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Welcome to Wrexham Season 3 Review

The official poster of season 3 of WELCOME TO WREXHAM

Welcome to Wrexham returns to follow the famous football club for a shortened season 3 with just as much deeply human drama on and off the pitch.

Showrunner: John Henion
Genre: Documentary Series, Sport
Number of episodes: 8
US Release: Premiere on May 2, 2024, followed by weekly episodes
Where to watch. FX and Hulu (US) / Disney+ (UK & Europe)

Before Welcome to Wrexham premiered in 2022, I had mostly checked out from professional sports. Though I would always keep up with my favorite teams, it wasn’t with the same fervor I had in my early adulthood. I wouldn’t say that the FX show – which kicks off its 8 episode season 3 with a two-episode premiere on May 2 – is solely responsible for my renewed attention to organized sports, but it’s got to be more than a coincidence.

Since the show began, I fell back in love with fandom, and the infectious energy of a town rallying around a common cause.

Season 3 doesn’t change the show’s formula, in spite of the titular Welch football club’s promotion at the end of last season. It’s another engaging mix of on-field and off-field drama with a healthy dose of humor, mostly courtesy of team owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds. All of the familiar faces are back, including Ollie Palmer, team Manager Phil Parkinson, team Director Shaun Harvey, and lead scorer “Super” Paul Mullin, plus their ravenous fan base. But the show still manages to find unexplored pockets of Wrexham, people and stories who are united by the town and the club, and it’s this devotion that gives the show its magic.

Episode 1 picks up right after the team’s promotion to League 2 after 15 long years of attempts, which concluded the previous season, and going on a celebratory US tour. But episode 2, titled “Goals”, is where the show really shines, as it follows local photographer Oliver Stephen in the first half. Stephen isn’t the central focus, but he makes a memorable impact and may as well serve as one of the many unofficial mascots for what Welcome to Wrexham has tried to accomplish throughout its run. “I didn’t like football when I came here, but as you grow to love the town, the town is the club, the club is the town. You fall for it,” he espouses, and it’s hard not to be endeared by the sentiment.

Four football players walk on the field wearing their red uniform in season 3 of WELCOME TO WREXHAM
WELCOME TO WREXHAM — “Welcome to the EFL” — Season 3, Episode 1 (Airs May 2nd) — Pictured: (l-r) Jacob Mendy, Aaron Hayden, Eoghan O’Connell. (Courtesy of FX / 2024, FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.)

If there’s any failing in season 3, it’s in the truncated number of episodes. Whereas seasons 1 and 2 had 18 and 15, respectively, season 3 only has 8. It’s hard to tell if this is due to the lack of material or some kind of mandate from FX, but Welcome to Wrexham finds itself stuffing in a great deal of narratives in each episode. Nowhere is this more evident than in episode 3, which follows no less than 3 inter-connected subplots. This includes a welcome update on the Wrexham women’s club, which was also promoted in the midst of season 2. What we see is engaging and deeply human, but I can’t help but wish there were singular episodes specifically dedicated to each story.

The bulk of the three episodes screened for this review focus mostly on Wrexham’s struggle to adjust to the increasingly difficult competition. The team finds itself in an uncommon position, no matter which league they belong to, due to their celebrity ownership. Sure, when you have movie and TV stars for club owners, it’s easy to look at their fame and influence and see how they have an almost unfair advantage. But the team’s, and the town’s, mentality has been put through the wringer over the past 100+ years, so they’re uniquely suited to wear the chip on their collective shoulders.

Sports are inherently dramatic, and with the groundwork that Welcome to Wrexham has laid in its earlier seasons, it’s fine that its focus stays mostly on the pitch. I have faith that the remaining episodes will find more stories around the town, either by returning to stories from previous seasons or finding new ones, drawing in the sports fans and non-sports fans alike.

The first two episodes of Welcome to Wrexham Season 3 will be released on Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX and stream the next day on Hulu (and Disney+ in the UK & Ireland), followed by weekly episodes.

Welcome to Wrexham Season 3 Trailer (FX)
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