The Top 5 Reasons Netflix’s ‘Glamorous’ Is a Disappointment

Netflix’s ‘Glamorous’ could have been great, but it’s a disappointing series boasting little-to-no originality and several cringeworthy moments.

Netflix’s Glamorous boasts all the ingredients necessary for success — a divine Kim Cattrall as a former model and founder / CEO of a makeup empire, a loveable Miss Benny as her hot mess of an inspired second assistant, and a cast filled to the brim with LGBTQ+ supporting characters. It was supposed to be about self-love. It was supposed to defy stereotypes tied to the gay community about masculinity and feminity. It was supposed to give us drama, hope, sex, and inspiration. Instead, it’s a frothy and derivative series borrowing from hits like The Devil Wears Prada, Gossip Girl, and Love, Victor. It’s tonally incongruous — often feeling childish…until the sex. We wanted to love it, but here are our top five reasons the series fails to rise to the occasion. 

The show is derivative  

As mentioned above, the show has some conniving deception inherent to hits like Gossip Girl and the same woman-in-charge vibe reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada. Unfortunately, the series is too afraid to make Cattrall more than a caricature — a powerful woman with high standards who believes in second chances. She’s neither as cutthroat nor as fully-realized as Miranda Priestly. Her character is all glam and no substance. And as for the scheming, Gossip Girl was never afraid to take it too far. This show is. As soon as there’s room for high-stakes conflict, someone steps in to still the waters. Every episode might as well end with a hug as if we’re watching Full House. Glamorous pulls from hit shows and movies, but fails to reach for the very qualities that defined them — becoming both unoriginal and a bit insipid. 

The episodes are too long 

Speaking of Full House, Glamorous may have benefited from shorter episodes. The series drags on, introducing minor subplots into the grander scheme seemingly to hit that 45-minute — 1-hour episode length traditionally associated with more “prestige dramas.” If the show cut its fat, reduced the episodes to half-hour installments, and focused on the primary characters — their relationships and individual career journeys — it may have felt more tightly wound. Instead, it’s stuffed with speed bumps that detract from its central narrative. 

Miss Benny as Marco in 'Glamorous'
Miss Benny as Marco in ‘Glamorous’ | Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

Unfounded intimacy between characters 

Venetia and Britt go on one date and suddenly Britt knows Venetia’s every vulnerability and red flag. She knows all about her tendency to run in the face of danger. All about her self-serving habits. And not only does she know about them, but she is also comfortable enough to get on a soapbox and read her for filth (with love). We don’t buy it. 

Even the dynamic between Marco and Venetia is suddenly trusting and close. They go to the same club together. They hang out all the time. They seem to have developed a shorthand communication style in a matter of minutes. Work buddies are one thing, but work besties (after an eight-hour shift or two) are unheard of. The show doesn’t create narratives that allow the dynamics to grow. These characters become confidantes before they’re even acquaintances. 

Michael Hsu Rosen as Ben, Miss Benny as Marco, Jade Payton as Venetia, Ayesha Harris as Britt in 'Glamorous'
Michael Hsu Rosen as Ben, Miss Benny as Marco, Jade Payton as Venetia, Ayesha Harris as Britt in ‘Glamorous’ | Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

Cringeworthy pop culture references and faux-inspirational dialogue 

You did not miss the mark. You did not fall short. You “flopped harder than a Katy Perry single,” but don’t worry! A line of encouragement plucked from the Five Below box of inspirational pandering is coming to set you back on track. Never forget that makeup is “more than just paint or glitter. It’s therapy in a tube.” Someone get me a bucket, because I’m going to vomit up the rainbows and butterflies I could not stomach. 

The show is chock-full of pop culture references that feel dated and forced, as well as moments of inspiration that lack any sincerity or depth. One eye roll and a dismissive chuckle later, and we still feel detached from the characters and the fantasy-fulfillment storyline that’s too good to be true — too rose-colored to suspend our disbelief. 

Kim Cattrall’s Madolyn needed more space to breathe 

Cattrall is a strong enough actress to carry a lacking script, but even she can’t save Madolyn (and this show). She’s got the shoulders back walk. She’s got the years of experience everyone looks up to. She’s got an enviable fashion sense and the perfect beat. She’s an idea. She’s not quite a person, but a concept. Her character needed more development. More backstory. More reflection. Why does everyone love her? Why does everyone trust her to a fault? What has she done in the past to earn unending devotion, for corporate environments are almost never this familial? And, if they are, something more sinister is likely lurking under the surface. 

Kim Cattrall as Madolyn in 'Glamorous'
Kim Cattrall as Madolyn in ‘Glamorous’ | Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

Madolyn could have (and should have) been one of the show’s assets. Instead, the writers left Kim Cattrall with nothing to sink her teeth into. They told her to give pizazz. They told her to give glam. Give drama. Give talent and ambition. But whatever happened to giving humanity? Where is the woman underneath the makeup? 

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.