On August 24 the first two episodes of Welcome to Wrexham will drop on FX at 10 p.m. E.T. and I will have my popcorn ready. You should too unless you want to wait and watch on Hulu the next day. No judgment.
Welcome to Wrexham is basically the real-life version of Ted Lasso. Two Americans — okay, an American and a Canadian — buy a struggling Welsh football (soccer) club and try and save it. Except these two are actually Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.
That’s right, Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Deadpool bought a football team — and it’s not a joke. They have genuinely cared about the fifth-tier football club from the Welsh town of 65,692, and the town has embraced them for it. After watching the show, my guess is that you will want to embrace them too. The story is genuinely heartwarming. You cannot watch the trailer without getting emotional, or at least I can’t.
Welcome to Wrexham: What you need to know
During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of football clubs were suffering because they could not play and generate revenues from ticket sales. For clubs like Wrexham A.F.C., which had already been mismanaged to the brink of collapse, this was potentially the final straw. But then came a bid to potentially save the club.
The club’s supporters initially rejected the bid, but then they found out their mystery bidders were McElhenney and Reynolds. They ultimately approved the purchase with overwhelming support, despite the fact that the pair — while charming — have no experience managing any sports team. However, what they had was a desire to not only save one of the oldest football clubs in the world but to raise the profile of the town of Wrexham itself.
The first season follows McElhenney and Reynolds from when they bought Wrexham A.F.C. in late 2020. It is unclear if the first season will follow them through to at least October 2021, when the two made their first appearance at a Wrexham A.F.C. game, but the trailer indicates that it will.
Regardless, you’ll have to tune in to watch McElhenney and Reynolds connect with the club and succeed in turning things around. Without spoiling things, I can promise you that they do not phone it in, even though they literally have to sometimes since they are based in North America. They care for this club, and for the Wrexham community, and once we’ve finished episode six, we will all care too.
How to watch Welcome to Wrexham
Welcome to Wrexham airs on FX on Wednesdays starting on August 24. Two 30-minute episodes air each Wednesday, with the first episode starting at 10 p.m. E.T./P.T. The first season will have six episodes, but the show has been greenlit for a second season.
For those who do not want to watch live, or don’t have FX, the episodes will be available on streaming platforms the day after they air on FX. In the U.S. they will become available on Hulu and in the U.K., they will be available on Disney Plus.
What to watch after Welcome to Wrexham
It is incredibly easy to draw comparisons between Welcome to Wrexham and Ted Lasso. Both tell the tale of charming outsiders coming to a proud U.K. football club and having zero experience. While Ted Lasso is a fictionalized version, the stakes still feel very real as Coach Lasso (Jason Sudekis) tries to navigate the fictional A.F.C. Richmond through trials and tribulations. Don’t worry if you are someone who cannot handle drama and tension — it’s incredibly funny.
Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die is what inspired Rob McElhenney to buy a soccer team (opens in new tab) in the first place. The docuseries follows Sunderland A.F.C. as they struggle with their new reality outside the English Premier League. There are currently two seasons available, but there are currently no plans for a third. Still, fans genuinely liked the show according to IMDB (opens in new tab), and you will find plenty of similarities between it and Welcome to Wrexham.
Finally, Prime Video has its own soccer docuseries. All or Nothing is actually a broader sports docuseries from Prime Video, but it has focused on three Premier League teams to date. The most recent season is All or Nothing Arsenal, and as an Arsenal fan, I will have to be biased and recommend that one. Mostly because if you watch it, you will fall in love with manager Mikel Arteta the same way Welcome to Wrexham will make you fall in love with McElhenney and Reynolds — not that you didn’t love them already.