My favorite Apple TV Plus show returns this month — and it’s better than Ted Lasso

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

For several years, Apple TV Plus was often referred to as the “Ted Lasso streaming service” due to the popularity of the sports-themed comedy. However, I always felt that label was a little unfair, and honestly, I don’t even think “Ted Lasso” is the best sitcom on the platform. 

While Apple TV Plus offers some of the best prestige television around with critically acclaimed hits including “Severance”, “For All Mankind” and “Slow Horses”, my top pick has always been “Trying”. This easy-watching sitcom follows a British couple as they attempt to navigate the tricky world of adoption, and it’s the TV equivalent of a warm hug. 

The show premiered back in 2020, with a second and third season following in subsequent years. After an extended break of almost two years, “Trying” season 4 is set to debut on May 22, and I can’t wait to be reunited with the show’s lovable cast. My anticipation levels were already high, but the first trailer for this new season just dropped it looks predictably perfect. 

So if you’re looking for something new to watch on Apple TV Plus, or perhaps you want a replacement comfort show now that the full-time whistle has been called on Lasso, “Trying” is the perfect alternative. For my money, it’s an even more charming and likable show than the soccer-set series that dominated conversations regarding Apple TV Plus for far too long. 

‘Trying’ is an unmissable Apple TV original 

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

(Image credit: Apple)

“Trying” is a simple show, and that’s arguably its biggest strength. It’s not a twisting thriller or an emotionally-taxing drama, but rather it’s a feel-good comedy without a cynical bone in its body. I’ve rewatched the three available seasons multiple times as it’s the ideal comfort show. It’s the type of series you can throw on when you’re looking for a little pick-me-up after a long day. 

"Trying" centers on Nikki Newman (Esther Smith) and Jason Ross (Rafe Spall), a young(ish) couple living in London, England who desperately want to start a family of their own. After struggling to conceive naturally, they decide to try adoption. This kicks off a whole series of funny situations 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 concept is simple, but what makes “Trying” such a blast is the amazing chemistry between its two leads. Nikki and Jason are extremely likable characters, and their comedic interplay and sarcastic banter are the highlight of the many episodes. Smith and Spall each bring something unique to the table, the former offers more physical comedy while the latter brings loads of witty one-liners. They’re a perfect pair and make for a believable (and easy to root for) couple.  

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

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

It would be unfair of me not to mention the wonderful supporting cast as well including Nikki’s sister Karen (Sian Brooke) and her eccentric partner Scott (Darren Boyd), couple friends Freddy (Oliver Chris) and Erica (Ophelia Lovibond), and Jason’s parents Vic (Phil Davis) and Sandra (Paula Wilcox). All these memorable characters come together to form one of my favorite casts in any comedy show. 

Another core element of “Trying” is its willingness to get serious when appropriate. While things are breezy most of the time, the show does have an emotional edge that incorporates more serious subject matters. These include an excellent plotline that looks at Nikki’s lack of professional fulfillment, and an overall sensitive handling of the difficult nature of the adoption process. 

I’ve written about this Apple TV Plus show several times before, so I’m at risk of repeating myself, but I simply can't stop recommending it. If you’ve never watched it, you’ve got three whole seasons to get caught up on. And while that might sound like a lot, “Trying” is so darn watchable that you’ll probably binge the whole thing in just a few days. 

‘Trying’ season 4 — here’s our first look

If you’re like me and eagerly awaiting the return of “Trying” on Apple TV Plus, you’ll probably be delighted to know that a trailer for season 4 dropped last week. This brief sneak peek gives us our first look at the return of Jason and Nikki and promises a slightly new spin on the show’s established formula. 

The biggest change is that “Trying” season 4 will be making use of a time skip with viewers catching up on the couple and their two adopted kids, Princess (Scarlett Rayner) and Tyler (Cooper Turner), six years after Jason and Nikki tied the knot and were approved to become permanent adoptive parents. 

Last season ended with the show’s core cast in blissful happiness, but a lot can change in half a decade, and this new season of "Trying" will see Nikki and Jason face the toughest test of their parenting skills yet when Princess reveals a desire to connect with her birth mother. “Trying” has never been a show about unexpected twists or shocking reveals, but I’m excited to see where this new thread goes, even if I’m confident the final destination will be a happy one. 

“Trying” season 4 is set to debut on Apple TV Plus on May 22 with a two-episode premiere, followed by weekly drops each Wednesday through July 3. That should give you just enough time to binge-watch the series to date or give it a rewatch if you’ve already enjoyed it before. 

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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. 

  • weckland1904
    I don't know why you felt the need to compare it to Ted lasso because nope. It is everything you said it is charming it is upbeat. It is not original I didn't see a single new take on a single old joke. Thoroughly enjoyed yes but it's simply not in the same league, walking the same ground that's been walked over and over in bits and pieces if not its entirety by other shows for decades. again, enjoyed it putting it in the same class as Ted lasso is silly there's no need to.