GLOW: Here We GLOW Again
June 29, 2018 6:32 AM - Season 2 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Season 2 of the Netflix hit about the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling will "deviate" from the real-life G.L.O.W., particularly in that critics actually like this version.
posted by Etrigan (58 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
aww yiss

(Haven't started this yet, but my body is ready.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:39 AM on June 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you are eagerly awaiting S2, there is also a documentary on Netflix about the real G.L.O.W. which made me shed all the tears. Well, not all, I saved some for Hannah Gadsby's special.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:54 AM on June 29, 2018

I had no idea the new season was out yet! How is it that Netflix will aggressively promote trailers for every mediocre Netflix romcom but didn’t tell me about this? It knows I watched the whole first season in a weekend!
posted by lunasol at 7:54 AM on June 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

Up to episode 4 and oh my god the match where Tamme's son finds out about her job was hard to watch and perfect. Also the Tamme/Debbie friendship out of the ring and in their little glances in the ring is the best.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:11 PM on June 29, 2018 [20 favorites]

It's already on??? Yay!

Look away if you do not want to see my happy dance.
posted by mochapickle at 9:51 PM on June 29, 2018

Episode 8 is... something. It kind of makes me want to go find old episodes of the real show and see if any of them were as weird or funny as this.
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:21 PM on June 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

Kidnapping is bad to do!
posted by Berreggnog at 10:09 AM on June 30, 2018 [10 favorites]

The OG GLOW episodes were nothing like the "direct to air" episode 8, no.

Here's the pilot episode.
posted by absalom at 12:45 PM on June 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

I don't want to see the originals, because I enjoyed the hell out of what they did here. There's no way reality wouldn't let me down.
posted by Superplin at 5:31 PM on June 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


posted by redsparkler at 10:33 PM on June 30, 2018 [12 favorites]

We burned through the entire season in one day too! SO WORTH IT.

Now we just have to ETERNITY of days for season 3.
*quick google* hasn't already been renewed? Lots of people like this show right, not just critics? The last episode absolutely could serve as a series finale....but I'm really hoping it doesn't? DON'T TEASE ME NETFLIX.
posted by Bibliogeek at 5:39 AM on July 1, 2018

Please, please, more Tamme and Carmen. I think that we have learned that we do not need so much focus on the Two White Lady Leads, though I would choose Debbie and Ruth over Piper and Alex.

The Tamme episode with her son was amazing, and I'd love to see more like that from other characters. Yolanda and Arthie, Carmen. I also wouldn't object to actual personalities for the Beatdown Biddies.

Episode 8 was completely nuts and I loved it, though Cherry looked like she was wearing a diaper the whole time.

Are we supposed to read Bash as bi?

posted by jeather at 9:21 AM on July 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think we're supposed to read Bash as bi. Between Shenanigans and the wrestling photos in his childhood room, he had a realization on some level that he was attracted to men, but then he was so terrified by Florian's fate that he jumped into marriage as a lifeboat.

Anyway, I binged the whole thing in a day and it was so much fun. I loved Tamme's arc with her son and her friendship with Debbie, and both just shattered me. Alison Brie's scenes in the hospital were really great. Carmen's line about wanting to see everyone dressed up as flamingos was perfection. And Sheila! Oh, Sheila. And Yolanda was a nice addition.

I'd really like to see more about the others, just more than a glimpse. I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't tell Ozone and Nuke apart.

I hate the Ruth/Sam stirrings of romance and I really want it to stop forever. Can't they just be soulmates in collaboration?

Episode 8 was the most glorious 40 minutes of television I've seen in years.

And I love that Bash spent 20 minutes describing Muppets Take Manhattan to Debbie instead of just calling it a whisper campaign. It was so deliciously awkward and wonderful.
posted by mochapickle at 2:13 PM on July 1, 2018 [9 favorites]

Just finished binging this over the weekend.

Between Twin Peaks: The Return and this, it seems that the 8th episodes of my favorites series are destined to be the most amazing and insane pieces of beauty on television.

