Netflix review: GLOW (Season 2)

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Click the following link for my review of the first season: GLOW (Season 1)

Not a whole lot to say about this one, actually. I enjoyed the first season, but I’ve yet to rewatch it. I guess I didn’t like it that much, huh? Hell, I barely remember some of it. I remember that it started off about an aspiring actress who can’t land a break, ends up sleeping with her best friend’s husband, and then the two end up getting into the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW), which causes a ton of tension. Interrelations with the sleazy director, one of the younger girls is revealed to be his daughter that he never knew he had (after nearly trying to have sex with her). I remember the ending being pretty open-ended with the actress and her friend kind of mending their broken relationship, but not quite there. One of the wrestling women is actually from a family of male wrestlers, and… well, that’s about it.

Anyway, haven’t watched any promotional stuff, so I have no idea what this season has in store for us.

Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Alison Brie (THE POST [2018], THE DISASTER ARTIST [2017], HOW TO BE SINGLE [2016], and the upcoming THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART [2019]), Betty Gilpin (stuff I’ve never seen or heard of, and upcoming films ISN’T IT ROMANTIC [2019] and STUBER [2019]), Britt Baron (stuff I’ve never seen or heard of), Kate Nash (stuff I’ve never seen or heard of), Sydelle Noel (BLACK PANTHER [2018], CAPTIVE [2015], and upcoming films DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF [2018] and THE CLEARING [2018]), Gayle Rankin (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN [2017], and upcoming films HER SMELL [2019] and BLOW THE MAN DOWN [2019]), Kia Stevens (stuff I’ve never seen or heard of), Jackie Tohn (CHIPS [2017], SISTERS [2015], and upcoming films SPELL [2018] and ELSEWHERE [2018]), Britney Young (1 episode of CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND [2015 – 2018]), and Marc Maron (MIKE AND DAVE [2016], and the upcoming SWORD OF TRUST [2019]).

Now for the crew. Far too many directors to name, but consistent writing credit goes to Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, both known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of, and both are slated to write the upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019).

As per usual, I really hope that this show isn’t laced with gratuitous nudity and sex scenes, as that sort of thing has been really riding up on me, but we’ll see. Context is more important than anything else.

This is my honest opinion of: GLOW (Season 2)

 

(SUMMARY)

In this season: Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) are still trying to figure out if they’re still going to try and be friends after past transgressions. Debbie becomes a producer for GLOW, but may not be getting the respect that she deserves. The girls get a new wrestler added to their roster, the lesbian part-time stripper, Yolanda Rivas (Shakira Barrera). GLOW, despite having a fan base, is having trouble staying afloat on the air, and it might be Ruth’s fault. Sam (Marc Maron) and Justine (Britt Baron) continue to try and work on their relationship as father and daughter.

(REVIEW)

Just as before, season 2 is fun with some fun characters and relationships, but I won’t deny that some subplots either get wrapped up too nicely, or don’t really go anywhere.

So right off the bat, in the end of Episode 1: VIKING FUNERAL, Reggie “Vicky the Viking” (Marianna Palka) is fired from GLOW for speaking her mind in favor of Ruth’s directing of the opening title sequence for their show. Despite the girls absolutely loving it, Sam chastised everyone. Thing is, she’s almost unceremoniously brought back to the show in Episode 8: THE GOOD TWIN with nary a comment from Reggie. I mean, she was fired for some pretty bullshit reasons and not a peep about the act and suddenly getting rehired? I don’t know, that seemed resolved pretty suddenly. But that’s admittedly some pretty small fish.

And there’s a random that come out of nowhere this season. Bash (Chris Lowell) and Rhonda (Kate Nash), Yolanda and Arthie (Sunita Mani), it’s way too sporadic with zero build-up. Apparently, Bash has been rooming with Rhonda and Carmen (Britney Young) for awhile and Bash has been… in love with her? I would call this a spoiler, as you don’t find out about it until Episode 10: EVERY POTATO HAS A RECEIPT, the final episode of the season. But there’s never been a glance of attraction between the two characters, so I can only chock it up to random-ass information. Yolanda and Arthie fares a little better, in that Yolanda teases Arthie with affection, but any viewer would assume that’s all it was. There was no indication that there was any mutual attraction until later in the season.

The only romance that makes sense is between Ruth and Russell (Victor Quinaz). They meet, they have chemistry, they’re cute together, the hallmarks of a fine enough relationship. I think he takes things a little too… personally at times, though. In Episode 3: CONCERNED WOMEN OF AMERICA, Debbie sabotages a date that Russell had planned with Ruth and Russell takes it way too hard. I mean… it’s episode three, for God’s sake. The viewers have had very little time to get to know this character and, with no offense to Quinaz, he’s not that charming of a bloke. Nice enough guy, but if a woman who isn’t your girlfriend is held up at work and cancels a date, you don’t walk off pouting like a little bitch. Had the show fleshed out Russell’s character a bit more, I would root for them to work out better, but as it stood in that episode, eh, I was okay with him not making a reappearance for three episodes. Seriously, no joke. After Episode 3, he disappears until Episode 6: WORK THE LEG. It’s not bad, but given these seasons are only ten episodes long, I understand the need to condense time and plotlines, but this is a fairly popular show and the main draw is the relationships between the ladies. Whatever romances these women experience can take their time. No need to rush, especially if it’s going to stick around for awhile. And if not, artistic integrity matters more. But that’s just me.

