Welcome to Wrexham - A Season Two Review

Welcome to Wrexham: Ryan and Rob’s Season Two Review

When Wrexham FC plays at home in the National League, the crowd scene outside the Racecourse Ground is unusual. As the documentary Welcome to Wrexham comes to Disney+ for season two, we witness red and white replica shirts being worn by fans from the US, Portugal, Australia, and Thailand. There are also far more cameras present than would often be the case for a non-league game.

Prior to 2020, when it was bafflingly acquired by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, Wrexham FC had no such international fan base.

With an initial investment of £2 million, the pals pledged to film a documentary about the experience as well as improve the struggling Wrexham FC and possibly even get it into the Premier League.

Welcome to Wrexham: A Refreshing Football Documentary

Even if it is unclear whether Welcome to Wrexham is a TV show about a football club or if Wrexham FC is a football club that provides material for a TV show, it is a welcome change from the numerous other behind-the-scenes football documentaries on streaming TV, the majority of which are glimmering corporate success tales.

Similar to the other one that isn’t, Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die, which documents the team going through consecutive relegations, Welcome to Wrexham is keenly aware of how significant a football club can be to a city.

Football can provide a community with a location to gather, a goal to work toward, and possibly even a job when the local economy is failing and everyone is hurting. But only if it succeeds, and success is not guaranteed.

As we saw a replay of the club’s 2021/22 season, season one exposed us to the players, the devoted supporters, and the small business owners who all fervently desired Wrexham’s promotion to League Two.

Playoff Loss Adds Pressure to Welcome to Wrexham’s Finances

The fact that it fell short, losing in the playoffs, put Welcome to Wrexham in even greater danger, and it also means that there isn’t much time left for a business that has been artificially inflated to balance its accounts.

In the words of McElhenney, “From a financial perspective, if we do not get promotion this year, we are fucked.”

Since the 2022–23 league season, which the series is currently focusing on, has already concluded in reality, practically everyone watching is familiar with how this chapter concludes.

The drama runs the risk of stalling, and this week’s major problem isn’t particularly exciting: the club has requested some government funding.

For the Racecourse to be ready for the top leagues, £20 million is required to enable it to demolish the outdated Kop end and replace it with a modern stand.

If approved, the £20 million will come from a leveling-up fund. Although Welcome to Wrexham frequently pauses to sarcastically explain British slang for American viewers, it prefers to keep its political commentary light, so there isn’t a caption that says “Levelling Up is an obviously fraudulent initiative to end inequality that was developed by a government that only exists to increase it.”

However, one of Reynolds and McElhenney’s British advisors speculates that the government might have written off Wrexham in the upcoming election in response to the application’s eventual denial.

Farewell to the Old Kop: A Moving Tribute

The old Kop is eventually torn down because it is so worn out, but not before a moving tribute is given in its honor.

This tribute includes beautiful archive footage of a goal being scored in front of packed terraces and a brief but heartfelt interview with a former player who scored a goal and heard the roar.

Today, Wrexham FC has aspirations beyond merely scoring goals, so you worry for manager Phil Parkinson if he can’t maintain being promoted: one mid-table finish and he may be fired, not for a lack of footballing acumen, but rather because he hasn’t developed a compelling TV character.

With its “Phil’s Enthusiasm” counter, which increases every time Parkinson uses the word “fuck” at a team meeting, the show tries to cheer him up, but the gaffer’s dependence on gloomy clichés (“we gave ourselves a mountain to climb”) leaves a gaping hole in the middle of the program.

He is all ball and no show, just like the section that examines goalie Rob Lainton’s wrist injury in great detail. From Bangkok to Brisbane, you can practically hear fast-forward buttons being tapped.

Reynolds and McElhenney: Star Power in Entertainment and Finance

Reynolds and McElhenney, though, may always bring their star power to the entertainment, just as they have done to the club’s finances.

The centerpiece of the first episode, King Charles III visiting the stadium, has given them assistance in that regard.

This raises the unpleasant question of whether a show that is so tuned in to how the injustice of the Western world affects working people will succumb to genuflecting pomp.

Not a bit of it: There is a humorous scene when a manners coach teaches Ryan and Rob the appropriate protocol, but they decide that’s absurd and just give the man a handshake and a pleasant chat instead. On their property he is.

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