I loved this season but it needed way more Carmen. I really hope that the next season takes the opportunity to deepen the focus on the wrestlers who've gotten limited screen time thus far. I love all their stories and characters, There's just so much there there.
posted by acidnova at 8:27 PM on July 1, 2018

From a wrestling-fan standpoint, as soon as the bouquet flew, I thought They should do a battle royal for that..., so this season gets a 14/10 from me.
posted by Etrigan at 4:16 AM on July 2, 2018 [9 favorites]

A lovely Glamour article about Britney Young, who plays Carmen.

"I want to show that every fat story is not a weight loss story, and that every black story is not a slavery story."
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:07 AM on July 2, 2018 [15 favorites]

Sepinwall talked with the showrunners about episode 8.

I'm just going to assume that "Disk drive coochie? Really?" was every other question, and they just edited out all the times Flahive and Mensch said, "Yeah, well...".
posted by Etrigan at 11:45 AM on July 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

I'm only on ep 2 but I just wanted to say that even though I miss Cherry, Yolanda has now stolen my heart.
posted by paisley sheep at 5:22 PM on July 2, 2018

This is great television.

It started out so bleak re: Sam being such an a-hole, then getting woke, and finally offering Ruth an official co-director credit.

Did not expect to, but seriously enjoyed Justine's character arc. Also, of course, Tamme and her son.

The hospital 'montage' actually made me cry.

Maybe I was born a decade too late - I love Bash's outfits.
posted by porpoise at 6:32 PM on July 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

The hospital 'montage' actually made me cry.

I laughed until I died when I realized that that whole montage happened while she was waiting to get a fucking X-ray.
posted by Etrigan at 6:48 PM on July 2, 2018 [10 favorites]

Jumping back in because I have to quote this excellent moment from episode one.

"I've never seen Cheers."

"it's great. It's about an invisible woman named Vera."

Never change, Sheila.
posted by acidnova at 7:46 PM on July 2, 2018 [19 favorites]

I love this show so much. I wish every character could be explored like Tamme's glorious episode. The actresses are such a wonderful ensemble, it is a joy to watch them interact in different combinations.

I was very happy to see Annabelle Sciarra as Justine's mom after everything we learned last year about her being blacklisted by Weinstein. A cool real-life bit of female empowerment.
posted by gatorae at 4:02 AM on July 3, 2018 [9 favorites]

I tried to slow down but ended up finishing it last night... I don't think I've ever loved a show this much. It feels weird but I tear up during the actual matches. I'm not sure I can even articulate why.

Yolanda's charisma is almost overwhelming to me when she joins the cast! I am interested in how they will develop (I am counting on a season 3!) her relationship with Arthie.

The Ruth + Sam thing they were setting up... no. Shades of Neelix+Kes from Star Trek Voyager, aka the reason I gave up on Voyager. I did like his line about how you make room for someone and when they leave, the room is still there. But generally I am annoyed when he gets to be the hero. Maybe I should view him more generously as the show obviously wants me to.

Why does Carmen's family find it so hard to be supportive?! I am glad they seem to come around in the end, but come on fellas. They should be proud!

I'm still not clear if Toby was set up or in on the story line. I sometimes have trouble following if they are surprising us, or each other, or if it's just for the benefit of their audience.

I don't even know what to say about Ep 8. WOW. They went for it!
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:29 AM on July 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't think there was ever any intention to set up Ruth and Sam. I'm reading it as Sam becoming a better person because of his association with Ruth and Justine and the rest of the team- but he's such a mess that the only context he has for a relationship with women is sexual, so he can't figure out how to deal with Ruth being a supportive friend. He doesn't know how else to read it, so he reads it completely wrong.

I think that's where he was going with that surprisingly introspective bit about making room for someone- he straight up doesn't know how to be a friend, and he's only just now discovered that he likes having friends. He's a mess, but

That's what was going on in the strip club scene too. He was telling two people he likes- in a roundabout, new at friendship way, that he likes them and wants them to be happy.

That's my favorite thing about this show. It's a show about friendship and people becoming better because of friendships with others.

