GLOW Season 2 Wish list
Here's something I'm sure you find shocking, I love Netflix's Original Series GLOW. As both a wrestling fan and an Alison Brie fan, this was a match made in heaven. Season 2 returns tomorrow and you can believe I plan to run through it in as short of time physically possible. I'm hopeful Season 2 will continue to have the wit and heart that the first season brought in spades.
For those of you who don't know about GLOW, or Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, it's a fictional story about a real all-female wrestling promotion in the 80's. Although the story of Debbie and Ruth is made up, the show draws from a lot of real situation and circumstances that the GLOW Girls had to deal with. The scene where everyone shows up thinking they're at a casting call for a movie and find out they're auditioning the be wrestlers? Really happened.
In season two, which is already getting rave reviews, I expect them to hone in on this amazing ensemble cast of characters and have some serious action in the ring. My top 3 wish list:
1. More Carmen!
Carmen, played by Britney Young, is a legacy wrestler with a sunny disposition. Her wrestling persona, Machu Picchu, is based on real legend Mount Figi, Yeah, they really were that racist. In season 1 we got an heartwarming arch of her gaining confidence and the support of her wrestler father. I may have cried when he started those Machu chants (I definitely cried). I can't wait to see her as a full-time wrestler. Right now it's so important to show athletic women in all shapes and sizes, you don't need a six-pack to kick some butt.
2. Let Kia work
Tamme Dawson, the Welfare Queen, is played by Kia Stevens, AKA Awesome Kong/Kharma. She is a wrestling legend, one of only a handful of women to have participated in the men's Royal Rumble, and all around great at wrestling. Her time in the ring was cut short by a tragedy in her personal life and GLOW is almost like a second act wrestling career for her. She's an incredibly talented actress who does a great job portraying Tamme, but dammit I want to see her work! This season is expected to include much more wrestling than last year, so I'm excited to see Kharma get back in the ring, even just for pretend. It'll also be a treat to see the other girls, most of whom only have the show's training, get into their wrestling characters. In interviews, the cast has expressed how much everyone has put into that process and how excited they are not to be doing those moves. Some members of the cast even get to go toe to toe with Kia, which is considered a sort of badge of honor for them. She's the best wrestler on the team, so anyone paired with her has to really be on their game.
3. We need to talk about wrestling
Guys I got some bad news. Wrestling is seriously problematic. In the first season, we touched on the issues of racism, xenophobia, and sexism. Rumor has it that the second season will continue some of these themes. I'd like to see them lean into it more, show how the characters are dealing with it. Just because it was 1986 doesn't mean no one noticed or talked about it. We still deal with a lot of these issues in wrestling today, and as someone who cares about the sport I want to see it get better. The only way to do that is to air out the problems and have open discussions about them. GLOW is such a good way of facilitating that, because it's fake. Er, more fake than regular wrestling. Proxies make tough conversations less tough. Sunita Mani, who plays Arthie Premkumar on the show, gave an incredible performance last season. It brought up a really important topic for us wrestling fans, is all heat good heat? The crowd was booing, which is good because she's a heel, but they were doing it because she's middle eastern, which is bad for obvious reasons. How do we reconcile that? They didn't in 1986 and honestly, we still don't. We should, and I'm hoping this season of GLOW will provide a way to have those important conversations.
Bonus: More neon. Obviously.