Review: Trying, Apple TV+

Review: Trying, Apple TV

Apple TV+'s first British original comedy is an interesting one. It both plays it very safe, with its cosy thirtysomething Camden Town environment and also goes into some unusual territory as it deals with a young couple going through the difficult process of adopting.

Rafe Spall plays Jason, while Cuckoo star Esther Smith plays his partner Nikki. They are happy and hopelessly in love but despite having sex whenever and wherever Nikki is ovulating – including on the top deck of a London bus in the opening scene – they can't seem to make a baby. Meanwhile all their thirtysomething friends seem to be doing nothing but popping out sprogs while also holding down successful careers.

So they decide to adopt. And while the basic plot is simple, adoption isn't quite so simple. We have barely got to the end of the first episode and they have already been to a meeting and got anxious that after a flurry of paperwork and form-filling they a) won't be deemed suitable as parents and b) won't be able to adopt a cute ickle baby as they hoped, as most children up for adoption are a little bit older.

This senstive subject is given a Richard Curtis-y gloss with shots of them wandering through parks and Camden market on sunny days. Despite some comic digs at hipsters they seem a pretty cool couple themselves. Smith brings a pixieish charm to Nikki while Jason, in his Ramones T-shirt, rarely has his nose out of a music magazine. I was interested to notice that in an American review they are described as "working class", yet somehow they can afford to rent a nice flat in one of the most desirable districts of London, despite Nikki working in a car rental call centre and Jason teaching English as a foreign language.

But that quibble apart, this is very watchable comedy, written by Andy Wolton, who was adopted himself. The classy supporting cast includes the ever-reliable Phil Davis as Jason's dad - shame they couldn't have got Rafe's real dad Tim Spall – and Imelda Staunton as the social worker guiding them patiently through the adoption process. Familiar comedy faces Ophelia Lovibond and Oliver Chris play Jason's sister and partner who are about to have their second child. It is directed by Jim O'Hanlon, who also directed C4's Catastrophe, in which a couple's life changes because the women gets pregnant far too easily.

Definitely give it a try.

Watch Trying on Apple TV.


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