The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling have burst back on to Netflix today as the third season of 'GLOW' arrives. The scenery may have changed to Las Vegas but thankfully this show is just as entertaining, funny and heartfelt as ever, enjoying a whole new level of camp with its move to America's playground.
Although 'GLOW' is far less about the wrestling this series as it is about developing the characters and their storylines. We don't even see a full match until episode 5's 'Freaky Tuesday.' It's worth the wait as the girls switch over characters to give life to the wrestling show everyone has grown bored of.
The opening scene of season three sets a fairly ominous tone for the series as both Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) promote the first night of the show as Zoya the Destroya and Liberty Belle over a news report of the infamously doomed Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded in the sky moments after take off. The tragedy weighs heavily on the girls ahead of opening night but the show must go on as the wonderful addition of Geena Davis to the cast informs them. Davis plays ex-showgirl-turned-entertainment director Sandy Devereaux St Clair and fits in perfectly with the camp and glamour of both 1980's Las Vegas and 'GLOW' itself.
The issues come thick and strong in this season, and while it is great to see a group of women address everything from racism, homophobia and sexism, they speak of it all in a way that they know 2019 is watching. That said, it would do the show no justice to say it was simply tokenistic nods to PC culture. Debbie's struggles as a working mum competing in a man's world would be no doubt familiar to many women, even now. While the show's handling of race is a tricky one, they do a decent job of countering the stereotypes the girls play on stage each night with their own personal stories and struggles. Jenny (Ellen Wong) is given a particularly powerful moment to shine in episode 6's 'Outward Bound'.
A hook they focus on this season is the will-they-won't-they (but-everyone-would-be-fine-if-they-didn't) of Sam (Marc Maron) and Ruth. While the sparks may have started to fly last season, this time around the sexual tension between them is difficult to ignore, and it's something Ruth wrestles with (ey oh!) for most of the season. You'll somehow find yourself rooting for them while at the same time thinking it may be time for this group of people to simply take a break from each other.
Ruth and Debbie's friendship seems to have moved into a more healthier area, with some great scenes between these two including a topless showgirl Brie cheering Debbie up and the pair singing a 'Funny Girl' song together. We too would like to pretend these two could move on completely from what Ruth did, but you know it's never far from the surface.
Overall, 'GLOW' continues to do what it does best and be a fun, easily digestible rollercoaster of ten episodes. The laughs may not have fallen as hard or as frequent this season (although a mix up with Melanie had us floored) but overall it packs much more of an emotional punch. It also gives a chance for the characters we have grown to love to get the arcs they deserve and leaves you wondering if there's really much more to say in a fourth season. Perhaps not, but we'll still be ringside if they do.