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

American Society of Cinematographers james bond San Diego Comic-Con Election A&E GIFs Ovation VICE Spring TV dark streaming french Tubi Action Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Kids & Family IFC true crime Superheroe zombies History concert Marvel Horror Fall TV CBS All Access Adult Swim Turner Classic Movies BET hist cats cops unscripted TCM comedies Netflix prank indie adaptation japanese ABC VOD dragons nature crime drama mission: impossible Quiz game show cancelled TV series Disney 71st Emmy Awards cinemax Baby Yoda Comics on TV Oscars Awards ESPN FX on Hulu Apple El Rey Paramount Network Black Mirror revenge cartoon Funimation teaser Fox News 4/20 blaxploitation hollywood Rock diversity scary movies Nickelodeon ID romance 93rd Oscars Vudu Columbia Pictures hidden camera Hear Us Out comic book movie natural history elevated horror docuseries Bravo Britbox festivals Extras comics biopic indiana jones game of thrones worst movies Disney Channel universal monsters scorecard Podcast BET Awards serial killer GoT 20th Century Fox CW Seed Comedy blockbusters Spectrum Originals 2017 cults Sony Pictures TCA Winter 2020 hispanic heritage month Emmys WGN 2020 Awards Tour WarnerMedia YouTube Premium slashers Pixar Interview monster movies DC streaming service breaking bad Valentine's Day E3 name the review sitcom See It Skip It space war italian Starz deadpool free movies Sundance Now BBC One 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards medical drama Hallmark Christmas movies vampires BAFTA batman streaming movies Pet Sematary television king arthur TV Land Trophy Talk golden globes anthology robots binge 72 Emmy Awards australia 007 Trailer comic E! Sundance Film Animation OWN LGBT nbcuniversal scene in color witnail The Academy Countdown TCA kaiju Reality Competition ITV Arrowverse series Binge Guide cars Tomatazos aliens boxoffice Hulu crime thriller Universal movies PBS Mudbound Crackle Thanksgiving Legendary japan Cosplay Lifetime Christmas movies Classic Film Year in Review young adult President Mary Poppins Returns mutant sequel cancelled women NYCC heist movie BBC America USA Network nfl 1990s Disney streaming service Character Guide kong child's play stand-up comedy Heroines Food Network criterion independent Trivia composers Video Games First Reviews Warner Bros. rotten CMT rotten movies we love south america zero dark thirty 99% TBS ViacomCBS Calendar CNN Chernobyl Comic-Con@Home 2021 Epix Netflix Christmas movies basketball Song of Ice and Fire Summer stoner crime Sundance TV canceled TV shows international toy story Comedy Central Box Office Rocky mockumentary TV One Western Best and Worst mcc Biopics USA TV Reality anime Stephen King trailers Film Festival classics dogs 2015 Musical cancelled TV shows toronto HBO Max Mary Tyler Moore sequels casting technology news stop motion Photos A24 Set visit video on demand spider-man Black History Month Red Carpet Cannes biography gangster animated YA marvel cinematic universe Christmas Cartoon Network Mary poppins screenings The Walt Disney Company richard e. Grant archives 2021 latino TCA Awards Paramount emmy awards Watching Series new star wars movies what to watch Holidays renewed TV shows versus Sci-Fi new york die hard jamie lee curtis black 73rd Emmy Awards werewolf Spike justice league Writers Guild of America asian-american legend Certified Fresh telelvision reboot MTV FOX Pacific Islander award winner book Amazon Prime Video rt labs critics edition Sneak Peek Disney Plus films MSNBC halloween boxing dceu Comic Book The Walking Dead Masterpiece spain ratings blockbuster Tokyo Olympics disaster twilight critics finale Rocketman VH1 green book Opinion docudrama PlayStation politics Infographic new zealand suspense superman AMC National Geographic spy thriller foreign science fiction cooking Star Trek high school fast and furious all-time comic books spanish The Purge Marathons comiccon ABC Family DirecTV NBA remakes a nightmare on elm street Amazon Prime Pop TV kids Tarantino romantic comedy FXX critic resources historical drama dexter YouTube Red Nominations Premiere Dates Rom-Com 21st Century Fox Winter TV Winners Walt Disney Pictures joker Shudder documentary Mindy Kaling Pride Month aapi 2016 comic book movies Travel Channel rt archives crossover DC Universe psycho Wes Anderson Showtime spanish language APB best TLC venice Ellie Kemper IFC Films Image Comics Chilling Adventures of Sabrina discovery zombie OneApp directors Exclusive Video Mystery 45 Amazon dramedy festival target HBO New York Comic Con miniseries franchise 2019 christmas movies thriller NBC singing competition spinoff chucky documentaries worst talk show obituary Emmy Nominations transformers football rom-coms fresh satire Shondaland doctor who saw Amazon Studios Grammys tv talk godzilla Acorn TV parents book adaptation period drama Crunchyroll MCU Lucasfilm feel good ABC Signature harry potter hispanic posters Star Wars Ghostbusters children's TV TNT Marvel Studios RT21 Avengers social media dc X-Men movie Turner sports YouTube Holiday DGA TV movies Polls and Games know your critic First Look Academy Awards action-comedy slasher TV renewals GLAAD Peacock jurassic park Drama based on movie travel Freeform Esquire Alien Broadway TCA 2017 golden globe awards Dark Horse Comics supernatural Lionsgate Disney+ Disney Plus adenture pirates of the caribbean SundanceTV sag awards Martial Arts reviews Pop HBO Go Fantasy Elton John Brie Larson quibi razzies Toys Tumblr 24 frames 90s Logo royal family Pirates facebook Apple TV Plus laika Lifetime Schedule BBC Superheroes olympics Teen ghosts halloween tv psychological thriller rt labs Endgame adventure Television Critics Association live action TruTV police drama political drama superhero Paramount Plus FX 2018 Super Bowl RT History LGBTQ king kong Country canceled Apple TV+ Fox Searchlight strong female leads popular Musicals marvel comics CBS Marvel Television Creative Arts Emmys Captain marvel The CW debate Women's History Month Anna Paquin video The Arrangement Family theme song SDCC wonder woman screen actors guild SXSW The Witch Hallmark TIFF Syfy lord of the rings PaleyFest Discovery Channel DC Comics Television Academy Music cancelled television Nat Geo