Connect with us
Welcome to Wrexham (2022- )
Image: FX


Welcome to Wrexham is a Collection of Highs and Lows

This Isn’t Their Field of Expertise.

Welcome to Wrexham Season One Review

After 18 episodes over two months, Welcome to Wrexham wrapped up its first season this week on FX and Hulu. The series, which chronicled the first season after Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney purchased the low-division Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC, had a notably large gap between its best and worst qualities. 

On the one hand, Welcome to Wrexham represented a fascinating fish-out-of-water premise, with two celebrities completely lacking in any experience with soccer, Wales, sports management, or each other were thrown deep into a situation that required all of the above. It was likely meant as a Ted Lasso-like story, of funny Americans (two of them, this time) colliding with English football. Jason Sudeikis even showed up in a late episode of Welcome to Wrexham, along with Will Ferrell, although neither of them thought to do anything funny.

Both Reynolds and McElhenney are strong on-camera presences, and the show found an especially intriguing dynamic in McElhenney contrasting the fandom cultures of his native Philadelphia and of association football. One episode even had McElhenney in Philly, meeting with Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and owner Jeffrey Lurie for some sports leadership advice. That episode even set off some grumbling on local sports talk radio, since Lurie talked more to McElhenney than he typically does to the local media. 

The show also did a good job depicting the actual soccer matches, with the show also having the great fortune of the climactic game being wildly dramatic with tons of lead changes. And the show also expertly explained soccer concepts, from the promotion/relegation system to the different simultaneous competitions, to the soccer neophytes who may be watching. 

Welcome to Wrexham season one review
Image: FX

As for the negative? The show didn’t really get beyond cliche when telling the story of Wrexham supporters. They’re a blue-collar, struggling town in which fans get solace from their local team, which has gotten them through tough times, and fandom has often been passed down through the generations. 

That’s undoubtedly true, but it’s also true of hundreds and hundreds of other places, and the show did a poor job of showing what makes Wrexham unique. The show also failed to make memorable “characters” out of any of the players, coaches, or team employees. 

Also, one gets the sense that the project was sort of compromised, since the two stars are also executive producers- a problem that’s not exactly rare, these days, for sports documentaries. If, for instance, the fans had been in open revolt against a couple of out-of-the-country dilettante Hollywood stars, could we trust the stars to tell that story in an impartial way? I can’t imagine it went over well that the new owners of the team, between their schedules with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest, and the upcoming third Deadpool, likely only have time for a couple of trips to Wales each year. 

Welcome to Wrexham
Image: FX

And finally, the pacing of the show was somewhat odd. An 18-episode season probably wasn’t necessary, and the series could have jettisoned the episode that was almost entirely comedy bits with the two actors. The pace of release of the episodes was also somewhat strange: There were two a week for the early part of the season, followed by four at a time on October 5 and three on October 12. 

Welcome to Wrexham will be back for another season, and I plan on watching and rooting for AFC Wrexham to “go up” to the English Football League. But I hope the second season trims the fat a bit. 

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist and film critic based in the Philadelphia area. He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle and a Rotten Tomatoes-listed critic since 2008, and his work has appeared in New York Press, Philly Voice, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tablet, The Times of Israel, and In 2009, he became the first American journalist to interview both a sitting FCC chairman and a sitting host of "Jeopardy" on the same day.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



2001: A Space Odyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: Clarke and Kubrick’s Odyssey of Discovery


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie review Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Caps Off the Trilogy With a Heartfelt Bang (Mostly)


Deep Impact was a serious look at the end of the world Deep Impact was a serious look at the end of the world

25 Years Later: Deep Impact was a Serious Look at the End of the World 


The Best Movies of 1973 The Best Movies of 1973

The Golden Year of Movies: 1973


The Zone of Interest The Zone of Interest

Cannes 2023: Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest is a Manicured Vision of Hell


Jeanne Du Barry review Jeanne Du Barry review

Cannes 2023: Maïwenn’s Great Hair Goes to Great Lengths in Jeanne Du Barry


Black Flies Gripping Black Flies Gripping

Cannes 2023: Black Flies— Gripping Descent into the Underbelly of New York’s Urban Misery 


Asteroid City: A Gimmicky Vanity Project Asteroid City: A Gimmicky Vanity Project

Cannes 2023: Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City is a Gimmicky Vanity Project


La Passion de Dodin Bouffant: La Passion de Dodin Bouffant:

La Passion de Dodin Bouffant: Surfeit Cooking Drama Most Inane Film at Cannes


BlackBerry movie review BlackBerry movie review

BlackBerry Is a Wonderfully Canadian Account of a Dying Tech Dream


Godzilla 1998 Godzilla 1998

Godzilla at 25: When Hollywood Made a Manhattan Monster Movie, with Disastrous Results


10 Best SummerSlam Matches 10 Best SummerSlam Matches

10 Best SummerSlam Matches


The Mother Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Paez The Mother Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Paez

Jennifer Lopez’s The Mother is Eerily Similar to Enough, But That’s Not a Bad Thing


Discovery channel Discovery channel

The Head-Scratching Moves Discovery Has Been Making


Sean Connery Sean Connery

60 Years Later, Dr. No Remains the Paragon of Bond


The Matrix Reloaded The Matrix Reloaded

20 Years Later: The Matrix Reloaded was Underwhelming, but Still Underrated