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GLOW S01 Ep03 Breakdown: “The Wrath of Kuntar”

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We open with Sam typing up his masterpiece script.  It’s his vision of GLOW, a post-apocalyptic sex farce scenario with a half-cyborg Ogress, mutant lesbians, and a hideous bitch queen named “Kuntar.”  One guess who winds up playing Kuntar.  The girls keep mispronouncing it “Koon-tarr” in a funny running joke.

Sam is interrupted by his ex-wife, who’s come to pick up her dog.  Sam is the kind of guy who lies and tells his ex-wife their dog was run-over just to antagonize her.  He tells her, “I’ve had a week to process it.  But are you going to cry?”

Then we meet Bash who is a handsome, rich, and dopey trust fund guy sporting a Don Johnson white linen jacket with shoulder pads.  Bash is apparently the financial backer of GLOW and the real wrestling fan behind the operation. “Wrestling is an art, despite my mother’s opinion, which is wrong.”

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Bash seems disappointed that the girls aren’t doing powerbombs and DDT’s after two weeks.  Sam has the ladies perform the script he’s written for them.  The opening narration lays it all out: “In the year 1999, lost tribes of women wander the land scavenging for water, food, and an even more scarce resource, men.”  Bash is digging it.

I liked Ruth’s enthusiastic reaction to getting the Kuntar role.  She’s excited for any part, despite it being blatantly insulting to her.

Bash loses interest in the script and decides to bring all of the girls to his mansion in Malibu for a party with booze, an Asteroids arcade game, and a robot with a hidden drug stash.  Bash is the type of guy who decorates his house with a picture of Dolph Lundgren and an authentic Lichtenstein.

Debbie gets a helicopter ride with Bash, and all the girls jump into Melrose’s limo.  Ruth, the downer, tries to skip the party.  Cherry rides with Sam in order to discuss why she didn’t get any parts in his crappy screenplay.  The barely legal Justine turns out to be a fan of Sam’s serious film work, Oedipussy, Venus in Chains, and Blood Disco 1 and 2.  So she gets to ride along, too.  This is how we’re introduced to Sam’s real passion: producing schlocky sex farces.

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As you can imagine, things go awry at the party.  Sam and Bash have a fight over the creative direction of GLOW.  Bash is more interested in stereotypes and less backstory.  “The Iron Sheik, what’s his backstory?  He’s evil and he hates America.”

Sam briefly quits, until he’s quickly brought back with flattery from Ruth.  “You’re the director.  It’s your vision… Maybe your script is too complicated.”  Of course, telling Sam his garbage script is full of nuance and depth wins him over.

Debbie gets drunk and has to be put in a taxi home.  She mouths to Ruth, “You’re my best friend.”  And Bash and Sam bond as well.  Bash declares, “You make GLOW, and I’ll make any crazy time travel sex romp you want.”  Yeah, sure…  Sam, the B.S. artist, should be able to see through Bash the flake’s empty promises, but he’s so close to making his big movie that he doesn’t care.

Bash has a stack of  Halloween costumes for his wrestlers,  We get a funny montage of everyone’s tacky gimmicks.  Fortune Cookie the Asian, Beirut The Mad Bomber, Machu Picchu the Gentle Giant, and The Welfare Queen.  Debbie gets the gimmick of Liberty Belle, the All-American Gold Medalist.  Ruth’s psycho-sexual persona of “The Homewrecker” is a little too creepy for GLOW.  When Sam ask her what she thinks her character should be, we cut to credits.

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BOTTOM LINE: This was a very funny episode.  The funniest moment happens when Bash hands Melrose the Naughty Party Girl a whip. “You get me” she says, her voice subtly catching and eyes misting up.  Nice acting by Jackie Tohn, who takes a character that could be unbearable but humanizes her.

The real life analog to Bash is Meshulam Riklis.  He’s an Israeli businessman and was the financial backer of GLOW.  He declared he was worth a billion dollars (gee, where have I heard that before?), but when his investments started going under the IRS learned he actually owed $2.9 billion and he was forced to liquefy his assets.  The writers switched Sam and Bash’s personalities, as David McClane really loved wrestling and sports and Riklis was the fan of schlocky sex romps.  He’s the guy that married Pia Zadora and produced her entire movie career of prurient films where she gets naked a lot.  So that actually happened.  Riklis is still kicking at 93 years old, married to his third 40 years younger wife.  Anyway, this was a great episode.

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I am a professional writer living in Van Nuys, CA. I have spent the last 20 years honing my sarcasm writing for the internet. I have two cats, a dog and an imaginary hairless mole rat.

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