It’s been a strong year for Apple TV Plus with shows like Severance, Blackbird and Physical making a case for its ranking on our roundup of the best streaming services. But while the wait for Ted Lasso season 3 continues to be tortuous — seriously when is that show coming back? — Apple TV Plus does offer another feel good hit that is well worth, urm, Trying.
I’ve already written several articles about Trying, arguing it's just as good as Coach Lasso’s adventures, and the third season of the breezy comedy series just wrapped up last week. And I’m thrilled to report it’s every bit as good as its predecessors, combining an optimistic tone with light humor and packing a cast of extremely likable characters. But the show is also brilliant at tackling darker moments, allowing more serious storylines to be peppered into what is predominantly a very carefree viewing experience.
If you’re an Apple TV Plus subscriber who hasn’t yet discovered the joyful delights of this easy-watching show you’ve now got 24 episodes to catch up on. That’s around 12 hours of content, which should be more than enough to get you through a whole weekend, and maybe even Monday evening as well. Still on the fence? Allow me to once again try to convince you why Trying is absolutely worth your time.
You won’t have to try hard to like this show
Trying centres on Nikki Newman (Esther Smith) and Jason Ross (Rafe Spall), a young(ish) couple living in London who desperately want to start a family. After struggling to conceive naturally, they make the decision to adopt. This kicks off a whole series of trials and tribulations as they attempt to navigate the complex process of proving they are capable of raising a small human — to both the authorities and themselves.
The show really succeeds in large part because of the flawless chemistry between Smith and Spall. From the first minute, it’s extremely easy to buy into Nikki and Jason both as a couple and as individuals. Nikki is the wide-eyed dreamer of the pair, while Jason is a little more cynical, with some excellent dry jokes that had me chuckling often.
Things are mostly kept pretty breezy, but I also really appreciate that Trying isn’t afraid to get a little more serious dealing with complicated subject matters like Nikki’s lack of professional fulfillment, or Jason’s mother struggling with personal regrets. Of course, Trying never gets too bogged down in the grey side of life, but it doesn’t present the world as nothing but sunshine and rainbows, and that’s appreciated even in a comedy series.
As noted, there are currently three seasons of Trying on Apple TV Plus, and each season has a pretty clear narrative drive that is introduced and concluded within eight episodes. I won’t spoil where season two and three go (Although you might be able to guess, this isn’t a show that aims to subvert your expectations), but I enjoyed the subtle ways each season sets itself apart from what came before. Trying doesn’t deviate from its core tone, but each collection of episodes is distinct enough to not feel repetitive.
Trying is a charming little show, and while it’s certainly not as grand in scale as some of Apple TV Plus' most ambitious projects, it’s still easily one of the service’s most underrated gems.
Don’t just take my word for it either
If the multiple articles I’ve written to date singing the praises of Trying still haven’t convinced you to give it a shot — and, if not, what do I have to do at this point? — then perhaps its overwhelmingly positive critical reception will persuade you to press that play button.
The show’s first season debuted to extremely strong reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes Trying season 1 has an 86% and has been awarded a Verified Fresh badge. Trying season 2 received an even warmer reception scoring a perfect 100% again over on Rotten Tomatoes. And while Trying season 3 doesn’t have an RT critics score, it does have a very strong 85% audience score.
Apple has already confirmed that Trying has been renewed for a fourth season, and I look forward to the return of Nikki and Jason (presumably) next year. If you've yet to meet them, then there's no time like the present.