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Glow begins like a classic network 1/2 hour comedy from the 70s - it's basically the Mary Tyler Moore show set in the 80s, but made in the 2000 teens.

In this version Ruth (Alison Brie) is the young plucky single girl (Mary Tyler Moore) and Marc Maron is the crusty old man in a position of power, with a heart of gold (Ed Adsner).

Instead of wanting to be accepted into the workforce as a "professional", the main character just wants to act (and she takes it seriously).

The older male character (who's also a coked up alcoholic, and way too honest about life) is played in such a way that he seems real, believable, and somewhat grounded in how human nature works.

He's been around the block. He's also committed to making something, anything, that doesn't suck (he actually says this at one point).

Unlike the iconic series from the 70s the rest of the cast could be blown off as comedic sidekicks, but thankfully they aren't - in fact the ensemble cast is so good you actually care for every one of the characters, even when they exploit each other, or otherwise act horribly and show their character flaws, and their weaknesses.

The thing that makes Glow different is the manner in which it's played out. There are a few moments that are a little too cute to be believable, but overall it hits all the right notes and doesn't fall into a rut (see Brooklyn99).

The most signifiant trope in the series is that the male players are secondary.

They're wildly important, but as the show goes on you get a sense of how males and females view the world. One seems simple and direct, the other understands things can go off the rails pretty quickly, and that you just have to hold on if you want to reach your goal (in this case a women's wrestling show).

Spoiler - in the end they come together, if, albeit, in rather weird ways.

This series has the following (spoilers ahead):

  • Lesbians (it's a female wrestling show, what did you expect)
  • A father, unbeknownst to him, hitting on his daughter (let that one sink in, and then watch the show and tell me you didn't empathize with both characters at the time)
  • An entire episode shot in 4:3 (I think on super8) just after one of the producers says, "We can do whatever we want". It's surreal. They tell the audience what they're about to do - then do it, right before your eyes.
  • The ending of season 2 is basically the Tiny Dancer Scene from Almost Famous.

But it works. The soundtrack is aimed at GenXers and 90s kids, and it works. The production is top notch.

It's not The Wire, or The Sopranos, or Breaking Bad, but it's touching in a way that most films/series aren't.

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