It's no surprise to discover that GLOW was made by Jenji Kohan, the mastermind behind, and creator of, Orange is the New Black. Comparisons between the two shows are unavoidable. The extraordinary (and depressingly rare) qualities that made OITNB a world-wide phenomenon are all here in GLOW, but this time, they're trussed up in glitter and Spandex.
The 10-part series was inspired by the original 1980s G.L.O.W., a Las Vegas-based syndicated TV series that included sketches and songs as well as wrestling. It's all about women, so expect to see a lot of them. Plenty of women, dealing with women's problems, and talking to women about other women. There are so few shows like this. Just one, in fact... Orange is the New Black.
Just as OITNB began by following the story of over-privileged white girl Piper Chapman and her quickly unravelling life, GLOW hones in on Mad Men's Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder; an impoverished, failing, wanna-be actress who accidentally sleeps with her husband's best friend... twice.
A casting director takes pity and points her in the direction of Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), a B-movie director who, with a motley crew and some big dreams (and very little know how), is trying to create a cast of female wrestlers. Wrestling, we discover, is actually a soap opera, but with body slams instead of screaming matches.
When ex-actress and angry best friend Debbie (Betty Gilpin) arrives in the middle of one of Ruth's auditions to literally beat her up for ruining her marriage, Sylvia decides he has found his perfect wrestling opponents. Just like Piper and her frenemy Alex from OITNB, the two women find themselves in a small, confined space (this time a motel rather than a prison) with a load of other women and have to deal with their own, and everyone else's, many, many problems.
GLOW is sillier than OITNB, less dark and less political, but it's still magnificently refreshing, feminist, nostalgic and clever, and an absolute must-see TV show for the summer.
Glow arrives on UK Netflix 23 July 2017
|What||GLOW, UK Netflix review:|
|Where||UK Netflix | MAP|
23 Jun 17 – 18 Aug 17, 12:00 AM