GLOW: Say Yes
August 10, 2019 11:15 AM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The third season of Netflix's GLOW was released on August 9, 2019.

(Spoiler warning for all these links) CNN says it's a 'less flattering' portrayal of life in the '80s, and The Atlantic says it's 'post-plot.' Vulture says it's 'deeper and even better, and Indiewire calls it an 'incredible triumph.'
posted by box (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I love this show so much. I watched eps 1-8 yesterday and finished it just now. I don't want to jump into details just yet in case anyone comes into this thread having only watched part of the season and maybe they don't want the very first comment to be spoilery. This had so much and I'm happy to see them continue to develop the characters even further. I'm already craving more.
posted by acidnova at 2:09 PM on August 10 [4 favorites]

Episode 6. OH MY GOD.

today I was like "eh, got nothing much to do, I'll just have it on the background, probably won't even be able to get into it."

So much to talk about.
posted by bunderful at 2:12 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]

I very much loved Sheila's arc this season.

I very much meh'd whatever it is they are trying to do with Ruth and Sam. Enough. I really don't care about anything related to Sam anyway, so I was happy to see so many Sam-free (Samless?) episodes.

I very much loved everything about the Christmas episode. That bit with Ruth and Carmen at Scrooge's tombstone was beyond genius. And Cherry made me cry!

And I'm always happy to see Geena Davis!
posted by mochapickle at 2:18 PM on August 11 [6 favorites]

I'm always happy to see Toby Huss!

(and Geena Davis, always, but I guess I'm not that far yet)
posted by porpoise at 7:38 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]

Not completely congruent, but Geena Davis' character is very analogous to my work situation right now.

Our Sandy Devereaux St. Clair looks more like a younger Mitch McConnell and less an older Geena Davis, though.
posted by porpoise at 10:00 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]

Ooof. Don't you make me picture McConnell in a fabulous Bob Mackie original, now.

(Too late!)
posted by mochapickle at 9:58 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]

I love this show very much. My favorite thing is how little actual wrestling is in it because watching people do wrestling is one of my least favorite sensory experiences.

I was wondering when that wig was on fire if they were going to mention the terrible smell (not really).

I like Sam and Justine. I think Sam is an interesting character (I dunno maybe he just reminds me of my dad a little, they both smoke Marlboros) and I like Marc Maron as an actor but he makes a lot of sense to me as a grizzled 80s guy and I'm not sure his whole thing would make as much sense to me in a nowadays thing.

I still have 2 episodes to go maybe I will remember the other thing I was going to say.
posted by bleep at 10:02 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


I don't get Ruth at the end. Didn't she want to direct from the beginning? Why does she suddenly not want to? Is there something I missed? I'm totally confused.

And the Rhonda and Bash thing.. that was also oddly unresolved. I mean, I thought it was going to end up with them doing an open marriage arrangement so he could stay in the closet while they stayed married -- but that didn't come up at all. And we didn't get Rhonda's reaction to him wanting to stay married -- is she relieved and resigned? or is she about to tell him there's no way it will work?

I don't know, it just doesn't feel like the typical wrap up a bunch of loose strings and then present a new conundrum as cliffhanger for the next season sort of thing. It's like the strings didn't actually get tied. Except for Debbie. That was satisfying af.

I totally loved it, though. Binged it over 3 nights. I actually like the wrestling because I like the athleticism it shows off, so I could have done with more of that, but there were some great moments of choreography nonetheless.
posted by antinomia at 10:46 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]

I really don't care about anything related to Sam anyway

Ha the best moment was before their first big match, when Sam tries to give his awkward motivational speech over the intercom in the girls dressing room and Debbie walks over and just cuts it off mid-sentence so she can give her own...they share your sentiment.
posted by windbox at 10:57 AM on August 12 [3 favorites]

Man, I hope Netflix doesn’t do the Netflix thing and cancel this so we don’t get a fourth season. I want more time with these women.
posted by rewil at 12:26 PM on August 12 [5 favorites]

I don't get Ruth at the end. Didn't she want to direct from the beginning? Why does she suddenly not want to?

The way Debbie set up the proposal (specifically the “if X was going to happen, it would have already” part) felt really dismissive.

If someone tried to sell me on a new gig but positioned it as a consolation prize, I can see myself reacting like Ruth did.
posted by FallibleHuman at 1:27 PM on August 12 [7 favorites]

Success means something different for each of them. For the entire show so far they both fight but for different things: Ruth for artistic integrity; Debbie for a seat at the table.

