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'Heels' — Release date, trailer, cast and everything you need to know about STARZ' new wrestling drama

Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig in Heels on STARZ.
(Image credit: STARZ)

STARZ has found itself in the wrestling business. Their newest drama, Heels, is set to premiere mid-August, and it's ready to knock your proverbial socks off. Loki writer Michael Waldron serves as head writer on the series, with the one and only Mike O'Malley (our beloved Snowpiercer dad) serving as showrunner. Fans have a lot of questions about this one, so let's dive right in! 

What is 'Heels' about?

Heels follows the Spade family as they navigate life after the tragic passing of their patriarch, Tom. Jack is the golden boy who chose to follow closely in his father's shoes. He now runs the Duffy Wrestling League (DWL) — the family's struggling wrestling promotion — and does his best to be there for his wife and young son. Ace is a little bit more of a wild card. The youngest Spade once thought that his focus would be as a pro footballer rather than the family trade. He's not too happy about still being stuck in Duffy, and he struggles a great deal with his brother. 

The Spade family and those closest to them face a myriad of challenges both in and outside of the ring. Smalltown Georgia almost plays a character in and of itself as those who remain in Duffy struggle with what their limitations are whether they love the town or not. For the Spade boys, many of the answers sit right in front of their faces. But are they man enough to accept solutions that may go against the traditional methods of their little town?

Do I need to be a wrestling fan to enjoy 'Heels'?

Even as a major wrestling fan, this was a big concern I went into Heels with. The fandom isn't small, but for a series like Heels to succeed it has to reach out to a broader audience. I'm thrilled to report that viewers don't need to know a lick about the industry to enjoy what's going on in this series. Whatever you need to know will be explained in quick little snippets of dialogue. The rest will come as you watch these characters grow and witness their reverence for the sport. 

When will 'Heels' premiere?

The first episode of Heels will hit STARZ on August 15, 2021 at 7PM PST. "Kayfabe" — episode 1.01 — will occupy the hour slot on the channel. The series will then air episodically until it hits its Season 1 finale. 

How many episodes in Season 1 of 'Heels'?

This first season consists of eight episodes. In addition to our (spoiler free) review of the first half of Heels, we will be dropping spoiler reviews of each episode after it airs. 

Do I need cable to watch 'Heels'?

You do not need cable to watch Heels! STARZ has an app that you can sign up for to stream episodes after they air. A subscription to the service is $8.99 (with a 7-day free trial). You can also get STARZ as an add-on on YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, and several other streaming platforms. 

Is there a trailer for 'Heels'?

There sure is! And it rules. 

What are your critics saying about 'Heels'?

Amelia Emberwing had the below to say in her spoiler free review of the first half of Heels. 

Heels on Starz was presented with the complicated task of making a series that would wow wrestling fans without ostracizing the folks who are just here for a solid drama with a couple of their favorite actors. For the most part, the series accomplishes exactly what it means to in that regard. Whispers of "but it's fake" are quickly shut down in the first half of the season, quieted by the reverence for the squared circle and an unfettered love for the industry. 

Who stars in 'Heels'?

  • Stephen Amell as Jack Spade
  • Alexander Ludwig as Ace Spade
  • Mary McCormack as Willie Day
  • Kelly Burgland as Chrystal Tyler
  • James Harrison Jr. as Apocalypse
  • Allen Maldenado as Rooster Robbins
  • Chris Bauer as Wild Bill Hancock
  • Alison Luff as Staci Spade
  • Roxton Garcia as Thomas Spade

In addition to the main cast, you can expect to see a couple of your favorite professionals pop up throughout the series as well. Keep your eyes peeled for Bullet Club alumn Doc Gallows, CM Punk, and more! 

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia Emberwing is the Entertainment Editor and lead critic here at What to Watch. She survives on a steady IV of caffeine, rants, pixie dust and fangirling, and will probably sass you. You can find her on Rotten Tomatoes as an individually approved critic. She's also a member of the Television Critics Association and GALECA.