“GLOW” comes to Vegas, provides more gay characters
GLOW on Netflix
GLOW on Netflix

The third season of Netflix’s “GLOW” was recently released, and this time the wrestling dramedy has made a home in Las Vegas.

It’s a move that makes sense, with the original show it’s inspired by, “GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling,” having had its entire run in Sin City.

“GLOW” stars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin amongst a large and talented cast. In season 3, which launched on Aug. 9, the wrestlers have moved to the fictional Fan-Tan Hotel & Casino – “about $200 east” of the Strip, according to one character.

“Vegas feels like a very tricky place for women in 1986, so that felt really interesting to us,” co-creator Liz Flahive told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “But we wanted to get it right, and we wanted the details of being a performer living and working in Vegas to feel real and to feel very authentic.”

Writes the paper:

Flahive and co-creator Carly Mensch, self-described “research nerds,” led a group of around 20 members of the show’s writing staff on a three-day fact-finding mission to Las Vegas. Their itinerary included stops at Grant Philipo’s Las Vegas Showgirl Museum, “Vegas! The Show” and the old “Jubilee!” dressing rooms at Bally’s.

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Perhaps the most interesting storyline to come out of their fact-finding mission was one inspired by local LGBTQ historian Dennis McBride, who informed the creators of legendary female-impersonator Kenny Kerr.

Writes the Review-Journal:


The late “Boy-lesque” star was “100 percent” the inspiration for Fan-Tan headliner Bobby Barnes (Kevin Cahoon), Mensch says. The drag performer, whom the wrestlers befriend, allowed “GLOW” to look at the struggle for acceptance that gay performers faced in Las Vegas in the 1980s.

“The seeming permissiveness,” Flahive says, “contrasted against the conservatism was intriguing to us. … It’s seemingly a very sexually open town, yet the sodomy laws were kind of not off the books and Liberace wasn’t even out — and the next year would die of AIDS.”


But this isn’t the first time “GLOW” has entered into LGBTQ territory. Season 2 of the series showed a blossoming lesbian relationship between Arthie "Beirut the Mad Bomber” Premkumar (Sunita Mani) and Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Rivas (Shakira Barrera).