American premium cable network Starz has announced it will be renewing its wrestling drama Heels for a second season following a successful pilot run. The show’s first season drew strong ratings and was met with critical and fan acclaim, achieving a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 96% and 92% respectively. Starz president and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch announced the series would be returning, releasing the following statement:
“It’s clear from the critical and fan acclaim that the stories and characters from the Duffy Wrestling League have made a connection with audiences bringing a community that is not often found to premium TV. I’m excited for our amazing cast and executive producers to get back into the ring together for a second season.”
Wrestling fans were delighted with arguably the most earnest portrayal of the popular pseudo sport since Darren Aronofsky’s 2008 film The Wrestler. It’s a spectacle often dismissed by many as ‘fake’, but Heels offers a deeper look into the hard work and immense physical effort that goes into becoming a professional wrestler. It mixes some of the best elements of Netflix’s hit series GLOW, which also focused on the struggles of independant wrestling, but offers less hope and laughter in a good way.
It’s not just wrestling fans who got a kick out of Heels though with a well developed human drama at the centre of the series’ narrative. It focuses on brothers Jack Spade (Stephen Amell) and Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig) trying to keep their father’s promotion alive after his untimely passing. The pair are at odds with the creative direction of the brand and it leads to a lot of drama spilling over into their family lives.
Their independent promotion Duffy Wrestling League is incredibly popular within their local community creating a fishbowl around the duo and a lot of pressure to keep delivering. Jack has ambitions to take the league beyond what his father established and hopes to achieve his dream of going nationwide. While Ace is more interested in pushing the creative boundaries to develop what he believes to be a better performance.
They both work prominently in-ring for the promotion, with Ace, in particular, displaying the ability to go beyond the humdrum Georgian setting. Jack plays one of the titular ‘heels’, a wrestling term for a villain character, whilst his brother is the face of the company meaning their characters are directly juxtaposed. It creates a dynamic where the two are in fierce competition both in and out of the ring.
The show is also the latest offering from the burgeoning creative talent of Michael Waldron, who formerly worked under Dan Harmon on Community and Rick and Morty. Waldron has more recently been commissioned for some major work by Disney including Loki and Kevin Feige’s upcoming untitled Star Wars film. He’ll be returning as a writer-producer for the second season alongside showrunner Mike O’Malley best known for his work on Shameless.
There’s plenty of time for fans to catch up on the first season which is available now on StarzPlay which in turn is available through Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. The show also stars Alison Luff, Mary McCormack, Kelli Berglund, Allen Maldonado, Chris Bauer and former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
You can view the original article HERE.