All the Band Shirts Worn by the Baby Anarchist in “GLOW,” Ranked
Ready, steady, go.
GLOW is a good show. There are lots of Good Things about it that we could be talking about. We could be talking about how it’s the only show on TV—or whatever medium you use to watch your #infinitecontent these days—where somebody hands off their infant child to a stranger so they can start revenge fighting their ex–best friend. (And those are your show’s two leads!!) Or we could be talking about how Marc Maron deserves an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Grammy for the way that he struggles to go in and out of the ropes throughout the series’ first season.
But if I could, I’d like to narrow the conversation on this, the blessed day in which the show has been picked up for a second season, to discuss the most important Good Thing about GLOW: the Baby Anarchist, a.k.a. Scab, a.k.a. Justine Biagi. Like most characters in Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch’s ’80s, Britt Baron’s Justine is a movie archetype of that generation—in this case, kind of like a mix of Allison Reynolds in The Breakfast Club and Christian Slater in Heathers—that’s been touched up with details of realness that would rarely get into an ’80s production.
Justine is a punk, for instance, but she’s also a film nerd—and, safe to assume, just an art nerd in general. (For those who’ve watched the whole season, you’ll know that those traits are low-key very important.) And like a true art nerd, she thinks way too much about what her band shirts say about her. I know that, because I’m the type of person who would judge a fictional character based on what her band shirts say about her. The Baby Anarchist goes through a good few of them—provided with obvious love by costume designer Beth Morgan—in the first ten episodes, so I figured I’d do the only thing I know how: arbitrarily rank them based on how truly punk rock they are.
I mean, this is a tight shirt, but the idea of there being an official-looking Germs shirt in 1985 is a little questionable, so it’s at the bottom of the heat. (If I’m wrong, feel free to send me a vintage one, Pat Smear.) On a side note, I bet Darby Crash actually was super into amateur wrestling.
3. Angry Samoans
The Angry Samoans shirt has some depth to it, since Emily Dole—the inspiration for Britney Young’s “Machu Picchu” character—was Samoan-American, and because the actual Angry Samoans were from the San Fernando Valley, where the show takes place. Either way, it’s hard to imagine a few more appropriate keywords for GLOW than “angry,” “Samoan,” and “get off the air.” 8/10, would nod in agreement again.
2. The Dead Milkmen
Thematically, this is probably the best one, actually. “Punk Rock Girl” is basically the Justine anthem: pizza parlors, young love, jumping on tables and shouting “anarchy,” awkward meetings with parents. (I wasn’t kidding, was I?) When they finally get to the year 1988 in season six, safe to say that both her and Billy Offal are gonna cry their lil’ punk eyes out to this song.
1. Satan’s Rats
Winner, winner, indie kid dinner. Let’s be real: given how tapped into the LA hardcore scene she is, handmade band shirts would be Justine’s jam. Scrawling the words of an obscure 7-inch in black sharpie on a white shirt was—and still kind of is, honestly—the only true way to go for a baby anarchist. A bit melodramatic? Sure. But it did win over the pizza guy. FL