GLOW (“Hollywood Homecoming”)

Season 3, Episode 7
Date of release: August 9, 2019 (Netflix)

In which GLOW went so far out of its original premise that it made characters decide to make a movie. While I like the idea of Justine and Sam teaming up to make this movie and creating some together-time for themselves, almost with the guarantee that when the movie is finished and it is going to be released, it will flop, it definitely is a premise that only fits into GLOW, because the writers sort of remembered that they had Justine and Sam talk about a screenplay in the finale of the previous season, which in hindsight must have bee a plot device to create this story in season three. And with that in mind, Justine and Sam teaming up to make a movie also takes away from the Las Vegas show, which continues more and more to be less important for all the characters involved. Half of the wrestling show’s cast didn’t even have an appearance in this episode, others were not talking about how their extended stay is screwing up their plans or maybe even their mental state, and with all that, GLOW has become a character drama, in which three or four main characters get the spotlight in an episode, during which their individual character arcs are being developed. Every once in a while there is an episode like the previous two, and everyone is being thrown together for a round of togetherness, but GLOW has become the drama show that emulates all the other drama shows on broadcast television. GLOW’s uniqueness got lost this season, and it happened way before Sheila decided to throw her fur coat into the fire at the end of the previous episode, turning her own uniqueness into ash as well.

Mother and daughter-in-law go clothes shopping for the first time.

I still like the characters though, and some of the stories make for good drama, even if I believe those stories are in the wrong kind of show. Debbie’s date with J.J. seemed quite alright and I’m almost happy that Debbie met a guy who looked and sounded very normal and nice and loving, although I have a bit of a paranoid mind when I watch television, so here I am, waiting for J.J. to show his true face, which will conflict with Debbie’s face, and we all know where those kind of stories end up on the pain scale. GLOW could be known by this point as a television show trying to get through all the tropes of 1980s troubles women can go through, and Debbie is kind of very vulnerable right now, so getting flustered by a sweet man is easy for her, but getting out of a potentially abusive relationship while her career is going down the drain is a little harder, and it’s a story that would fit into this season’s narrative. But yeah, at least Debbie is a little happy now, and that happiness distracts from the notion that she was dealing with bulimia for a hot second. Besides that, the image of her getting into bed with Ruth still sleeping in hers only feet away warms my heart. The women were sworn enemies two seasons ago, but now they are besties, they share a room, they know each other’s roles in the ring in and out, and maybe Ruth will now turn into Debbie’s best fried when she really needs one, because Debbie might be on a downward spiral.

Elsewhere in Vegas, Bash got a lot richer, and the only thing he needed to do was getting married. I hope Ruth’s side joke in the second season finale about Rhonda having married a millionaire without a prenup comes to haunt everyone involved in the marriage, because now Rhonda has a few reasons to think about using her marriage with Bash for her own financial sake. She said she really loves him now, but that can change quickly when your husband just got $40 million richer. Now is the time for Bash to prove that he can indeed sped his money wisely and not all at once, while Rhoda needs to prove that she is not a gold digger. Then again, maybe it would be funny to see Rhonda’s transformation into said gold digger as the show progresses. But would GLOW even be able to do that kind of comedy, now that it wants to be a full-fledged drama series? After all, Bash still has a few emotional turmoils to get through, and dealing with a potential gold digger in his bed night after night is not one of them.

It’s a screenshot for all the heart attacks out there.

We move states now and go back to Hollywood where Justine and Sam tried to sell a script. Let’s note that the episode never really told us what the script really is about. Yes, Justine pitched a few seconds of it and based it on her own life experiences, but is her screenplay a drama or a comedy? Does it deal with her main character’s friendship with the AV club or the relationship with the father? Does it have a weird supernatural element to it, because why the hell not? Justine is fascinated by Sam’s films, so one might think that her first foray into screenwriting would go into the same exploitation genre, but that does not seem to be the case at all, judging by the way she pitched it to the one executive who was listening ad interested at the same time. Side note, I loved how the first meeting was all about rewriting the central female character into a character who can be played by a guy. I found that especially hilarious, especially since this crap is still an issue in Hollywood anno 2019. Sam’s heart attack was a nice way to break the story into a few easily chewable chunks, giving the viewers an opportunity to put their teeth into either of the L.A.-based stories of this episode, if one of them didn’t quite work out for whatever reason. An 18-year-old teenager going through Hollywood offices to sell a screenplay is a bit fantastical for my taste, but Sam’s heart attack seemed very realistic and down to earth.

Finally, I need to mention that I realized that Ruth was absent from this episode until the end, making me wonder if this is the first episode of the show without its star in it. Turns out Aliso Brie was directing this episode, giving her character some deserved time off. But because she is the star of the show (like Debbie is the star of her show, bringing a bit of meta storytelling into it), she still had to be in it somehow. So Ruth was depicted in a sleeping position. Nice way to make some extra money.

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