Trying (TV series)

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Trying
GenreComedy
Created byAndy Wolton
Written byAndy Wolton
Directed by
  • Jim O'Hanlon
  • Elliot Hegarty
Starring
Composers
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Andy Wolton
  • Jim O'Hanlon
  • Josh Cole
Producers
  • Chris Sussman
  • Emma Lawson
  • Dean Weathers
Editors
  • Mark Thornton
  • Mark Hermida
  • Andy Kinnear
  • Joe Randall-Cutler
  • Mark Henson
  • Peter Oliver
  • Nick Ames
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time26–30 minutes
Production companyBBC Studios Drama Productions
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
Release1 May 2020 (2020-05-01) –
present (present)

Trying is a British comedy television series created by Andy Wolton.[1] The first season premiered on 1 May 2020 on Apple TV+. The second season premiered on 21 May 2021, and the third season premiered on 22 July 2022. The fourth season, which continues the series after a six year time-jump, premiered on 22 May 2024.[2]

Premise[edit]

The series follows Nikki and Jason, a couple who really want to become parents but who struggle with conceiving a child. In order to have a baby they decide to adopt, only to face a whole list of new challenges and surprises that come with the adoption process. Additionally, Season 4 begins with a six year time-jump and focuses on Nikki and Jason as they deal with life as parents and all the trials and tribulations that come with it. [3]

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

  • Diana Pozharskaya as Sofia (season 1)
  • Cush Jumbo as Jane (season 1)
  • Eden Togwell as Princess (season 2-3)
  • Mickey McAnulty as Tyler (season 2-3)
  • Fola Evans-Akingbola as Harper (season 2)
  • Navin Chowdhry as Deven (season 2)
  • Ciara Baxendale as Amy (season 2-3)
  • Karl Collins as Noah (season 3-4)
  • Clare Higgins as Bev Reid (season 3-4)
  • Matilda Flower as Stevie (season 4)

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
181 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
2821 May 2021 (2021-05-21)2 July 2021 (2021-07-02)
3822 July 2022 (2022-07-22)2 September 2022 (2022-09-02)
48[4]22 May 2024 (2024-05-22)3 July 2024 (2024-07-03)[4]

Season 1 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Nikki and Jason"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
Unable to conceive naturally and with IVF unlikely to succeed, Camden-dwelling thirty-somethings Nikki Newman (a call-centre operative) and Jason Ross (an English-language teacher) decide to pursue adoption as the solution to filling the child-shaped void in their lives.
22"The Ex-Girlfriend"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
Aware that the adoption agency will conduct background checks, Nikki and Jason set about presenting themselves in the best possible light. Whilst Nikki meets sister Karen and her insufferable boyfriend Scott, Jason meets with ex-girlfriend Jane in order to secure a good character reference should she be approached. Absentmindedly, Nikki and Jason send the adoption agency a list of all their character flaws.
33"Tickets for a Queue"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
At an adoption support group picnic, Nikki develops an inferiority complex, alarmed by the fact there are many other couples also vying to adopt children, some more educated and financially better off than they are. Jason makes her realise that the people they need to impress are not their peers or even the social workers, but the kids they hope to adopt.
44"Rainbow Castle People"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
Hung over after a night out to celebrate best friend Freddy's birthday, Nikki and Jason forget about a home visit by Penny from the adoption agency. With limited time and in an effort to make a good impression the couple pull out all the stops, tidying the house and refurnishing it by borrowing from Nikki's parents. Penny however is canny enough to see through most of the subterfuge.
55"Someone Else's Kids"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
Nikki and Jason volunteer to babysit in order to get some experience in childcare. Nikki arranges a treasure hunt across London, which initially captures the kids' imaginations but quickly fails to keep their interest, leaving Nikki feeling like a failure. Meanwhile the adoption agency interviews all the referees on the application.
66"Show Me the Love"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
Hearing Freddy confess to an affair, blaming the stress of family life, makes Jason doubt whether he wants to go through with adoption and take on something that will affect every aspect of the rest of his life. Sensing his cold feet, Nikki is upset when she learns he only agreed to adoption in an effort to make her happy.
77"Good Old Family Map"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
With a week to go until the interview with the adoption panel, Nikki and Jason invite their friends and family support network to a party, including both sets of would-be grandparents and newly-engaged sister Karen with fiancee Scott. The party, of course, goes anything but to plan.
88"We Know the Way Out"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)
Kicked out after confessing his affair to wife Erica, Freddy is now occupying the spare room at Nikki and Jason's. At the adoption panel Nikki’s medication for anxiety is picked up by the committee. After a rambling but heartfelt plea by Jason, they are approved subject to attending counselling.

