With yesterday’s announcement that “Orange Is the New Black” creator Jenji Kohan is executive-producing a dramedy about female professional wrestling for Netflix, it seems a prudent time to begin speculating about its merits. A 10-episode series about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling promotion, whose TV show ran from 1986–90, “G.L.O.W.” could be a lot of fun. Here’s why:
1.) The pedigree
Désolé, “House of Cards” apologists, but “Orange Is the New Black” remains Netflix’s best original show. Series creator Jenji Kohan has already shown great skill in sussing out the dynamics of a close-quarters, all-female environment most often associated with men, a talent that will lend itself well to “G.L.O.W.” She’ll also be joined by fellow “Orange” alumnae Tara Herrmann and Carly Mensch, a faction worthy of the Four Horsewomen.
2.) Pro wrestling’s cultural cachet is the highest it’s been in years
In the age of gifs and social media, it’s easier than ever for pro-wrestling agnostics to come across a sequence from New Japan Pro Wrestling so impressive it’ll remind even the “You know it’s fake, right?” crowd of the athleticism that goes into choreographed grappling. Women’s wrestling is particular is insane in the best way possible, as anyone who watches Stardom can attest. No one has fully capitalized on that yet, and Netflix stands to do it first.
3.) The subject matter already served as the basis for a well-received documentary
“G.L.O.W.: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” covered the factual end of things a few years ago, winning acclaim for its real portrayal of an unreal world. If Kohan and her collaborators can tap into that spirit, they’ll be off to a good start.
4.) Netflix is big enough to do small shows right
With a diverse slate of original series ranging from “Bojack Horseman” and “Master of None” to “Jessica Jones” and “Bloodline,” the streaming giant has shown that it isn’t afraid to go niche. This should free up showrunners Mensch and Liz Flahive to bring their subject matter’s weirdness to the fore without toning it down for mass appeal.
5.) G.L.OW. itself
Just watch the show’s opening sequence and tell me that G.L.O.W. isn’t the perfect source material for a Netflix comedy.