What are some things that I liked? I liked seeing how Sheila (Gayle Rankin) isn’t comfortable with fans dressing up like her and that it creeps her out. I think the relationship between Sam and Justine is really cute, actually making it one of my favorite aspects of this season. I like how they both bicker at each other like crazy, but not a single moment goes by that doesn’t show their complicated love for each other.

I think one of my favorite episodes this season has to be Episode 8: THE GOOD TWIN, which is basically an entire episode of the show… er, within this show. As in, the ladies are acting out their wrestling roles; Rhonda is acting as Britannica, Ruth is acting out a dual performance as Zoya and her “good twin” character, Olga, all that good stuff. It’s so cool to actually see an episode that I kind of think it’s a shame that this will be the only one we’re likely to see. But hey, it’s nifty enough that they’d do it anyway, so I won’t complain.

***SPOILERS***

 

 

 

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I have to admit, I don’t quite know why Justine is so desperate to get away from her, Rosalie (Annabella Sciorra). Even if it’s standard teen angst, which is a little anticlimactic, she’s seventeen years old this season, right? Muscle out one more year and live with her dad. By that point, it wouldn’t be legal to keep her. So… what’s the problem? I don’t know, I just hope that this ends up being the case next season. I like her character. I just want to see her evolved.

 

So… Debbie only tries cocaine once in this show, huh? I mean, I guess it makes sense that she would quit it after choosing/not choosing to break her friend’s ankle, but I feel like this was a pretty forced reason for it. I mean, she couldn’t have just caught Ruth and Russell making out, get mad over the idea that Ruth can have a seemingly healthy romance after ruining her marriage, and just… snap, both figuratively and literally? I just feel like like this brief coke use isn’t going to be tackled again.

 

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this show would eventually tackle the subject of sexual harassment, referring of course to Episode 5: PERVERTS ARE PEOPLE, TOO, where Tom Grant (Paul Fitzgerald) buries his face his Ruth’s tits and basically comes onto her in a creepy as fuck fashion. Especially given the time period when this sort of thing was practically allowed, unlike the revolution sparked by the Weinstein scandal last year, it’s almost a wonder why this didn’t happen sooner. But then again, film industry, this is the season where the show becomes the centerpiece of the story, maybe it only made sense to tackle this theme this season. Then again, maybe this theme didn’t need the current wave of sexual harassment as motivation to talk about it. Either way, it’s handled pretty roughly, but I mean that in the best way possible. On the one hand, Debbie says that Ruth should have let Grant think he had a shot as having sex with her, but lie and say that she’s married or some such thing to slide out of the situation, thereby saving the show and keeping herself intact. On the other hand, when Sam finds out in Episode 6, he practically celebrates Ruth’s actions. Ironic considering how unfeeling he can get toward the girls and their personal affairs.

 

I have to say that I am so glad this feud between Ruth and Debbie finally gets resolved, more or less, by Episode 7: NOTHING SHATTERED. I think if I had to deal with their fighting for a third season, I would have given up on their characters. I love their dramatically explosive scene together in the hospital, as well as the quiet forgiveness later on when Debbie brings Ruth proper clothes.

 

Oh, and who died again? In Episode 9: ROSALIE, Bash (Chris Lowell) gets a phone call about someone… dying? I remember that earlier in the season that someone went missing and that he couldn’t find him, but this was a plot thread that seemed to just come and go and got resolved just as quickly. The curse of not retaining information from the first season. Even if I had, as I said, it’s a subplot introduced and practically discarded and barely affects the character between the moment it’s introduced to it’s resolution, or after. Like, two scenes are dedicated to his emotional distraught and that’s it. Kinda pointless if you ask me.

 

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***END SPOILERS***

Overall, this remains a good, quality show, so I’ll continue to stick around for season three. What I hope to see are these romantic relationships fleshed out, Justine reunited with the girls and Sam, and due to some really good episodes involving the personal lives of some of these characters, more of those. I would love to see what Sheila, Rhonda, Melanie (Jackie Tohn), Arthie, and Jenny (Ellen Wong) do in their time away from the set. And I am super curious as to what Debbie will look like as a dating woman. That either sounds hilarious, or disastrous. Either way, sounds more exciting than anything wrestling can muster. What I don’t want to see is more random crap. Though if this season is any indication, that’s likely going to happen regardless. How about… not so much randomness.

My honest rating for GLOW (Season 2): 4/5

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