The Checklist: GLOW (S1 Ep1) “Pilot”
As a fan of professional wrestling for more than three decades, I was intrigued when the announcement was made that Netflix was producing a new series called GLOW, based on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling television series from the mid-80’s.
The series takes a look at the development of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling concept and all the unique personalities involved. The two main female characters are Ruth (Alison Brie) a struggling actress trying to make it in the dog eat dog world of Hollywood and her friend Debbie (Betty Gilpin) a former soap opera actress who left the acting world to raise her baby. Both of these women find themselves thrust into the world of women’s wrestling, while dealing with their own interpersonal issues. Marc Maron plays Hollywood schlockmeister Sam Sylvia. Sam has been hired by producer/rich mama’s boy Sebastian Howard (Chris Lowell) to direct the show and bring the concept to life.
In this edition of The Checklist, I take a look at first episode of the series or as they say in the industry… the pilot episode. The pilot episode of any series is critical to introduce the show’s premise, main characters and give the audience a feel for what the vibe of the show is going to be…
1. Do you have to be a professional wrestling fan to enjoy the show?
While professional wrestling serves as the backdrop for the show and is the primary source for the action in the series, the show is more about the people involved in making the show and their lives. So I would go so far to say that you can absolutely loathe professional wrestling and still enjoy GLOW. It is filled with comedy and drama and a talented cast of quirky characters and it is not aimed at a niche audience. I’d also say it was a must if you are a Marc Maron fan, his character is GOLD!
With all that said, there is some little stuff thrown in for the die hard professional wrestling fan. When Ruth is researching the role of professional wrestler you’ll see her watching as Hulk Hogan celebrates his title win over the dreaded Iron Sheik and footage from the famous Kerry Von Erich vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair match at Texas Stadium. 1/1
2. Is the show binge worthy?
One of the things people love about streaming shows is you can watch as little or as much of the show as you want in one sitting. I knocked the first three episodes of GLOW out in one sitting and by the time this is posted, I wouldn’t be surprised if I watched at least three more. I couldn’t help but wonder what was coming next as we inch closer and closer from concept to the actual show I remember so fondly from my younger days. 2/2
3. Were there any notable guest stars?
John Hennigan, star of Boone: The Bounty Hunter, makes an appearance as professional wrestler/trainer in the first episode. His name on the show is Salty “The Sack” Johnson, which has to be a candidate for top 100 character names of all-time. I’m a big fan of Hennigan’s work both wrestling wise and acting wise so it was a pleasant surprise to see him pop up on the show. I now fully expect to see more wrestlers who are either based out of California and/or dabble in the acting world pop up on the show. 3/3
4. Was there any nudity?
I know how some of your minds work. A show with all these women wrestling with each other in tight form fitting spandex and getting all sweaty… you then start thinking about them in the locker room and then something pops up… the question, do these women get naked? Well, I can confirm there is nudity on GLOW, a benefit of the show airing on Netflix and not on a broadcast network. There is also plenty of adult language and even characters using cocaine, because as the great Michael J. Nelson once said, “It’s the 80’s do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!” 4/4
5. Did the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling rap?
It really is unfair of me to ask this question of the pilot episode, but I certainly hope before the first season of the series is over that they reenact the famous “Super Bowl Shuffle” like rap the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling would perform on each episode. It is one of the things I remember most about the show and if they are going for total 80’s cheese, it didn’t get much cheesier than the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling rapping. 4/5
- Final Score = 4/5 (80%) If not for my unfair question at the end, GLOW would have had a perfect score. If you have Netflix, you should check this one out. And because I can’t stop thinking about it now, check out the classic Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling rap…