Professional wrestling isn’t called “a soap opera for men” for no reason. It’s a world of intense emotions, out-of-this-world athleticism, and big-time injuries. The melodrama runs thick when wrestling is at its best. So what do you get when you take an already melodramatic “sport” and craft an actual soap opera around a fictional wrestling league? You get the hit Starz series Heels, and the second season is ready to make that leap off the top rope.
Stephen Amell, who is a huge wrestling fan, and Alexander Ludwig return as squabbling brothers running a family-owned wrestling league out of rural Georgia. The physical and emotional bruises begin to add up as each brother fights to become the promotion’s biggest star, and also to claim their father’s legacy.
Also taking the ring are Alison Luff, Mary McCormack, Kelli Berglund, exec-producer/showrunner Mike O’Malley, Mark Christopher Bauer, and controversial All Elite Wrestling superstar CM Punk along with his wife, former wrestler AJ Mendez. The series was created by Michael Waldron, known for Marvel’s Loki and Doctor Strange 2.
Here’s the synopsis: “Heels” is aptly named after the wrestling term for a villain or antagonist. Most stories center around heroes vs. villains, but in wrestling, it’s faces vs. heels. Season two brings fans back to the family-owned wrestling organization, Duffy Wrestling League (DWL), where brothers and rivals, Jack (Amell) and Ace Spade (Ludwig), continue to fightover their late father’s legacy and their individual versions of success, while also working to find their own identity as a “face” or a “heel.” The show invokes feelings of nostalgia akin to “Friday Night Lights,” while covering topics like the effects of trauma on communities, finding personal identity, and women taking the lead in every facet. It is centered around a small-town community where everyone knows each other and everyone in town follows the saga of the Heels and Faces in the DWL.
Heels returns to Starz for season two on July 28th.