I also love Cherry and Keith. A solid, supportive, adult couple like that is kind of rare on television. I want to hang out with them.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 8:49 AM on July 3, 2018 [24 favorites]

I also love Cherry and Keith.

I love that one of the few male roles is relegated so thoroughly to explicitly being a supporting character both in and out of the ring. He exists solely as emotional support for Cherry and as a referee, which is in many ways (kayfabe and real) the unpaid emotional labor of wrestling.
posted by Etrigan at 11:39 AM on July 3, 2018 [12 favorites]

Is this the first time Netflix has done this autoplay bonus content with graphics and everything after the last episode of the season? I was surprised to see that.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:18 PM on July 3, 2018

> I also love Cherry and Keith. A solid, supportive, adult couple like that is kind of rare on television. I want to hang out with them.

My wife and I finished S02 this evening and we had almost exactly the same sentiment. Their relationship feels real and genuine and Keith is exactly the kind of supportive and good man that Cherry deserves.

I do not enjoy Debbie-the-character but I do think that Betty Gilpin's acting is fantastic. I mean, fantastic just a hair above everyone else's acting, all of which is fantastic. There's not a mediocre actor in the entire cast.

I'm not really sure how to explain it but I just really really really enjoy this show. It's just such a relief to watch something that's (ultimately) about women having friendships and supporting each other in a positive way.
posted by komara at 7:35 PM on July 6, 2018 [8 favorites]

Favorite quote from episode 7 --
Sam, to Ruth: Oh, you're not getting out of it. You're like a one-woman idea machine. And where we're going, you don't need legs.
[Bash?]: You did see Back to the Future!
posted by filthy light thief at 6:10 PM on July 7, 2018 [10 favorites]

Episode 4: "What is a woman without a child?? Just a person."
posted by bunderful at 2:57 PM on July 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

'GLOW' Bosses on "Uncomfortable" Finale and (Likely) Season 3 (Jackie Strause for The Hollywood Reporter, July 04, 2018) -- Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch unpack the season two ending and look ahead to the future of their Netflix wrestling comedy. [This story contains spoilers from the second season of Netflix's GLOW.]
"I hope we have the number of seasons we dream of having because I think we can then equally explore all of the women," says Flahive of focusing emotional season-two arcs around Arthie, as well as Tamme Dawson (Kia Stevens), aka Welfare Queen, and even GLOW producer Bash Howard (Chris Lowell) in season two. "Both the blessing and the challenge of the GLOW symphony is that there are a lot of them. We are a half hour-ish show, which I love. But it also means we’re going to lean into people when it’s the right time for that character. With season one, we really had the structure of what we needed to accomplish and, frankly, that didn’t allow us freedom to have an episode like the fourth of season two, where we basically follow two characters [Tamme and Debbie] and bring them back to the show."

She continues, "That is the great freedom of season two and the great freedom of future seasons; that we can move around more now that you know and love the characters and understand the story of the show and understand wrestling. We have these 15 amazing women and, ideally, by the end of the series you will know them all in a deeper way."
I would LOVE that - this season really made it clear that this is an ensemble cast, and I'd love to see where they go beyond this.
When speaking to GLOW leads Brie and Gilpin, the co-stars similarly envision a long road ahead for the series, and they have their own ideas about what awaits each of their characters when they step off that bus in Vegas.

"Give me six seasons and I would be happy. We’ve done two, give me at least four more and I’d be a happy girl!" Brie tells THR. While Gilpin echoes, "I would do this show forever."
Six seasons ... and a movie? ;)
Amid all of the female stories to tell, however, Flahive and Mensch felt that with the show being set in 1985 Hollywood, Bash's sexuality deserved further exploration as well. During the second season, it is revealed that Bash's butler, Florian, died of an AIDS-related illness and that the relationship appears to be much deeper than he lets on in public.

