Monday, August 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'GLOW' - Ruth Feels Stuck in Place in Her Career While Her Friends Keep Passing Her By in 'Keep Ridin'

Netflix's GLOW - Episode 3.08 "Keep Ridin'"

As Ruth grapples with major doubts about her path in life, Bash and Rhonda go on a spending spree, and Cherry and Carmen pick up a new side gig.

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.

"Keep Ridin'" was written by Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch & Sasha Rothschild and directed by Lynn Shelton

This season has notably featured less wrestling. That was absolutely a creative decision made in order to highlight the repetition of the Las Vegas show. The women of GLOW are essentially performing the same routine every single night. As such, there are fewer reasons to see them in the ring. It's the same show that the audience has seen before. Whenever there is some new or creative idea, the action certainly has the ability to get back in the ring to see these women perform. They all still have these wrestling skills. But now, it's clear that the show is moving to a more introspective place as everyone wonders just how far they are willing to go with GLOW and what their futures might hold. Debbie is realizing and trying to accept the fact that her future may be in producing instead of acting. She no longer sees the validation that can come from being the face of a new show. Instead, she sees the passion that comes from helping someone else put together a show without having the pressure all on her shoulders to deliver. That allows her to spend more time with a full and bright personal life. Things are continuing to go well with Tex while Randy is still in Vegas with her. Meanwhile, Ruth doesn't have that same clarity. She has always been searching for her path in life. And now, she's jealous that Sheila may pass her by as an actress. She feels as if she is constantly getting shown up by her friends who are simply better than her. Debbie is right to tell her she shouldn't see it as a competition. Ruth still has the potential to do so much more. But again, it mostly feels like she is sticking with certain decisions and relationships simply because it's easier to stay with the status quo. She is still dating Russell despite him now getting an offer to be a camera operator on a film shooting in Spain. She is also still filling out performance sheets after each show and sending them to Sam. She does so not knowing if there is any value to them whatsoever. GLOW passes the 200th episode mark. This has been a long and lengthy run. Seeing the show depict the passage of time at the start of this episode is visually stunning. It feels as if the rest of the world is moving so quickly while Ruth continues to feel terrifyingly stuck in the present. She is happy with what she has. But it no longer consumes her in a rewarding way. She aspires to be a good friend and help people when they need it. She just has these self-doubts as well. She fears that she may never make it on this path in life. It's also fascinating how the show chooses to not depict the fortune she gets from a psychic on the side of the road. Instead, it immediately confirms that she can still get new offers for different projects. She still has Sam's support in Hollywood even though she hasn't heard from him in months. Getting an offer for the film Sam and Justine are making will be a huge boost of confidence for Ruth. It just means having to navigate these personal emotions in a much more blatant and direct way. That's good because people can't keep living in the fantasy of their lives. Melrose believes she controls the terms of her new romance with Paul. But she's still paying him for sex. Bash and Rhonda may be planting down roots in Las Vegas as both producers and home owners. But Rhonda fears that Bash may no longer be interested in her in the same way that he was earlier in their marriage. And Cherry is using gambling in order to avoid confronting any of the issues in her marriage to Keith. But now, she has racked up a huge debt and has Carmen mud wrestle her in the hopes of paying it off. Life in Las Vegas isn't perfect. It can either illuminate a better path forward for these characters. Or it could destroy what they've built for their lives as of late.