Amassing more than 10 million subscribers in its first year, Apple TV+ might still be in its infancy, but the streaming network is one of the more imaginative platforms boasting an original collection of vibrant programming nothing short of perfection with shows like Trying. Returning for its sophomore season this Friday after premiering during the height of the pandemic last year, the cleverly distinct British comedy that follows a couple who try as hard as they can to achieve something they just can’t have is back with another set of eight episodes on Apple TV+, this time elevating the trials of couple Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall) as they navigate through the adoption process.
The Smith and Spall-led series written with heart and a warm naturalism returns Friday, May 21 and continues to serve up exactly what audiences need as an honest tale of two underdogs struggling in their journey to parenthood. While the series has already been picked up for a third season assumed to premiere next year, Season 2 illustrates the couple’s many frustrations in trying to match with a child through the help of their social worker Penny (Imelda Staunton). Sparking a number of hilarious moments between the two leads and other scenes that will just tug at your heart, things take a turn when Nikki meets a little girl named Princess at an adoption event, believing she is the exact child for them. But there are several obstacles in the plan she and Jason have for their life that proves to be a particularly painstaking undertaking in and of itself.
There is not enough praise in the world for Smith and Spall, who no doubt steal the show with their talent and charm. The two actors, best known for their talents on the London stage, are genuine and earnest in their portrayals of characters that meet with a multitude of insecurities but are so hopelessly optimistic in trying anything they can to achieve their goals. Smith’s bubbly energy blended with neuroticisms makes Nikki a relatable, refreshing figure in every scene; while Spall is a real delight in everything he’s ever been in and as natural as ever, proving he’s an underrated gem of an actor and a chameleon at that. With the two falling so seamlessly into each other amid their high highs and low lows, their genuineness playing such a dedicated couple makes the show all the more fun to watch and a true sweetheart series from Apple TV+ that is a must-see.
With an amazing supporting cast including Staunton, Ophelia Lovibond, Oliver Chris, Sian Brooke and Darren Boyd, the relationships in Trying feel incredibly real and are so natural to watch unfold in each and every scene. Staunton as a mother-like figure with a no bulls— policy plays her role as Penny down to a tee and elevates every scene with such whimsy and wit. This season also picks up in the split between Freddy (Chris) and Erica (Lovibond) that brings out some moments of the two trying their best to co-parent, while also moving on. Their attempts are just as funny as Jason and Nikki’s in their committed quest for attaining parenthood and play as a nice contrast to the storylines. Nikki’s sister Karen (Brooke) meets at a crossroads in her relationship with Scott (Boyd), and one that will have you wondering about her ultimate decision every step of the way until the season finale following Scott’s numerous hiccups.
Super easy to binge and re-watch all over again thanks to its writing and performances, the Andy Wolton created series is absolutely hilarious in a relaxed kind of way with its string of humorous moments, including some laugh-out-loud scenes that will have you absolutely smitten with the series. With shining chemistry between Smith and Spall leading the way for a charming, effortless comedy that is humble and down-to-earth in its settings, the show is a real pleaser and its sophomore season is another winner. Alongside witty writing and warmth that brings a tender touch to subject matter that is not as often portrayed in film and TV today, Trying is a triumph in the narrative it hopes to push with the realm of fertility and broaden in societal norms. Written with sensitivity and heart, this is one of those rare gems that acts like a prismatic portrait balancing comedy and pathos most naturalistically.
Trying Season 1 is now streaming on Apple TV+, with Season 2 launching globally on Friday, May 21. For more on the show and all your favorite stars and streaming series, stay tuned to the latest from PopCulture.com.