The Moves Are Bigger and the Issues Thornier in GLOW’s Empowering Season 2

Star Alison Brie promises, "The stakes have never been higher."

by | June 28, 2018 | Comments

GLOW SEASON Season 2 EPISODE 6 PHOTO CREDIT Erica Parise/Netflix PICTURED Betty Gilpin, Alison Brie
(Photo by Erica Parise/Netflix)

The first season of GLOW introduced a series that, despite the sexist and racist nature of the titular show-within-the-show — the “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” dress in skimpy clothes and lean into misogynistic and racial stereotypes as they fight each other — encouraged female empowerment. Really. The women in the series are competitive, yes, and they do betray each other, yes, but they also recognize that they’re stronger together.

The second season builds on that foundation by deepening the friendships between the women and encouraging their professional and personal development. It also takes on sexual assault and other issues that women faced in the ’80s — and unfortunately still do today.

GLOW is talking about things that society is finally talking about,” Britney Young, who plays Carmen “Machu Picchu” Wade, told Rotten Tomatoes. “I think that we are trying to authentically show women’s issues — but not just women’s issues, human issues and things that we all can relate to and situations we’ve all been in, and it just so happens that, yeah, the world has kind of caught up with it. I think GLOW would be operating the way we are operating, regardless of what’s going on out in society, because most of the things our producers pull from are their own experiences and our own experiences as well.”

It’s not necessarily that GLOW is astutely tapping into the zeitgeist; it’s that women are still dealing with the same issues of harassment and assault that led to the creation of the Time’s Up and Me Too movements.

“As 15 actresses who’ve been in the business a long time and all the things we’ve experienced, it’s exciting to be adding really important dialogue to a conversation that’s insanely overdue,” said Jackie Tohn, who plays Melanie “Melrose” Rosen.

GLOW SEASON Season 2 EPISODE 2 PHOTO CREDIT Erica Parise/Netflix PICTURED Gayle Rankin, Jackie Tohn, Kate Nash, Kia Stevens, Shakira Barrera, Kimmy Gatewood, Rebekka Johnson, Alison Brie, Ellen Wong
(Photo by Erica Parise/Netflix)

But season 2 of GLOW is not simply jumping from topical issue to topical issue — it’s revealing more about its diverse group of characters, too. Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) have moved past Ruth’s betrayal (sleeping with Debbie’s husband) and are now on the verge of repairing their relationship. The other wrestlers have bonded with each other — particularly the friendships of Melrose  and Fortune Cookie (Ellen Wong) as well as Machu Picchu and Brittanica (Kate Nash) — and are more confident in their skills. They’re also becoming local celebrities and learning how to deal with their newfound fame together.

“I think as a whole, what was different for me was that season 1 is really about this group of girls together, training for this show. Whereas season 2, we start breaking the group up a little bit, and really focusing on the friendships between the girls and the rivalries and the competition that is really starting to come out,” Young says. “So even for us shooting it, we went from being in almost every scene together in season 1 to now being like, ‘Oh my God, I haven’t seen you in three or four days, what’s it been like?’ Because we are just really starting to really hone in on the individual relationships among all these women.”

GLOW SEASON Season 2 EPISODE 1 PHOTO CREDIT Erica Parise/Netflix PICTURED Marc Maron, Chris Lowell

Also getting closer: Ruth and GLOW leader Sam (Marc Maron), whose chemistry will finally come to a blistering head. But will their energy turn into a romantic relationship or simply strengthen their friendship? Maron and Brie acknowledge that there’s something that bonds their two loner characters together.

“I don’t think that our characters have many friends,” Maron said. “I think that there’s something at our emotional core, both these characters, that is similar and sort of connected. There was a desperation and a need to be seen and heard and received.”

Brie added: “They’ve gotten used to doing things on their own for themselves. I get the feeling that neither one of them really has people that show up for them. Sam, definitely by design, and Ruth, kind of by design or by accident, has created a life that just solely depends on themselves. I think in that way they need each other. Once they allow themselves to be really vulnerable in front of each other, they realize that that’s something they haven’t been accessing around a lot of other people. …They’re just more vulnerable with each other than they are with anyone else.”

GLOW SEASON Season 2 EPISODE 6 PHOTO CREDIT Erica Parise/Netflix PICTURED Alison Brie, Bashir Salahuddin, Betty Gilpin
(Photo by Erica Parise/Netflix)

Ruth also examines her friendship with Debbie, and the two women seem to be on the verge of moving past Debbie’s betrayal — especially after something that happens mid-match more than halfway through the season.

“The wrestling moves are bigger and better than they were last year. [There’s a] wrestling montage of seeing all the girls work harder now that they have an audience, now that they’re televised, always working to keep the audience entertained, keep the show on the air — the stakes have never been higher,” Brie teased.

GLOW returns to Netflix on Friday, June 29.

