Thanks for not belittling wrestling fans, GLOW.
For fans of sports entertainment--we're talking wrestling--we always want to know about the inner workings of the show. What's happening backstage? How are these shows pulled off? What are these wrestlers like behind the scenes? While shows on the WWE Network like Table For 3 or Ride Along give us a glimpse, it doesn't give the full scope of what fans want to see. Luckily, Season 2 of the Netflix series GLOW is exceptionally satisfying in this aspect, even if the show follows a fictional wrestling promotion, loosely based on real events.
Season 2 of GLOW--which comes to Netflix on Friday, June 29--is a bit of a departure from the first. The show is still about figuring out how to put on a wrestling show, but the main focus has completely changed, as the cast is no longer scrambling--as much--to learn how to wrestle and figuring out how to create and release a TV series. That feeling of chaotic ignorance has dissipated in many ways with Season 2, replaced with a whole season that caters to what many wrestling fans love: behind-the-scenes production.
To the non-wrestling fan, that may sound like madness, but because the wrestling business is so secretive about how it operates, fans want to know every detail of the process. More than anything else, Season 2 of GLOW is about opening those doors to give insight into the production process. The new season follows the cast and crew behind the show as they continue to produce the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling series, which of course hits some bumps in the road as the season progresses. And this year's offering shines as the audience gets an inside look to what goes on with Creative, from those who work in production to those that create storylines and help develop characters.
For those outside of the wrestling business, this is a process that's primarily remained behind closed doors. Now, GLOW's production isn't on the same level as companies like WWE, TNA, ROH, or NJPW. It's lower-budget and not as far reaching, and it could be compared today to smaller independent promotions like Shimmer or Chikara. Nevertheless, the production process--more or less--will be similar, so GLOW's start-to-finish planning of storylines and match spots should be comparable. This is especially true when you learn that professional wrestler Kia Stevens (WWE's Kharma) is a major cast member and WWE's Chavo Guerrero Jr. trained the women for this season and makes a cameo as well.
How do these storylines, and the show as a whole, come together? That's the primary focus of this season, from Ruth and Debbie working behind the scenes to make a better show, to the battle between them and Creative, which is essentially Sam, who spends a chunk of the season as a combination of real life figures Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson, and Michael PS Hayes' roles. The drama between these characters is just as entertaining as the drama in the ring, and many fans of sports entertainment will find this aspect of the show to be exactly what they're looking for within a series about wrestling.
Without delving into heavy spoilers, all of this build-up pays off in a huge way. All the attention to detail, from booking the matches to the segments to even which advertisers the network is working with, comes into play, in a big way, in the latter half of Season 2. It's the most satisfying moment of the entire show for both wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike.
While the series is a scripted Netflix dramedy following the struggles of these women in a fish-out-of-water scenario, it's truly a love letter to wrestling. It doesn't mock it or play into the tired old tropes of stripping it down to say "wrestling is fake." It embraces everything wonderful about it and adds a heaping portion of '80s nostalgia, which in turn adds a ton of tongue-in-cheek humor. It honors the sport, for better or worse, without getting too much into the dark side of things. Whether it's the "glory days" gimmicks these women portray, from the American hero to the Russian red threat, or the silly segments filmed for the show, Season 2 of GLOW is a warm hug for wrestling fans.
GLOW Season 2 comes to Netflix on Friday, June 28. If you're looking for more on GLOW, check out how we think a WWE/GLOW crossover could be possible, as well as all the famous wrestler cameos on the series.