Why the Newly-Renewed ‘Ted Lasso’ Is Your Next Feel-Good Watch
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1 of Ted Lasso.]
It’s not often that a show is renewed less than a week following its premiere, but it should be no surprise that Apple TV+’s underdog comedy Ted Lasso is in that category.
The series starring co-creator Jason Sudeikis debuted its first three episodes on Friday, August 14 and already the titular character has weaseled his way into viewers’ hearts. Based on a character created for NBC Sports, Sudeikis’ role as a Kansas City college football coach who is plucked from across the pond to lead a different kind of football league — AFC Richmond — is a true fish-out-of-water tale.
While it’s easy to fall into familiar titles through streaming, Ted Lasso is the kind of unrelenting character that both kills and wins you over with kindness when given the chance. In a time where we’re all searching for small doses of joy and happiness wherever they can be found, Ted Lasso is a surefire way to beat back the underlying dread of a seemingly endless pandemic.
There are plenty of reasons to tune into this lovely comedy, which is also co-created by Scrubs‘ Bill Lawrence, but we’ll tackle just a few of them here, beginning with Sudeikis’ onscreen presence. The Saturday Night Live alum has been known to play some shifty or not-so-upright characters over the years whether it’s in film or television, but Lasso is like a breath of fresh air. His optimism and willingness to face the unknown is something that we could all learn from.
While it’s been fun to see Sudeikis inhabit other comedic characters over the years, none have been so pure of heart as Lasso and it’s nearly as sweet to watch as the biscuits he bakes for his stuffy boss Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham). Sure, it’s tough to imagine anyone could be so upbeat, especially under circumstances like immediately having to face reporters in a press conference following an overnight flight to England from America, but Sudeikis makes it believable.
Over time, there will be cracks in Lasso’s shiny exterior, but that will only endear viewers more towards the coach who plans to mold AFC Richmond into the best versions of themselves, win or lose. In a twist we won’t reveal for those who have yet to tune in, Lasso’s goals may not entirely align with Rebecca, who retained the team following a nasty divorce from her billionaire husband.
Certainly not a new premise, Ted Lasso is an amalgamation of TV and film’s most heart-warming sports stories and tropes. Among those classic finds are the AFC Richmond players who are hellbent on sticking to their usual routine despite Ted’s presence. Then there’s Nathan (Nick Mohammed), the overlooked clubhouse attendant that Lasso immediately takes under his wing with the help of fellow American transplant, assistant coach Beard (Brendan Hunt).
For fans of Lawrence’s Scrubs, Ted Lasso delivers similarly sweet tones during its more serious moments without the silliness that was often found in J.D.’s (Zach Braff) hospital-based day dreams. Mixing in the British-American culture and language disconnect is one of the show’s other charms, including when Lasso refuses to accept tea as a beverage but without making it feel like an insult. “I always figured that tea was just gonna taste like hot brown water,” he says with a smile. “And you know what? I was right, yeah, it’s horrible. No thank you.”
Unwelcome and unwanted, Ted Lasso is undeterred by the haters, seeing a silver lining in almost the bleakest of situations. Similar to one of his biggest critics, reporter Trent Crimm (James Lance), we can’t help but root for the in-over-his-head coach. If anything, now is the perfect time to catch up on this series with the promise of more on the horizon. After having seen the entire first season — twice — it cannot be overstated that Ted Lasso may or may not be an underdog TV show, but just like its main character, it deserves almost everyone’s attention.
Ted Lasso, New Episodes, Fridays, Apple TV+