GLOW—Season 1

glow season 1 poster netflix episode guide review
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun nostalgia, lots of laughs

Story still developing, laughs may be too uncomfortable for some

glow season 1 title card episode guide review

Meet the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling!

Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) needs a break and hopes that an audition for something called GLOW could be what she needs.  GLOW is Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and an attempt by director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) and rich boy producer Sebastian “Bash” Howard (Chris Lowell) to capitalize on the popularity of WWF wrestling.  With a female cast, Sam must turn the women into wrestlers, and Ruth just hopes to turn her life around…but the fact her ex-best friend Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin) has joined the squad and still seeks revenge for Ruth sleeping with her husband (Rich Sommer) could pose a problem.

GLOW—Season 1 premiered on Netflix on June 23, 2017.  The comedy is based on the wrestling organization G.L.O.W. which initially formed in 1986.  It was met with positive reviews by critics.

glow season 1 episode 1 pilot ruth vs debbie fantasy betty gilpin alison brie

We’ll get there…eventually

I actually remember the actual G.L.O.W. (the wrestlers).  When I saw an announcement about GLOW, I actually thought “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” (as a joke)…before I saw it was actually about G.L.O.W.  With a memory of bad (second tier) professional wrestling that my friend made me watch growing up, GLOW is a fun (and funny) trip back to nostalgia.

GLOW pulls no punches and isn’t afraid to be uncomfortable to a fault.  This is evident pretty early when Sam is willing to think up a scenario of a woman losing a baby during a wrestling match…despite his former friend/intimate friend Cherry having lost her baby.  It is cold and callus and leads to uncomfortable laughs mixed in with genuine laughs.  GLOW is loaded with moments like this from jokes about races and stereotypes all comfortably wrapped in the less politically correct ’80s.

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I want more of these two!

GLOW is put together by the producers of Orange is the New Black, and it shows.  The format of the show is that it is primarily about Alison Brie (who is unrecognizable from her series Mad Men and Community) and her friend Debbie played by Betty Gilpin.  While the show circles around them, it begins expanding their wrestling costars by giving them backstories that grow.  With only ten episodes, the cast has a lot of room for exploration in future seasons but all seem to have a grasp of their characters.  In addition to the core cast, the series features appearances by a number of real professional wrestlers.

What’s next for the “Ladies”?

The look of the show has a lot of fun with the ’80s.  While I kept feeling they were making mistakes for the period in which they were set (around 1985-1986 but the TWA Flight 847 puts it at June 14, 1985), it is actually pretty accurate with their references.  I’m sure there are some mistakes and some things might not have been as popular or popular enough to be mainstream, but it does a rather solid job.  However, it is not a documentary of G.L.O.W., and it does take a lot of liberties by creating amalgams of characters and situations.

GLOW has a ton of potential and this first season was a lot of fun.  I like that GLOW isn’t afraid to make you uncomfortable and all comedy doesn’t have to be bland and unchallenging…you are allowed to think jokes are crass and inappropriate at times.  GLOW—Season 1 was a fun short watch that leaves you waiting for season 2.

GLOW—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

glow season 1 episode 1 pilot ruth audition alison brie


1.1       Pilot Release Date:  06/23/17

Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) is a failing actress.  She’s unemployed and having an affair with Mark Eagan (Rich Sommer)…who happens to be the husband of her best friend Debbie (Betty Gilpin).  When she gets an audition for G.L.O.W. (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), it could be her only chance if the director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) will give her a shot.

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“Slouch. Submit.”

1.2       Slouch.  Submit. Release Date:  06/23/17

Cherry Bang (Sydelle Noel) finds herself leading the show as Sam tries to recruit Debbie because of her soap opera notoriety.  Melanie Rosen (Kate Nash) calls out Cherry’s former relationship with Sam which leads to another rivalry, and an idea for Sam for the show…plus, a new direction for Ruth.

