A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far
A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics...

Sarah Finnan

Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach
Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach

Megan Burns

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life
5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life

Jennifer McShane

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Image / Living / Culture

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


by Lucy White
09th Oct 2020
blank

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

duvet day
CULTURE
Duvet day: 20 Netflix movie picks to get you through the dreary weather

It’s definitely a day for the ducks out there. We’ll be spending our duvet day inside, tucked up beneath the...

By Sarah Finnan

barbecue salads and sides
FOOD & DRINK
The best salads, sides and dips to level up your next barbecue

You have your go-marinade for chicken and your favourite brand of sausages, but it’s the accompaniments that make a barbecue...

By Megan Burns

blank
FOOD & DRINK
Frosé was the tipple of 2020, but this will be the wine of 2021

Taste life on the flipside – this fruity New Zealand wine is flying off Irish shelves.Despite the year that it...

By IMAGE

Gin & Tonic Ice Pops
FOOD & DRINK
Your summer weekend sorted: Gin & Tonic ice pops

The perfect recipe if you planned on sipping on G&T’s in the sunshine all weekend – gin & tonic ice...

By Holly O'Neill

Limerick cottage
INTERIORS
Inside a tiny Limerick cottage transformed by its architect owner

Architect Patti O’Neill’s cottage is full of gorgeous details including exposed stone walls and a glass porch entrance. When architect...

By Lauren Heskin

scenic walks Ireland
CULTURE
Stretch the legs: 10 scenic walks to enjoy around Ireland

Nothing clears the mind like a stroll in the countryside. With that in mind, here are 10 of our favourite...

By Grace McGettigan

Sophie Toscan du Plantier
CULTURE
Netflix releases first full trailer for three-part Sophie Toscan du Plantier docuseries

Titled ‘Sophie: A Murder in West Cork’, the new documentary lands on Netflix at the end of this month. One...

By Sarah Finnan