I wasn’t sure I was going to like Ted Lasso when I watched Apple’s first look at the show. I’m not a big sports fan, and indeed not a soccer (yes, I know, I’m an American) fan.
And yet here I am, just a few days later, having binged the first four episodes multiple times, and planning on doing the same with the fifth. I’m completely in love with this show, and it’s exactly what I need right now. And I’m not the only one. iMore’s own Lory Gil has told me that she thinks the show is worth sticking with Apple TV+ for once the subscription fee starts kicking in.
It can be tough to feel optimistic about the state of the world what with the… everything about it right now. A good comedy can help give you a break from everything out there, but Ted Lasso is more than just a comedy. It’s one of my favorite TV comedy sub-genres, what I’ll call the “comedy with heart.” These are shows that are heavily reliant on character and give just as much weight to their emotional moments as they do to their jokes. Other recent shows like this are Parks & Recreation, The Good Place, and Schitt’s Creek, for instance.
For the uninitiated, Ted Lasso is a comedy series developed by Bill Lawrence (of Scrubs fame), Jason Sudeikis, Brandon Hunt, and Joe Kelly, starring Sudeikis as the titular Ted Lasso. An American college football coach, Lasso is hired by the new owner of AFC Richmond, an English Premiere soccer team, despite his complete lack of experience in the sport. Lasso approaches his new job with determination and positivity, despite the skeptical and negative feelings sent his way by his new charges, locals, and the press.
The thing that I love most about this show is that Ted isn’t ever presented as a buffoon. He isn’t naïve or stupid. He’s just a positive guy. Ted isn’t someone who only sees the good in people, he sees people for who they are, and perhaps more importantly, who they could be if they put in the work. As Ted says in one episode, he doesn’t care about wins or losses, but about the players on his team being the best versions of themselves both on and off the field. And he’s not a one-note character, with the show working to give dimensions to Ted, and show us that he’s more than some one-note “happy” guy.
And even as Ted’s positivity and pushes to be better rub off on those around him, that’s not all there is to the show. It’s not like the show is relentlessly cheerful and upbeat. The quieter, slightly more serious moments are given their time, too. Characters are given space to grow, and it’s the balance between the humor and emotionality that make this show something special.
Ted Lasso draws you in with a fun fish-out-of-water premise and keeps you with fun and interesting characters, good humor, and heart. I can’t wait for the rest of the season, and I’m already excited to see what Season 2 might bring.
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