It has been a long time since a comedy like Ted Lasso has been made.
Over the years, mainstream TV has devolved into cheap laughs. It is rare to find a comedy series that does not rely on crude humor to garner cheap laughs. I thought the days where a TV show could make you laugh and teach you something were gone.
But then Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) walked into my heart.
2020 was a year packed with unforeseeable loss and tragedy. There was not much positive news in the world that could put a smile on everyone’s faces. So, perhaps, that is what made Ted Lasso so damn refreshing. The titular character, despite the hardships and heartbreaks he faces in the first season, remains unrelentingly optimistic and driven in life.
The first episode of Ted Lasso introduces us to Lasso, an American college football coach, who has just accepted a coaching position with the English Premier League association football team, AFC Richmond. For those unfamiliar with the differing definitions of football, what this means is that Lasso is now coaching a soccer team, a sport he has no experience with or firsthand knowledge of.
So why would Lasso ever get hired for such a job? Well, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), the new owner of the AFC Richmond following her divorce settlement, wants to ruin the team because it was the only thing her ex-husband loved. And what better way to fast track the utter destruction of an English football team than by bringing in someone unequipped to coach the sport.
That premise is what drives the first 10-episode season of Ted Lasso. In a unfamiliar country where everyone hates him and knows he will ruin AFC Richmond, essentially the heart of the community, Lasso never falters looking for the little positives. He begins to form meaningful connections with his staff and team, bonds that had, before his arrival, been left to fend for themselves. He helps the team’s kit man Nathan become more confident, and teaches the team’s young hotshot striker Jamie some humility. Lasso may not improve AFC Richmond’s chances of winning, but he improves the team nonetheless.
However, I think my favorite part of the show was his blossoming friendship with Rebecca. At first, the two characters are like water and oil; they should not mix together. Lasso is giving maximum effort in trying to build and coach a winning team while Rebecca is doing everything in her power to make sure Lasso cannot succeed. But, slowly, Lasso begins to grow on Rebecca. She stops trying to repel Lasso away from success and instead begins to become attracted to his unique optimism. The on-screen chemistry between Sudeikis and Waddingham drives this ever-changing relationship, and I cannot wait to see where the second season will take these characters.
The Morning Show may have gotten all the initial Apple TV+ buzz, but Ted Lasso has proven to me that it is in fact the streaming service’s headlining show. It is an upbeat sitcom that will make you laugh, smile, cry, and cheer; but, more importantly, make you appreciate the little things in life. And honestly, that’s something I think we could all use a little of right now.