Tag Cloud

Shondaland Logo Classic Film Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Spike Oscars Western hollywood Pop TV transformers comic 2016 theme song Cartoon Network Marvel Studios dc facebook zombies criterion USA robots Syfy 72 Emmy Awards HBO Go nbcuniversal Emmys Mudbound CW Seed award winner psycho singing competition supernatural 2020 Awards Tour Comedy Central Elton John Song of Ice and Fire Musicals Peacock nature Lionsgate Mary Poppins Returns documentaries name the review President SundanceTV revenge WGN Film Avengers Extras BAFTA Pop latino batman Kids & Family PBS Amazon 71st Emmy Awards concert cats Year in Review Tumblr laika golden globes foreign movies crime drama Binge Guide Mystery dceu Apple TV+ Tarantino streaming obituary Sundance TCA Awards Travel Channel screen actors guild First Reviews Cannes WarnerMedia Pixar Red Carpet Biopics Crunchyroll VICE The Purge Star Trek YA 21st Century Fox dragons OWN comedies romance Bravo Hulu Universal breaking bad 20th Century Fox YouTube National Geographic mockumentary Marvel series 2018 Teen SXSW halloween History Masterpiece Baby Yoda Pet Sematary game of thrones Opinion scary movies discovery Marathons cancelled television Discovery Channel OneApp IFC Films zombie Calendar Dark Horse Comics green book space Television Academy Food Network vampires comiccon sequel stoner Countdown rotten Brie Larson disaster El Rey Quiz book Watching Series canceled cooking TNT TIFF jamie lee curtis spain sports Apple indiana jones SDCC Ghostbusters Trophy Talk Rom-Com BBC harry potter biography Black History Month DC Comics TCA 2017 Mary Tyler Moore anthology chucky TLC NBC comics Disney+ Disney Plus cancelled TV series Comics on TV independent Musical HBO a nightmare on elm street franchise strong female leads Paramount Network Mary poppins Valentine's Day 45 elevated horror Emmy Nominations Tomatazos Comedy Christmas Sundance TV adaptation Certified Fresh kids documentary Nominations true crime best child's play Paramount The CW American Society of Cinematographers spanish language game show Fox News 4/20 Grammys Fantasy Disney FX Winners cartoon E! parents joker Anna Paquin diversity adventure dramedy Stephen King sag awards social media PlayStation Cosplay Walt Disney Pictures Tubi TCA 2017 reboot south america San Diego Comic-Con Photos slashers APB DirecTV CMT cars FOX ABC Family Family Columbia Pictures worst Sci-Fi thriller screenings Vudu psychological thriller teaser politics cinemax casting cults ghosts cancelled TV shows Toys AMC MTV video on demand LGBTQ critics Summer Warner Bros. The Walking Dead A24 werewolf Film Festival satire Adult Swim Turner 2019 FX on Hulu FXX 2015 spider-man E3 serial killer Thanksgiving Lucasfilm Martial Arts TV Land cancelled RT History Lifetime Christmas movies dark Amazon Prime Set visit The Witch Lifetime Infographic PaleyFest crime thriller science fiction quibi Acorn TV ITV First Look technology mission: impossible Rocketman Freeform police drama richard e. Grant Drama stand-up comedy TV Hallmark Christmas movies TV renewals christmas movies directors YouTube Red what to watch indie Arrowverse television Mindy Kaling cops Podcast Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Black Mirror MSNBC Writers Guild of America hispanic Interview doctor who superhero Hear Us Out Holiday blaxploitation RT21 toy story BBC One CBS All Access Star Wars Creative Arts Emmys Ovation Rocky based on movie Spectrum Originals Premiere Dates Winter TV Netflix TCA Winter 2020 Endgame Rock emmy awards Heroines Music Nickelodeon Apple TV Plus Television Critics Association Sundance Now USA Network Captain marvel Box Office reviews Sneak Peek Fall TV GIFs justice league canceled TV shows A&E spy thriller classics Ellie Kemper GLAAD BET universal monsters Turner Classic Movies Amazon Studios hist witnail Reality Sony Pictures Election Netflix Christmas movies binge zero dark thirty festivals docudrama Starz Showtime news war films Esquire Comic Book Amazon Prime Video Holidays Nat Geo Epix Disney Plus Academy Awards Crackle mutant TBS VOD Superheroes renewed TV shows spinoff sitcom IFC YouTube Premium free movies anime 007 BBC America historical drama CNN Polls and Games movie See It Skip It DC Universe TCM crime Britbox ESPN miniseries Horror tv talk stop motion Funimation ABC dogs X-Men Best and Worst Pirates CBS travel talk show Women's History Month TruTV Marvel Television animated video Reality Competition DGA children's TV Hallmark Awards Action aliens period drama Disney streaming service asian-american die hard composers Super Bowl GoT HBO Max Animation MCU Trivia fast and furious political drama Video Games BET Awards Pride Month blockbuster Trailer Superheroe Disney Channel Country LGBT The Arrangement Chernobyl VH1 boxoffice all-time romantic comedy twilight ratings crossover versus NYCC Spring TV unscripted rotten movies we love New York Comic Con Schedule Character Guide 24 frames DC streaming service Shudder medical drama natural history finale