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Heels: Successfully Blurring the Lines Between In And Out of Ring Battles

heels show

When you think of a wrestling show, you might think of the flashy costumes and over-exaggerated theatricality. But Heels is different. The Starz family drama portrays wrestlers as everyday people with both struggles in and outside the ring. Here’s everything we know:

A Brief Review Of Heels Series:

Wrestling, with its own culture and language dating back to the era of traveling carnivals, is a whole lot of things. In the world of wrestling, what is so often called “fake” is actually all too real.

Longtime wrestling fans know that the results are predetermined, but these superstars dedicate their lives to this strange and underrated form of entertainment.

Heels, the new Starz series about the behind-the-scenes lives of professional wrestlers, is surprisingly successful in its ability to blur the lines between what’s real and what’s “fake.”


Former Arrow star Stephen Amell, who also once wrestled a space alien supervillain in the WWE, stars as Jack Spade. Seen by day at his lawnmower salesman job while trying to keep Duffy Wrestling League afloat, he has some experience with battles on and off of the ring.

Jack is a writer who spends too much money on smoke machines. His younger brother, Ace Spade, is considered the top good guy in wrestling circles. Scouts from other leagues have taken notice of him and are interested in recruiting him to their teams.

The competitive sibling rivalry among the members of Spade’s wrestling family blurs the lines between their personal lives and professional battles, resulting in personal beef developing both inside and outside of the ring. Meanwhile, the backstage world around them serves as a canvas for this heightened microcosm.

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Few Cast Members of the Heels:

  • Jack (Jack Lowden)
  • Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig)
  • Crystal (Kelli Berglund)
  • Rooster Robbins (Allen Maldonado)
  • Staci Spade (Alison Luff)

The Heels dramatic storylines involving backstabbings and betrayals always have their drama dial turned to 11, which makes it difficult for viewers who aren’t knowledgeable about the wrestling genre.

Stephen Amell Updates on Starz Wrestling Series Heels - Den of Geek

Source: Den Of

It’s a wrestling TV show about big men with big feelings. They’re pushed out of the ring, but they still have to play in it and take care of responsibilities left by absent fathers.

It is also, as you might expect, occasionally very cheesy. Just a heaping dose of cheese, all over Heels, a show wherein a dramatic moment is emphasized with the sound of someone dropping popcorn in slow motion.


However, the cast mostly takes a realistic approach that helps guide you through some of the more melodramatic moments. Amell especially seems to be having a blast playing a character who is far from CW-drama worthy; Jack Spade is as human as they come and not someone bad or too invested in the ‘sinking ship.’

Chris Bauer’s performance was one of the best things about Heels. The actor, who is best known for his role as Mike Russel on HBO’s Oz, demonstrated how to combine the show’s grounded grittiness with heightened melodrama.

Wild Bill is a walking example of what a life devoted to wrestling often gets you; he still wears the flashy snakeskins and talks mostly in catchphrase-laden promos, all of which fails to hide a vice-fueled detachment from reality and a back that took too many bumps as part of his career. The performance by Jay Bauer is both funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

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Although the tonal shifts in Heels may turn some viewers off, I found them to be relatable and humanizing. The sudden shift from a serious moment to an action or horror sequence is comedic relief that never feels inappropriately timed.


The show often leads its viewers to fluctuate between being invested in the action on screen and not understanding the gravity of what they are seeing.

Heels don’t just show the drama from in-ring battles it also captures the need and drive to compete. It goes beyond highlighting an individual as it acts as a study of how an entire family deals with highs, lows, passions, and dreams.

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