Sam Sylvia

Sam Sylvia

Photo Credit: Netflix

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... messily, in 1980s Los Angeles.

Profession... director. Sam found success writing and directing several popular B-movies in the 1970s, including the cult classic Blood Disco. As he puts it, “I like to push the envelope. I like to jolt people into consciousness.” Lately, however, Sam’s been struggling to find film work and feels uninspired to do any more writing.

Interests... drugs, booze, and cigarettes.

Relationship Status... a bit of a mess. Sam is divorced and tends to bounce around between women. He’s not really one for commitment. Lately, he’s been seeing one of the actresses in his new project. Meanwhile, a young fan named Justine enters his life, although it’s unclear what she wants from him.

Challenge... directing a wrestling show. Sam is hired to direct a TV program called Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling or GLOW. It’s a cheap production with a cast of women who don’t know the first thing about wrestling. Sam doesn’t either, but he does have a good eye for drama and style. He realizes that real-life friends-turned-rivals Debbie Eagan and Ruth Wilder will be the perfect hero and villain for the show. Sam sets about shaping the characters and staging the matches with help from Ruth, who takes a special interest in making GLOW the best it can be.

Personality... grumpy, cynical, and artistic. You wouldn’t mistake Sam for a people person. He’s an ornery loner who states his opinions bluntly, with no regard for how they affect anyone else. His innate artistic spirit has grown cynical after years in the entertainment industry. At his worst, Sam devolves into jealously, self-pity, and cruelty. Yet despite his prickly exterior, Sam has a softer side too. He’s kind of like the Grinch—his heart’s small now, but it has the capacity to grow. The only question is if he can put aside his worst impulses and stop self-sabotaging himself.


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