Laughter in trying times

It’s a common observation of the human condition that comedy may often be found in the midst of tragedy. Even science supports the idea of laughing through tears as a form of emotional regulation.

Psychologists believe that laughing through tears may even have an evolutionary basis and be related to emotional intelligence. This is defined as the ability to monitor your own and others’ feelings and emotions. To discriminate amongst them and to use this information to guide your thinking and actions.

Finding comedy in a dire situation

So, if we can find some comedic relief in a dire situation, then we are doing well. We are using emotional intelligence to cope.


Rafe Spall and Ester Smith as Jason and Nikki in ‘Trying’

A new comedy show from Apple TV that explores issues of childlessness

There is no doubt that infertility is one of those dire situations. How can anyone make light of it? But this, indeed, is the premise of ‘Trying’, a new comedy show from Apple TV starring Ester Smith and Rafe Spall.

‘Trying’ is a comedy about childlessness in the wake of a couple’s infertility. It explores their situation for comedic absurdities rather than exploiting it for crass laughs. Nikki (Smith) and Jason (Spall) are 30 something semi-professionals who have exhausted their NHS allocation of  IVF cycles. They are still desperately trying. They are prepared to go to some pretty desperate measures to make sure they don’t miss an ovulation window!

When IVF is your only option

Then they find out that, because of complications, a baby of their own through biological means will never be possible.

The doctor gently and patronisingly suggests, “Let me get you another leaflet.”

Nikki, in particular, is devastated. Out on a sunny walk in a park, she spots a man on his phone ignoring his kids and marches over to him. “They are tiny little miracles!” she screams, before snatching and throwing his phone into a pond. “Talk to your children!” It transpired they weren’t his children!

So, amid the endless pregnancy announcements and christenings from various fertile friends and family members, they begin to consider adoption. Jason is naively pragmatic saying, “We’ve only got to be better than the previous parents!” Nikki is keen to move quickly. She bitterly retorts, “We waited until we were ready once before, didn’t we? And we were far too late!”

‘Trying’ is the 23rd original show from Apple TV and the company’s first European production.  Some viewers will resonate with the trials of infertility. For some it will really hit home, especially if infertility experiences are still raw. Andy Wolton, Director, is an adoptee himself, and so the subject, although mined for comedic value is treated with compassion.

The world could do with a little more emotional intelligence in these trying times. Take a look here and see what you think of it.