Is the Netflix Series ‘GLOW’ Based On a True Story?

Back in the 1980s, who could have predicted that, in 2019, audiences would be learning about the history of televised women’s wrestling through their computers? Today, Netflix has taken the story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and turned it into an acclaimed series available to stream worldwide. But what is the true story behind the show? Here’s what you need to know.

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling began in the mid-80s

Just as in the series, G.L.O.W. was created as a promotion in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Women were brought in for a casting call, and the idea was based on the success of the similarly outlandish men’s World Wrestling Association.

None of the characters in the fictional show GLOW were real people, but a lot of the inspiration came from the women of G.L.O.W. The syndicated program, which ran in its original format from 1986-1990, also relied heavily on stereotype characters that the women must play on screen. Additionally, much of the behind-the-scenes drama was taken from real life.

First came a documentary that showcased G.L.O.W.

If you want to take a look at what the real G.L.O.W. was like, Netflix can help you out there, too. The 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is currently available for streaming. In fact, this is how the creators of GLOW came up with the idea.

Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who met while writing for Showtime series Nurse Jackie, told Vanity Fair in 2017 that they were intrigued by the element of “empowerment versus exploitation,” saying, “Wrestling was funnier in 1985, which seems to be missing from today’s style. It was definitely theater, but there’s also that kind of vaudeville.”

What happened in the first two seasons of GLOW?

Netflix has thus far released the first two seasons of GLOW, in late June of 2017 and 2018, respectively. The first season sees Ruth (Alison Brie) a struggling actress who is invigorated by the meaty role that the wrestling promotion gig offers her, meeting the other women and being forced to work alongside her former best friend, Debbie (Betty Gilpin), who becomes the star of the show.

In Season 2, the women continue to bond, and new allegiances are formed. There’s a lot of struggle behind-the-scenes to keep their breakaway hit afloat. In the finale, they are forced out of their venue by their cable, but they receive a new opportunity to continue the show with a residency in Las Vegas.

Here’s what we know about Season 3

Sadly, GLOW Season 3 isn’t due out until August 9, 2019. However, Netflix has gifted us with quite a bit of promotional material, including a meaty trailer, ahead of the upcoming season — so let’s break it down.

Bash is still around, and he’s hosting, although his green card marriage to Rhonda may be in jeopardy. Ruth is stepping up as co-director, but her feelings for Sam could get in the way. And Debbie struggles with missing her son, though she and Ruth continue to grow closer. Geena Davis joins the cast as Sandy, entertainment director at the casino. And that’s just the beginning.

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