Episode 1 – | Review Score – 5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
“Wrestling is fake.” These three words have been heard ample times by wrestling fans around the globe by those who don’t understand the appeal of this sports/entertainment product. It’s the same argument sports fans have explaining why soccer, American football or ice hockey are so appealing.
Well, if you ever wanted to watch a show that comes pretty darn close to replicating the excitement and tumultuous politics involved in pro wrestling – Heels is a must-watch.
Yet, Heels is not just built for wrestling enthusiasts. With a tight script, interesting characters and a solid overarching plot, Heels is built for lovers of TV, first and foremost.
That’s rare for a show in the west; creating a TV show for enjoyment rather than profit or to send a political or social message. Sure, Heels still has that through its various characters and their motives but it’s much more organically driven within the plot.
The show itself is simple enough, revolving around brothers Jack and Ace. They’ve been left with their father’s crowning achievement after his death; wrestling federation DWL. The main draw is Ace, the “babyface” (good guy) of the company. Jack is the reigning champion and plays the “heel” (bad guy). It’s classic good VS bad storytelling 101 but with a big twist. Outside the ring, the roles are reversed.
Ace is egotistical and rude; Jack is a loving husband and family man. It’s a clever dynamic, one helped by an interesting ensemble of supporting players, including aspiring wrestler Bobby, talented wrestler turned valet Crystal, and mid-card Rooster, who’s desperate for a title shot.
Spicing things up a bit is Wild Bill, a remnant from Jack and Ace’s past and a real pain in the ass. He’s a drunk, set in his ways and throws shade at the brothers for what he perceives to be the wrong way of running the DWL.
There’s some serious tension between the brothers throughout though, something made all the worse by a twist at the end of episode 1. From here, this only snowballs into more drama that eventually captures every player in this series. If that wasn’t bad enough, Heels throws even more drama into the mix through rival federation FWD, an extreme, seemingly disjointed faction that’s dead-set on burying the DWL by any mean necessary.
All of these plot points interweave and intersect nicely across the season, with the finale bringing everything together in a satisfying and well written conclusion. There is room for a second season to grow into, but even if this isn’t renewed, there’s enough here to enjoy.
While there could have done with more action in the ring, Heels more than makes up for that with its acting and characters, which are both brilliant. Add to that some good choreography, a solid soundtrack and some nice twists, and you’ve got yourself a heady cocktail of dizzying enjoyment.
It’s so rare nowadays to find a show outside of Asian entertainment that’s both well written and has lasting appeal. Heels has both of those traits in abundance and is easily one of the gems on the 2021 TV calendar.
Verdict - 9/10