A program about women wrestlers in the 80s might not sound like the ultimate bank holiday binge-watch indulgence, but believe us GLOW is well worth the sofa time.
Alison Brie stars as Ruth Wilder, an out-of-work actress living in Los Angeles in the ’80s. Living in a studio with no money, no career prospects and an unfortunate habit of sleeping with married men, Wilder finds an unexpected chance at stardom: enter the glitter and spandex-laden world of women’s wrestling, where she must work alongside 12 other Hollywood misfits.
This show could have been yet another cheesy trope of ‘feminism through a man’s gaze’ but under the careful creation Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive, who serve as executive producers with Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann, it’s a surprisingly deep take on female relationships, ambition and what success means – and bloody funny with it.
One of the truly beautiful aspects of the show is the love women’s bodies are given. Black, white, big, small – all shown as capable, confident, fit and fabulous in a way we haven’t seen before. The women body slam and choke hold their way to success and sexiness – each in a totally unique way.
Whilst all funny, the characters are also real – no one is all good, or all bad. You like someone one minute and cringe at their foibles the next. The coked-up director with a surprisingly compassionate heart. The badly treated best friend with a monumental ego. The lead heroine with a selfish streak.
Women are given the sort of characterization not previously seen in dramas but it’s not ‘feminist’ per say – it’s fun with a great big, fat FEMINIST F.
And if that doesn’t persuade the soundtrack, styling and visuals are utterly killer – hello eighties synth, big perms and tiny leotards. We LOVE IT!