Streaming Review: Netflix’s GLOW Season 3 Is A Total Knockout
After binge-watching the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things over July 4th & 5th, I spoke to a friend of mine about the new season and commented that although I liked the new season, it was probably my least favorite of the three. I loved the first season and have watched it at least twice. While other people had issues with season two, I still enjoyed it, but thought they made a mistake making the season longer by one episode. Season three, while still a solid season, just didn’t do it for me like the first two seasons did. And a lot of times with TV shows that is perfectly normal. Quality over time starts to fade, or our interests in the show fades. Even we as people change and evolve and may not quite connect with the material the way we once did. The exact opposite is true of the current season of Netflix’s GLOW.
If you haven’t watched the first two seasons of GLOW, stop reading right now and go binge them. Anything you learn about season three will ruin the previous two seasons for you with some major surprises or at least how the second season ends, which really came out of left field. GLOW Season 3 finds the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling without a weekly television series and have now relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada for nightly performances in a fading Vegas hotel.
The show still revolves mostly around Alison Brie’s Ruth and Betty Gilpin’s Debbie as the main antagonist and protagonist of the GLOW organization. Ruth is still trying to make her long-distance relationship with her cameraman boyfriend back in Los Angeles work. While Debbie makes regular flights back to LA to visit her infant son who is being cared for by her ex-husband. Gilpin is such a standout here that she’s received Emmy nominations for her portrayal of Debbie for both the first and second seasons of the show, and a nomination for season 3 is inevitable as well.
Make no mistake about it, Brie and Gilpin are amazing in their parts; however, GLOW Season 3 focuses much more on the rest of the women in the organization giving them far more time to shine than in previous seasons. I’d go as far to say that GLOW currently has one of the best female casts anywhere on television today. Geena Davis joins the cast as Sandy Devereaux St. Clair, the Entertainment Director of the Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino where the GLOW shows are being performed almost nightly. Davis looks amazing for her age and I was shocked to learn she’s 63-years old. Not only is she a welcome addition to the cast, but also someone that Debbie aspires to be like; as she knows that once her looks fade, she won’t have much left in the show business world. Davis also pulls off a costume change late in the season that will have you backing up your Netflix or pausing to make sure it’s really her.
Marc Maron’s role as Sam this season is reduced somewhat since the show is being performed live and no longer really needs a director. Maron was one of the best parts of the first two seasons, but if his role being is a side effect the expansion of story and character development for the other women on the show, then I’m totally fine with that. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still PLENTY of Maron’s Sam cursing at everyone throughout the show, but also a very touching story with his daughter Justine (Britt Baron).
Probably one of the strongest episodes of the season, if not the entire series, comes in Episode 6, titled “Outward Bound”. The ladies of GLOW take a camping trip in the desert outside of Las Vegas. There’s a lot of heavy lifting by some of the supporting cast here that really makes you care so much more about these women. Specifically, Melrose (Jackie Tohn), Jenny (Ellen Wong) and Tammé (Kia Stevens) do some pretty amazing work here. I don’t want to get into specifics about the story or events of the episode, but I will say that I was moved to tears during it.
As a fan of professional wrestling, I knew I was going to watch this show the minute I heard it was announced and I’m sure a lot of other wrestling fans felt the same. The one thing I couldn’t anticipate was just how good of a show this would end up being. If you’re a wrestling fan and haven’t seen the show yet, I highly recommend you watch. If you’re not a wrestling fan, I also highly recommend you watch. If GLOW keeps on this path of greatness, there’s no telling what we’re in store for in Season 4 and I for one can’t wait.