The big-busted bra shopping guide
The big-busted bra shopping guide

Edaein OConnell

What’s new at Ikea this month? Lamps with speakers, air purifiers and designer vases
What’s new at Ikea this month? Lamps with speakers, air purifiers and designer vases

Megan Burns

12 puffer coats we love that AREN’T black North Face jackets
12 puffer coats we love that AREN’T black North Face jackets

Sarah Finnan

An expert upcycler shares how her online community provides constant inspiration
An expert upcycler shares how her online community provides constant inspiration

Megan Burns

21 inspiring journaling prompts to help you get started
21 inspiring journaling prompts to help you get started

Shayna Sappington

I feel safer out walking at night with a vulnerable baby than without. Here’s why
I feel safer out walking at night with a vulnerable baby than without. Here’s why

Dr Clare Moriarty

Lucy Watson’s vegan pad Thai is the perfect weekend dinner
Lucy Watson’s vegan pad Thai is the perfect weekend dinner

Meg Walker

7 stylish sherpa and faux fur finds that will keep you cosy through winter
7 stylish sherpa and faux fur finds that will keep you cosy through winter

Shayna Sappington

Greg O’Shea on his new fitness app and why ‘you need to fill your own glass first’ 
Greg O’Shea on his new fitness app and why ‘you need to fill your own...

Sarah Finnan

What do women do now?
What do women do now?

Sinead Brady

Image / Living / Culture

Please don’t GLOW! Misfits everywhere lament Netflix’s latest cull


By Lucy White
09th Oct 2020
Please don’t GLOW! Misfits everywhere lament Netflix’s latest cull

Female ensemble Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling has been given the chop mid-filming – much to the chagrin of viewers


When news broke on the morning of October 6, we had two options. Either click the headline story of Trump’s queasy, wheezy White House balcony appearance – or find out more about GLOW’s unceremonious axing from Netflix. 

“COVID has killed actual humans. It’s a national tragedy and should be our focus. COVID also apparently took down our show,” said the show’s creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch in a statement to Deadline. “Netflix has decided not to finish filming the final season of GLOW. We were handed the creative freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and tell their stories. And wrestle. And now that’s gone. There’s a lot of sh*tty things happening in the world that are much bigger than this right now. But it still sucks that we don’t get to see these 15 women in a frame together again.”

In summer 2017, a newly commissioned dramedy debuted on Netflix. Its name was GLOW, an acronym for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, inspired by the real-life women who found infamy in the mid-1980s, for throwing each other around a ring while wearing costumes as outrageous as their stage names. The original GLOW girls had their own syndicated TV show right through until 1990, although the brand has lived on in Ursula Hayden, who, back then, played Babe the Farmer’s Daughter and, since 2001, has owned the wrestling company – and became a consultant on Flahive and Mensch’s titular Netflix series.

?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link">?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The GLOW series made a leading lady of Alison Brie, who had impressed as Trudy Campbell in Mad Men, but here showcased considerable comedy chops as the hapless unemployed actor cum wrestler Ruth Wilder. Her (literal) sparring with frenemy Debbie aka “Liberty Belle” (Betty Gilpin) was just one plot in an ensemble of 15 motley characters, its largely female cast reflected by its off-camera crew of writers, producers and editors. It was funny, silly, nostalgic and had heart. Which begs the question: WHY?

GLOW’s fourth and final series was three weeks into filming when coronavirus struck. But rather than merely postpone production, Netflix decided to cancel altogether. Meanwhile, Cobra Kai – the cheesy-fun spin-off of The Karate Kid, which pits historic rivals Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and their offspring, against one another – has been commissioned a third series. Again: WHY?

Could it be because women-led shows depicting all shapes, sizes, sexualities, creeds and colours are seen as having less “value” than men’s stories? That because it subverts the male gaze and shows women being goofy and complex, without ever resorting to laddishness equivalence or one-note clumsy, “kooky” characters that might otherwise have been played by Zooey Deschanel or Rachel Bilson?

GLOW not so much as passes, but smashes and then dropkicks the Bechdel test

Let’s be clear, with so much Lycra on show, and women-on-women action, there is much here to love for the hetero-male, too. But it has always played to its crowd, ie the female audience, who demands fully formed, ordinary characters muddling through extraordinary situations. GLOW not so much as passes, but smashes and then dropkicks the Bechdel test.  

Its cast and crew have been shortlisted for every Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award going since it was first aired, its destiny from eternal bridesmaid to eventual bride looking likely in its final season. But the powers that be just don’t believe we deserve our finale.

Flahive and Mensch added in their statement, “We’ll miss our cast of weirdo clowns and our heroic crew. It was the best job.” We, too, will miss their cast of weirdo clowns, in which we saw our own flawed, scrappy selves – albeit with neon Spandex,1980s frightwigs and kick-ass moves.


Read more: Female-led films consistently outperform male-led films, new study finds 

Read more: 8 Netflix picks to add to your must-watch lists

Read more: 25 feel-good, cocoon-worthy films

Also Read