Season 2 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"A Nice Boy"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton21 May 2021 (2021-05-21)
Nikki and Jason realise they have different expectations when it comes to the gender of their potential child. Eventually they express interest in adopting 7 year old James. Freddy moves into his own apartment but finds reconciliation with Erica via a Staghorn fern and a swim in the Regent's Canal.
102"The Sun on Your Back"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton21 May 2021 (2021-05-21)
Now a manager, Jason finds his new role rather challenging so seeks advice from Freddy. Nikki helps Karen select a wedding dress but is on tenterhooks with the expectation of news from the adoption agency. When it eventually arrives they find they have been unsuccessful, but Penny softens the blow by offering the chance of meeting some kids at an adoption activity day, where Nikki catches sight of Princess.
113"Big Heads"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton28 May 2021 (2021-05-28)
Jason and Nikki head to Cornwall for his Grandmother's funeral where Jason bumps into an old girlfriend, who has a son that was born soon after their relationship ended some 16 years previously. Nikki learns Princess has a younger brother whilst Karen starts to have doubts about Scott.
124"Helicopters"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton4 June 2021 (2021-06-04)
At Princess's school Nikki and Jason get the opportunity to observe her with brother Tyler. With approval to adopt only one child they know that the siblings will have to be split up, but are excited nevertheless. Unbeknown to them, a family that can adopt both children is under consideration.
135"Maddest Sweetest Thing"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton11 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
Once again Penny delivers the bad news. When Nikki tries to convince her they are also capable of adopting both children, the lack of a separate bedroom for each child proves a stumbling block. Jason's father Vic comes to the rescue by reconfiguring the existing space to create an extra bedroom.
146"A Long Way Down"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton18 June 2021 (2021-06-18)
At a party with other couples trying to adopt, Nikki and Jason realise the other couple trying to adopt Princess and Tyler are none other than their hosts. Karen’s doubts that Scott may not be the man for her grow and she seeks solace with Deven, single dad and father of one of her pupils.
157"Lift Me Up"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton25 June 2021 (2021-06-25)
Just as Nikki receives news that she has been successfully promoted at work, Jason is informed they were unsuccessful in their attempt to adopt Princess and Tyler. On her hen night, Karen confesses to Nikki that she is thinking of calling off the wedding, but later has a change of heart.
168"I'm Scared"Jim O’HanlonAndy Wolton2 July 2021 (2021-07-02)
After Karen's wedding ceremony, Penny arrives just as Jason is proposing to Nikki to inform them that Princess's and Tyler's placements have broken down. She asks them if they would take Princess on a temporary basis with no guarantee of adoption. On arriving home with Princess they discover Tyler stowed away in the boot of their car and vow to try and keep the siblings together.

Season 3 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
171"Home"Elliot HegartyAndy Wolton22 July 2022 (2022-07-22)
Jason resigns himself to Tyler being separated from his sister, so decides to give the kids a wonderful time whilst they are both still together, but his father Vic refuses to give up without a fight. Noah from the council decides to let Tyler stay, but warns the couple that in 3 months they will need to go before a family court and convince the judge too.
182"The Circle"Elliot HegartyAndy Wolton22 July 2022 (2022-07-22)
With only 3 months left on their tenancy, Jason discovers the landlord has decided to sell the flat when a For Sale sign goes up outside. He formulates a plan to buy the place himself. At work, Nikki in her new role as management, is tasked with selecting one of the telesales team for dismissal.
193"Capture the Flag"Elliot HegartyAndy Wolton29 July 2022 (2022-07-29)
During a camping weekend, Nikki fears she hasn't been able to connect with Princess and Tyler who seem to be bonding more with Jason. Karen realises what she most dislikes about her job as a teacher is children. After feeling ill, she takes a pregnancy test and finds she is expecting a child of her own.
204"Little Steps"Elliot HegartyAndy Wolton5 August 2022 (2022-08-05)
Karen reveals her pregnancy to Nikki's surprise, but finds it difficult to break the news to husband Scott. At his birthday party, Tyler, feeling overwhelmed, hides under a table until Nikki reassures him. Karen takes the opportunity to break the news to Scott through the medium of mime.
215"Pick a Side"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton12 August 2022 (2022-08-12)
Discovering that Tyler supports Arsenal, Jason makes a sacrifice and wears their colours despite his lifelong love for Spurs. Nikki finds it difficult to be tough with Princess, acquiescing to her demands in an attempt to be liked by her. When she discovers Princess has been shoplifting, Nikki takes her back to the shop to return the item.
226"Feelings Are The Worst"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton19 August 2022 (2022-08-19)
Nikki and Jason discover the kid's grandmother Bev has tracked them down. After a meeting at the council, the couple are divided regarding her motives and whether she can be trusted. Subsequently Bev makes a complaint to the council saying they are unfit to take the children. Jason receives news that the flat has been sold and they must vacate it in two months.
237"What a Banker"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton26 August 2022 (2022-08-26)
With pressures mounting, Nikki and Jason's relationship comes under strain. Nikki starts to doubt if they are indeed the best thing for the kids. After a disastrous Book launch Scott starts to come to the realisation that maybe writing is not his forte, but it is perhaps Karen's.
248"The End of the Beginning"Jim O'HanlonAndy Wolton2 September 2022 (2022-09-02)
On the day of the adoption hearing, Nikki's confidence of success is at an all time low, so Jason proposes they get married whilst all still together as a family. At the hearing Bev makes it clear she doesn't want to lose her grandchildren, but is reassured when Nikki tells her there will always be a place for her in the kid's lives. With the court approving the adoption, they learn the identity of the flat's new owner.

