There’s so much content to wade through that deciding what to watch may seem like a daunting challenge. We’re here to help with the latest installment of This or That, a series in which we review two new pieces of content and tell you which one we recommend. Keep reading for a look at the new Apple TV+ series Trying, as well as Quibi’s revival season of Reno 911!. Based on their first episodes alone, we’ll share our take on which is more worthy of the time investment required to keep watching.
The 30-minute comedy from BBC Studios starts with an attention-grabbing opening scene and keeps the viewer engaged throughout its first episode. It centers on Jason (Rafe Spall) and Nikki (Esther Smith), a couple who tried to conceive but have come to terms with the fact that it’s not in the cards for them. The episode follows the pair as they consider adopting, which is no spoiler since it’s revealed in the series’ trailer. The premise does not necessarily sound like the perfect setup for a comedy series, and there are indeed some poignant moments to be found in the first episode. One example is when the couple finds themselves stuck at a baby shower hearing about the joys of parenthood. While there, Nikki longingly watches a mother cradle her baby, and you might start to especially feel for her during the scene. That is, at least until Nikki offers some well-wishes in the form of, “I hope he doesn’t grow up to be a prick.” It’s this brilliant blend of comedy with some of life’s more painful aspects that makes the series’ first episode so effective. You might find Trying incredibly relatable, regardless of whether you identify with the couple’s struggle to conceive. If you’ve ever felt less than fulfilled at your job like Nikki, or experienced parents who are at times out of touch like Jason, the series will most likely resonate with you. Spall and Smith respectively keep Jason and Nikki grounded and connected throughout the first episode, and when they do get to a larger-than-life moment at its end, the payoff is earned. We won’t spoil what happens, but you’ll be left rooting for the couple, even after they behave a bit badly.
It’s always exciting when a show gets revived, and 11 years after the series’ sixth season wrapped in 2009, fans are being graced with a seventh season of Reno 911!. The Comedy Central show first came onto the scene in 2003 with an original take on the reality series Cops. It was a mockumentary of sorts that followed a group of deputies at the Reno Sheriff’s Department, and much of its dialogue was improvised by the cast. The newest season picks up where it left off, and fans can see the show’s co-creators and stars Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney in its first episode. They’ll see other familiar faces, too, with names like Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Cedric Yarbrough reprising their roles. But unfortunately for the new season, some of the show’s magic seems to have been lost during the hiatus. There are still some comedic moments that land, such as Deputy Trudy Wiegel’s anecdote about her self-cannibalizing hamster, which is masterfully delivered by Kenney. But many of the deputies’ larger-than-life antics fall flat, whether it be their collaboration with a volunteer Jewish S.W.A.T. team or their PSA about Nevada’s first “International Pronouns Day.”
If you’re a fan of the first six seasons of Reno 911!, you might want to decide for yourself if the revival season has the same comedic pizzazz, especially considering it won’t be too much of a time investment. With its new home on Quibi, episodes in the revival season of Reno 911! will follow the platform’s “quick bite” formula that keeps all its pieces of content under 10 minutes. But our recommendation for the next show on your watchlist is Trying. Its comedy hits, and viewers can connect with some very relatable main characters that are just trying their best, like the rest of us. And during a time when circumstances are so far outside our control, observing the fighting spirit that Jason and Nikki display in the midst of their own obstacles might just leave you with a little bit of hope.