Why Fans of Orange Is the New Black Will Fall Head Over Heels in Love With GLOW
GLOW hit Netflix with a flashy, hairspray-scented bang on June 23, but if you're still on the fence about watching, give me just a few minutes of your time. First of all, let me just say that watching the fictional show about a real-life women's wrestling program from the '80s won't take up much of your day, since each episode only clocks in at around 30 minutes. Not only that, but GLOW will likely remind you a hell of a lot of one of Netflix's other fiercely funny and feminist TV shows: Orange Is the New Black. Despite your opinions on sequined leotards, here's why you should give GLOW a chance.
OITNB Creator Jenji Kohan Has a Hand in Production
One of the biggest reasons GLOW has traces of Orange Is the New Black throughout it is thanks to executive producer Jenji Kohan, aka the rainbow-haired genius who created OITNB (she also wrote the sixth episode of the show, "This Is One of Those Moments"). The rest of the production team behind GLOW — which is mainly composed of women, it should be noted — is also pretty incredible. The series was created by Liz Flahive, who served as a producer on Nurse Jackie and Homeland (two shows which also happen to feature flawed female leads), and Carly Mensch, who's worked on OITNB, Nurse Jackie, and Weeds. Talk about a top-notch team.
The Cast Is Refreshingly Diverse
One of the most celebrated aspects of Orange Is the New Black is the way the show takes characters who would be caricatures on any other series and turns them into complex, flawed, and realistic human beings. GLOW attempts to do the same. Since the runtime for each episode of GLOW is shorter than OITNB (which usually has closer to a full hour to explore each character with illuminating flashbacks), there isn't as much opportunity to dive into the interior lives of each and every one of the wrestlers. Still, by the end of season one, no member from the diverse cast feels like a walking stereotype (despite their wrestling personas). Heartbreaking scenes about cultural identity and racism, as well as familial strife and cheating husbands, are all in the mix, giving us a more well-rounded idea of who these women truly are.
You'll Laugh Out Loud
Orange Is the New Black has always had a great balance between its darker themes and wackier side plots, and the same can be said for GLOW. The series is chock-full of quotable one-liners thanks to its hilarious cast members (one of whom is a legit stand-up comedian), and it will have you laughing just as often as it makes you get a little teary-eyed.
The Frank and Realistic Depiction of Female Friendship
Whether it's Taystee and Poussey or Flaca and Maritza, there's a good chance you have a favorite friendship on OITNB. In GLOW, the once-close bond between Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) is completely shattered and they have to work their way back to each other. If you've ever gotten into a fight with a BFF before, there's no doubt that the realistic way the show depicts their relationship will speak to you.
The Real-Life Story Behind It All
Just like OITNB is based off of Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name, the idea for GLOW has very real roots. The original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling ran in syndication from 1986 to 1990, airing 104 episodes and becoming a cult hit.