Netflix’s GLOW is one of the freshest and funniest shows on the air right now. The story of a syndicated women’s wrestling series in the 1980s might’ve sounded like it would only appeal to a niche audience, but thanks to hilarious one-liners, lovable characters, and emotionally resonant moments that hit you in the feels, the show has universal appeal that has made it one of Netflix’s most popular original series. The streaming service has renewed the show for a third season, but these hiatuses can be such a drag. So, fill the long wait for season 3 with these 10 Brilliant Shows To Watch If You Like GLOW.
10 Orange is the New Black
This one is a pretty obvious inclusion, because Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan acts as an executive producer on GLOW, and GLOW’s co-creator Carly Mensch has also written and produced for Orange is the New Black. But aside from their shared production staff, the shows also both have a predominantly female cast and a feminist message. They also both put women in roles that are typically filled by men in the media. Just like wrestling shows in the vein of GLOW usually feature male leads, prison shows in the vein of Orange is the New Black do, as well.
If you enjoy GLOW for its lead actress Alison Brie, then Community is the show for you. She’s not the sole star of the show like she is with GLOW, but she is an integral part of the ensemble cast. The show is about a Spanish study group at a community college consisting of an eclectic bunch of students ranging from a film buff with Asperger’s to an elderly moist towelette tycoon. Brie plays Annie, an Adderall-addicted overachiever. It aired for five seasons on NBC before moving on to Yahoo!’s short-lived streaming service for its sixth and final season.
8 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The tone of Amazon’s hit Emmy-winning dramedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is very close to that of GLOW. Both shows have a specific historical setting—GLOW is set in the 80s, while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is set in the 50s—and both are about the difficulties faced by women as they try to crack into male-dominated industries; wrestling and standup comedy. Just like GLOW, its writing is clever and funny and occasionally digs deep into its characters’ emotions. The series’ standout cast member is Alex Borstein, who is best known for playing Lois Griffin in Family Guy and outdoes herself in this show.
If you like Sam Sylvia, the director of the show within a show in GLOW, then you’ll love Maron, the IFC sitcom revolving around the actor who plays him, standup comic and podcaster Marc Maron. The show focuses on Maron’s daily life, taking him from the stand-up stage to podcast recordings in his garage with his high-profile guests to simply taking his cats to the vet. The real Maron has a lot in common with Sam, though fortunately not the substance abuse; in real life, he’s been sober since 1999. So, to a certain extent, it’ll feel like watching a spin-off from GLOW.
The premise of Showtime’s Weeds might sound like a gender-swapped Breaking Bad—a suburban mom becomes a drug lord to provide for her family—but Weeds actually came first, so it’s more like Breaking Bad is a gender-swapped Weeds. Weeds is more like GLOW because it has a female lead, played brilliantly by Mary-Louise Parker, and it veers closer to comedy than drama despite having elements of both genres blended into one. Its lead character also has a similar struggle. Just like Ruth Wilder has struggled to be taken seriously as a wrestler in GLOW, Nancy Botwin struggled to be taken seriously as a pot dealer in Weeds.
5 Stranger Things
On the surface, Stranger Things might not seem very similar to GLOW because the former is a supernatural sci-fi horror series about a bunch of kids who discover a portal into a sinister dimension, and the latter is about women’s wrestling. However, what they do have in common is the 80s setting, which has a huge influence on each show; the soundtrack, the costume design, the set design, the lingo. So, if you’re a fan of the 80s setting of GLOW because it makes you feel nostalgic about the best parts of the decade, then check out Stranger Things immediately.
4 Jessica Jones
GLOW is primarily a comedy series and its genre isn’t exactly action, but it does feature plenty of well-choreographed fight scenes. They’re all scripted and filmed for the show within a show, but there’s still plenty of fighting, and fighting isn’t something that women often get to do in movies and TV shows. But if that’s your thing and you’re looking for more shows in the sparse category of action-packed female-fronted series, then check out Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones. The title character is an alcoholic private eye with superhuman strength, and the show has dealt with such serious social issues as consent and PTSD in mature ways. Netflix canceled the show earlier this year, which was met with outrage from fans, but its third and final season is still on the way.
3 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Both GLOW and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are Netflix comedy series about empowered women struggling to make it in a male-dominated world. In GLOW, those empowered women are wrestlers who want their TV show to get noticed. In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the lead character is one of a few women who were locked in a bunker by a deranged man running a doomsday cult before being freed. Ellie Kemper plays the title character who was a teenager when she was abducted and is now trying to build a life for herself in New York. The show aired its final season this year, wrapping up the story in a neat bow, so now is the perfect time to binge the whole thing.
2 Broad City
GLOW is a celebration of female friendship, and Broad City is the quintessential show about female friendship. The series stars its creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as two friends who follow their dreams in New York City. The episodes vary between vignettes loosely strung together and tightly plotted, more traditional sitcom storylines. The show has had countless hilarious moments, a bunch of lovable supporting characters, and some terrific guest stars. It wrapped up its final season earlier this year, so now is the perfect time to catch up—you won’t have to stop watching until you reach the very end!
1 Freaks and Geeks
Although it only ran for one season, Freaks and Geeks is a genuine must-see. Like GLOW, it’s set in the 80s, focuses on a strong female lead who’s sort of a “fish out of water,” and deftly combines moments of comedy with moments of drama without feeling inconsistent. It stars Linda Cardellini as a high school girl who struggles to fit in and tries to find the social circle that she belongs in, sometimes at the expense of her values. The show was produced by Judd Apatow and launched the careers of countless stars; James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Busy Philipps, Martin Starr, and of course, Cardellini herself.