The Buzz: ‘GLOW’ Season 2 Is Just As Awkward And Wonderful As Ever

Like season one before it, GLOW season two manages to maintain its intensity all while keeping its intentional cringe-inducing comedy. The performances are just as great as ever as GLOW’s ensemble cast plays off each other without missing a beat. The storylines are fun and engaging and at times even gut-wrenching. GLOW is one of Netflix’s best dramedies and season two proves GLOW’s success wasn’t a fluke. The worst that can be said about the season is that it’s too short. With only ten episodes, this season felt like it went by extremely fast and that not all the characters received enough time to shine. Regardless, the second season of GLOW is definitely worth the watch.      

One of GLOW’s strongest features is its complex and layered characters. Marc Maron, in particular, delivers a standout performance this season. He manages to keep the Sam compelling and likable despite the despicable things he does. Sam’s a horrible person, but you can’t help but feel sympathy for how pathetic he is and you want to root for him to be a better person. Other standouts include Kia Stevens whose focus episode Mother of All Matches was heartbreaking and Betty Gilpin whose character Debbie is almost always tinkering on the edge of losing her mind. Kia and Betty both showed great dramatic depth this season and at times it was hard to watch their performances as their characters were pushed to the limit. Bash also received a lot more screen time this season as he struggled with the fear of being alone. Chris Lowell gave a great performance, but Bash’s motivations at times left me scratching my head. His last-minute decision in episode ten and his revealed feelings didn’t feel genuine and I hope more time is given to explain exactly what’s going on it the character’s head. Some of it definitely had to do with his fears of being alone, but there has to be more than that, or I at least hope there is. 

Of course, no one could talk about the cast without bringing up Alison Brie. Ruth Wilder might not be the star of G.L.O.W. in-universe, but Alison does a stellar job leading this ensemble cast once again. I have never seen a performance make me cringe as hard as Alison Brie’s Ruth, but at the same time keep me watching. Cringe comedy can be hard to sit through sometimes, but Brie knows exactly the right amount to spread in before it becomes too much. She also does a great job at the more dramatic scenes and regardless of her character’s flaws, is one of the most lovable characters in the cast. This makes Debbie’s ruthless treatment of Ruth even harder to take, but then again Ruth is the one responsible for their relationship tanking. This adds another layer to conflict and blurs the line of whose right and wrong. This is exemplified in episode seven Nothing Shattered where Ruth and Debbie’s conflict comes to head. Both bring up excellent points against one another, but neither is completely guilt free. Chances are you’ll have more sympathy for Ruth at that particular moment, but you considering how much Debbie has been through its hard not to feel for her a bit too.

Not only are the characters of GLOW great, but so are the plotlines the characters traverse. GLOW does a perfect balancing act with its comedy and drama. The first episode Viking Funeral was a mostly tame episode that served to reintroduce us back the setting and characters, but gut punched audiences at the end when Sam fired one of the girls for petty reasons. Many episodes feel like all fun and games until critical moments where everything comes crashing down. One episode Perverts Are People, Too, as the name alludes, dealt with the sexual harassment and abuse and was particularly gripping. It’s made even more upsetting when remembering this series takes place in the mid-eighties, and that over twenty years later this is still a huge issue. It always amazes me when a show can have such crude humor as being constipated one minute, but then tackle serious issues like the AIDS epidemic the next without giving off serious tonal whiplash.

The biggest problem with GLOW is its length. On top of only having ten episodes per season, episode eight The Good Twin isn’t even a real episode. Instead, we get an in-universe experimental episode of G.L.O.W. Shot poorly to mimic the eighties, it’s really nothing more than filler. The only thing of importance in the episode comes at the end and while it’s an important plot point, it doesn’t make up for the rest of the episode. A real episode of GLOW would have been far more interesting, heck even just seeing how the characters of would have made this fake episode would’ve been more entertaining and interesting. While I’m all for creativity and trying new things, this was a poor replacement episode for a generally fantastic show. That said, while it’s probably my least favorite episode of GLOW so far, it’s hardly a bad episode. There’s still plenty to laugh at and enjoy, it just comes as a bit of a disappointment after the stellar episode that came before it.

This lack of an episode also leads into the show’s next biggest problem of several characters getting the short stick this season. GLOW is supposed to be an ensemble show where all the characters are given equal screen time, but it only feels like a handful of the cast are important. While less developed characters like Bash and Tammé did get more focus this season, so many of the members of GLOW still feel very one dimensional. If there’s a season three this is always fixable, but it would’ve been nice to have gotten more from these characters sooner. The fact that so many characters are currently underserviced is what makes The Good Twin all that more annoying.

Despite these few hiccups, GLOW is a fantastic show. Whether you’re a fan of wrestling, comedy or just good TV, GLOW has a little bit for everyone. While season three has yet to be announced, it seems like likely that’s it’s only a matter of time before GLOW is renewed. The season two finale promises a new setting and with that plenty of new opportunities for the characters to grow and change. All twenty episodes of GLOW are available to stream on Netflix.