There's a bit in the horse-riding episode where Ruth wants to go back to LA and "find a little theater and do a play." Debbie's not into it - to her that would be going backward. She says "I want my life to get bigger, not smaller" - she doesn't care about playing great roles and she'd be okay if Liberty Belle was her last role. Ruth challenges her - points out Debbie says she wants to be a real producer but she's not actually doing anything about it. Later that episode Debbie offers to produce Bobby's charity event and Ruth gets a call about an audition for Justine's movie.

Debbie keeps growing from there while Ruth keeps floundering. She loves acting but she's watching Sheila's talent emerge and realizing how much better Sheila is. Ruth fails an audition that seems like a sure thing. She flakes on an opportunity to act with Sheila.

My thought/hope when she got Debbie's offer was that it made her realize what she *does* want and she's going to move in that direction. Maybe directing, but serious theater?
posted by bunderful at 7:38 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]

I've always been a fan of Alison Brie, but she really evolves to another level in G.L.O.W.

The makeup taking off scene in e08 and her utter fatigue really re-grounds the show that this is a gruelling performance and a precarious opportunity after the 'vacation' episode a couple back.

I really feel that her "outward face" is similar to her Annie Edison role in 'Community,' but her Ruth Wilder role is obviously so much deeper than that she's just wearing the Annie-face. Her "inner face" comes out slowly, as is natural for someone who feels vulnerable and needs to put on armour to protect themselves from the world.

Such a great snapshot of the 80's - big-assed shoulder pads, heavy makeup, the greed-is-good/ ostentatious displays of wealth, big hair, boxy suits, wrestling/ kayfabe. All of it armour against the real world.

Gayle Rankin/ Sheila's storyline has been super so far; I loved her treadmill bit that ended with her eyeballing the trainer - then turning it up another magnitude of a notch. Interesting counterplay with her getting a bit of heat stroke (in her furs/ wig) on a hike culminating in "it was holding me back."

Sunita Mani/ Arthie feels authentic from an immigrant (from a very conservative origin) and non-straight experience. Elen Wong/ Jenny less so, but I wasn't around during the Vietnam War, and I'm of a similar but very different ethnicity/ experience/ background. But that was kind of the point (mishmash of stereotypes because they are based on many different cultures - but are/were just lumped together as "yellow people"). I've developed a huge crush on Jackie Tohn/ Melanie this season; the empathy and muddling around trying to take off her armour and opening up vulnerability. Model of how to learn and change - but also confronting likely responses/ pushback to trying to figure out what to change into. This was a nice bit by the writers (although the setup was pretty argy/ annoying).

Marianna Palka/ Reggie is just fucking awesome. As is Britney Young/ Carmen. Kate Nash/ Rhonda has been great, too - wondering how/ where they go with her and Bash. Her dealing with Birdie was a little too pat/ Rhonda more savvy than is expected. Kind of expecting Birdie to completely trash Rhonda in an underhanded way by the end of the season.
posted by porpoise at 8:01 PM on August 12 [3 favorites]

Omg that article is wonderful, thanks for posting it!
posted by antinomia at 1:54 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]

Mr. Freedom is an acting professor, and we had this conversation during the Sheila-Ruth scene read in episode 8:

Him: Did Sheila bring a pencil to that rehearsal? God, what I wouldn’t give for my students to show up to rehearsals with a fucking pencil.
Me: They both have pencils.
Him: Gaaaaaaaaaaaah.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:25 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]

I really appreciate the reduced focus on Marc Maron, we can continue to reduce that focus. I also am interested in a further reduced focus on Ruth and Debbie.

That said I find this show so fun -- Freaky Tuesday was great, I loved Geena Davis -- I just want there to be a lot more of it, in particular more of the other characters (Carmen, Cherry, Tamme -- and to a lesser extent Sheila and Arthie). I think they've never figured Melrose out.

I'm interested in Rhonda's secret competence, and unsurprised by Debbie's -- I like her arc overall, though the baby seemed to be mostly about plot convenience as he disappeared.

For a while I thought the Arthie thing was going to be her coming out as bi, feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Here's hoping for another renewal.
posted by jeather at 6:16 PM on August 13

The Cherry and Keith reunion surprise Santa thing sounds by-the-numbers hacky when described without context but it was the beeest

Bashir Salahuddin played Keith breaking down into tears in the fight with Cherry so well, not enough media lets men cry like that and he went full vulnerable ugly cry hurt and it was a perfect choice and execution. And Sydelle Noel nailed Cherry being adrift after things blew up. I didn't realize I was so invested in those two until the Santa thing and then oh man, I am in the tank for their marriage.