Season 4 (2024)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [4]
251"The Send-Off"Ellie HeydonAndy Wolton22 May 2024 (2024-05-22)
262"Ghosting"Ellie HeydonAndy Wolton22 May 2024 (2024-05-22)
273"Murder at Slaughterbridge Manor"Ellie HeydonJames Wood & Andy Wolton29 May 2024 (2024-05-29)
284"Road Trip"Ellie HeydonAndy Wolton5 June 2024 (2024-06-05)
295"Mother's Day"Ellie HeydonOriane Messina & Fay Rusling & Andy Wolton12 June 2024 (2024-06-12)
306"Airport Run"Ellie HeydonAndy Wolton19 June 2024 (2024-06-19)
317"White Lies"Ellie HeydonAndy Wolton26 June 2024 (2024-06-26)
328"Scott of the Atlantic"Ellie HeydonAndy Wolton3 July 2024 (2024-07-03)

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On 12 July 2019, it was reported that Apple Inc. and the BBC were working together for a new comedy series with the working title Alabama. Production on the series was already underway with the series set to be released sometime in 2020.[5] Trying is the second co-production between Apple and the BBC after a reboot Prehistoric Planet was announced two months prior.[6][7] On 19 January 2020, Apple Inc. formally announced the series in a press release with the official title Trying.[8]

On 1 May 2020, Esther Smith confirmed in an interview with Metro that a second season had been commissioned by Apple.[9] English singer-songwriter Maisie Peters wrote and performed the soundtrack for the season.[10]

With the announcement of a 14 May 2021 second season release date, Apple also renewed the show for a third season.[11]

Casting[edit]

Alongside the initial report of the series in July 2019, it was announced that Imelda Staunton would feature in the series. In the press release of January 2020, Apple announced that Rafe Spall and Esther Smith would star in the series.[8]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season 86% of 22 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.3/10. For the second season, 100% of 13 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.5/10.[12] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 69 out of 100, based on eight critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

Accolades[edit]

The song "Neck of the Woods" by Maisie Peters and Joe Rubel was nominated for Best Original Song in a TV Show/Limited Series by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in 2021.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Trying on Apple TV+". Apple TV+. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Trying - Apple TV+ Press (UK) website". Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  3. ^ Shillcock, Francesca (30 March 2020). "The Crown star to feature in brand new Apple TV+ show - and it looks brilliant". Hello!. Archived from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Shows A-Z – Trying on Apple TV+". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2 March 2024.
  5. ^ Bennett, Steve. "Imelda Staunton to star in BBC-made comedy : News 2019 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  6. ^ White, Peter (8 May 2019). "'The Jungle Book' Director Jon Favreau Teams With BBC Studios' NHU To Produce Doc Series 'Prehistoric Planet' For Apple". Deadline. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  7. ^ Fingas, Roger (12 July 2019). "Apple's first BBC comedy production is 'Alabama' starring Imelda Staunton". AppleInsider. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Apple announces new comedy series "Trying" to premiere May 1". Apple. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Trying's Esther Smith confirms series 2 filming could be affected by coroanvirus". Metro. 1 May 2020. Archived from the original on 11 July 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  10. ^ Khosla, Proma (20 May 2021). "Behind the moving pop songs of Apple TV+'s 'Trying'". Mashable. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  11. ^ Kanter, Jake (24 March 2021). "Apple Renews British Comedy 'Trying' Ahead Of Season 2 Premiere On May 14". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Trying: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  13. ^ "Trying: Season 1". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  14. ^ "2021 Music in Visual Media Nomination". Hollywood Music in Media Awards. 17 November 2021. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.

External links[edit]