"There is a reality in terms of what was going on in 1985 that felt important not only to not shy away from but to tell through the lens of our characters," Flahive says of Bash's storyline as the season goes. "If we have a character who is grappling, even unbeknownst himself, with where he is in terms of his identity, that felt like something incredibly strong. It’s something that we always talked about with Bash. There’s obviously a reason that he comes from a moneyed, Republican family; there’s tension there. In terms of GLOW being his brainchild, what does that mean for that guy? What is he trying to work through or repress? We’re trying to tell a pretty complicated story with Bash. Even though we have so many people, it felt really important."
I LOVE THIS SHOW. The story, the writing, the characters, the cast ... so, so good! My wife and I re-watched the first season before making our way through the second season, and this season really expands on the characters and the stories in a really impressive way. I could go on, but I'll stop to say that I'm heartbroken for Carmen at the end of this season.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:36 PM on July 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

Why heartbroken for Carmen, what did I miss???

OMG episode 8. "Don't kidnap, kidnapping is wrong to do!"

Just finished the last episode. So much to explore here. I loved it that when Sam hit on Ruth, she didn't go with it, and instead made a choice to pursue camera-guy. Healthier choices!
posted by bunderful at 7:29 PM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Carmen looked crushed that Bash married Brittanica - I think she'd been nursing a serious crush on Bash since he kissed her in front of her dad to convince him to let her wrestle, and he was crashing in her room for a while.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:59 AM on July 9, 2018 [6 favorites]

I loved it that when Sam hit on Ruth, she didn't go with it, and instead made a choice to pursue camera-guy. Healthier choices!

It's also great that the camera guy is just some guy she likes, seems pretty nice, but the relationship isn't like taking over her story and becoming her character's goal like a lesser show would do.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:43 AM on July 9, 2018 [8 favorites]

ChuraChura: Carmen looked crushed that Bash married Brittanica - I think she'd been nursing a serious crush on Bash since he kissed her in front of her dad to convince him to let her wrestle, and he was crashing in her room for a while.

Yup. She's crushed when Bash tells Rhonda "I've been coming to your room for weeks, sleeping on your floor, and I've just been trying to figure out how to tell you I'm in love with you. Look, I have trouble processing my emotions sometimes. Yes, ideally, I would have told you this weeks ago, and we'd go on a date and figure it out, but you know, maybe we do everything backwards." -- after all, Carmen and Rhonda have been sharing a room, and after that kiss, Carmen thought Bash might have been there for her.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 AM on July 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Last night when I logged into Netflix it asked me how many people I have talked to about GLOW in the last week. The highest option was 4 or more, which made me laugh. You think I would stop at 4?!
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:55 AM on July 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I binged it last night after having loved the first season and I loved this even more. I started out watching the last two episodes of S1 to remind myself where it all ended and perhaps that was a mistake as it made me stop crying nearly at the outset? I do a lot of crying with this show, along with cheering, it seems. It also reminded me how incredibly tight it all is - while I wish there were more episodes, the ones there are just jam-pack it all in.

Episode 8 was a thing of beauty. Legal weed and S2E8 might get me through 2018 tbh. Before I watched any of it I told my husband I hoped we all would survive 2018 and I might one day retire quietly to work on my pie game. Perhaps instead I should take it up now and just make Pies of Rage!

I felt so bad for Carmen when Bash proposed to Rhonda. I don't get the sense that he's actually bi- just that he's super in denial and mega-freaked out about being gay? One thing I mean to go back to is: he refers to Florian as his butler - and then we also get the sense there was more than that - but when he's looking at the box of stuff in his old bedroom, there's the photo of two boys with a wrestler and the picture is addressed to him and Florian. So were they childhood friends as well? Is that why Florian went to Bash's mom for escape $$?

I think we're supposed to root for Ruth and Sam but I kind of love Russell. He's sure to get thrown over and wrecked at some point but for now I'm rooting for him and Ruth to make it work. Surely there's SOME need for a cameraman at their Vegas show?!
posted by marylynn at 1:17 PM on July 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I finished S2 the other day and ... I enjoyed it, but it sure did have a lot of faffing about. I get that people really love the madcap E8, but it really didn't do it for me. Cringe Humor isn't really funny to me, and a lot of that episode seemed to be, "isn't this wacky and sort-of-bad?!" which just doesn't work for me. I felt like there was a lot of sag in the third-quarter of the season.