Also I always assumed Cherry Bang was a professional name and didn't think about it but I guess Keith's name is Keith Bang? And that's just excellent.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:08 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]

Ruth at the end

Debbie's deal with Bash behind it; Ruth maybe felt like she was an afterthought - she had nothing to do with the deal nor had any say as to her role in the new gig (and likely no new real authority once employed in the new gig, despite a new role). Ruth knows Deb well enough that all the bs that she's had to put up with - Deb will just pick up the bullshit and employ it like those who did to her.

I don't know, I got a real "I'm tired, I need some away time" vibe from Ruth - but maybe a good vacation can turn that around. Or not. Can't say, don't know what way the writers are going to go, or if they're going to be even given a chance.

Not convinced that Ruth is actually in love with Sam, though. She might be able to convince herself that she is, but deep down? Dunno.

As a series ending, I'm ok with the this and the previous episode. Nothing mindblowing, but reasonably satisfied. There are enough loose ends that another season could make sense - the Bash-owned station for one. This is right before the big 80's financial crash, right? Could even play into that.
posted by porpoise at 10:11 PM on August 13

Cherry Bang

Interesting. Bang is a rare-ish surname used in Scotland and the Scandanavian region.

It's also a very common surname anglicized from Hangul/ Korean.

Where Keith got 'Bang' as a surname is another story, maybe a legacy from the slave trade?
posted by porpoise at 10:19 PM on August 13

I suppose from Ruth's perspective, Debbie had gotten further than her as an actor and has the talent and connections and profile to still progress as an actor, and to casually throw away something that Ruth would do anything to have while encouraging her to do the same like it's nothing has to cut deep. Especially since Debbie is oblivious to how it would make Ruth feel!

Also, I would watch the boring comfy sweatpants of a relationship that is Ruth/camera guy over Ruth/angry man-child Sam any day.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:31 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]

Maybe Cherry and Keith both go by professional names and Bang isn't their real last name but it's still great. Bang! So exciting! But also - Keith! So Keith.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:33 PM on August 13

I don't get Ruth's behavior at the end the same way I don't think I would ever understand anyone in their early 30s choosing to continue to "pursue their artistic dream" and turning down an actual job opportunity that will make them actual money, but also I'm a soulless ghoul. But especially when it's getting a right fucking sweet-ass directing gig! Where you're buddy-buddy with the network president! It all felt forced, it's not like she was being offered a job as an accountant or something and being asked to sell out entirely.

Don't know, man! Love the show but I would have taken that gig, that said the 80s were a different time maybe and people weren't as concerned as losing everything and going homeless and dying destitute - like maybe there was less anxiety about stability?
posted by windbox at 9:22 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Windbox I suspect so - that stability was less of a concern in the 80s. I don't know about LA but I know that in NYC it used to be possible to survive waiting tables, temping and whatnot while pursuing one's passion - at least that's what some of the old-timers told me. I never asked about specific decades but I assumed 70s and 80s.

But personally I agree - I think you can give passion a shot when you're young but really you need money to survive.

Finally figured out the song playing in the Christmas Carol show - Erasure's She Won't Be Home.
posted by bunderful at 8:43 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]

I don't get Ruth's behavior at the end

Seconded, mostly. I felt like the way she was offered the role was a bit insulting. "If it was going to happen, it would have happened by now" is harsh. As a follow-on to losing the movie role, she wasn't ready to hear that.

But it also felt like "tune in next season..." Which I hope we can, and I hope Netflix doesn't kill this show that is still firing on all cylinders as far as I'm concerned.

TBH I don't want Ruth to wind up with camera guy or Sam. I really hope they put the Ruth/Sam thing to rest and give her a better match. Or just not have to focus on a romantic relationship at all! That could happen, right?

Huge love for Geena Davis and I hope she's back if they get another season. Really enjoyed this season, ready for more.
posted by jzb at 6:42 AM on August 15

TBH I don't want Ruth to wind up with camera guy or Sam. I really hope they put the Ruth/Sam thing to rest and give her a better match. Or just not have to focus on a romantic relationship at all! That could happen, right?

The more I think about it, the more I believe that they don't intend for Ruth to wind up with Sam, or with the cameraman for that matter. This season has Ruth flailing in absolutely everything she does -- the show is on autopilot, she has nothing more to explore with her character, she writes up a whole notebook of production notes that no one ever reads or reacts to, she sees Sheila giving acting -- Ruth's longtime dream -- a try and connecting to it in a way Ruth hasn't been able to in some time...

