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It’s infinitely difficult to categorize Welcome to Wrexham, FX’s new docuseries about Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney buying football club Wrexham AFC. Is the show little more than a big-budget marketing campaign? Can it be a true docuseries when its subjects are also responsible for creating the documentary? Is this just a reality show? Is it easier to just think of it as performance art?

Even though these questions make me uncomfortable, there is one aspect of this show that turned it into a date for me. To his credit, Welcome to Wrexham is unflinchingly honest about how overwhelmed Reynolds and McElhenney are, and how terrifying their ignorance is for the future of Wrexham AFC and the city as a whole.

Most of the time, Reynolds and McElhenney being in over their heads is played as a joke. That’s especially true of the segments that focus on Reynolds, who, in wide-eyed asides, claims that this insane ploy was mostly McElhenney’s idea. This revelation appears to be true. Both stars joked about using Reynolds for his money, and when it comes to meetings about logistics, Reynolds is often nearly silent. If he’s truly a confident investor, then he should get an Emmy for his role as a “quietly terrified man contemplating his possible financial ruin.”

But when those moments aren’t played for laughs, they don’t paint Reynolds or McElhenney in a particularly great light. Take for example the pitch saga. In “Home Opener”, Humphrey Ker, Reynolds and McElhenney’s representative in Wales, tells the duo that the grass on the pitch never grew properly. By the time they overwater it and fix the problem, they’ve spent £300,000 on weed. Reynolds and McElhenney both look uneasy as they have to digest the news of these costs, an initially understandable reaction that upon closer examination shows how little they know about this world. Whether or not Reynolds or McElhenney asked for the pitch to be inspected before buying the club is never discussed. If they haven’t asked or couldn’t ask for an inspection, that’s a red flag. But if an inspection has taken place and they haven’t budgeted to fix the pitch, that also looks like a major oversight. Anyone who owns a property understands the nightmare of growing grass properly. The fact that this intensive pitch work came as a real surprise to the pair shows how unprepared they truly were.

Kerry Evans in Welcome to Wrexham
Photo: FX

Moments like these show up time and time again, whether Reynolds and McElhenney sign a top player with little analysis of how that might affect team dynamics or swallow the reality of repairs to the stadium. While they sweat, Welcome to Wrexham often jumps to sincere profiles of local townspeople. There’s Shaun Winter, a man from a line of painters who starts his segment by saying, “I fucking hate this. Wrexham AFC are a silver lining in their difficult life. For long-time volunteer Kerry Evans, a woman the club can finally hire thanks to this new owner, the club is the source of her passion. She gave her unpaid work to this team for years just because she loves it so much.

These are the kind of people Reynolds and McElhenney will destroy if they run this club into the ground. And Welcome to Wrexham let’s never forget that.

It is this frightening dynamic that elevates Welcome to Wrexham beyond cute PR movie, it could have been. That’s not to say the docuseries is capable of being unbiased. Because of who its creators are – one of whom has a habit of using his name to make businesses more profitable (hello, Aviation Gin) — and her show status on a major network, she still be biased. But at the same time, Welcome to Wrexham intentionally chooses to highlight errors and vulnerabilities that it could have just as easily concealed. In an age of shortened TV seasons, we didn’t really need a “Ryan and Rob freaking out about weed” episode. But we still have one.

Maybe when the 18-episode first season is over, we’ll have a better understanding of what Welcome to Wrexham is in fact. But as it stands, it’s currently one of the most interesting but stressful shows on TV right now. Prior to this show, the average person would have no idea what goes into owning a football club, a life event that falls into the realm of “strange hobbies for the rich.” Now we see two celebrities make a risky decision almost in real time. Are we watching Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney make the biggest financial mistake of their lives while harming a small Welsh town? Or will it ultimately be the unlikely underdog story the show desperately wants to tell? I have no idea. But anyway, I’ll take a look.