Monday, August 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'GLOW' - Sam Struggles to Let People In Even When Trying to Get Justine's Script Produced in 'Hollywood Homecoming'

Netflix's GLOW - Episode 3.07 "Hollywood Homecoming"

Sam takes Justine to meet with studio execs, Birdie arrives in Las Vegas to spend time with her daughter-in-law, and Debbie makes a new friend.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's GLOW.

"Hollywood Homecoming" was written by Victor Quinaz and directed by Alison Brie

Sam has left Las Vegas. He is still getting money from GLOW as a producer. He is just no longer doing any work on the project. He has gone back to Hollywood in order to help Justine sell her screenplay. This season has so far been very isolated to Las Vegas and the Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino where GLOW is currently playing. It has analyzed what it's been like to be in this environment for a long period of time. It has dragged on for some of the performers. They have had to come up with creative solutions for their problems. And now, the first escape from that world is a father-daughter adventure that doesn't feel all that original. It may be a result of Sam and Justine no longer having agency in this world. Their personal dynamics are well entrenched with the other main characters. Sam will always be important because of the lingering questions about his relationship with Ruth. Justine mostly comes and goes from the narrative at will. She no longer needs support from Sam or needs to be a part of GLOW. As such, their corner of this episode really brings the narrative down. It's only a significant story when Sam has a heart attack. That moment proves that even though he has worked to better his life and health he is still at risk of dying at any moment in time. He is choosing to keep that to himself as well. He is too caught up in his own drama to realize just how far people are still willing to go for him. That's selfish and destructive but still amounts to a celebration here. Justine sells her screenplay with Sam set to direct. Plus, Sam's heart attack may just be an early warning sign. That just makes it clear that all of this may be important at some point. The show is just struggling to give this as much importance as the various adventures currently happening in Las Vegas. It's significant to see Debbie as a mother once more. Sure, it's incredibly dangerous and reckless that she just allows Randy to roam the hallways of the hotel without much supervision. That may lead her back to Toby Huss' Tex but only after a terrifying moment where she fears she may have lost her son. That's a relationship that could flourish into something more mature and substantial for Debbie. It's something different from the pattern she has embraced this season. But it's also empowering to see her as a more manic woman who is no longer afraid to speak up and give people a piece of her mind. She has no problem taking advantage of Bash's sudden inability to speak. He is resting his voice and she tells him exactly what she thinks of the constantly evolving business model of the show. Of course, the episode also misses out on Debbie asking Ruth to babysit Randy. Debbie coming home to her friend and son both asleep is the only time Alison Brie is seen here because she is busy also directing. And yet, it should be a big deal. Ruth just told her that she still feels awkward talking about Debbie's family despite how good things have gotten between them. It's good enough that Debbie trusts her son with Ruth now. That just feels like a missed opportunity. Meanwhile, Birdie descends on this town to interrogate the legitimacy of Bash and Rhonda's marriage. That's a story that showcases how easy it is to be swayed by Rhonda. She manages to win over hearts and minds wherever she goes. She is so endearing. Plus, she may actually be a good influence on Bash. Of course, that comes with the understanding that she'll be a better wife than he'll be as a husband. And yet, she also understands perfectly well how people try to take advantage of him and that he doesn't know how to manage his money. Rhonda showcasing her practical skills is enough to prove that she hopes to be a good influence on Bash for a long time. But again, there is the sinking feeling that Bash having access to millions of dollars now will only further compound the problems he has in his life and with his production business.