There’s a moment in the first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming pro wrestling comedy GLOW that sets the tone for the entire project.
“This can either feel dinky, or it can feel epic. So let’s give ’em what?”
The show, from Orange Is The New Black executive producer Jenji Kohan and based on the very real 1980s women’s wrestling promotion that featured Donald Trump storylines long before WWE, could stick with blood and tits, but it gives us something much more. GLOW, premiering June 23 on Netflix, follows an out-of-work actress who finds one last shot at fame on a weekly show about women wrestlers. It’s a fictionalized retelling of the production of the original show, and partially inspired by the incredible 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
I had a chance to watch the series from beginning to end, and even as a jaded wrestling fan and stalwart supporter of the original GLOW, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. I sat down with show co-creator Liz Flahive as well as co-stars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, to figure out how one of the cheesiest, lowest common denominator wrestling shows of the 1980s ended up as, in my opinion, one of the best shows Netflix has ever put together.
With Spandex: I wanted to tell you I was nervous already, but then I sat down and watched GLOW and I ended up watching the entire thing in one sitting.
Alison Brie: Oh my God!
Betty Gilpin: All ten?
Gilpin: Oh my God!
I started watching it at about 11 o’clock at night and I was like, “I’m just going to watch a couple episodes and go to sleep,” and then about 04:30 AM I was like, “I’m going to order a breakfast platter.”
Gilpin: The story gets better and better.
Brie: Oh my God, I have chills. That’s so cool.
It’s so good.
Brie: Thank you! Aren’t they, like, spectacular?
My day job is to write about people in their underpants pretending to fight. So I wanted to say, I can’t believe you guys turned cheesy ’80s wrestling into prestige drama and comedy. How in the world did you do that?
Liz Flahive: I don’t know, that’s just what we wanted to do. Carly [Mensch], my co-creator, and I watched the documentary and that was sort of our way in, and the thing that was so surprising to us was just like just how deep we felt it was for all these women, and the actual sort of connectivity and the community and physicality. And there just seemed to be so much there that was so much more than what you sort of prejudged it to be. I was not a wrestling fan growing up, I was not a wrestling fan as an adult, and I feel like we came at it from a totally different way because our brains worked differently. We’re theater people.