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“The Wrath of Kuntar”

1.3       The Wrath of Kuntar Release Date:  06/23/17

Sam has a new script for the girls but the producer Sebastian “Bash” Howard (Chris Lowell) has creative differences.  A party at Bash’s home in Malibu could end the show before it begins.

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“The Dusty Spur”

1.4       The Dusty Spur Release Date:  06/23/17

The girls have moved into the motel for “training”, and Ruth is learning secrets about her new roommate Sheila “The She-Wolf” (Gayle Rankin) as she tries to develop her own secret.  Carmen Wade (Britney Young) faces off against her father Goliath Jackson (Winston James Francis) and brothers (George “Brodus Clay” Murdoch and Carlos “Carlito” Colon Jr.).  Debbie decides she needs new living quarters as the girls see Sam’s secret dating tape.

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“Debbie Does Something”

1.5       Debbie Does Something Release Date:  06/23/17

Sam and Bash try to get sponsorship for G.L.O.W., and Ruth and Rhonda (Kate Nash) are selected to help sell the product.  Justine (Britt Baron) tries to make her moves on the local pizza boy Billy Offal (Casey Johnson).  Debbie finds she isn’t being selected as the face of GLOW, and Carmen tries to show her and Melrose what real wrestling is…leading to a meeting with one of the wrestlers Steel Horse (Kevin Kiley Jr.).

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“This Is One of Those Moments”

1.6       This Is One of Those Moments Release Date:  06/23/17

Ruth goes with the hotel manager Gregory (Ravil Isyanov) to a family function to develop her Russian character Zoya the Destroya.  Justine objects to Sam’s focus on the show when he should be focusing on movies.  Debbie struggles to find her place among G.L.O.W. and despite Sam’s attempts to pair her up with Ruth.

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“Live Studio Audience”

1.7       Live Studio Audience Release Date:  06/23/17

It is the premiere of GLOW in front of a test audience.  Carmen “Machu Picchu” Wade finds that performing in front of a group is more difficult than she thought and gets bad news from Bash.  A plan by Cherry “Junkchain” Bang and Tammé “The Welfare Queen” Dawson (Kia Stevens) and Stacey “Ethel Rosenblatt” Beswick (Kimmy Gatewood) and Dawn “Edna Rosenblatt” Rivecca (Rebekka Johnson) for a racist skit doesn’t go as planned.  Ruth “Zoya the Destroya” Wilder and Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan prepare for their big match, but the match has an unexpected interruption.

glow season 1 episode 8 maybe its all disco ruth abortion alison brie

“Maybe It’s All Disco”

1.8       Maybe It’s All Disco Release Date:  06/23/17

Mark tries to reconnect with Debbie instead of forcing the divorce.  As the girls of G.L.O.W. begin to “sync”, Ruth discovers she might have a problem.  It is Sheila’s birthday, and Jenny Chey (Ellen Wong) is determined to make the birthday a big one with a skating party.  Carmen tries to hide Bash’s confession that G.L.O.W. might not happen due to money.

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“The Liberal Chokehold”

1.9       The Liberal Chokehold Release Date:  06/23/17

The girls work together to try to save G.L.O.W., and Bash comes up with another idea for a fundraiser.  Sam hits a new bump for the program when he gets bad news from the venue.  Cherry finds she might have a new career opportunity.

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“Money’s in the Chase”

1.10     Money’s in the Chase Release Date:  06/23/17

It’s game day and Justine’s revelation has sent Sam on a bender forcing Bash to step up.  With her relationship with Mark restarting, Debbie looks like she’s leaving G.L.O.W. before it can begin.  Cherry gets good news on her audition but learns that she’ll have to make a choice.  The hostage crisis with TWA Flight 847 leads to an unexpected turn in Arthie “Beirut the Mad Bomber” Premkumar (Sunita Mani) and Rhonda “Britannica” Richardson’s match.  It’s the battle for the crown…who will come out on top?

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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