Glow returns to Netflix for a third season
Fans of lycra, ladies wrestling and 80s culture have just received the news they’ve been waiting for: The hit Netflix series Glow has wrapped up filming for its third season, and it will be headed back to the on-demand service in June this year. Chavo Guerrero, former WWE wrestler and the show’s wrestling co-ordinator, confirmed the news in an interview with Wrestling Inc, an independent professional wrestling website.
Glow has been something of a surprise hit for Netflix, after initially being seen as a gamble. Getting any professional wrestling-related content on television has been a struggle for networks for some time, as the team responsible for ITV’s ‘World of Wrestling’ would be happy to tell you. A drama series based on an all-female roster of female wrestlers in a failing promotion doesn’t sound like the kind of subject matter that would thrill an audience, but the writing team of Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch have created funny and dramatic scripts that have enchanted audiences.
Both feet firmly in reality
Not everything about Glow is fictional. Although none of the wrestling characters in the Netflix version of the show are “real” (by which we mean they’re not based on wrestlers who existed in real life), the Glow promotion really did exist during the time period depicted in the show. Glow stands for “gorgeous ladies of wrestling”, and a promotion with that name ran from 1986 to 1992 in Las Vegas, just as it does in the Netflix series. One of the original wrestlers from that era, Ursula Hayden, now owns the trademark to the company name and works with Netflix as a series consultant for the show. Hayden has confirmed that in keeping with the attitudes of most of the show’s female characters, the women who joined the real Glow were models and actresses looking to break into Hollywood. They’d never gone looking for a career in wrestling; the sport found its way to them instead.
Most people who don’t have an interest in the subject matter assume that wrestling starts and ends with the American company WWE, but in reality wresting is thriving in many parts of the world including the UK, where progress is the best-known promotion. Wrestling is so popular in Mexico that native promotions like AAA rival WWE for popularity, featuring colourful casts of luchadores who have inspired the characters from the game Lucha Legends. It’s popular with UK-based players, who may have had no idea that they were indirectly interacting with the world of Mexican pro wrestling. Japan also has a thriving wrestling scene, where the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion has the most fans.
This quiet army of wrestling fans around the world may go some way to explaining why Glow is so popular. Wrestling, with its scripted nature, is really just a violent soap opera. Glow takes that idea and adds even more drama to it, with plenty more space for comedy.
We mentioned at the start of the article that Chavo Guerrero works as the show’s wrestling co-ordinator, and his role goes further than choreography. Every actress on the show has been trained to wrestle to at least a basic level and do most of their own stunts.
While it was common for real wrestlers to come in and film as body doubles during the first season, this practice had almost entirely ceased in the second season, and may not occur at all in the third as the cast continue to develop their skills. Kia Stevens, who plays Tamme Dawson, is a former WWE pro wrestler. When she picks up Alison Brie and slams her, that slam is happening for real.
What should we expect?
The ending of the second season ended on something of a downbeat note, with the girls failing to get the TV show they were promised, but at the very last second, a strip club owner from Las Vegas announces his interest in hosting a series of Glow live shows. As the final episode of the season ended, the girls were boarding a bus and preparing to set off on their new adventure.
Glow‘s producers have elected against giving too much away, and so there are no solid plot details known for the third season so far, but obvious issues are lingering from previous episodes that need to be resolved. The will they/won’t they relationship between Ruth and Sam is still up in the air. It seemed to be out of the question, but with Ruth’s romance with Russell sure to be put to the test by the physical distance that now exists between them, anything could happen.
One of the unexpectedly darker moments in the last series was Bash learning that his close friend Florian had succumbed to the AIDS virus, and marrying Rhonda so she could remain in the country without giving it any serious thought. The show has implied – but never explicitly confirmed – that Bash is gay, and so his identity struggle could also prove to be one of the themes of the series. On the topic of Rhonda, the acting ability of one-time British pop singer Kate Nash has been one of the show’s great revelations, and it would be great to see her given more of a focus during the third season.
On top of all that, there’s Vegas itself as a backdrop. Vegas in the late 80s was every bit as seedy as it is now, and the location is sure to contain both temptation and danger for our favourite characters. Someone’s bound to develop a gambling habit, someone’s sure to fall in love with the party lifestyle, and we’re sure far worse than that will happen to at least one character. We know all the girls well enough now to have developed an emotional attachment to them, and so the writers are bound to use that to their advantage!
More news is bound to appear as we get closer to the June release date, but as of right now the clock has started counted down, and the show is getting ready to ring the bell. Fans will surely be looking forward to another great season of action.
The editorial unit