Documentary series might not be everyone’s jam, but no part of FX’s Welcome To Wrexham feels like one. I’m still questioning how this series is real because I kept thinking that Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and Rob McElhenney (Mythic Quest) buying a football team was a big ol’ joke for Apple TV’s Ted Lasso.
Two American men buying an underdog football club in Wales doesn’t seem like a thing to happen in real life, and yet, here we are. The series’ 12-episode run has concluded, with Reynolds and McElhenney confirming Season 2 in a Twitter video, and here we are, still wondering how on earth any of this is real. And perhaps that’s the thing that makes the series worth watching. Documentaries are seldom wholesome and lovely, but Welcome To Wrexham made us cry more than it made us laugh, and maybe that was the purpose all along.
1. An Underdog Story
Who doesn’t love an underdog story? A team so few believe in coming up to, and I quote Theodore Lasso here, win the whole damn thing. While, spoiler alert, it doesn’t happen quite yet, despite the reality of it all—it’s an underdog story worth rooting for. The stars bought Wrexham, now in the fifth tier of the league, in hopes of helping the club rise to greater heights.
And though we can’t exactly spoil the outcomes of Wrexham’s status, considering it can be googled easily, we still want to refrain from saying too much because much of the magic is threaded in the documentary. As we watch the owners, players, and even the town come together to celebrate the chances given to rise, Welcome To Wrexham starts to feel personal—like home in more ways than one.
2. It’s Wholesome
Again, while we can’t exactly tell what makes the documentary so wholesome, this idea of wanting to see the underdogs succeed unsurprisingly continues to make any sensitive person shed a tear or two throughout the episodes. Their losses, whether the club you are rooting for or not, feel intimate. We’re thrust into a world that might be ours, but we want to stay there, regardless.
A great big community in Wales is so effortlessly reflected throughout Welcome to Wrexham that it layers the wholesome appeal of storytelling into reality beautifully. The investment of the fans especially feels personal. You continuously question how much of it is actually real because of how sweet moments are.
If you’re anything like me and genuinely thought this was nothing but a joke on Ted Lasso, then Welcome To Wrexham will lay out everything in front of you. How on earth do two actors buy an entire football club? The documentary will answer the question for you. Where did they find the time? How are they present when they’re both Americans? How exactly do relegations work? The answers are all part of the documentary as it layers the ins and outs of the club while introducing us to key players, their families, members of the staff, and even the cultural experience of the fans.
4. Unsurprisingly Funny
Throw in Ryan Reynolds and Ryan McElhenney, and you’re bound to laugh no matter what you are watching. Yes, that includes a documentary. One scene, particularly about hugs, had me clenching my stomach while laughing so hard.
While documentaries usually focus on more serious beats of what they’re trying to inform the audience about, Welcome To Wrexham shows the messy bits threaded with a lot of heart. It navigates through Covid precautions, zoom meetings, and all the glorious nonsense that the two actors are capable of getting themselves into while giving their 110% to the team through and through.
Football. Not soccer. Football. In the words of Danny Rojas, football is life, and the series dives right into it. It’s the heart of the documentary in every way, and the sport isn’t merely exclusively games but conversations and informative flashes about the ins and outs of football for those of us who are still a little too clueless about how the game works.
Wrexham is the oldest club in Wales and the third-oldest professional team in the world. Yes, in the world. Many of us wouldn’t have known a little-known football fact without this series shining a light on the team’s heart and appeal. It’s also intriguing that sometimes, the actors are in the same boat as us, which makes the informative process of the game a learning experience for them, as well as the audience.
Welcome To Wrexham can be everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee). It’s a documentary that, surprisingly, many people could find themselves getting into whether or not they’re big fans of the sport or not. The charming heart of the team, followed by the delightful absurdity of American actors buying an old football club, makes it a small gem worth watching and following up with it.
Welcome to Wrexham is now streaming on Hulu.
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.
She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.