'Glow' Season 2 continues to be the beacon of feminism it did not set out to be last year
For years Hollywood hesitated to hire more one leading lady, because they supposedly feared cat fights and hostile sets, instigated by them.
Our time – the current time – will be defined by the #MeToo movement, the stories of minorities that those in power tried to silence and by the popular culture that reflected these tectonic shifts in society. One of the shows that truly define and embody this period, without even really trying to be the voice of feminism, is Netflix's 'Glow,' which stars 15 beautiful, strong and talented women, whose chemistry on-screen is nothing short of magical.
For years Hollywood hesitated to hire more one leading lady because they feared catfights and hostile sets. However, as is evidenced in Ryan Murphy's 'Feud,' from the dawn of showbiz, it was the men in power that made women feel threatened by other women, by feeding into their fear that there is only room for one at the table, thereby fuelling these "cat fights."
Even as time has changed, more and more women are working behind and in front of the camera. There are many more stories to be told by women, and roles to be portrayed by them as well. Women started remembering how to respect each other's success and celebrate them, as well. It is this very celebration that we see with the women of 'Glow.'
All of these diverse women - from Britney Young's sweet giant Machu Picchu to Sunita Mani's Beirut the Mad Bomber, who is forever trying to shrug off the racist stage character - bring something different to the table and each of them understand this and respect each other enough to elevate themselves from the traps of "catty women can't work together" stereotype.
Britney tells Meaww that the miscommunication that leads to fights on sets is something all the girls were wary about and strived to avoid from the very beginning. First off, they decided to not be cliquish, which can cause a lot of damage in a group as large as theirs.
"We don’t want there to be issued amongst us girls, where everyone will be celebrated. I think the wrestling really helped with that. I think because we came in and learned a new skill, where basically – not to sound dramatic – you really have to trust these women with your life," she explains.
This trust allowed for them to explore a different kind of communication channel that was powered by their vulnerability, says Britney. "We are close friends. We do have issues. But instead of blowing up at each other or talking behind each other's backs, we just sit down and have a conversation with each other and we figure it out."
It is commonplace for people to look at problems within a group of women and say "Oh no, they are upset with each other? Catfight." But, the reality is that when they are upset with each other, "They're gonna talk it out," says Britney, adding, "I think that trust and vulnerability really does show on camera. Like I said we really are friends and that does translate that way on screen as well."
This is, in fact, the very lesson that not only 'Glow,' but also movies such as 'Pitch Perfect' and 'Ocean's 8' showed us. What sets the Netflix show apart is that with each episode of each season we get to truly explore the nuances of feminism – even if the showrunners did not intend to do them.
As Britney vows, "pushing an agenda," especially that of feminism is not something 'Glow' has on its vision board. When you are narrating the stories of these diverse set of women, their particular problems and solutions would naturally fall under the umbrella of feminism, and that is what makes the show all the more appealing.
"We are bringing up issues that women are dealing with both in the 1980s and now as well. I think that is was what happened last season where people were like 'Oh no, a feminist show!' No, we are not purposely bringing up these specific things to be a feminist show, we are bringing up these things because these are the things that women deal with ipso facto, it's talking about feminism," says the 'Glow' star.
In the previous season, the show delved deeply into Ruth's unwanted pregnancy and the impending dilemma of pro-life and pro-choice, extra-marital affairs and Debbi's decision to divorce and Carmen's fight to prove to her father that she deserves to be a wrestler just as much as her brothers. Not going too much into spoilers, season 2 continues to say similar stories.
We see a woman's resolution to be heard in a roomful of men who make professional decisions over drinks and smokes, a woman's conflict within about a #MeToo moment that may have destroyed not only her career but that of those near and dear to her, a woman's fight to prove to her family that every humiliating aspect of her job also allows her to put food on their plates and cash in their accounts.
"We aren't bringing up these issues because the #MeToo movement is happening. We are bringing up these issues because that's what women deal with. And, I am really proud about that," says Britney. "Just like the abortion issue last year. We are not saying abortion is right or wrong, we are just saying this is what this woman went through and this is what she had to deal with. And, I think that's great, saying stories as they are without taking a side."
Even something as controversial as the #MeToo scene in season 2, a lot of people will be surprised to see how different characters react to this and really what they have to go through.
Season 2 of 'Glow' has gone above and beyond the expectations, we had for it based on Season 1. From romances to broken hearts to constipation to baby mama drama, it has everything you hoped for and then some. You can dive in for the comedy and stay for the drama.
'Glow' season 2 is available for streaming on Netflix currently.