If 2020 needed anything, it was Ted Lasso
. Apple TV Plus’s half-hour comedy series is the sort of pure, positivity-infused joy your heart has likely sought out in these dark times, but rarely found. It is Friday Night Lights meets Parks and Recreation in London. It has Great British Bake-Off-levels of “good dad tries hard” energy. It is earnest and charmingly cast. It has Jason Sudeikis sporting a thrillingly robust mustache. It is the comfort-watch your body yearns for, whether you like soccer or not, and if you’ve been on the internet over the past couple of months, you’ve probably seen conversation and praise for the series growing as more and more people discover it.We were late to the party (the show first premiered back in August, rolling out its 10 episodes weekly), but it’s safe to say that now we’ve caught up, we’re obsessed. There are simply not enough words for how utterly enjoyable and wholesomely delightful Ted Lasso is — it’s arguably the best thing the streamer has put forth since Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, and Apple seems to think so too, having already renewed Ted Lasso for a third season before production has even started on Season 2.
Check out the trailer for another Apple TV+ series – game developer comedy Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet:The series stars Sudeikis as the titular Ted, a minor league American football coach hired by Rebecca (played by Game of Thrones shame nun Hannah Waddingham) the new owner of the Richmond football club, a Premier League team in London. Waddingham brings comedic nuance to the woman-scorned characterization, as newly-divorced Rebecca hopes that the oblivious Ted and his oddball American approach will inadvertently sabotage the team and make her cheating ex-husband (played by Anthony Head) miserable, as there’s nothing he loves more than the scrappy club.
What happens next is a transformation of team and clubhouse, as Ted’s infectious optimism and can-do attitude slowly begin to win over a community whose motto is “the hope is what kills you.” There are twists and turns along the way in the Bill Lawrence-produced series, but Ted’s unfaltering belief is never overtaken by cynicism or nihilism, and it makes for interesting narrative choices as the show bounces energetically through its 10-episode run.
The stellar ensemble of characters surrounding Ted is also a major part of the show’s appeal. Actors like Nick Mohammed (who plays locker room manager Nathan), Phil Dunster (superstar player Jamie Tartt), and Juno Temple (Jamie’s girlfriend, Keeley) bounce off Sudeikis and Waddingham’s energy with captivating glee. And the addition of more stoic, silent (and at-times angry) types like Coach Beard (co-creator Brendan Hunt) and prickly team captain Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) allow for different layers of comedy to be played against Sudeikis’ unrelenting positivity. As the team traverses many ups and downs, everyone reacts differently – and often unexpectedly – making for an engaging, heartwarming, and relatable watch.
Ted Lasso: Season 1 Photos
There are very few quibbles to be had with the series as a whole. The most glaring issue is its tokenization of non-white players such as Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández) and Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh). The series presents both characters as one-note laughs, and although both actors are clearly excellent and do well with the material they have been given, the material itself is often frustratingly reductive and dated. With any luck, further exploration of these players in Season 2 will lessen their at-times embarrassing characterization, because the way they are written is the only major sour note of the season. Otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to find things to dislike about the endlessly charming series — unless you hate joy and mustaches.
Bottom line: Ted Lasso is a delight and AppleTV+ may have found its breakout series. With further exploration of certain underutilized characters in Season 2, the show has all the ingredients to make it the standout hit the streamer needs. And, after the year we’ve all had, we deserve to have someone like Ted Lasso in our corner, motivating us from afar, as we root for him and the team to succeed.