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'Welcome to Wrexham' review: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney try to save a football team in feel-good FX documentary

If you’re online like me, the premise of Welcome to Wrexham might be reminiscent of a GIF. Specifically, the one from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle of Ryan Reynolds in surgical gown, asked Road: “But why?” Why did Reynolds and fellow movie/tv star Rob McElhenney decide to buy a Level 5 ( Official designation, not my personal judgment) football team together? Why did they then decide to make a documentary about it for FX?

To be honest, after watching five and a half hours of episodes sent to critics ( total for this season), I still don’t have a clear Answer. Welcome to Wrexham is primarily concerned with providing feel-good fluff, and it will be available in bulk. But marshmallows also have their time and place. If you want a little simple sweetness – especially if you also have a soft spot for the general concept of McElhenny, Reynolds and/or sports fans – welcome to Wrexham may backfire.

Welcome to Wrexham

Bottom thread Warm, fuzzy fluff.


Air Date:
Wednesday, August afternoon 24 (FX)

executive producer: Rob McElhenny, Ryan Reynolds, Andrew Fried, John Henion, Nick Frenkel, George Dewey, Dane Lillegard, Sarina Roma, Jordan Wynn

only came after Ted Lasso,Welcome to Wrexham years later, at least initially, I Can’t help feeling, like reality – show copy: Both focus on ignorant Americans who know nothing about football being put in charge of football teams. Neither McElhenny nor Reynolds knew much about the sport, let alone the day-to-day practicality of running a club. However, for some reason, in the premiere only vague (some sport, some dad), the duo scuffled among a struggling team in the working-class town of Wrexham. The takeover appears to have largely sparked excitement among fans, who bemoaned how bad the Wrexham AFC has been recently, “you lose almost every game at the start.”

From there, Reynolds and McElhenney faced pressure to get the team back in shape, hoping to make the cut at the end of their first full season. (If you’ve lost your way because you don’t know what “promotion” means or where exactly Wales is, fear not: Welcome to Wrexham Even Most forgetful Americans have subtitles that translate certain terms in English, American, and Welsh, or use diagrams to illustrate the structure of the English football league system.) In most cases, they try to do this by listening to Humphrey Cole. Judgment to do this – Mythic Quest Writer, football lover, true Englishman and now executive director of Wrexham – who travels to and from Wrexham Between his and McElhenney’s home in Los Angeles, provides the latest news and advice.

McElhenny and Reynolds are the obvious draws for Welcome to Wrexham, and the documentary leans towards these guys’ caustic but sweet characters and The surreal Hollywood sex of it all. When McElhenny makes a crucial phone call at one point, the camera finds him calling in front of Bruce Willis’ studio background mural in Die Hard .

But the real heart of the series is the players, staff and especially the fans associated with Wrexham. Much of each episode is devoted to interviewing citizens who talk earnestly about what the sport means to them, or the community they find among other fans, or just what everyday life in Wrexham is like. At their most intimate, these mini-intros give us the impression of ourselves on the lawn (the corner bar outside the stadium) to enjoy a Wrexham-themed performance by a local band, or to listen to him regularly confide in his romantic troubles

However, our knowledge of these people, and the towns they live in, never goes deep enough to make us feel like locals, at least in the first few episodes. Welcome to Wrexham The kaleidoscope of perspectives means some people have little chance to impress before the focus shifts to others.

Even more frustrating, the show tends to steer clear of anything overly complicated or potentially controversial. Perhaps not portraying the emotional impact of mass shootings would have been a more benevolent choice. The townspeople may really have little resistance to the idea of ​​two big-budget outsiders swooping in to save this team and the struggling town around it. But hardly any visible conflict or confusion makes Welcome to Wrexham feels a bit hollow from the viewer’s perspective.

To their credit, Reynolds and McElhenney seem to know exactly what they have to offer the club and what they can’t. The docu-series gives the impression that they have been largely uninvolved in the actual strategy or logistics since acquiring the team. Their contribution lies in their celebrity status. Where Wrexham was previously sponsored by the UK’s largest trailer manufacturer Ifor Williams, the new owners have been able to forge partnerships with the likes of TikTok, Expedia, EA Sports and Reynolds’ own Aviation Gin. Their deep pockets can attract top talent or pay to upgrade the racecourse – the oldest international football stadium in the world, Welcome to Wrexham proudly tells us.

For that matter, McElhenny and Reynolds have the star power to sell this stadium to FX, and those who may have never heard of National League might watch and convert to New Wrexham fans eager to buy tickets or merchandise. Ultimately, that seems to be the real purpose of Welcome to Wrexham: it’s actually a long ad for Reynolds and McElhenny’s new joint venture, and it’s pretty savvy.

This is not to write off these documentaries, this is purely a cynical adventure. The whole story of professional sports is that of a man who both sincerely adore the sport and wants to make money from it, for altruistic and selfish reasons – no matter what it’s worth, from Hollywood stars to cheering crowds in bars that seem genuinely expressed Their passion for teams, sports and towns. If Welcome to Wrexham looks too glamorous, well, it’s hardly the first Criticized sports documentary . At least this one leaves a warm and fuzzy feel, and manages to evoke just as much affection for regular fans as the beloved celebrities who brought them here.



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