GLOW is one of those shows I fear gets lost in the noise of Too Much TV. It’s an OUTSTANDING show, but it’s one of many outstanding shows, and it’s on Netflix, a platform that does not treat all their children the same (especially as seasons roll on—what is a splashy arrival in season one is barely a blip by season three, ahem, Santa Clarita Diet). The first trailer for GLOW season three is out, and this could well be the only marketing we see for the show until the week it drops in August. This trailer, like everything else about GLOW, is amazing. The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling have begun their Vegas residency, every single item worn by every single person on screen remains amazing, and Geena Davis is joining the cast. GLOW is never disappointing.
This trailer is a bit of refresher course, reminding us where the ladies of GLOW left off in season two. Debbie is still struggling with her work-life balance; Ruth is emerging from the wreckage of her life but still isn’t satisfied; Carmen, Rhonda, and Bash are still locked in their not-quite-honest three-way. There is also a tease for Ruth and Sam’s maybe-romantic, definitely-awkward relationship. (GLOW takes on an interesting edge if you consider it Jeff Winger/Annie Edison AU fan-fiction.) GLOW has some great moments—like any scene involving the GLOW-bot and/or Kate Nash—but what makes it so good is how complicated all these relationships are. Everyone is entangled in one emotional nightmare or another, and yet, they’re all still supportive and encouraging of one another. Bash broke Carmen’s heart and Carmen is a “pure cinnamon roll” as the youths say, and still Carmen is out here looking out for Bash’s emotional health. And I can’t even get into Debbie and Ruth, they are best frenemies for the ages. And then they cast Geena Davis! The show that is about women’s struggle in show business cast one of the strongest voices for women in show business. Brilliant move, really.
I just worry this might be the last season of GLOW. Netflix’s infernal algorithms lead to them cancelling many shows after three seasons because that is when the salaries start to scale up. Between their habit of abandoning series after season one and resisting paying people for long-running success, we should probably get used to the season-three cancellation on Netflix (AHEM, SANTA CLARITA DIET). Some shows, like The Crown, sell a predetermined vision for their story—in this case, six seasons, but with new casts rotating in under the three-season wire—but shows like GLOW look increasingly precarious once season three rolls around. Critical acclaim doesn’t seem to matter—One Day at a Time was VERY popular with critics and it got cancelled anyway—so GLOW’s status as a critical darling and regular on the award circuit probably won’t save it if The Algorithm determines the cost of those rising salaries outweighs the platform appeal of the show. So please watch GLOW, because this show is amazing and I want it to realize its conclusion and not be cut off at the knees just when it gets really good, like Santa Clarita Diet.