Samira Ahmed is a bright new star in the YA firmament." —Marieke Nijkamp, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends "This smart, heartbreaking, honest debut novel is as timely as it is hopeful.Ahmed tackles weighty issues with thoughtfulness and flair.In one scene, the director of GLOW Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) has the women promote themselves to him and brainstorm their characters.When Melanie “Melrose” Rosen (Jackie Tohn) presents herself in an overtly teasing and sexual manner, he says in his signature dead-pan way, “I like the whole ‘please objectify me’ vibe. It isn't era-appropriate dialogue, it’s a nod to the present day from the 80s; a way to make this moderately sexist character easier to empathise with. Sam becomes a character who it is possible to warm to, a man who crucially only sleeps with a GLOW member because she saw his soft side in a dating video.
If you were to take the entire first episode, complete with Ruth’s character set-up, and stitch it to a series of the training segments and the two performances, GLOW would make an excellent movie, but the series suffers from having either too much time to make a gripping story of the womens’ progress and success or not enough time to explore their individual stories.
He is a dysfunctional character with a troubled paternal respect for the women whose likability is helped along tremendously by Maron’s comic flair.
Of course, there is an issue with the fact that the form of female empowerment we are witnessing caters to the male gaze, but if you look at the Hall of Fame-ers in male wrestling they are doing exactly the same; showing off their physique in minimal outfits and presenting their bodies as an attractive, powerful ideal.
The result is some incredible, rousing and awe-inspiring training sequences and performances with, unfortunately, a lot of inconsequential filler scenes around the edges that render episodes 2 and 3 rather dull and episode 7 an absolute hit.
The scenes of training and performance make for a fantastic ride and you will likely find yourself checking your watch for when the wrestling can start again when the characters are at parties or hanging around in bedrooms – something, to the show’s credit, many viewers won’t have ever wished for before.