But overall I really liked the stories being told here. Women getting actual stories that don't depend on men, women in love with each other, women supporting each other, and poor, poor, fucking Bash. And Cherry and Keith, holy cow, they are just the best.

I really want a third season.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:12 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

uncleozzy: I finished S2 the other day and ... I enjoyed it, but it sure did have a lot of faffing about.

That was my father's impression, too, comparing the first season to what he'd seen of the second. I was so engaged with the personal stories that I didn't realize how much more things meandered in this season, but because I was engaged, I didn't care.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:26 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I almost stopped watching after the second episode because I couldn't stand how much of a dick Sam was being. I haven't watched the first season since it aired last year, so my memory isn't perfect, but it seemed like they took his character a few steps back. However, I really liked the emotional journey they took him on this season. He became more of a human being through his relationships with other people.

I also really liked how they had him respond to Ruth's #metoo moment. It felt believable - no, he's not a feminist, but he is a grump who hates powerful guys in suits.

I'm 50-50 on whether or not I think he and Ruth should get together. It's pretty obvious they would be terrible together, but it also seems plausible that they would. And the two actors do have great chemistry. It's fun to watch them together. However, I'd like to see both of them with people that are a bit more their equals. Ruth needs Sam's approval too much for it to be a good relationship. And Sam seems more suited to someone like Justine's mother (hmmmmmm).

Other thoughts:

- Someone upthread said the episode with Tammé and her son was painful, and it was - but I loved their relationship. It felt so real and lived-in, and also they love each other so much. I really loved the scene at the end, where he tells her that her character/the fight was offensive (and obviously it was!) but also expresses admiration for her strength and skill.

- I was pretty shocked that they (meaning the writers) let Justine leave because she's such a great character and so important to to the portrayal of Sam. But then when the whole crew left for GLOW it made more sense - she wouldn't have been able to just pick up and leave, and would Sam have been able to go without her? So I'm a bit annoyed they just kind of disposed with her this way, but maybe she'll get to come to Vegas for summer break or something.

- I thought the romance between Yolanda and Arthie was so sweet. I hope we get more insight into Arthie next season - the bits we've gotten have been so interesting.

- In last season's Glow post, I commented on how the show really stood out for allowing Debbie to be a total bitch but still sympathetic. I ... kind of feel like they blew past that this season. Is it just me, or was it totally clear that she injured Ruth on purpose? Coming on the heels of her humiliating Tammé, too. I liked the confrontation between Ruth and Debbie, but I thought it was a little odd that the whole matter of her breaking Ruth's ankle was just sort of dropped.

- I can't wait to see where they take Bash next season. Maybe he's bisexual, maybe he's gay. He's definitely not straight. I wonder what the gay scene was like in Vegas in the 80s?

- I loved when Sam told Ruth she would hate Vegas. She really, really will.
posted by lunasol at 11:48 AM on July 14, 2018 [7 favorites]

er, in the bullet point about Justine, I meant to say when the whole crew left for Vegas" not "GLOW." Oops!
posted by lunasol at 1:17 PM on July 14, 2018

Is it just me, or was it totally clear that she injured Ruth on purpose?

I think there’s on purpose and there’s on purpose — she definitely went too far on the hold, and it was definitely her doing it, not a freak accident or Ruth taking the hold wrong. But Debbie was also coked up and clearly didn’t know how much... more she was doing everything.
posted by Etrigan at 1:37 PM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I can't offer any sort of reasonable explanation for this, but even though I find watching a good actress (Sydelle Noel) pretending to be a bad actress (Cherry Bang) entertaining, watching a phenomenal professional wrestler (Kia Stevens / Awesome Kong / Kharma) pretend to be a middling wrestler (Tammé Dawson / Welfare Queen) is deeply uncomfortable to me.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 6:18 PM on July 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

You know what's missing from this GLOW? A Jackie Stallone character. Jackie Stallone having been part of the original GLOW as a manager of the wrestlers.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:16 PM on July 17, 2018

I know I'm late but I finished this at the gym today. This show is SO GOOD. I cried when Bash realized Florian died of AIDS (I love some bi visibility but it seems pretty clear Bash is a closeted- to others and somewhat to himself- gay character... This was the mid 80s! A very different time.) And I cried in the finale at everyone realizing themselves and not realizing themselves in their different ways.

