It’s Christmas Day and I’m going to break format for this last entry in the 12 Days of Christmas Episodes. It’s from one of my favorite shows, GLOW. “A Very GLOW Christmas”. It’s great and there are so many ongoing storyline running through this episode that it would be tough to approach the usual way. But more to the point, if you’ve been following this project in past years, you know I try to do an episode that’s special to me on Christmas and in 2020, this is really the only choice.
The Christmas segment of the episode comes from the GLOW performers putting on a wrestling-themed performance of A Christmas Carol. It’s so much fun and I wish that could have been an episode all to itself without any cuts. I want to watch the entire performance. Ruth (Alison Brie) is Scrooge but she’s also playing Zoya the Destroya playing Scrooge. It’s a lot and it’s awesome.
Other than the wrestling, it’s a traditional take on the story. Marley, Bob Cratchit, three ghosts. The part that gets the most airtime is the Ghost of Christmas Future segment where Carmen as the Ghost has to wrestle Scrooge into the grave. Britney Young really goes full Undertaker, and it’s so fun. And it really stands out because we didn’t see much wrestling this season – they performed essentially the same show every night for their Vegas residency and since we saw that show at the end of Season Two, we didn’t need to keep seeing it. But one of the original hooks for the show was that they actually got good at wrestling and it’s really gratifying to get a big wrestling scene as the centerpiece. And then during the curtain call Cherry is reunited with her husband and watching it again even without the buildup of following that relationship all season, it still landed really hard.
And there’s so much going on. Debbie talks Bash, who’s in the midst of some serious self-loathing in regards to his sexuality, into a business deal that cuts the legs out from under her sort of boyfriend (Toby Huss) and sets the stage for them to take the show to national syndicated television. That all plays really well – a rarity when it comes to scenes about business deals.
Artie comes out of the closet to nobody’s surprise. Sam tries to make things right with his daughter in a surprisingly sweet and considerate way. The woman formerly known as Sheila the She-Wolf deals with her recent decision to give up her wolf persona and try to navigate life like a human. This was one of the best things about Season Three and I was really excited to see where it was going. And there was to be a fourth and final season… and then this stupid year happened.
There are a bunch of shows that got renewed and then cancelled when production stopped due to the pandemic, but GLOW is probably the one that hurt the most. This episode ends on a cliffhanger with Debbie and Bash launching a TV network of their own with a GLOW that they control and Ruth walking away from the whole thing and it feels like they’ll still get it together and make it to television because that’s what actually happened in real life. But it’s not going to happen. They told us it would and they started working on a new season and then the world fell apart and Netflix decided…. the world to come wouldn’t want to see how GLOW ends?
So this episode turned out to be the series finale and nobody could have known it at the time. This amazing show didn’t even get real cancelled. It got Covid cancelled. We had this final season to look forward to, wrapping up all these plotlines and giving these great characters some closure and now it’s not going to happen. Comparatively, it’s a small thing in the wake of everything else going on this year, but it was a nice thing to look forward to and like so many other things, it’s gone. And if that doesn’t make this the perfect episode for the 2020 holiday season, I just don’t even know.
Merry Christmas, such as it is. Vaya con dios, Ruth Wilder.