Trying season 1 review – a heartwarming and infectiously funny comedy

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 30, 2020
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Apple TV+ series Trying season 1


Trying feels very human but also stereotypically British which is where the comedy shines through with a sensitive subject matter — it may be one of the best comedies out this year.

Apple TV+ series Trying season 1 will be released on the platform on May 1, 2020 — this review contains no spoilers.

I remember in my early teens when my parents decided to adopt after a stressful few years. I will never forget this time when we went to a family court to be judged in front of an adoption panel. I sat there and was well-mannered like the “good boy” I was meant to be. The panel markedly told me that I was one of the contributing factors for my parents’ approval. And like the n*bhead I was, I started celebrating afterwards in front of the social worker, shouting repeatedly that “I’m the best”. I could see the stress on my father’s face as he calmly told me (and the social worker) that what I was saying in the report was genuine. It’s for this memory alone that Apple TV+’s Trying is oddly relatable to me.

And it’s not relatable because I’ve adopted but I understand how incredibly intensive it can be from an outside perspective to maintain this “perfect family” image. This notion that you have to be upstanding citizens, when really all you need to be is yourself is due to our human nature to overthink our behaviours — being us is good enough. Trying Season 1 follows Nikki and Jason, and all they want is a baby — but after frequent attempts and IVF, they decide it is time to adopt.

The comedy series goes through those same notions; Nikki and Jason research and join adoption community groups in order to get a clear understanding of how to pass the adoption process. Trying is oddly realistic in some ways — when the social worker visits, there is a strange calm emanating around the house, almost like the walls are going to crack at any moment from the buckling pressure. The Apple TV+ series has a legitimate understanding of how the dynamic between a couple changes, especially when it results in bringing new life into their home — an objective that they’ve strived for what feels like an eternity in their longstanding relationship.

With all the seriousness, Trying is genuinely funny — Esther Smith and Rafe Spall portray an ideal couple that works with each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Their ability to perform the comedic moments but make themselves look like they are in a natural relationship is commendable. The 8-episode series plots the pair on a journey, averting several crises, managing dysfunctional friends and calmly dealing with chaotic families. The comedy in Trying is honesty; there is no notion that their lives are all about adopting — real-life gets in the way; judgement impacts you and the relationship has to withstand the stress.

Trying season 1 feels very human but also stereotypically British which is where the comedy shines through with a sensitive subject matter — it may be one of the best comedies out this year.

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