Despite getting a free year of Apple TV Plus last summer, I’ve been pretty indifferent towards the streaming service. Outside of the excellent Ted Lasso, I've struggled to find anything appealing in the service’s relatively trim selection of original content.
A few weeks ago I wrote about finally being excited about an upcoming Apple TV Plus show in the form of The Afterparty. While I haven’t quite gelled with that show much as I’d hoped, in the days after publishing I received an email from a reader recommending another Apple TV Plus series to me.
The show in question is Trying. I had actually seen a couple of ads for it before Ted Lasso episodes and paid little attention at the time, but I figured what’s the harm in giving it a shot. Well, that turned out to be a very wise decision. Trying is now starting to rival Ted Lasso as my favorite show on Apple TV Plus.
Trying is a wonderfully warming series, which alongside the chronicles of an American football coach in England, entirely justifies the cost of a $4.99 Apple TV Plus subscription (opens in new tab). Let me explain why you really need to give Trying a try.
Trying is an Apple TV Plus hidden gem
Trying’s elevator pitch is extremely straightforward: A young(ish) couple desperately want to become parents but find out they can’t naturally conceive a child, so they decide to adopt instead. As you'd expect, they stumble across various challenges and deal with them in a variety of comedic ways. It's a simple core idea.
The show is definitely a relaxed watch. There’s no unexpected twists, left-field turns or dramatic revelations to speak of. It’s just a gentle, good natured comedy show, and I mean that very much as a complement. Much like Ted Lasso, it’s easy viewing, perfect after a long day or when you’re looking for something that will lift your spirits.
The show’s fairly unremarkable premise is elevated by some really strong leading performances. Trying is anchored by Rafe Spall and Esther Smith, and the pair have excellent on screen chemistry. It’s easy to buy into their relationship dynamic, and you’ll quickly find yourself rooting for them. Spall especially is excellent as Jason, with frequent witty remarks that had me laughing out loud.
Again, like Ted Lasso, Trying uses its simple comedy framework as a way to touch on some more serious issues. One arc sees Smith’s Nikki deal with feelings of inadequacies, as well as being unfulfilled professionally. This is by no means ground breaking stuff, but it gives Trying an extra wrinkle beyond its bread and butter sarcastic quips and outlandish situational comedy.
There are currently two seasons of Trying available on Apple TV Plus, with a third already confirmed and likely to launch in Spring 2022. Now is the perfect time to jump into this show, and see for yourself why it’s arguable the service’s most underappreciated gem.
Maybe I was wrong about Apple TV Plus
As noted above, I’ve been pretty mixed on Apple TV Plus over the last six months. I’ve enjoyed some of the service’s exclusive movies like On the Rocks and CODA, but been less impressed with original shows like See and Acapulco.
I’ve referred to it as the “Ted Lasso streaming service” in the past, a jab at the platform’s inability to generate significant interest in anything but the Jason Sudeikis lead series. But perhaps I was being too harsh on Apple TV Plus.
It might not ever rank as one of the best streaming services for me personally, and I’m still not sure I'll be putting down my own money when my free subscription runs out in the summer, but if the service can produce more endearing hits like Trying and Ted Lasso I just might be convinced.
I’m starting to wonder if there’s any other hidden gems buried within the Apple TV Plus library that I’d previously glossed over; perhaps I need to give Schmigadoon a chance next?
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