GLOW sort of snuck up on me.
When the original GLOW first came out on broadcast TV locally, I was 12. It’d only come on real late at night, usually after my parents had finished watching The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, possibly even after Late Night with David Letterman. As a result, I’d sneak downstairs after they’d go to bed and turn it on with the sound very low. There was something illicit and exciting about it, not just because it featured attractive women in spandex, but because is was so incredibly tacky. I wasn’t a fan of mainstream wrestling - as a young snob I’d decided it was beneath me, and as a scrawny nerd I didn’t like how WWF was all about muscle-bound bullies - but the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling hit a lot of buttons for me. I just wouldn’t admit it.
And, let’s be clear here, the original was just as gross in its politics as they suggest in the new show. I didn’t contemplate it at the time, but those broad stereotypes were just what I expected. If there was satire involved, it sailed right over my adolescent brain.
Fast-forward to the Netflix show and I’m getting to have a nostalgia trip, enjoy a really good comedy-drama, and also get some perspective on what it was that made the old show compelling and, often, terrible. I’m looking forward to what develops as they enter Season 3.