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Former Arrow star Stephen Amell has been developing his Starz wrestling drama Heels for years, finally combining his career as an actor with his well-publicized love of professional wrestling, but this trailer makes it pretty clear that “wrestling drama” doesn’t quite capture just how much drama there is here. There’s scripted drama in the ring, there’s family drama outside of the ring, there’s relationship drama between wrestlers, there’s drama with angry dudes at a bar, there’s drama between wrestler man and his wife, and there’s… probably another kind of drama on top of that. Maybe some behind-the-scenes drama?
The show is about a small-town wrestling business run by two brothers, with one (Stephen Amell) writing the storylines for the shows and the other (Alexander Ludwig) being the big star who is destined to someday outgrow the local market. Kelli Berglund is also there as a woman who wants to be taken seriously as a wrestler and does the Black Widow legs-around-a-neck thing that everybody does now. Someone probably did it before Black Widow, but there’s no way to know.
There’s a lot of people giving each other meaningful looks while covered in sweat and wearing wrestling outfits and some foreseeable dramatic tension about the brothers working out their real issues with scripted battles in the ring, but also maybe the scripted battles in the ring are kind of real as well? The trailer also briefly makes sure that you know what a “heel” is in this context, with the line “you’re either a hero or a villain” changing to “you’re either a face or a heel.” (A “face” is a good guy wrestler and a “heel” is a bad guy wrestler, and if it comes up, a “work” is a scripted thing that’s supposed to happen and a “shoot” is an unplanned thing that happens for real.) Heels premieres on Starz on August 15.