“Trying,” the AppleTV+ series now in its second season, strikes an unlikely harmonic chord as it tackles the topic of infertility with humor and heart. Jason (Rafe Spall) and Nikki (Esther Smith) are a young couple who have been trying to conceive, but doing so in the traditional or even unconventional way, just isn’t in the cards. Considering the adoption option, the couple apply, but the hoops they must jump through make it an ever-changing obstacle course paving the way for comedy and drama in perfect balance.
Nikki and Jason, in many ways, are a regular young couple. Neither of them has their act completely together and both of them constantly compare themselves to others as they attempt to find their own path…together. Over the course of two seasons, we get to know them individually and as a couple. Their family and friends, all very unique, influence who they are and how they trudge forward in creating a family by way of adoption.
The story finds credibility and reality as both Nikki and Jason try to become the model prospective parents. This craziness is accentuated when the social worker, Penny (Imelda Staunton), a standout in the series, comes on the scene. Testing the waters of parenthood, a memorable episode depicts Nikki and Jason babysitting a friends’ youngster for the weekend. They quickly realize parenting isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. This is just one of the myriad number of wonderful episodes that, no matter whether you’re a parent or not, you’ll chuckle and connect with this less-than-perfect perfect couple. And by the end of Season 2, we are so fully invested in this couple and their possible success that we can’t wait for Season 3.
“Trying” delicately yet authentically creates what millions of couples in both the US and in the UK experience. It’s traumatic, yet with “Trying,” the comedy lifts this difficult topic by identifying all the realities of what it means to be a parent. Creator Andy Wolton walks that fine line like a tightrope walker, confidently honing in on the dramatic while finding humor in the everyday realities, never losing his balance or his pace.
Spall and Smith shine together, a natural chemisty emitted no matter the situation. Their interactions and dialogue make you believe they’ve truly been together for years with the never-stilted conversations, natural body language, and comfort between them. With smart, succinct, and creative writing, and comedy used in just the right proportions, Spall and Smith deliver a one of a kind show.
You can stream Seasons 1 and 2 on AppleTV+ now.
3 1/2 Stars