10 Aug 2019

helloguys.clubGLOW Season-Premiere Recap: Your Fortune Awaits
GLOW’s second season left off with the cast, and their director, getting on a bus to their uncertain future in Las Vegas; we rejoin them in their new home, the (fictional) Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino, on the morning of January 28, 1986, as they prepare for their very first show! Debbie and Ruth have been booked on a local morning show to plug G.L.O.W. while in character and join the host in watching the live launch of a new space shuttle! Ruth gets so wrapped up in her roast — “Maybe I challenge her crew to chess game,” etc. — that she’s not looking at the monitor when the shuttle explodes, thus accidentally pushing the limits of heel trash talk. Probably half legitimately horrified at herself and half wallowing in self-recrimination so that she can recall this feeling in future sense-memory work, Ruth is not in the best mood to learn that Russell’s been called in to work on disaster-related news content, and thus won’t be able to make it to the show that night.

But maybe there won’t even be one? Outside the theater, the G.L.O.W. producers debate whether to push the opening: Debbie doesn’t want to appear as though they’re dancing on astronauts’ graves; Bash may mostly not want to have to postpone the opening-night party he’s planned. Enter the hotel’s entertainment director, Sandy Devereaux St. Clair (Geena Davis!), with a little old-Vegas perspective. She was around when the MGM fire happened; no one knew what to do then either, until Sandy’s old dance captain, Fluff LaCoque (please, please, please let us meet this lady at some point this season; I am picturing Swoosie Kurtz), came into the theater, announced, “Well, it doesn’t smell like smoke in here!,” and they were back on the next night. “Well, that’s terrible,” spits Debbie. Sandy: “No, that’s Vegas, Mrs. Howard.” Testily, Debbie reintroduces herself and reminds Sandy of her actual title; Sandy breezily apologizes, having been mistaken for many men’s wives in her career, but Debbie later crabs to Sam that she doesn’t like Sandy. “Well, sure,” Sam shrugs. “Nobody likes the Ghost of Christmas Future.” Devastating in its possible accuracy!

Sam and the cast run through a lighting rehearsal, where we see that the show hasn’t changed dramatically since its grand finale, though Dawn and Stacey have been busted back town to Biddies, now reimagined as bawdy slot jockeys with, of course, many one-liners on a “slot as euphemism for vagina” theme. Ruth, being Ruth, thinks they should address the Challenger disaster in the show — have Britannica, their resident scientist, do a riff on how even very smart people sometimes get things wrong, like … bloodletting! This pitch is not successful, and she moves on to rehearsing the zip-line stunt, but gets stuck halfway down, and is hanging there when the fire alarm goes off and everyone has to evacuate the building. Outside, Jenny panics that she started another notorious hotel fire trying to smudge out the bad luck by lighting incense in their windowless dressing room, but Sandy confides to Debbie that she pulled the false alarm to give everyone a “reset” she could then “apologize” for with complimentary champagne and gaming chips. Debbie can’t help seeing her with newfound respect, but says her cast will need more than these bagatelles to get in the right headspace to perform that night. No problem: Sandy hands her a whole rack of chips.

Cue the team of Cherry (throwing) and Sheila (blowing) tearing up the craps table on a winning streak! Only Ruth, being Ruth, can’t let herself be cheered, so Debbie pulls her outside to look at the marquee and savor the moment: “Everyone is up. Don’t bring them down into your sinkhole of despair.” This is also when we learn that Debbie has apparently been amusing herself, once she’s taken off her producer hat every night, by also taking off everything else and boning hot yet interchangeable valets.

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