The second season of GLOW recently debuted on Netflix and it continued to give me more of what I loved about the first season with some minor disappointments. Picking up right where the first season left off, the Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling spend the second season fighting for the survival of their show-within-a-show. Sam (Marc Maron) and Ruth (Alison Brie) continue to constantly be at creative odds with each other, which allows for a new relationship to develop between Ruth and a cameraman. Debbie (Betty Gilpin) has negotiated her contract to include producing rights but she is struggling to be heard by Sam and Bash (Chris Lowell).
Somewhat unlike the first, time is evenly divided amongst the cast instead of focusing on its anti-heroine, Ruth. This was one of my hopes for this season and apparently I didn’t realize what I was asking for. Yes, this cast has an abundance of interesting characters so it was refreshing to spend more time with them, the writers definitely delivered. However I found myself constantly wondering what was going on with Ruth! So much time was spent with her in Season One that this felt like the complete opposite. Sam is worried about the survival of the show and jealous of Ruth’s budding relationship with a new cameraman, causing him to lash out at everyone. There wasn’t much progression in their inevitable relationship, but these actors continue to have great chemistry; they’re fantastic to watch. Ruth’s new interest in directing, her consistently complicated relationships, even a wrestling injury, all of this felt like steps in a positive direction for her, I just wish that I could have seen more of it.
As far as time spent with the rest of the cast, there are multiple episodes that provided real insight to the show’s supporting characters. A lot of time is spent with Debbie amid her divorce. This was a welcome change; I really enjoyed Gilpin’s performance and am thrilled with her recent Emmy nomination (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series). Debbie’s push to become a producer is a smart move for the show. This shift provides more opportunities to present moments of female empowerment and the ugliness of misogyny. Thankfully her friendship with Ruth appears to be on the mend; again Ruth is not given much time so when they were together it was brief. She also develops a new friendship with Tamme (Kia Stevens), the two women are able to find support in each other as working single mothers. The audience is shown the softer side of Tamme, we learn more about her sacrifice and dedication to her son. The rest of the cast have all embraced their wrestling personas and this leads me to my favorite episode from Season Two, “The Good Twin”. Whenever I watch a show or film about characters who are in turn filming a show or film, I always wish that I could see the end result. This episode is exactly that, a complete episode of The Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling! This episode was the highlight of the season, it’s everything you’d expect the show to be; it’s engaging, hilarious, and way over the top. I had hoped for more of the ladies practicing their wrestling skills; there was little of that. Their practice played a bigger role within the previous season so I understand that it’s less in the forefront now.
Overall, after watching Season Two, I’m still interested in the direction the show is taking. I’m still optimistic that Ruth and Sam will figure out their attraction and frustration with one another. I’m also hopeful that Ruth and Debbie will find some way to heal their friendship. As the finale ended, the ladies are relocating to Las Vegas after failure to find funding for their show. This relocation is bound to bring about multiple exciting possibilities for all of them. Even though this season brought about some disappointments, GLOW continues to be an intelligent comedy full of really interesting female characters.