My favorite Apple TV Plus show just proved it’s better than Ted Lasso once again

(L-R) Esther Smith as Nikki Newman, Scarlet Rayner as Princess and Rafe Spall as Jason Ross in "Trying" season 4 now streaming on Apple TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple)

Consistency is key when it comes to crafting top-tier television. The best TV shows maintain a relatively steady quality throughout their entire run. But if there’s one show that failed in this area, it’s Apple TV Plus’ “Ted Lasso”. Lasso’s third outing was so bad it made me question whether I’d ever liked the show at all. Fortunately, “Trying” is different, and is aging a lot more gracefully than Coach Lasso. 

I’ve been advocating for “Trying”, an Apple TV Plus original comedy with a similarly optimistic tone as “Ted Lasso," for literally years at this point. I’ve written numerous articles detailing why it’s my favorite show on the streaming service, but even I’ll admit, I was a little concerned ahead of “Trying” season 4. 

The show’s fourth season deploys a time skip, which is a storytelling device that can yield mixed results, and I also felt that “Trying” season 3 ended in such a perfect spot that it felt like an appropriate series finale. I wasn’t sure we even needed more. But, now that “Trying” season 4 has arrived, and I’ve watched the first two episodes, I’m relieved that my fears were unfounded. The show is as good as it's ever been. 

“Trying” is showing “Ted Lasso” how it’s done, as this Apple TV Plus original is doing a remarkable job of keeping a consistently high-quality level across multiple seasons. 

‘Trying’ is an Apple TV Plus gem

If you’ve never watched “Trying” let me give you a quick sales pitch to convince you to give this very simple, but seriously charming, comedy a watch. 

"Trying" centers on Nikki Newman (Esther Smith) and Jason Ross (Rafe Spall), a young(ish) couple living in London, England who desperately want to start a family of their own. After struggling to conceive naturally, they decide to try adoption. This kicks off a whole series of comedic situations as they attempt to navigate the complex process of proving they are capable of raising a small human — to both the authorities and themselves.

It’s a very basic setup, and while later seasons do shift to cover slightly different ground, there are no dramatic twists or intense melodrama to be found across any of the seasons. “Trying” isn’t that kind of show. Instead, it’s the television equivalent of a warm hug. I’ve rewatched the first three seasons multiple times as it’s so comforting and it makes for a great mood-booster after a draining day. 

Esther Smith as Nikki Newman and Rafe Spall as Jason Ross in Trying on Apple TV Plus

(Image credit: Apple)

The biggest selling point is the note-perfect chemistry between the show’s two leads. Nikki and Jason are extremely likable as individuals and as a couple. Plus, they have a great comedic dynamic, with Spall serving up hilarious deadpan quips and Smith bringing a lot of exaggerated physical comedy to the table. They’re instantly believable as a real couple.  

The supporting cast is similarly excellent, with Nikki’s sister Karen (Sian Brooke) and her eccentric partner Scott (Darren Boyd) two of my favorites. And while “Trying” is mostly a breezy comedy show, there are moments where it’s not afraid to get a bit serious. This includes a sensitive handling of the difficult nature of the adoption process. 

If it wasn’t already clear, I strongly recommend this Apple TV Plus show. And if you’re a fan of “Ted Lasso” then you especially need to watch. “Trying” similarly thrives thanks to a sunny tone and a general sense of optimism alongside a loveable cast of likable characters. 

If you’ve never watched the show, stop reading this article now, but if you’re all caught up on Nikki and Jason’s quest to start a family, let’s talk “Trying” season 4… 

An image indicating spoilers are ahead.

'Trying' season 4 is another winner

As mentioned, rather than picking up immediately following Nikki and Jason’s wedding at the end of “Trying” season 3, the show’s fourth season fast forwards six years. Nikki and Jason now have more than half a decade of parental experience and Princess (Scarlet Rayner) and Tyler (Cooper Turner) are becoming moody teenagers. 

Across the first two episodes of “Trying” season 4 (which debuted on May 23), pretty much everything I love about the show, and talked about above, has been retained. The tone is easy-going, the comedy is pleasant and the characters are as loveable as always. Plus, the banter between Nikki and Jason remains top-notch. 

The biggest shift is that Princess is now coming into her own as a character, rather than being more of a plot device as she was in seasons 2 and 3. I’m excited to see her arc across the rest of the show, especially as her search to find her biological mother seems set to cause some major waves. Although, this is “Trying” so I’m not expecting too much drama. 

Tyler has felt a little underutilized in the first two episodes, so I’m hoping he’ll be given more to do as the season progresses. And I wouldn’t say no to a reappearance of Jason’s best friend Freddy (Oliver Chris), though I suspect a line in the first episode may have written him out of the season. At least we did get an appearance from Jason’s dad Vic (Phil Davis), who is always a hoot, and I enjoyed the scene where he expressed his love for his son through soccer terminology. 

“Trying” season 4 is off to a strong start. The show isn’t attempting to reinvent itself, but it’s settled into a pleasant groove already, and I’m eager to see more from Princess (and Tyler) as the now teenage pair add a fresh dynamic to the show, which should keep things from feeling too familiar. 

“Trying” is now available to stream on Apple TV Plus with new episodes dropping weekly until July 3. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

  • DBrink83712
    Well, if your goal was to keep me from watching “Trying” then bravo, mission accomplished. How? The negative review of something else to create a positive is tired. Where I enjoyed season three of Ted Lasso you have made it clear that it was rubbish in your mind. This being the basis for your review I am left to know that “Trying” will not be a show for me based on this review.