‘Welcome to Wrexham’ Season 3 Premiere: Promotion and Deflation

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds – 'Welcome to Wrexham'

Welcome to Wrexham is easily spoiled. You could follow this link and find out exactly how season 3 will end. But what the show lacks in suspense it more than makes up for in drama.

Consider the season premiere, which airs Thursday, May 2, at 10pm ET on FX. After earning promotion to England’s League Two in the show’s second season, Wrexham – and the team’s celebrity owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds – are riding high. But while visiting the U.S.  last summer during the team’s victory lap of friendly games (that is, those outside official competition), their star player Paul Mullin suffered a serious injury that kept him not just sidelined but stranded in the States. Then the team was hit with its worst home loss in two seasons, and a key player unexpectedly retired. If fans assumed another promotion would be a walk in the park, those notions are quickly disabused.

However, for all the drama on the pitch, a key part of the show’s appeal remains its spotlight on the Wrexham community and the team’s supporters. The second episode shines a light on local photographer Oliver Stephen, whose connection to and interest in the team appears tangential at best, while the third episode spotlights Wrexham’s women’s team. These vignettes don’t just pad out the series’ runtime, they provide crucial insights into the community and provide context about what Wrexham’s success means to the city and club.

A huge part of the appeal of sports is its unpredictability. You never know if the next game will leave you elated, defeated, or somewhere in between (given that draws are a part of soccer, there’s a lot of that type of ambivalence). However, Wrexham is as close to a sure thing as you can get in sports. And the team is pretty good too.