A scripted show about women’s wrestling? Probably the last thing one might expect being made into a TV series. Where would it fit? Who’d be brave enough to do it? It really wouldn’t fit on free TV, unless the wrestlers solved crimes in their free time. As for pay cable, well, being a sport means locker rooms. Locker rooms have showers, which lends ample time for female nudity, pay cable gold. In the end, Netflix’s new show Glow has explored the subject to great reviews and ratings.
Starring Alison Brie, formerly of Community and Mad Men, stars in what show creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mench have said they were inspired to create after seeing a documentary about women’s wrestling, notably the late 1980s TV show Glow (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). According to the website Quartz:
Unlike most male wrestling at the time, G.L.O.W. was celebrated for being extremely politically incorrect (many of the villainous characters were meant to be of foreign origin) and unabashedly campy. Each wrestler had her own signature rap she’d dish out before entering the ring. The show’s budget was so small that creator David McClane’s on-air office was literally a phone booth. One wrestler described it as “vaudeville mixed with Saturday Night Live mixed with wrestling.”
The Netflix version does something the 1980s show never did. The Flahive/Mensch version goes behind the scene and provides the viewer a glimpse of the people behind the characters. As mentioned earlier, the Netflix version goes its own way. No ode to days gone by here. The results are the show finds its own voice while covering familiar ground. Anyone old enough to remember the 80s will find familiarity in the fashions and music. As PasteMagazineonline notes:
Multiple (if not most) major characters are based on figures from the original series in some form or fashion, but it’s usually their gimmick and not anything about the women portraying them. Since the show will likely inspire a newfound interest in the ‘80s videos and the fiction/reality line on the Netflix show is a bit blurrier than most, here are a few things you should know going into the series.”