Glow is a new series from Netflix, and it is coming from Andrew McCarthy, director of fabulous Orange is the New Black (OITNB), about which I have written already (see here and here and also here).
Just like in OITNB, this show also celebrates women and their independence. Surprised I liked it, huh?
This series portrays women trying to succeed in acting and in doing so they join Glow, a wrestling TV show in the making. None of the women know anything about wrestling and we follow them in their quest to learn how to do it and act at the same time. While the show’s director Sam (Marc Maron) only wants women fighting because this is what audience wants to see (sadly, in reality this is true) actresses manage to negotiate their roles and implement acting along with fake wrestling. Even though this is not a prominent show in the making or something they would want to do, as Ruth (Alison Brie) says it, “I am interested in real parts. I’ve got 83 dollars in my bank account and I don’t know if I can pay my gas bill.”
This is what many actresses and actors face in their careers when they have to accept roles they otherwise would not accept. In this case, actresses accepted it and they are trying to make the best out of it. Thus, throughout the series they negotiate their own identities and fight prejudices against them and the show, i.e. with parents who do not want them to participate in the show, or friends. We also get to know what bothers each women and what challenges they face in their lives when expressing their identities and desires.
Just like in OITNB, women are shown as independent fighters able to stand up for themselves and make things work even when everything fails.
This show is much slower than OITNB and I do not think it will achieve the same level of popularity, but it is definitely worth watching because McCarthy once again manages to create a familiar atmosphere and a sense of knowing the characters. Thus, viewer can engage and relax while watching the series. Just like we felt like we are in the prison with Piper and the gang struggling to negotiate identities and stand up for ourselves, in Glow we feel like we are in the scruffy motel struggling to learn wrestling and negotiate our part in the TV show we do not really like but then end up enjoying anyway.
Thank you for reading.