There may not have been a decade that was more entertaining than the ’80s. The television and film landscape seemed to be created in an atmosphere that was just more goofy fun compared to the rather dark decades that followed it. Capturing a lot of that spirit of fun was the short lived wrestling show GLOW or Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Where women were considered a sort of novelty act in typical wrestling shows of the time, GLOW allowed them to be the stars, and showed how they were more than capable of handling themselves in the ring. If you’ve managed to catch GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling documentary (which is also screening on Netflix now), you’ll have a great head start on Netflix’s latest series that can not be missed.

GLOW is a fictional story based on the original show and features Alison Brie as Ruth, a struggling actress who is searching for parts with some real depth. What she’s consistently offered is the role of secretary when she wants to be the boss. She’s finally offered a role that is more suited for her, but she’s not completely sure what it’s all about at first. When she arrives at the casting location, she finds out that director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) and producer Sebastian Howard (Chris Lowell) are looking to make an all women’s wrestling program. At this news, most of the women in attendance stand up and leave, but for the remaining women, they start a journey that will reward them with great friendships, some difficult challenges, and an experience they’ll never forget.

GLOW is far and away the most entertaining show Netflix has ever offered viewers. It manages to mix great comedy with strong emotions while also crafting an entire cast of characters that you’ll love. Even some of the smaller roles manage to grab your attention and leave you wanting to know more and more about them. Hopefully this 10 episode series continues further, because there’s going to be a few things you’ll want to see more of. One of those things is the wrestling. There’s not actually very much of it here, and it’s not until the final few episodes that the wrestling becomes a large part of the show. Before that point, the women are still a little rough around the edges, but when we finally get to see them in all their glory, it’s incredible. It’s the final piece of perfection with a show that you would really have to stretch to find something wrong with.

Brie has been the one poised to be the lead in the series, but her role is frequently secondary to many of the other characters. Ruth spends much of the series trying to find her role within the ring, as well as trying to sort her life out when she’s not wrestling. This leaves her in a kind of limbo for much of the 10 episodes. While the others progress around her, she struggles to shine in the background. Her character is wonderful, but this confusion she has about who she is and who she can be means she doesn’t really get to shine until later in the series.

Don’t worry though, there are plenty of characters to cheer for here. Marc Maron seems like he’s simply a slightly more grumpy version of his semi-biographical character in his previous series Maron. Nothing wrong with that though, as he is constantly delivering some of the best jokes and managing to make some of the emotional moments connect in awkward ways. Sam is the kind of character who is soft on the inside, but that can be hard to see since it’s hidden behind a very crusty exterior.

The rest of the women in the cast are equally outstanding. Betty Gilpin gets the most work as Debbie, a former soap star whose friendship with Ruth is crumbling along with her marriage. Touted as the star of the wrestling show, she reluctantly takes part and arguably becomes the real lead of GLOW. From the larger roles of Debbie, Sam and Ruth, the cast includes a number of outrageous, empowered, female characters. There’s Sheila the She Wolf (Gayle Rankin), a woman who is constantly dressing up like a wolf for reasons that very few people understand. Britney Young stars as Carmen Wade, a young woman from a wrestling family who brings the understanding of what kind of moves and work they need to do, but can’t really get her family to accept her decision to wrestle. Sydelle Noel is Cherry Bang, a friend of Sam’s and a complete badass stuntwoman. She’s the one who will have to whip the women into shape and become the kind of mother figure to the group of women. Britt Baron, an almost dead ringer for Scarlett Johansson, is the youngest of the group, and who is obsessed with the previous B-movie work of director Sam. Kate Nash, as the ditzy British wrestler Rhonda, and Jackie Tohn as the quick to break the rules rebel Melrose, round out the larger roles in the cast.

Kimmy Gatewood, Rebekka Johnson, Sunita Mani, Marianna Palka, Kia Stevens, and Canadian Ellen Wong round out the cast of women, and although they don’t get quite as much attention as the rest (something that will hopefully be balanced in future episodes that you’ll demand to see), they still manage to make the most out of their smaller scenes. That’s really what is so fantastic about GLOW. Every character, no matter how big or small, will slowly become another one of your favourites. There really isn’t any wasted talent here. You’ll constantly find yourself rooting for a new character all the time, until you’re finally completely taken with every member of the cast. You’ll love them all and will only want to see more of them.

That’s the only real downfall of GLOW. There’s just not enough of it. When you finish the 10 episodes, you could easily start again and it enjoy it just as much. There’s plenty of surprises throughout the series, and watching the women grow to become an incredibly close knit group of friends, as well as dealing with their own personal problems, is pure joy. Wrestling may not be the biggest focus throughout the series, as these 10 episodes are really just the creation of the show and bringing a band of misfits together, but it’s just as compelling to watch them pull things together outside of the ring as it is inside.

The relationships all develop at just the right pace, with certain characters hitting it off immediately, while others find it will take a bit more time to finally crack the exterior of their wrestling mates. We learn just enough about each woman to understand their motivation to become a part of GLOW, and as I said before, you’ll be dying to find out more once the series ends. GLOW manages to tackle a few uncomfortable but necessary conversations, although there are moments where you may wish they spent a little bit more time handling these scenes. They still do it well, and usually with a perfect blend of real emotion and sarcastic humour, which tends to make the situations feel more realistic instead of leaping into overly dramatic territory. Every little bit is done to perfection. If ever there was a series that could be the definition of binge-worthy, GLOW is it.