GLOW’s Sudden Cancelation Leaves Too Many Storylines Hanging
Out of all of 2020’s TV cancelations, GLOW’s might just hurt the worst.
If its cancelation was the usual “Netflix cancels another original after three seasons,” it wouldn’t have hurt as much because we’re accustomed to it.
In GLOW’s case, though, numerous factors made the news of its sudden cancelation hit harder than a Hammer & Sickle from Zoya the Destroyer.
First of all, the cancelation came about because of COVID, and — to put it mildly — anything COVID related automatically makes any situation sadder.
Secondly, it wasn’t just a cancellation; it was a reversal of a renewal. Finding out a show you liked was canceled after it had been renewed, and you were looking forward to the upcoming season, makes it much worse than an outright cancellation.
Third, the rescinded renewal wasn’t just for any season. It was for GLOW’s final season.
With GLOW canceled, GLOW Season 3 becomes its final season by default. Out of all three seasons, GLOW Season 3 is the least suited for the role of the series’ final season.
GLOW Season 1 and GLOW Season 2 would have served better as final seasons. Both of those seasons felt complete in themselves despite leaving room to continue the series.
GLOW Season 3, on the other hand, provided very little closure.
For one thing, GLOW Season 3 Episode 10 ended with the cliffhanger of Carmen and Ruth quitting GLOW to pursue their passions elsewhere.
The future of many couples were left in doubt.
The unresolved sexual tension between Ruth and Sam goes back to the first season.
On GLOW Season 2 Episode 9, Ruth chose “nice,” “consistent” Russell over Sam. If GLOW ended the Ruth and Sam romance at the moment Sam respected Ruth’s choice like an adult on GLOW Season 2 Episode 10, it would not have been a good love story.
It would have been a good story about people recognizing and changing their self-destructive habits. Only, GLOW was determined to make Ruth and Sam a love story and brought their will-they/won’t-they relationship back to the forefront.
Just when it seemed GLOW Season 3 Episode 9 was going to be the episode where Ruth and Sam consummated their relationship, the episode veered in the opposite direction. They got into a fight, and the season ended without Ruth and Sam reconciling.
GLOW spent a lot of real estate on the Ruth and Sam story. Knowing the series (now) ends without providing a firm resolution as to whether Ruth and Sam get together is frustrating.
While most shows play Greencard marriages for laughs, Rhonda and Bash’s marriage was taken seriously and became one of GLOW’s best storylines
With Rhonda in the know about Bash’s sexuality and Bash wanting to stay together and start a family, the series was poised to take Rhonda and Bash into more complicated and emotionally fraught places. It would have been great to see how it would have played out.
Even Cherry and Keith, the couple with the strongest relationship, didn’t seem safe at the end of GLOW Season 3. The couple spent most of the season estranged because Keith was ready to have a baby, but Cherry was not.
Thanks to Carmen, Cherry and Keith reunited on GLOW Season 3 Episode 10, and Keith suggested adoption as a way to resolve their impasse. Only Cherry didn’t seem too enthused about the idea, which leaves the fate of GLOW’s best couple in limbo forever.
The couples are not the only ones left hanging. Tamme became seriously during the first half of GLOW Season 3. However, her injuries were quickly brushed aside once Carmen and Cherry came up with the idea of making Tamme a manager.
It was left unclear whether Tamme’s injuries would be permanent or if she would make a comeback into the ring.
Meanwhile on the business side of things, GLOW Season 3 Episode 10 promised a lot of new developments. Debbie and Bash bought a TV station. They already made plans to relocate back to Los Angeles and create a new wrestling show.
This was an exciting plot twist for in-show and out-of-show reasons. In-show it meant the characters were progressing to bigger and better things.
Out-of-show it was a big, neon light indicating that GLOW was ready to be GLOW again.
GLOW Season 3 was a sad deconstruction of the series. While the first two seasons celebrated wrestling and how the sport empowered the wrestlers, the third season focused on the downsides and made it clear wrestling was only a placeholder until something better came along.
With the characters detached and uninterested because wrestling became boring and repetitive for them, it was hard to engage with GLOW Season 3.
The deconstruction approach would have paid off if, like it had been hinted, GLOW Season 4 was about the group reuniting and rediscovering their love for wrestling.
Except now GLOW Season 4 is not happening. GLOW Season 3 Episode 10 is the de facto series finale, and it leaves us mostly in the dark. It’s not the bright ending GLOW deserved. Let’s hope the rallying cry for a movie gets a satisfying response.
Over to you, TV Fanatics!
How disappointed are you about GLOW’s sudden cancellation?
What GLOW cliffhanger are you the most frustrated about?
Hit the comments below.
Becca Newton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.