Ready set GLOW!
The way to GLOW.
It's all GLOW-GLOW-GLOW!
Have you caught the GLOW bug?
Right, now I've exorcised all the predictable GLOW based puns - let's get down to it, boppers. All hail the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling!
Now, I'm not talking about the highly successful new Netflix series GLOW which is a joy to behold in a rather tame, too pretty way. Based on a true story (not in a Fargo sense, but in an it happened sense), GLOW is the tale of a ragmuffin bunch of ladies being thrust together in a wrestling ring to make TV gold. Set at the height of eighties ra-ra-skirtness - it suffers from it being a hackneyed time period setting, which can be done in a serious way like The Americans. This just about manages not to become pastiche but it's teetering. Let's say I know which programme wins the Bowie/Queen - Under Pressure montage contest. Boo for lazy music supervising, GLOW!
Alison Brie leads the cast as a Carmen Wade, a serious actress who tries to method her way through creating a wrestling alter ego - all technicality and initially lacking an instinctive theatricality (beyond her clowning and mask workshopping). And she is bloody hilarious. So far, so good. Until the life outside the ring plots - betrayal, abortion, general bitchiness - turns the whole thing into a predictable tick box women's issues affair. Carmen is not a very nice character and Brie plays her too well that it is hard not to like her spirit (even if she is a homewrecker). However, I am worried that as GLOW goes into it's 2/3/4 series I am going to start loathing her a la Piper in OITNB - who gets more and more irksome and less and less screen time. But Brie is just too good for this to fate befall her - even just for the best Batman impression ever.
This quirky dramatisation can't hold a candle to unhinged nuttiness of the original eighties TV programme - G.L.O.W. It may be the cheap looking sets or the handspun outfits - but the grittiness of watching the original show makes the gritty real life aspect of the drama series look far more contrived. A sort of you can call your Dad he can stop it all, yeah! There's such fun elements and great characters but as kooky as they are - they are watered down imitations of the originals. Sometimes life is more ridiculous than fiction. The world has learned this since 8 November 2016.
Just knock yourself out with the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling doc that's back up on Netflix alongside the series. All the glitz and grubbiness from the wrestling frontlines. A stellar ESG soundtrack. Far more crusty characters. And no unwarranted Kate Nash boob flash.
Here's a few of my original G.L.O.W. faves...
Spike and Chainsaw wielded a blow torch and, you guessed it, a chainsaw. They mainly set fire and chopped things up. Useful for small DIY projects.
Matilda the Hun is the battleaxe's battleaxe. She had a wrestling career long before and long after G.L.O.W. and even wrestled a bear. Obviously as mad as a crushed box of frogs.
Or go back to the source and watch where it all began...