She's drawn to Sam in part because Sam gives her the freedom to who she is, and he respects her for it, and she's not finding that respect anywhere else, even though she's starving for it.

And I think a big theme of this season is wanting to be/wanting respect for who you truly are:

- Debbie realizing that for all of her natural head for business, when it comes down to it, she's just arm candy and knowing she can do more.
- Jenny seeing Melrose in the Fortune Cookie role and finally being able to articulate her internally developing conflict with how she and Asians in general are regarded in 1980s America, and how her role perpetuates and deepens it.
- Cherry wanting to please Keith with a family, but wanting him to fully understand that carrying a child would be a hardship for her.
- Rhonda as a new wife wanting to feel like she's desired as a newlywed and in a legitimate, caring partnership with a future.
- Tammé risking her health beyond repair so she can continue the regular acting work she's finally been able to find after decades of wanting to be an actress.
- Arthie wanting to be accepted on her own terms as she figures out who she is, while Yolanda feels Arthie doesn't fully grasp the danger of being a lesbian and respect how she's tried to protect them both.
- Carmen knowing she could do things bigger and better, but feeling limited with GLOW so ends up seeking that out with her brother's show.

Anyway, when it boils down to it, I think Sam is a learning experience for Ruth. He's that awful ex who leaves you spinning in anger and confusion but from the safety of hindsight helps you figure out what you really want.
posted by mochapickle at 12:09 PM on August 15 [6 favorites]

What is the source of the "my mother and the bricklayer" monologue that Sheila delivers at the fundraiser?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:12 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]

It’s Miss Julie by Strindberg.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:15 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]

I have never dyed my hair so I don't understand, is there a reason that wolf girl would spend all that time dyeing her black hair blond and then cover it with a black wig? I understand the wig but why go to the store and buy the kit and put on the gloves and spend the time?
posted by bleep at 12:00 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]

OK I have watched the whole thing now and I'm back with my non-flip opinions.

She's drawn to Sam in part because Sam gives her the freedom to who she is, and he respects her for it, and she's not finding that respect anywhere else, even though she's starving for it.

Yeah, I think Sam & Ruth would actually be a good match for each other, and maybe if Justine had not had called Ruth in to read things would have worked out for them. But that's the way life is sometimes. I for one think Sam is a decent guy just out here doing his best like everyone else, I don't know why everyone else gives him such a hard time.

(I think the rest of your comment is on point as well mochapickle!)

I think Carmen will be back for Debbie's new thing, but I think it was good for her to make the decision to move on also.

I understand what Ruth did at the airport too. Ruth in the pilot was ready to do anything to be an actress, diving in head first to this crazy wrestling show. Seeing everyone around you get what they want and live their dreams while then being told point-blank that no, for you, that's not possible, sorry. It's a real punch to the gut. She's been working her ass off for validation and recognition this whole time and getting nothing, and then, right at the end, to hear from her best friend who had this big "chase you down at the airport" moment just to say she's not going to be making her dream come true, because she doesn't deserve it, I could really picture myself in that situation saying no, enough is enough, my ego can't really take this much punishment, I must do something that I want to do soon or I will die.

It would have been just as easy for Debbie to say sure, you want to be in it, of course you can, Zoya really saved all our asses and we need you to do it again! That's probably all Ruth needed to hear.
posted by bleep at 2:43 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]

Although the fact that Ruth was apparently so upset by what happened with Sam that she couldn't show up for Sheila kind of suggests that maybe Ruth doesn't have what it takes to be an actor after all and Debbie is right.
posted by bleep at 5:34 PM on August 17 [3 favorites]

I think you're right. Ruth's real skill is directing, if anything, and not acting, and she is probably beginning to realize that deep down, and it's probably killing her.

Ruth must be continually astonished by how easy things seem for Debbie, and how Debbie can take or leave work that Ruth would've loved to have, would have dedicated herself to. Debbie cuts her losses before they become losses.

So to have Debbie accept that a serious and successful acting career isn't likely Ruth's future before Ruth does... double ouch.
posted by mochapickle at 6:10 PM on August 17 [4 favorites]

At the same time, letting her be in the silly wrestling show if she wanted would probably have been a better move on Debbie's part, the whole Liberty Belle/Zoya dynamic was Ruth's idea.
posted by bleep at 6:47 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]

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