Heels on Starz Season One has officially come to a close following the airing of the eighth and final episode this past Sunday. The show closed with a heartwarming moment that the entire season had been building up to, but there was still a lot of meat left on the bone for a potential second season.
With the first season now officially done, it’s time to take a look at some of the great qualities of the wrestling-based drama – along with some things that I think could have been done better.
Heels on Starz Season One: A Look Back
Positive: Crystal Tyler
Going into the show, the appearances of Stephen Amell and CM Punk were the things that got people talking about the show.
Something that wasn’t expected, however, was the emergence of Crystal Tyler and how big her role in the show would be. From the very beginning, Tyler played an integral role in the show and was the butt of many storyline angles.
She was presented in a very underdog fashion, a fashion that made you invest in her character and root for her to get what was rightfully hers. Spoiler Warning: She did get what she rightfully deserved.
Positive: The Presentation Of Wrestling
I often find myself not liking certain wrestling movies or shows due to the portrayal of the actual sport. Movies like Fighting With My Family are a prime example of this, but Heels takes a different approach. With Stephen Amell being involved, the show portrays wrestling in the correct way and shows the way that things actually operate behind the scenes.
The show leans heavily into a wrestler’s perspective, using terms like “babyface,” “heels,” “shoot,” “work,” and more. While this may not be fond to others, I enjoyed the realism given it is a show about the drama behind wrestling – not the actual in-ring aspect of it.
There were a few moments throughout the show where a Duffy casual would mention that wrestling is fake, to which a certain character would correct them and explain what wasn’t real and was – which I appreciated vastly.
As is usual with any Starz or HBO shows, I loved the camera work throughout season one of Heels. The shots were unique, compelling, and felt like they were shedding new light on the story at times.
Although somebody pushed the slow-motion button maybe a bit too much, the work specifically for the wrestling scenes was near-perfect.
Negative: Florida Wrestling Dystopia Portrayal
We first heard of the DWL rival promotion in Episode Two but didn’t actually get to see it in action until Episode Seven. Throughout that five-episode gap, I think a few scenes here and there would have benefited from building up the FWD as this big, bad competitor.
When Charlie Gully and FWD finally reared their heads, their evil and heelish manner really played off well and you wanted to dislike them. If they would have played a bigger role in the show, Gully’s impact in the last episode would have come off more naturally.
Negative: Character Storylines Being Dropped
Although there was not that much of this, there were a few cases of storylines being just completely dropped or forgot about. There’s always a possibility of a second season, but there’s also a chance that it doesn’t happen.
Jack Spade’s son, Thomas Spade, was given a character angle early on in the show about liking Ace more than his dad – something that affected the headspace of Jack. It was never really picked back up on past Episode Four, which was unfortunate.
This also happened with the Staci/Jack dynamic. While the story did come to a climax point in the last episode, a resolution was never reached.
The plot of the show, while very good, was very drawn out sometimes and made the show lag in regard to intrigue.
There were one or two episodes that didn’t advance anything in terms of the main storyline but rather focused on irrelevant side plots that didn’t go anywhere.
The show could have used another episode or two, but this wouldn’t be the case if the previously mentioned episodes didn’t waste time on meaningless stories.
Overall Thoughts on Heels on Starz Season One
Overall, the show was more than an enjoyable watch. There aren’t many wrestling-based shows or movies out there, so when they come along, you cherish them and hold them close to the chest.
I can repeat what I’ve repeated in all of my reviews/recaps and say that without a doubt, Heels on Starz deserves a Season 2.