Apple TV+ brings us season 4 of “Trying,” starring Rafe Spall and Esther Smith as a couple who, no matter how much they tried, couldn’t have children of their own.  At the end of Season 3, the couple became the foster parents of two children, Princess and Tyler, whose mother had abandoned them.  Now, 5 years later, Nikki (Smith) and Jason (Spall) are the parents of a teenager and a boy on the cusp of those most trying years.  

Season 4 starts off with incredible angst as we see that someone has died.  Bit by bit, we get clues as to who that someone is, but not until we’ve gasped a few times and perhaps even shed a tear do we understand whose funeral we are attending.  Not to give too much away of Season 4, we also find that this couple has to navigate more than being parents; they must find a way to keep their marriage fresh, and answer their children’s questions about their biological mother.  

The first two episodes hook us as we watch Princess (Scarlett Rayner) wrestle with abandonment issues and grief.  She hits the nail on the head with the emotional turmoil a teen goes through under these circumstances.  We also find Nikki battling a lack of confidence as a mother of a teen and paranoid that Princess’s biological mother will return.  Rafe’s Jason anchors the family through his calming demeanor and ability to see humor in life.  Of course, we also get a glimpse into several side stories including Nikki’s sister Karen (Sian Brooke), Jason’s dad Victor (Phil Davis), and the unintentionally comedic Scott (Darren Boyd).

Getting to this point in a storyline takes a natural chemistry between our lead characters and never do we doubt that Nikki and Jason have been a couple and married for years and years.  That familiarity between them is relatable and charming with their unique personalities keeping it light and fun.  We’ve watched them both grow as they’ve dealt with life’s punches, both of them tied tightly to one another with love and understanding.  Creating characters with whom we connect and care about is key to a successful story giving “Trying” an unlimited timeline of stories.

From Season 1 to now, “Trying” perfectly balances the difficulties of life, marriage, and parenting all while overcoming the many obstacles we all find in life.  I think this is what makes “Trying” a success…the relatability while it interjects humor.  It also uses finesse as it delicately addresses topics that millions of children and parents around the world encounter as an adoptee or an adoptive parent.  

“Trying” is a brilliantly written story about an ordinary couple who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.  Find love, drama, and humor in equal doses of Season 4 on Apple TV+.


3 Stars

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