Forget The Handmaid's Tale, Netflix's Glow Is Your New Summer Watch

From the real life league that inspired the show to layer (upon layer) of jazzercise attire, here's the low down on the hilarious female wrestling series


Feminist TV is most definitely a 'thing' right now.

Whether it's trying to stay alive in prison (Orange is the New Black), obsessively writing letters to a man you've met once (I Love Dick), dealing with the world as newly declared woman (Transparent), or, y'know, trying to survive fascist rule (The Handmaid's Tale), stories of women are suddenly at the forefront of all small screens worldwide.


So Netflix's new show, Glow, is most definitely right up our street (yes it stinks of 'feminism sells!', nope we don't really care). If you've blitzed through the depressing darkness of The Handmaid's Tale, this 1980s-set series about a female wrestling TV show is the frivolous comedy you've definitely been crying about for.

Power ballads? Yes. Garish neon spandex? Double yes. Teased-out hair so big it struggles to fit in the scene? But of course. Think Flashdance's never-giving-up vibe, with buckets of hyper-camp wrestling heaped on top.

Set in the early Eighties, Ruth Wilder (Mad Men and How To Be Single's Alison Brie) plays a struggling actress in Los Angeles who is sick of underwritten roles for women in show business. Ah yes, some things never change.


The series opens with a shot of Wilder auditioning for a role on a TV series and accidentally (or rather, totally deliberately) skips her one-line secretary role for the rousing monologue meant for the male character. Desperate for work, she joins 12 other women also hoping for their big break starring in a new show called 'Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling'.

The show is loosely based on a real-life 1980s TV sensation, also called 'Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling' – aka GLOW. In the pro wrestling boom of the eighties, promoter David McLane and director Matt Cimber came up with a TV series that featured a diverse cast of mostly ordinary-looking women. It was hoped a female version might spark the same interest and passion as its male counterpart.

Nearly 40 years later, Glow uses actual wrestling history, and depicts stories about women of varying shapes, sizes, colors, and social backgrounds.

Check out the clip below, in which the cast talk about what it was like on set, intense fight scenes and what difference a female-fronted crew makes:

GLOW launches globally on Netflix on June 23rd

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