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GLOW S01 Ep05 Breakdown: “Debbie Does Something”

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As we open, Melrose is sneaking into the motel at dawn but is caught by Cherry.  Melrose quips, “Are we still doing this whole Richard Gere, Louis Gossett Jr. thing?”  That’s a reference to An Officer and a Gentleman for any young un’s reading this.  And the title of the episode is a reference to a famous ’70s porn film.  So now you know.

We’re back to the gym and Ruth’s desperation and desire to be liked has convinced her to put extra practice into learning how to wrestle.  She’s wrestling Carmen, and it looked to me like Alison Brie actually takes a suplex.  Holy crap is she committed to this show!  Her great acting and tiny frame really sells the wrestling sequences like she’s being destroyed.  She has to break kayfabe and give a thumbs up because otherwise, for us watching this show on Netflix, it looks like she’s really hurt.

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Okay, briefly for wrestling non-fans, “kayfabe” is the imaginary world within wrestling.  So although “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock murderously hate each other in kayfabe story terms, they will share a beer when the cameras are turned off.

Debbie is jealous of Ruth’s wrestling prowess.  Debbie is introduced to Glen from the network and has an embarrassing display of her non-skills.  Her entire wrestling repertoire is a sad-looking somersault.  We also learn that the show will air on Saturday mornings, so that eliminates most of Sam Sylvia’s show ideas.  To motivate her, Carmen takes Debbie to a wrestling show where she is seduced by the showmanship and pageantry of professional wrestling and also the hot bod of pro wrestler Steel Horse.  Debbie realizes wrestling is just a soap opera with body slams and she’s hooked.

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In the B plot, we learn that teenager Justine has the hots for Pizza Boy, who looks like the lead singer of A-ha in the “Take on Me” video.  I get that a houseful of girls under quarantine in a crappy motel would make them all pretty horny, because despite only exchanging pizza delivery pleasantries they don’t even leave the hotel room on their “date.” Come to think of it, Debbie and Steel Horse get into it awful quickly as well.  I guess it’s TV show short-hand, but it seems rather abrupt for both of these women.  Or I guess the 80s were a different time.

In another sub-plot, Ruth invents an evil Russian character that helps land Patio World as a sponsor.  This gets her into the good graces of Sam and they start a mutual friendship.  Oh, and Sam is now shagging Rhonda AKA Brittanica, the Smartest Woman in the World.

After sneaking back to the hotel the day after her dalliance with Steel Horse, Debbie tells Sam she’s in 100% on the wrestling show but needs a great heel.  Cue “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by The Scorpions and cut to credits.

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BOTTOM LINE: Man, there’s a lot of stuff going on in this show.  I like it.

Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch have a bunch of plates spinning and they are doing a skillful job of telling the stories and keeping things interesting.  When they give time to the ancillary characters, it’s terrific.  I mean, I just learned Justine AKA Scab the Punk Rocker’s name this episode.  When they have dumb sub-sitcom plots like last week, it’s not as good.  This show is also giving paychecks to a bunch of independent wrestlers, which I wholeheartedly approve of.  This is another 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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