Welcome to Wrexham Season 2 is the next instalment in the sports documentary, available on FX and Disney+. The show continues to follow the Welsh football team, Wrexham AFC, after Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds bout the club in 2020. The team now fights to secure promotion from the National League in the second year of their ownership.
This second season has a different approach to telling the Wrexham story, with the plot changing due to the success of the previous season. The underdog story of Wrexham remains: a dying football team in a town that had lost its hope. But now the football team is the centre of attention—a place where visitors from across the globe are flocking to the newly declared city to see the stars of the show. Not just the Racecourse Ground, but the normal civilian fans are also included in the furore. Welcome to Wrexham Sesason 2 follows the football season from start to finish like before, but that is where many of the similarities end.
For this season, the football is integral but merely the skeleton of the show, with much more branching out. Some episodes are devoted to certain initiatives, important fans, or historical aspects of the community. The team is merely a catalyst for which to speak about these issues. Whether it be from a superfan and star striker Paul Mullin being able to discuss autism, deadly tragedies that devastated towns, or just fatherhood in general, there is so much more within the substance of this documentary than a non-league football team owned by comedy actors. It is the most fascinating part of the series and beautifully executed, with the tone toyed with beautifully. It explores history that may be unknown, and difficulties that may not be understood. And all of it revolves around the club, be it in 2023 or 1934. The importance of the continuation and the respect given to both the causes and the people within it resonates at every instance.
The actual matches are covered when they are most important: the opening game, important scraps at the top of the table as the series progresses, other notable catastrophes and debuts, and the crucial ties at the end of the season. Last season, Wrexham was recently bought and were underdogs, with curious eyes watching what would happen. They were also struggling on the pitch, and the campaign was a fight. This time around, they are richer than the other teams and play better. And so, the focus needs to shift from the effortless stroll to success. The show does not revolve around the matches quite as much as other football documentaries or even the previous season. Instead, it follows the show’s lead in exploring other aspects of Wrexham, be it the club or the community
The characters of Welcome to Wrexham Season 2 are terrific, with both an influx of old and new figures added to the mix. Many of the regulars from the previous series aren’t mentioned as much, but they all checked up on to see what they have been up to. They have become part of the fabric of the show—minor celebrities in their own right—and it is interesting to see what they are up to now. Many have had improvements in their life, taking advantage of the success of the documentary to rightfully further their own businesses. The new inclusions add interesting dynamics to the wider community of Wrexham.
The team’s existing players are still there, led by the charismatic Mullin and Ollie Palmer, with fresh faces brought in. What the show does exceptionally well is focus on the humanity of the players, presenting them as people. They all have struggles and backstories, many of which go unseen without a camera. They do without stereotypes and generalisations about footballers and of working-class people. They are also celebrated and uplifted, fitting the togetherness that comes with the atmosphere. With the money going into the club, turning it “Hollywood”. It is important for the documentary to lean on being humble and relatable touching. Perhaps the biggest focus this season is the women’s team, which was absent for Season One. There are some sensational characters and individual stories told that deserve to be highlighted. From Rosie Hughes, the powerful, confident top scorer in all of Wrexham’s team, to Lili Jones, with her dad’s name literally one a brick in the Racecourse, their love and personalities shine in episodes dedicated to their own fight for promotion.
There are also those who formulated the takeover of the club and headlined the documentary, namely Humphrey Ker. Once a writer who worked with McElhenney, Kerr now serves as executive director of Wrexham whilst also helping to produce the show. He is the link between the owners and the club, but is also used to explain many of the concepts of football to those that aren’t familiar. He has a brilliant sense of both football and comedy. Then there are the owners, McElhenney and Reynolds. Their presence is less imposing than before, with the voices within the club better able to stand on their own two feet. When they do appear, the ludicrous circumstances of the unique club re-appear, with some of the most inventive episodes revolving around the chaotic custodians. Their passion for the club and the bodies within is evident, not just performed. Their enjoyment and their devotion to the whole town are extremely engaging.
The editing and structure of the show are amazing. Some of the very best. Individualising the episodes gives them stories of their own, like chapters in the greater season. When football does appear, it’s magnificently represented. It’s filled with the tension, the heartache, and the elation that comes from not just seeing a team win, but witnessing it rise. Even though these matches happened months ago, the passion and the effect they have resonates through the immaculate building of emotions.
Welcome to Wrexham Season 2 has become the gold standard of football documentary series. Endlessly entertaining, the show goes deeper into the intricacies of a football club, a town, a city, a whole country. The documentary has recognised that whilst the sporting achievements of the Welsh club, for both teams, are phenomenally riveting, there are further stories to be told. Dozens of them. It is the variety that is delectable, and the respect with which the subjects of the documentary are treated no matter the angle. The community is celebrated and revered as the players are pushed up instead of down. Tragic histories are remembered and the future is made bright. As Wrexham builds its success, it will be fascinating to see how the balance is kept between reaching for the stars and keeping their feet on the ground. Reynolds and McElhenney have deliveries that make them instantly funny, perhaps initially bringing eyes to the show. But it is players and the people of Wrexham that have brought the heart.
Welcome to Wrexham Season 2
Reynolds and McElhenney have deliveries that make them instantly funny, perhaps initially bringing eyes to the show. But it is players and the people of Wrexham that have brought the heart.