30-Second Synopsis: GLOW is both a fictional reimagining of the 1980s women's professional wrestling league and the story of what it's like to be a struggling actor in L.A. At the heart of the show is Ruth (Alison Brie), an actor at the end of her rope, just days away from having both her phone and her gas shut off. After refusing a casting director's suggestion to head to the valley to act in "erotica," she finds herself with just one experimental show left on her audition slate: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, aka GLOW.
The Stars: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, Sydelle Noel, Sunita Mani
The Struggle Is (All Too) Real: The story of Ruth is one of sexism in Hollywood, the lack of good roles for women, and the process of dealing with 24-hour-a-day objectification in a cutthroat industry. While her decision to join GLOW is motivated by the urgent need for money, she also sees it as a side door to self-empowerment. Though it is, on premise, a way for some weird dudes to make women run around a wrestling ring in skimpy outfits, it is also a show that puts women front and center, making them the key entertainers and the locus of power. Ruth sees an opportunity to make something out of this weird idea, and goes for it.
The Surly Ringmaster Behind It All: The acid-tongued, drug-addled overlord of GLOW is played to scary perfection by Marc Maron, the stand-up comedian and beloved podcast host of WTF With Marc Maron. His abrasive, sometimes funny, sometimes unsettling presence is your friendly reminder that wherever people are desperate, there will be someone lying in wait hoping to capitalize—and that sometimes opportunities come in very, very strange packages.
Why You Should Watch: Because it's a strange mix of raucous fun, endless soul-searching, sadness, nostalgia, and sport that will have you thinking about the nature of dream-chasing. Sometimes when you finally do encounter whatever it is you've been looking for, it will arrive in an unexpected shape—in this case, an elevated square surrounded by ropes.
GLOW is available to stream now!