Now on Patreon: GLOW Season Two Review

As you may know, I have a Patreon running to support this site. Patreon is a platform that allows you to personally and directly support creators and artists, and I’ll tell you that Patreon has been a game changer for me.

The way it works is that you become a subscriber of a creator, and in return you get exclusive content/goodies. The folks who subscribe to my Patreon at certain levels get exclusive content every week.

At $5 a month (that’s just $1.25 a week) you get a weekly recommendation from me. I try to keep it eclectic, so some weeks I’ll write about a book, some weeks about a game, some weeks about a TV show, some weeks about a podcast.

At $10 a month (only $2.50 a week! Less than coffee!) you get not only that weekly recommendation, you get a biweekly long review. All of my writing is longer, but I try to make the biweekly reviews meatier. Today I published 3000 words on GLOW season two for instance. This is how it begins:

Let us praise Netflix shows that don’t bulge with unwanted wasteful minutes, get lost with wheel-spinning wandering, or sag beneath wretchedly wooden and wearisome plots. Let us praise Netflix shows that come in at 30 or so minutes, that zip through stories and that leave us wanting more. Let us praise GLOW.

GLOW, loosely based on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling TV show, comes into its second season with its characters and situations established, and that allows it to move forward at a pace that would baffle the likes of leadfooted Matt Murdock or Luke Cage. The first season of GLOW had an infectious “Hey kids, let’s put on a show” vibe that propelled it forward through complication after complication; this year the show’s focus is more on the actual creative act. If season one was about getting into place to make a thing, season two is about artists finding their space to create and express themselves, and experiencing the consequences of that.

The biggest difference between this season and the last is that GLOW season two is much, much lighter; the first season included and abortion and a character unknowingly trying to sleep with his own daughter. Season two softens the character of Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), while also removing much of the darkness from Ruth (Alison Brie). The softening of Sam is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the season (along with limited screentime for the secondary characters, but more on that later) – season one proved that a show could take the traditional Bad Man trope and do something interesting with it when the Bad Man is not just free to be an endless asshole. Sam Sylvia was a piece of shit in season one, but characters we liked saw things in him that allowed us to like him; he was both a heavy and a hero (or a babyface and a heel, to use wrestling terminology), which made him unpredictable and interesting.

But in season two he’s mostly cuddly. He’s a dick at the beginning of the season (firing Marianne Palka’s Vicky the Viking (likely to free the actress to direct her latest film, EGG), but he quickly lets up. The in-story reasoning is that his daughter is now living with him, forcing Sam to reconsider his attitude, but it feels more like a retcon than anything else. The fact that he only found out Justine (Britt Baron) was his daughter after making a serious and gross pass at her is never once mentioned this season; the aftermath of that icky moment is unexamined. There’s no room for something that heavy in Sam’s story this season.

The full review is waaay more positive than that opening makes it sound. Maybe I should have pulled a section from the body of the piece. OH WELL.

Anyway, I’ll always publish stuff here on the site, but I currently have no plans to ever republish Patreon-only posts. So if you wanted to read “The Surprising Moral Complexity of Pumpkinhead” then a) you’re my kind of people and b) you gotta be a patron. It’s also where you’ll get reviews of new movies like RBG and A Quiet Place, as well as a deep dive into Paterson‘s spiritual underpinnings.

Of course you don’t have to do $10 a month. Your support at even $1 a month means the world to me. As my means become more limited this Patreon gives me the space to continue writing, which is what I think I was put on this Earth to do. Your $1 a month is not only a buck in my pocket, it’s a reassurance that you’re interested in hearing what I have to say as I continue this strange, confusing and sometimes very difficult journey.

If you want to become a patron, click here. If you don’t, this site will remain freely accessible to you!