TV Review: Trying (Series 3)

The third series of Apple TV’s Trying proves a bit of a disappointment as it goes too sweet

“Never mind the spuds love, this is an emergency”

Over two seasons, Apple TV series Trying has utterly charmed me, Andy Wolton’s writing nailing the perfect bittersweet Britflick tone to make this a genuinely affecting look at the challenges of contemporary city living for a no-longer-quite-that-young couple thinking about their future. For Nikki and Jason, that is starting a family but through fertility issues and then navigating the adoption system, whilst dealing with renting in Camden, nothing has been easy.

The end of the last series saw Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall) finally tying the knot and having formed an attachment with siblings Princess and Tyler, despite not being approved to adopt two children. And over this set of eight episodes, we follow them trying to do their best for their new-found family unit whilst preparing for the hearing that will determine whether they cn legally keep them all together.  

Sadly, we’ve lost Imelda Staunton as social worker Penny (though there’s a neat in-joke to explain her absence) and though we get Karl Johnson as a replacement, there’s a definite pivot away from the social care system to the bumpy road of adoptive parenthood. And tbh, that feels less unique, less remarkable despite the sweetness with which Smith and Spall play it with young’uns Eden Togwell and Mickey McAnulty.

Without giving too much away, there’s an over-riding sweetness to everything which gets to the point of being over-bearing, a level of wish-fulfilment that even Hollywood might baulk at. Clare Higgins is a strong addition as the one potential real wrinkle but there’s a definite loss of the magic of earlier series. Oliver Chris’ Freddie is marooned is disconnected subplot hell with Ophelia Lovibond’s Erica long gone and as good as Siân Brooke is, Karen (Nikki’s sister) and odious partner Scott (Darren Boyd) just test the patience. A bit disappointing all told.

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