One nice little touch this season has been Sheila's fans... and her ambivalence towards them.
posted by latkes at 7:24 PM on October 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also I hope the women of color characters get some multi episode arcs next season.
posted by latkes at 7:30 PM on October 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ep 6: I was *so happy* that Sam was pissed on Ruth's behalf.

Ep 8: "A good mannequin is hard to find-equin."
posted by Pronoiac at 1:25 AM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sam turning menchy was mixed for me. I thought it was great and within his character that he stood up to the rapey executive, but in general he just kind of gets softer and nicer in a way that takes me out of the reality they built.
posted by latkes at 7:15 AM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Trailer and poster!
posted by Etrigan at 8:36 AM on June 17, 2019

Just watched the trailer again and I am pumped!

- Every time I see Tammé do her slide under the ropes I am in awe once again
- the trailer is like "yes fans we ARE going to show you the non-straight relationships!"
- If Ruth & Marc Maron (sorry but if you want me to learn your character's name, make it Not You) have some kind of fling I will be so pissed. I don't want to get into my whole history of Bad Men in the Workplace but that is a thing - you think you're working together well, having a good time AS COLLEAGUES, and then suddenly he's like "I know I'm 100 years older than you and you're with someone age appropriate already but we don't hate each other so this must be romance"
- hairspray levels continue to be off the charts. Liberty Bell is like 24% hairsprayed hair.
- previously commented by me: You know what's missing from this GLOW? A Jackie Stallone character. Jackie Stallone having been part of the original GLOW as a manager of the wrestlers. Well well!
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:38 AM on July 9, 2019

Every time I see Tammé do her slide under the ropes I am in awe once again

You may already be aware of this (in fact, your use of “awe” suggests exactly that) but for anyone who isn’t:

The reason that Tammé moves like a pro is that she’s played by Kia Stevens, one of the most admired female wrestlers of the past couple decades (working primarily under the name Awesome Kong). I had been thinking that working on GLOW signaled her exit from professional wrestling work, but she made a surprise return at All Elite Wrestling’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view in May, and you should hear how the crowd absolutely loses its collective shit when she walks out on stage.

She’s just the best.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:16 PM on July 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

A friend of mine tried out to do stunt work for the first season, and she got to do some moves in an actual ring with Stevens, and I also absolutely lost my collective shit when she told me about it (I know someone who was told by Awesome Kong "Oh come on, hit me!"!).

I also got her to tell Chavo "My friend says you're the absolute worst", which he chuckled at.
posted by Etrigan at 1:26 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Re: Kia Stevens - I definitely know!

To expand: her slide is the smoothest, most effortless seeming move anybody does in this show, IMO. Probably due to a combo of her experience and talent. When she does it her whole vibe is "I own this ring".
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

In last season's Glow post, I commented on how the show really stood out for allowing Debbie to be a total bitch but still sympathetic...
This is what is most compelling for me (as a white guy, from whose perspective 99% of all entertainment is told) - the show is not about me. And it’s not told from my perspective - it’s like opening a window in a really stuffy room. That fresh air is delicious. (I had no idea Tamme was an actual wrestler, that’s bonkers - her character and portrayal is so effortless. I assumed she was an actor I’d seen forever in ‘character actor’ roles who was finally given a role equal to her talents. Her episode with her son was fucking awesome - to watch her “Welfare Queen” shtick through the eyes of her (horrified) son was painful and I can only imagine exactly how it would have played out.
Also, uh, Bash is gay isn’t he? I mean ok, maybe he’s not ... but ... well, I hope they bring his character in for a good landing.
Also also ... this is better tv, like Soprano’s and Deadwood have their power, no doubt, but this show means some day we’re going to get tv like that but not told by and for and about white guys, right? Because that’s gotta be the next step. I know I’m ready.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:26 PM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I really like Sam now, for the most part, and would fucking hate it if he and Ruth got together.

