My favorite Apple TV Plus show beats Ted Lasso — and now is the perfect time to binge-watch all 4 seasons

Rafe Spall as Jason Ross and Esther Smith as Nikki Newman in Trying on Apple TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

“Trying” on Apple TV Plus proves the adoption process is pretty darn difficult. And you know what else is fairly challenging? Keeping a TV show interesting and entertaining across multiple seasons, especially once you get deep into the run. 

I could fill a whole article with shows that have started brightly and then flamed out in spectacular style (yes, we’re all looking at you “Heroes”). That’s why I feel compelled to give the creative team behind “Trying” a hearty pat on the back for wrapping up the show’s fourth season in heartwarming fashion and with some plot threads left dangling for “Trying” season 5 — Apple don’t you dare cancel the show now.

With “Trying” season 4 all wrapped up, now is the perfect time to binge-watch the show as you've more than 30 episodes to enjoy. If you’ve never heard of the show, let me explain why it’s an Apple TV Plus must-watch and is better than Ted Lasso. 

‘Trying’ is the perfect comfort watch

Trying — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube Trying — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube
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“Trying” debuted on Apple TV Plus in May 2020, a time when comfort shows were in great demand. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the release of “Ted Lasso” just a few months later, and that soccer-themed series became the pandemic favorite that everybody latched onto. That’s a real injustice in my eyes, as “Trying” is better. 

The show follows Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall), a couple living in London who decide that want to have a child but are struggling to conceive naturally. Turning to adoption, they find themselves navigating a process full of frustrating bureaucracy and unforeseen hurdles as they attempt to complete their family. However, they soon realize that they don’t just need to prove they are suitable for parenthood to the adoption agency, but also to themselves. 

“Trying” is an extremely breezy show, with generally low stakes, and an infectious optimism that makes you believe that any problem in life can be solved with determination and support from those around you. It’s a shot of sunshine in an increasingly cynical TV landscape. 

Esther Smith as Nikki Newman and Rafe Spall as Jason Ross in Trying on Apple TV Plus

(Image credit: Apple)

What makes the show fly is the chemistry between Smith and Spall. They are extremely believable as a couple, which is perhaps not surprising, as they’ve recently confirmed they are now expecting a baby together (congratulations to them!). The two play off each other expertly with Spall’s deadpan comedic delivery a highlight. 

No good comedy is complete without a strong supporting cast, and “Trying” is no different. Some of my favorite secondary characters include Karen (Sian Brooke), Nikki’s no-nonsense sister, Scott (Darren Boyd), Karen’s eccentric boyfriend, and Vic Ross (Phil Davis), Jason’s emotionally closed-off father. And those are just some of the loveable cast you’ll find. 

If you’re new to “Trying” I’m quite jealous as you can binge-watch the full 4 seasons now. But if you’re caught up on the show, let’s dive into what makes “Trying” season 4 so wonderful.

An image indicating spoilers are ahead.

‘Trying' season 4 is another winner

(L-R) Cooper Turner as Tyler, Esther Smith as Nikki Newman, Rafe Spall as Jason Ross and Scarlett Rayner as Princess in "Trying" season 4 on Apple TV Plus

(Image credit: Apple)

I was a huge "Ted Lasso" fan in the show’s first two seasons. However, its third season broke me. I thought the dip in quality was vast, and things got so bad I started to question why I'd ever liked the show in the first place. That’s why I’m pleased “Trying” hasn’t suffered a similar fate. Instead, it’s kept the quality levels consistent. 

I will admit that I think “Trying” season 4 is the weakest yet, but the margin is small, and everything I’ve always loved about the show is still here. I was particularly impressed with how series creator and writer Andy Wolton, handled the six-year time jump. Adding a now teenage Princess (Scarlett Rayner) to the mix brought a different element to the show, and I enjoyed Rayner's high-energy performance. 

Even if the storyline about Princess searching for her biological mother felt like the most obvious path for the series to take it was still well handled on the whole, and it added a pleasing element of mystery to the season. Plus, the cliffhanger ending tees up intriguing future fallout. 

(L-R) Esther Smith as Nikki Newman, Scarlet Rayner as Princess and Rafe Spall as Jason Ross in "Trying" season 4 now streaming on Apple TV Plus

(Image credit: Apple)

At its core “Trying” season 4 didn't forget what made the show great in the first place, and continued to rely on the strength of Nikki and Jason as characters while giving the supporting cast plenty of screen time too. Plus, unlike “Ted Lasso” episodes haven't ballooned to bloated runtimes, “Trying” has remained a zippy 30-minute comedy as it should always be. 

“Trying” is most definitely not the most ambitious show on Apple TV Plus. And it’ll never attract the pop culture attention of a “Ted Lasso”, “Severance” or “Slow Horses”, but that’s okay. It’s an easy-going comedy that brightens my mood every time a new episode drops, and that's why it's at the top of my Apple TV Plus list. 

Here’s hoping a season 5 renewal is just around the corner as I’m not ready to say goodbye to Nikki and Jason just quite yet. But while I anxiously await news of future episodes, here are the best Apple TV Plus movies that you should stream this week

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

  • Si1969
    Really? Ted Lasso was incredible. Trying.... Well I started last year and gave up after episode 1. More recently, I've given it another go, and just finished then first season last night. It's pleasant enough and an easy watch, but I haven't laughed once yet.

    I'll persevere, but I suspect that this is not going to improve. Also struggling to find any likeable characters in it.