Published Jun 30, 2018In GLOW's first season, the gorgeous ladies of wrestling are just learning how to make their campy, over-the-top wrestling matches work. In season two, the women (and the show) start to find their footing.
Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) takes on the persona Zoya the Destroyer, a Soviet caricature, and pushes herself into a directorial role on the show, while Debbie Eagen (Betty Gilpin), claims the spotlight in the ring as Liberty Belle and snags a "producer" credit. They push their existing tension from "you slept with my husband" into more of a professional realm as they each work to contribute creatively to the show. Meanwhile, director Sam Silvia (Marc Maron) starts to navigate fatherhood, as Justine Biagi (Britt Baron) revealed in season 1 that she is his daughter.
GLOW is executive produced by Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, and while it has a very different energy and style, it does one thing similarly: It centers a white woman (or in GLOW's case, two white women and a white man), surrounding them with a much more diverse, queer and interesting cast of characters.
GLOW's real charm comes from the larger ensemble of women whose individual story arcs start to get fleshed out in the second season. There is one particularly heart-wrenching episode where Tammé Dawson (Kia Stevens), who plays the wrestler "Welfare Queen," has to face her son, a student at Stanford, when he learns about her new job and decides to attend a match.
Arthie Premkumar (Sunita Mani) also shines in the second season, as she struggles with her racist wrestling persona "Beirut the Mad Bomber," and strategizes to change it.
It's a delicate balance between charm, silliness and struggle, and GLOW does it well. But you're left wishing you saw a little less Ruth versus Debbie drama, and got to spend more time with the brilliant women surrounding them.