Something really special is happening on our blogs this month as Jillian and I embark on a new series: GLOTBC – The Gorgeous Ladies of the Blog Collab! Any excuse right?
We’ll pay homage to some kick-arse Queens in all genres of movie and really where better to start than here, with this kitschy techno dreamscape of a documentary? It is surely impossible not to love, warts and all.
GLOW: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling chronicles the rise and fall of the first ever all-female wrestling show through the stories of those who lived it.
Jill and I were all over the Alison Brie starring Netflix series GLOW as soon as it debuted a month or so ago. Sure it’s prime popcorn viewing but who doesn’t need that at the end of a busy working week? Plus, it’s fun to choose favourites (Machu Picchu! Machu Picchu!) and imagine how you’d fare in the ring (not very well, I’m sure).
But GLOW is no fictional daydream, it was once a very real female-only sport and entertainment phenomenon. Sadly, it was axed from the television in 1990 – at the height of its popularity. What the heck is that about? Why can’t we just have nice things? (We’re getting it back though, aren’t we? That’s what all this revival is about, surely?)
This honestly delightful and heart-warming documentary charts the ebb and flow of the the GLOW, from initial conception to the bitter end, by way of lovely stories about some of the biggest names in female wrestling (or if not wrestling the sport, wrestling TV).
We spend time on the early years of GLOW, remembering the outfits, the on-air feuds, the boke-inducing bone breaking injuries, (ooof!), the rapping (a highlight), the Hefner signed Playboy centerfolds but above all, the genuine love and warmth between these remarkable women. And they are remarkable, because who honestly would have the balls to do what they did?
We then catch up with the women as they fill us in on their lives since GLOW and how good/bad life has been to them in the interim. It’s powerful stuff, I won’t lie. Some women have thrived, while others have been through the ringer. But when they reunite, it’s nothing short of beautiful.
Mt. Fuji in particular is a force. Now wheelchair bound and diabetic, she’s still a ray of pure sunlight who loves her sisters and admits to a long time crush on the show’s creator, Matt Cimber in front of everybody.
My personal favourite, Matilda the Hun wrestled until she was fifty and then went into directing and producing wrestling videos. Other careers off the back of GLOW are costume design, real estate and acting – but it seems nearly all of these Lycra-clad babes still have a place in their heart for their rough and tumble pasts.
It just seems to me that GLOW must have been such an incredible thing to be part of, a safe place that made male wrestlers jealous and gave these woman a platform to be truly incredible. They would have been incredible anyway but consider the industry these women found themselves in. It was no mean feat to find such a place to belong and to prosper.
What’s not to adore? These women are the best.
I must say there were times I felt a little bit awkward about the OTT stereotyping of the wrestlers in GLOW (Netflix) but this makes it clear that they were inspired by real life characters (not right always but I get it). It would be very interesting to witness what this generation’s GLOW characters would be like.
I’m truly so uplifted. Now pass the motherfucking Kohl!
5/5. For the fun and the feminism.
What did the woman of my dreams Jillian think? Would she clothesline the shit out of this or tap it out after ten? Find out here.