched Orange is the New Black because it was her show. However, given that she was just a producer and not the creator or showrunner, and given the topic athand, I gave GLOW a shot, and I was really happy I did.
The first season was so good! It was a lot funnier than I expected and it was delightful to watch this ragtag group of women, plus Marc Maron as Sam Silvia, a failed cult movie director, working together to make the show happen. GLOW was, in some ways, a feel-good show, even if some real dark stuff happened too. The second season was maybe even better. It was just as funny, but they had laid the pipe in the first season to build up the characters and the world of the show. Also, we got to see an episode of GLOW that was a full episode of the show-within-the-show version of “GLOW.” Needless to say, I was looking forward to the third season, which dropped on Netflix at the end of last week.
I won’t delve too deeply into spoilers in this piece, but I will be saying a few things about the season. For starters, and you are probably going to hear this a lot about the third season, but GLOW has ceased to be a show about wrestling. In the third season it was a show about women who made their living as wrestlers, but we saw basically none of the show. The GLOW gang had moved from LA to Vegas to do their show as a nightly act, which means they were doing the same show every night. That meant they weren’t really working on the show much, and we saw it very seldomly. And yet, the two best episodes of the season were the ones that had the most wrestling. They were so funny and so fresh. I miss that aspect of the show.
Not that there weren’t good things. I’ve watched these characters for three seasons now, so I am invested in them. I’m interested in Ruth and Debbie and the gang. A lot of stuff definitely happened this year. Some of it was gripping or potent, like Sheila, the She-Wolf, having some revelations about herself. Other stuff was a little less interesting. Also, while Debbie’s plight as a single mother working in a different city than her child was emotionally potent at times, I also didn’t need to have them spend THAT much time on it, especially with all the time the kid spent screaming. Geena Davis, one of the two prominent new characters, also felt wasted at times.
The third season of GLOW was good enough that I hope there is a fourth season. However, in truth one of the reasons I want another season is to see more wrestling. There are too many cliffhangers and things up in the air right now for it to end at this point. It would be a lackluster end for Ruth and company. I enjoyed season three, despite the lack of wrestling, but I was certainly left wanting more as well.