Though previously nominated for two Satellite Awards, the major awards attention came in earnest for “GLOW” from the Broadcast Television Journalists Association on Dec. 6 when it nominated the show for four key Critics Choice Awards: comedy series, comedy actress (for Alison Brie), supporting comedy actress (for Betty Gilpin), and supporting comedy actor (for Marc Maron).
That proved to set a trend that the Writers Guild followed just the next day when announcing the nominees for their 70th annual WGA Awards. “GLOW” scored noms for both comedy series and new series there.
When the 75th annual Golden Globe Award nominations were announced on Dec. 11, “GLOW” walked away with only one nom — but a key one — for leading comedy actress Brie.
SAG rounded out the list with comedy and stunt noms for the ensemble, as well as comedy actress for Brie and comedy actor for Maron. With these four, “GLOW” ties HBO’s star-studded “Big Little Lies” and Netflix’s buzzy sci-fi drama “Stranger Things” for the most noms for this ceremony. A win for “GLOW” in the comedy ensemble category would be particularly big because it would mean taking out category heavyweight (and fellow Netflix comedy) “Orange Is the New Black,” which won the last three consecutive years.
“Everyone put everything they had into Season 1, and we all had such a creatively rewarding experience that the award love feels like icing on the cake,” co-creators Liz Flahvie and Carly Mensch say. “Our show asks a lot of people — we’re a period wrestling comedy with a huge ensemble where we ask our actors to do their own wrestling— and everyone met this challenge with an insane amount of enthusiasm and commitment. We’re thrilled that people are recognizing how special the show is [and] how extraordinarily Ali’s performance is at the center.”
What Flahive and Mensch think has led to the success of the show is the talented ensemble. In addition to Brie, Gilpin, and Maron, the show boasts defining performances for Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Jackie Tohn, Gayle Rankin, Sunita Mani, Marianna Palka, Kate Nash, Britt Baron, and Kia Stevens.
“We knew that we wanted people you’ve never seen before,” Flahive previously told Variety. “We also needed actors who were also very game, really up to learn how to wrestle… The thing that we really learned, is that it might look like that there are two women in the ring beating the crap out of each other, but in fact, it’s great teamwork. You have to care-take your partner, and you have to make them look good. You have to sell their story.”
But another important element that has led to the show striking a chord with audiences and awards voters is the fish-out-of-water element of Brie’s character Ruth, which allows an easy way into the very specific world for the audience.
“I think it’s important that we follow someone into the world that’s not a wrestler,” Mensch told Variety. “She’s a struggling actress, which I think is always easier for an audience member to identify with — someone who’s a novice in the same thing you’re a novice in.”
Executive produced by Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann, as well as Flahive and Mensch, “GLOW’s” female-forward storytelling was a welcome addition to an ever-increasingly crowded television landscape, and the period elements of the 1980s added to the dramatic stakes for characters struggling to come out from their famous family’s shadow, juggle motherhood with a career, and/or deal with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. Back when the show premiered in June 2017, Variety called it “a gem.”