One of Netflix’s surprise hits so far this year has been the comedy-drama GLOW. The series depicts a fictionalized account of one of the strangest and most influential moments in professional wrestling history, and does so with an authentic aesthetic. GLOW is set in the late ‘80s, when a group of wrestling promoters and Hollywood has-beens joined forces to form GLOW, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, an all-female, over-the-top wrestling league. GLOW’s impact on professional wrestling is easy to see even today; the league was the first to place female wrestlers squarely in the spotlight and elevated ringside antics to new heights. While many aspects of GLOW live on in some of the more cartoonish aspects of today’s wrestling leagues, the league failed to attract a wide audience and only lasted four seasons. Netflix’s adaptation might be able to fare as well, given that Netflix announced today that they will renew their GLOW series for a second season.
Netflix made the announcement though a rather terse press release, stating only that the series will be renewed for a ten-episode second season. The first season was fairly well-received by critics, boasting a 81% positive rating on Metacritic and 93% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most reviewers praise the series not only for its glitzy, authentically hairspray-and-spandex-infused ‘80s vibe, but also for its uplifting overall message about empowerment and equality. New York Times reviewer James Poniewozik writes that while GLOW has its share of nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake, the series is “more than the sum of its soundtrack and hair spray:”
Its ratty mid-80s Los Angeles of motels and skate punks feels specific and lived in. Like last summer’s Netflix breakout, Stranger Things, GLOW is a hulking creature sewn together from pop-cultural scraps, but when it steps into the ring, it reveals itself as a true original.
GLOW stars Alison Brie and Marc Maron and is produced by a dream team of off-camera talent. Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann (Orange is the New Black) serve as executive producers while series creators Liz Flahive (Homeland) and Carly Mensch (Orange is the New Black) act as show runners.
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