Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pilot Review: G.L.O.W.

G.L.O.W. (Netflix)
Premiered June 23

I didn’t know much about this show going into it other than that it was set in the 1980s and had to do with women wrestling. Neither of things seemed all that appealing to me, and while I did find some of this pilot to be entertaining, it’s not really my kind of show. What was most startling to me is that the show’s main star, Alison Brie, is almost completely unrecognizable. I wasn’t a fan of “Community” but I appreciate Brie’s endearing and funny nature, and I was impressed by her recurring work on “Mad Men.” I loved her in the hilarious comedy “Sleeping with Other People,” and I think she’s a great fit for this show. Opposite her is Betty Gilpin, who was terrific on the final season of “Masters of Sex” as Nancy and has a far less subdued and much more foulmouthed role here. I wasn’t sure exactly where I knew Marc Maron from (maybe an episode of “Easy”), but he does a terrific job of being a jerk as the truly sexist and all-around intolerable director trying to cast his wrestling show. The concept here is clever and I’m sure there’s room for some interesting and funny stories. It’s a stretch in terms of the suspension of disbelief necessary to watch it, and it’s truly entrenched in its portrayal of the 1980s, a decade I didn’t really experience but does seem to be captured well on film here. This show has some good things going for it, namely Brie, and I’m sure it will be fine for some light, exaggerated fun.

How will it work as a series? Maron’s Sam is definitely ready to have his show take off now with Ruth and Debbie at its center, and though Ruth would be thrilled to get the gig, I think it’s going to be an uphill battle to get them to continue their fighting for the cameras, but I’m sure it will work out in the end once everyone else gets on board and in on the action too.
How long will it last? Reviews for the show seem to be pretty great, and I think that its focus – 80s female wrestling – is specific enough that it should have an appeal and encourage Netflix to bring it back for another year.

Pilot grade: B

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