‘Trying’ isn’t the most original of titles for a new TV show, but it is one of a multitude of fresh offerings by Apple TV+. Recently, the platform has seen competition heighten following a barrage of offerings from original content-producing behemoths such as Netflix and the newly-inaugurated Disney+.
Starring Rafe Spall (who recently featured in The Salisbury Poisonings) and Esther Smith (notably of Cuckoo fame), much excitement was created about the series in the run-up to its launch on May 1st as it was the first time that Apple TV+ had dabbled into original British content.
To an extent, Trying certainly did not disappoint with its witty humour, down-to-earth plotline and relatable characters. The show sees Jason and Nikki balancing work they don’t enjoy, friends who think they are better than everyone else and an all-engulfing and relationship-straining situation; the couple are unable to conceive a baby.
This topic is the running theme throughout the eight-episode series as life seems to get in the way of the hopes and dreams of the child-like and innocent Nikki who is desperate to have children of her own.
Hinting on the idea that ‘opposites attract’, evidently the writers wanted to utilise the conventional plot idea of questioning the strength of their relationship throughout the series – this does a rather effective job at keeping the viewer hanging-on to the storyline, especially as it takes some time to fully develop.
With this in mind, Trying does an exceptional job at tackling the difficult subject of infertility whilst still being a feel-good show which is inclusive, honest and accessible to a wide scope of viewers.
From the unconventional opening scene on a traditional London bus to the final resolution involving what seems to be a heavily involved adoption worker, Trying is an engaging, heartrending and (at times) infuriating watch because of the way in which the storyline involves itself with various stages of grief. Just like when coping with grief, the viewer experiences an emotional rollercoaster that spirals from the news that the couple can’t have children.
Family and friends are a fundamental source of support, whilst simultaneously a source of comparison for the pair. The pair comparing their lives with the people who are supposedly meant to be there for them, shows Trying attempting to confront the toxicity of stereotyping against the stages of life which wider society expects everybody to experience. However, the storyline sometimes doesn’t fully live up to the hype created before its launch, but that does not mean it is a show which you should steer away from. In fact, by opening-up frank discussions about infertility, it is easy to see why a second series of Trying has already been commissioned.
Glossing over its flaws of being London-centric and slightly less nuanced than the gritty dramas we have all come to expect in recent years, it is a show which is thought-provoking, light-hearted and emotional – and is certainly essential viewing.
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