Outside of her family, about which we know very little other than that they were financially supporting her before G.L.O.W. cam a-calling, Ruth's most influential relationship in her life has obviously been with Debbie. Now, since the show is more through Ruth as a POV character than anyone else in the ensemble, we start off Season One with her - the self-hating, narcissistic, try-hard drama kid - as the "Homewrecker" who fucked up that relationship just about beyond repair. But as Season One continued on, it was clear that, no, Mark was the one who fucked that up, and while Ruth did a bad bad thing (twice) she was more or less incidental to Mark's indiscretions, but that Debbie found it much easier and less complicated to hate Ruth for it than her (ex-)husband, the far shittier and more manipulative person.

Then, Season Two rolls this back even further so that, by Episode Seven, we (and Ruth, finally) really understand that Debbie was feeding off of Ruth's insecurities and inferiority complex, that Debbie took on the show for myriad reasons but one of the big ones was that it gave her a venue in which to keep taking out her anger on Ruth, who by their established dynamic was seemingly going to take it forever.

(Side note: I love how, as awful as the leg-breaking moment was - for Ruth, for Debbie, for Sam, for Bash, for everyone - it did end up being the thing that got Ruth what she really wanted: respect from Sam, a thawing with Debbie, and actual, official creative input in the writing and direction of the show. And the crown, on top of all that. I mean, "What's the worst thing that could happen to a character? How could it end up being the best?" Is storycraft 101, and one of the Pixar Rules, but it's still awesome to see done well.)

Anyway, onto Ruth and Sam - they work well together, and have a fun chemistry in that regard, but 1.) he's an unstable and very moody cokehead. Ruth might not realize it, but the last time she dealt with someone close to her in that state, she got violently assaulted (not that I think Sam would hit her, but he's definitely the kind of guy who does shit and then comes back a day later with a half-assed apology.) But 2.) More importantly, Sam has been a major asshole who demeaned her, abused his position to punish her for trying to make the show better, and has had her hopping from one foot to the other for two seasons as she desperately seeks validation from him.

Now, Russell might turn out to be a sleaze, though we've seen nothing of that so far. But Russell liked her from the start, and has always only been nice and respectful to her, even when it's meant taking shit from an insecure and volatile Sam or Debbie.

More and more, good tv shows built on a working relationship between a man and a woman are making a point to never get them together - 30 Rock with Liz and Jack, Elementary with Sherlock and Watson, um... others - and I think that's where they're taking this as well. Sam and Ruth would be disastrously toxic together, and Ruth would take the lion's share of the damage from it while doing just about all the emotional labor. Ruth and Russell are on a much more even keel, and romance doesn't need to be the crux of drama here (and I like how Justine's "intensity" with Billy is used as a good counterpoint to how "uncomplicated" Russell is - "intense" ≠ "good" or "healthy," and every time we see Billy, he's a jackass.

Finally, I don't see any way to read Bash's S2 storyline other than that he was in love with Florian, in denial about what his feelings were (and possibly very chaste about the whole thing, honestly, given how uncomfortable he was in Shenanigans and upon learning of Florian's death) and, in his nightmare crisis surrounding the death, his feelings, the AIDS-panic, and his conservative upbringing, he swings into marrying Rhonda as his ripcord. She's beautiful, he likes her enough, and she's not in a position to say no, and since they've never had any previous romantic interactions, he's free (in his extremely Bash way) to be recklessly optimistic about everything. (Patrick Renna, who BTW has the best-ever Wiki page photo, was perfect casting for Cupcake, in that he's able to be pathetic but also quickly cast off any possible sympathy you might feel for him as he's being humiliated on television and having his dream ripped away from him.)
posted by Navelgazer at 3:02 PM on July 4, 2020

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