Welcome to Wrexham S02E01 720p WEB-DL x265
Welcome To Wrexham is a surprisingly gloss-free and honest look at the weird world of British football, an entity so embedded into the cultural fabric of the land that even if you don't like, watch or support a team it is still impossible to completely ignore. Soccer may be "the beautiful game" but it does some very ugly things to the people involved in it; normally sensible, kind, civilised human beings who turn into obsessed, violent, greedy monsters when bedecked in their team's colours and in combat with fellow fans. There's the overflowing of tribal traditions and territorial jealousies which vomit forth in a spew full of psychotic passion, spectacular swearing and drunken dreaming. Touching down in the middle of this parochial madhouse comes two aliens - Canadian film star Ryan "Deadpool" Reynolds and American TV face Rob "Sunny" McElhenney. With far more money than sense they convince themselves that, for no obvious good reason, they should buy a struggling non-league Welsh club in a place they have never heard of before, let alone visited, let alone have any personal connection to. They aren't even fans of "soccer"! So why do it? Presumably because buying Wrexham football club is more fun (and possibly more tax advantageous) than simply burning bundles of banknotes on a barbecue. The jokey-blokey altruistic actors do seem to genuinely want to do some good for the sport, the club and the community, and it's heartening to see their naive dive into this bizarre world brimming with outrageous characters, from the players whose ambition is rarely matched by their ability to swivel-eyed fanatics who fantasise about promotion to a kind of sweat-soaked, stinking, screaming big league glamour that had been unimaginably distant before the injection of Hollywood glitter and cash. Like a real life 'Ted Lasso', Welcome To Wrexham is full of drama, larger-than-life characters, sudden reversals, joy, despair, petty conspiracirs, and a myriad booze-fuelled escapes from grim reality. Everyone involved is shown with all their human frailties exposed: potty-mouthed, warts-and-all. It's funny and frightening in turn. It's highly watchable but often unedifying and distasteful. The two star names - Ryan and Rob - feature strongly, and what starts off as a bit of a laugh quickly becomes a serious and straight forward love affair with the team and the town. But while Reynolds and McElhenney we're doubtless the hook to get the show made, they are often eclipsed by real events in the dressing room, the bar room, the boardroom and on the terraces and in the streets and homes of North Wales. The duo act as a lens for the TV spotlight, and their wide-eyed experiences illuminate just why so many people love football. However, the show doesn't shy away from focusing on the many awful reasons why so many other people can't stand the sport or some of the sad maniacs it attracts. At its best, the show has an air of optimistic self-delusion that is infectious and addictive. You certainly don't have to be a fan of Wrexham AFC or even football to enjoy Welcome To Wrexham. Indeed, as an outsider, it often feels like watching a tribe making first contact with the wider world, or a religious cult suddenly given a glimpse of the long-prophesied day of revelation. It's joyous, absurd, and frequently disturbing It can be repellant, it's often entertaining. It's inspiring and has a lot of heart, tons of guys... and very little brain. If someone had written this as a fictional drama it would have been judged too ridiculous and never reached the screen, and that makes Welcome To Wrexham a cut above the standard fly-on-the-wall TV documentary.
- Ryan Reynolds
- Rob McElhenney
- Wrexham A.F.C.