Duffy, Georgia looks like a forgotten town. A place where the people that have had family that has lived there forever know what it is, but the rest of the world looks at it as a relic, if they look at it at all.
But the thing about small towns like Duffy, is they have a history. They have a history that we all may not understand, but the people from there embrace and live by. They have traditions and a code. They accept what is there because it’s the way that they know.
And truly what is more comforting than the things that you know.
For Jack and Ace Spade, they’ve grown up in this forgotten town, and the legacy that their father has left them is there. The Duffy Wrestling League is their life. Wrestling is what their father gave them and it’s a history that they know is the best part of them.
But Jack – he’s struggling. He’s struggling with trying to keep everything above water. The arena needs upgrades. His brothers star is shining brighter than his. Ace is the main attraction and Jack… well he’s a Heel.
In the world of professional wrestling the heroes are known as faces. The villains are heels.
Everyone may not love Jack, but he’s always got what is best for the DWL on his mind. He’s annoyed by his little brother and his show off attitude. He knows though, that from a business standpoint, that his brother brings people in.
Jack is married and I want to say that he’s a devoted father and husband, but I am a little skeptical on that after the first episode. He’s so devoted to the DWL but in that, he forgets to spend time with his wife and son, except on Sunday, when church guilt brings him to spending time with family.
Jack is married to the Duffy Wrestling League. Now, having not watched past the first episode when writing this, I will say that I think that he’s trying to reach a glory that his father never did, but also trying to find more. He wants to be bigger than the people that taunt him with bigger wrestling leagues and bigger opportunities.
Ace is an asshole who thrives off the attention and the glory. He’s wanting and willing to put his dick wherever it can go. He’s got a hard on for the attention. And sure, he’s got a lot of people paying attention to him and that would be a turn on for everyone. Chiseled abs and hair that looks out of the 70’s he’s way too full of himself.
The brothers don’t see eye to eye. In a week a lot can change.
The show starts off with Ace challenging his brother to a showdown in the ring. And Jack responds that if people want to see them in the ring they need to be there the following week, because the brothers will wrestle each other.
Now we all know that wrestling is “fake,” but even knowing that doesn’t mean it means less to the person in the ring. However, watching Jack struggle over the next week trying to figure out if he wins or his brother does, is one of the – if not the only – emotional arc in this episode.
Now, sure, I know there is more, but it’s the only one that you somewhat become invested in. Ace of course wants to win, Jack is thinking bigger picture. What happens if the fan favorite wins? What is left to come back to? Ace doesn’t see it that way.
He wants the belt. He wants his picture on the wall. He wants the world of Duffy to be staring at him.
And then when an old member of the DWL makes it to town to recruit Ace for bigger and “better” things, Jack is torn. Does he let his brother win in order to keep him there and to also give him the shot that he needs? Does he let his brother win and wear the belt that he’s wanted for so long? Or does he bring his brother back to the reality that he’s a redneck shit who needs to mind his manners and remember that he’s not earned his stripes just yet.
Bill, the man who used to be a part of the DWL has been sent to scout Ace. He’s walked in like he’s God, ready to hand them all a better life. Bill is enticing Ace with all the promises of fame and fortune.
Jack is annoyed, and he’s territorial. Part of me thinks he’s jealous and part of me thinks that he’s just trying to figure out how to keep DWL afloat. Ace is taken back by everything and he’s thinking that he can come back and help when he goes and does something more.
But the thing is when you leave a small town, when you take yourself out of the familiarity – you forget it. You don’t return and when you do you’re not the same person that left. And it’s idealistic to believe that you’ll remain the same.
Their match – Jack takes him down immediately, and puts Ace in physical pain – you really think he’s going to hurt his brother. The crowd is pissed – they wanted a show. But Jack, he had a purpose.
Ace needed to put on a show to move forward in his career. And all we get here is the what ifs.
Heels is nowhere near perfect, but it’s a family drama with a lot of heart. The secondary characters, we’re not invested yet. We don’t know who they are – even Big Jim, who has the most storyline, we’re just meh about. But what we’re aching for is the investment in the characters and show like we thought we would be.
Duffy Wrestling League has potential and we’re excited for it to unfold. We know that we’re supposed to be looking at this series for the wrestling, but you know us, we need an emotional investment and even that hasn’t gotten us there yet.
New episodes air every Sunday on Starz.