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The lights went down GLOW. After three fan-favorite seasons on the streaming service, Netflix pulled the plug on a promised fourth episode this week, citing the impact of Covid-19 on production. For fans, who had been promised one final season in August 2019, it was a blow. (A GLOW blow? Sure.) It was also, in the grand scheme, a small loss. “Covid has killed real humans. It’s a national tragedy and it should be our goal, “series creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch told Deadline in a statement.” There are a lot of shitty things happening in the world that are much bigger than that right now. . But it still sucks not to be able to see these 15 women in a frame together again. “
Obviously, in no uncertain terms, having 15 women together in one frame is part of the reason for the production GLOW it is almost impossible at the moment. It’s a show about female wrestlers and there’s no real way actors can wrestle, or do things adjacent to wrestling, while an infectious and deadly disease circulates around the world. And the necessary precautions, if they attempted to film such a show, would probably be quite expensive. No doubt it should be safe to resume filming the show one day, but Netflix apparently thought it was easier to cut ties than to wait. Fair enough, but there is something very daunting about only watching TV shows that can be shot at an affordable price from a safe distance.
But there was something else in Flahive and Mensch’s statement that hit hard. “We have been given the creative freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and their stories,” they wrote. “And now it’s gone.” For years, Netflix has been home to weird things a network probably wouldn’t have risked on. Given that the coronavirus and all of its very real impacts on Hollywood take their toll, it’s hard not to worry that it might be the shows on the sidelines: science fiction / fantasy shows, shows featuring women, LGBTQ + characters and people of color, who feel more pain.
Before being arrested by the hypocrisy police, a note of clarification: I am registered as a supporter of early and frequent cancellation of shows. Some things are perfect as a single season; it is not necessary to drag them out. I can destroy you it will probably continue to live on as the best thing to hit TV throughout 2020, and I don’t need it anymore. Audiences would be served much better if creator and star Michaela Coel saw her free time to create the The next the best thing none of us have ever seen.