Why Glow: Season 2 Will Cure Your Marvel Malaise
Keeping up with the Netflix Marvel shows has gotten harder, as the shows I like — especially Luke Cage — heavily involve moments from The Defenders, which I couldn't get through (too much Iron Fist). Credit: Erica Parise/Netflix
Each of those seasons lasts at least 8 hours and feels like a slog if you're not fully engaged. Making matters worse, the best superhero shows are built around great villains, and some shows (Jessica Jones) haven't felt as strong once they've killed off their best baddies. If you're feeling this burnout, though, I've got a solution.
The second season of Glow just hit Netflix this past weekend, and I found it to be an extremely pleasant alternative to another superhero marathon. First of all, you don't lose any of the over-the-top characters (Alison Brie thrives as Zoya The Destroyer) or the drama (Ruth and Debbie are still having trouble working together).
That friends-turned-rivals connection between Ruth and Debbie is still the incredibly meaty core of the series, and it gets even better in Season 2. The power dynamic between the two shifts as Debbie lobbies for backstage power, and Ruth still struggles to figure out what it will take to get their friendship back (if it's at all possible). For me, it's just as good as, if not better than, anything Matt Murdock has with Foggy or Karen.
Glow's second season may be an hour longer than its first, but it paces its 10, 30-minute episodes fast enough that the show will be over before you realize it. But that doesn't mean there's no substance.
The episode focusing on Kia Stevens' character, Tammé — who dons furs and cliches when she hits the ring as The Welfare Queen — is one of the standouts of the season. Far more heartfelt than I expected, it deals with how offensive her wrestling persona (aka her "gimmick") is. Credit: Erica Parise/Netflix
It was especially important for Stevens to get an important episode, as she didn't get as much to work with in the first season. And at times, it's felt like she's only been on the show to give it some bona fides, as she's the only series regular with experience as a pro wrestler.
The season even devotes time to showing the role race plays in the workplace, as the white Stacey and Dawn get to evolve their characters, while Indian-American Arthie's stuck in the depressingly stereotypical role of Beirut, the Mad Bomber. Unfortunately, Arthie herself doesn't get as much spotlight this season, beyond a pleasant romantic storyline — something I hope Glow gets to in Season 3.
So, if you're having trouble slogging through Marvel's heroes on Netflix, consider Glow as a easy-to-binge alternative. Its first season is just as easily watched, as it takes only 4 hours — about as much time as it took me to know I didn't care about Iron Fist.