Warmth vs wit

September 10, 2023

A heartwarming season balances wholesome moments with humour

Warmth vs wit


Looking for an escape into a humourous, comforting and wholesome series? Look no further than Apple TV+’s Trying. Created by Andy Wolton, the British series maintains a consistent light-heartedness that wraps one up in its comforting embrace.

The series follows the adventures of Nikki, played by Esther Smith, and Jason, brought to life by Rafe Spall. Nikki and Jason are a charming British couple living in Camden who embark on a journey to expand their family. The original series from Apple TV+ effortlessly carries a sense of warmth and comfort throughout.

Much like the shows Schitt’s Creek and Abbott Elementary, Trying manages to be genuinely sweet without sacrificing an ounce of its comedic brilliance.

Nikki is a call centre operator. Jason teaches English as a foreign language. The two are in their thirties. Their journey to start a family has been long, involving tiring NHS IVF treatments and moments of hope as they try to conceive.

Then the couple receives the devastating news that their dream of having a biological child has ended. There are no details of the complications but the news is crushing. After much soul-searching, Nikki and Jason make a life-altering decision to pursue adoption.

Adoption, as we know, is not a simple matter. It is a profound, emotionally charged journey that countless individuals undertake, often with considerable challenges and setbacks. It presents the question: How does a series dealing with such sensitive and arduous topics maintain a sense of lightness, exuding joy and optimism throughout? The series creates an idealised world and owns it gracefully.

Amidst Nikki and Jason’s ups and downs, their circle of friends and family provides unwavering support making their journey all the more relatable and touching.

Spall and Smith deliver excellent performances, but the amazing supporting characters make the series truly special.

There is Erica, played by the talented Ophelia Lovibond, and her not-so-charming husband, Freddy, essayed by Oliver Chris. Then there is Nikki’s sister, Karen, played by Sian Brooke. Let’s not forget the quirky parents and the legendary Imelda Staunton, their adoption administrator. The fantastic ensemble cast adds depth and pizzazz to the show.

Trying can at times come across as overly sweet and sentimental. When Nikki and Jason receive bad news or face challenges in the adoption process it is heartening to see their close-knit community gather around them, showering them with love and support in nearly every episode.

Trying can sometimes come across as overly sweet and sentimental but here’s the catch: the show does not attempt to mirror life. It is firmly grounded in a more optimistic milieu where people genuinely care for one another and don’t always anticipate the worst. 

But here is the catch: Trying is not attempting to mirror life. It is firmly grounded in a more optimistic milieu where people genuinely care for one another and don’t always anticipate the worst.

The series may seem a bit sugary to some viewers, but that is just a testament to the hope the show offers our characters and a reminder that television does not always have to be gloomy and dark to convey emotion.

Trying is not just about love and happiness. It is also a show about life’s real ups and downs. One thing this show truly excels at is balancing raw emotions and life’s challenges in a way that keeps viewers hooked.

Despite its serious theme, the show does not make one’s hearts race with worry for the characters - and it is hilarious even though it never resorts to cheap laughs or exploiting tough situations for humour.

The first two seasons revolve around Nikki and Jason’s quest to adopt. Season three takes us on their wild ride as they embrace parenthood after being approved for adoption. Their parents, friends and the quirky extended family are always there to support them. This zany bunch of supporting characters makes the world of Trying feel vivid and real.

Trying is a prime example of what feel-good TV should be like. Sure, the characters in this show often find solutions that wouldn’t quite cut it in the real world. Everything falls into place every single time without many consequences.

But isn’t that precisely the charm of a series that transports you to a world far removed from reality? The couple tackles every obstacle with such a hopeful spirit that it leaves the audience feeling warm and uplifted.

Thanks to exceptional writing, this series is a breeze to binge-watch. It offers a relaxed yet uproarious humour featuring a string of comedic moments including some that will have you bursting into laughter and utterly charmed by the show.

This series goes beyond its comedic premise of a couple grappling with the decision to adopt following fertility challenges. It delves into the intricacies of relationships between the couple, one’s self and other people. It’s a rare gem that seamlessly balances humour and heartfelt moments. For those craving laid-back, feel-good shows, Trying is a must-watch.

The author is a freelance contributor

Warmth vs wit