Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElhenney’s New FX Show Is Like a Real-Life ‘Ted Lasso’ (& It’s Really Good)

I've never exactly been a huge sports fan and growing up, whenever my family gathered around the TV for sporting events, I usually had a book in my hands or busied myself with the tasty snacks on the table. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself sucked into the new FX docuseries, Welcome to Wrexham, which tells the underdog story of a Welsh soccer team (or football if you're in the U.K.) that was purchased during the pandemic by two of Hollywood's biggest stars—Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

While Reynolds (The Adam Project) and McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are known for their acting roles rather than their sports involvement, the duo were drawn to the tale of this team. Wrexham A.F.C. is the third oldest professional football team in the world, but throughout the past few decades, they've fallen into a rut and been unable to move up within the tiers of the English league system. As the heart of the town of Wrexham, this squad was in desperate need of a boost, and Reynolds and McElhenney wanted to give them just that.

If you're like me, then the gist of this docuseries is probably reminiscent of another recent show—Ted Lasso. Similar to that hit Apple TV+ comedy, this FX original sees Americans take over a team (and a sport) they know little about, but their intentions are good, and they quickly find themselves enamored with the players and the town they represent.

And just like Ted Lasso, you don't have to be a sports fanatic to find yourself hooked by Welcome to Wrexham. Last night, the first two episodes of the series premiered on FX (but don't worry, because they're also available to stream on Hulu), and I found myself enthralled from the first minute.

While it's fun to witness the witty repartee between McElhenney and Reynolds (as well as peek into their personal lives, their homes and more), it's the lives of the people of Wrexham which really steal the show. From the individual stories of the players to the local fans who gather in the Turf Hotel to watch the matches, the viewer finds themself transported into the world of this small town, and for me, I didn't want to leave.

Not to mention, although it's a documentary, the stakes of the series feel just as high as those from a fictional show. It's not just that Reynolds and McElhenney have to prove themselves as the new owners, but we also witness a group of athletes struggling to thrive during the beginning of a pandemic where fans aren't allowed in the stands and where entertainment industries are suffering. For these players, it isn't just a game, but their means of living.

Two new episodes of Welcome to Wrexham will premiere each Wednesday on FX, and be available to stream on Hulu the next day. You can be sure that I'll be tuning in each week to see what's in store for Wrexham.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the former Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a...