Heels season 2 review: One of the best written shows on TV

Kelli Berglund (“Crystal Tyler”) in Heels season 2. Image courtesy Daniel Delgado, Heels © 2022 Starz Entertainment, LLC
Kelli Berglund (“Crystal Tyler”) in Heels season 2. Image courtesy Daniel Delgado, Heels © 2022 Starz Entertainment, LLC /

After a long two-year wait, one of my favorite shows on TV returns for its second season on Starz in Heels. The wrestling drama swept the world off its feet with the first season, can they recapture that same feeling in season two? We share our review of the second season below.

Heels follow Jack and Ace Spade, brothers who are trying to run the Duffy Wrestling League and follow in the footsteps of their father, who passed it down to them before he died. The series stars Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig in the lead roles.

Season 2 picks up shortly after the massive finale of the fairground battle between Jack and Ace leading to Crystal taking home the title. As Jack and Ace are stubborn and beating the crap out of each other, they have “booked” themselves into a corner, with Crystal being Heavyweight Champion. Regardless of the chaos, the fairground show was one of the biggest in DWL history. However, Ace sets his sights on bolting out of town, leaving Jack to figure out what’s next for the league.

When I watched season one of this show, I was in disbelief over the writers’ ability to create two shows in one and make them both good. On the surface, this is a drama based on wrestling, but if you look at it from the point of view of the writers who are developing a drama series while also writing wrestling shows, you can’t help but be impressed with their ability to do both works. It shouldn’t work as well as it does.

As a former professional wrestler myself, one of the most important things this series does is it stay true to the world of professional wrestling in so many aspects. It doesn’t shy away from the goofiness that people tend to associate with the world of wrestling, but it conveys a strong message for those who appreciate the sport for what it is.

Any series with good writing could be thrown to the wayside with rough acting, but in the case of Heels, the actors elevate the script to another level. When you have a second season, actors show more comfort in their roles. As a result, we start to see some shine a little more than they did in the first season.

Kelli Berglund steals the show as Crystal Tyler in Heels season 2

I could probably write for days about this cast, but one of the strongest things about the series is watching who stands out change so much. Early in the season, Kelli Berglund has one of the more impressive arcs as Crystal Tyler. We see this character overcome many obstacles being a woman in a male dominated sport and standing tall repeatedly. Berglund forces you to invest in Crystal’s arc with her ability to command the screen with charisma and empathy. If you look at the season’s biggest moments, Berglund is always stealing the show.

While I could talk about Stephen Amell’s passion for this series or Alexander Ludwig‘s oozing charisma, I want to point out the heart and soul of this show in Chris Bauer as Wild Bill. He’s the veteran professional wrestler in the locker room that everyone turns to when they need help, and he is the guy that everyone looks to when they need a laugh. In season 2, as Wild Bill’s story starts to be unpacked, I was impressed with the vulnerability we saw from Bauer. Sure, he makes you laugh quite a bit, but in those emotional moments, Bauer drives it home, bringing you to tears.

Overall, the two-year-long wait was worth it, as Heels continues to be one of the best-written shows on TV. The cast is brilliant, the storytelling in and out of the ring is fantastic, and it does a great job of keeping you wanting more, just like any good professional wrestling show does. If you haven’t watched Heels, please do. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate what these folks do every week.

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Heels season 2 premieres on Starz on July 28, 2023.