Recently, I received a free trial of Apple TV+. Now, normally getting a free trial of a streaming service is great, but right now the pickings are slim on Apple’s platform. I have no interest in watching The Morning Show. I did watch Greyhound, the Tom Hanks World War II movie. It was exactly what I thought it would be, which is a B- war film. I had heard good things about Ted Lasso, though. Like, unexpectedly good things. By the time I got around to it I had heard enough about Ted Lasso to know I was interested in watching it. Now, this is a binge-watching recommendation where I am practicing what I preach, because I watched all 10 episodes of Ted Lasso over three days, and it lived up to the hype.
I love sports and I love comedy, so you would think that Ted Lasso would be up my proverbial alley since it’s a sitcom set in the world of sports. The reason for skepticism was that Ted Lasso is based off an ad campaign from several years ago. When NBC got the rights to the Premier League, they had Jason Sudeikis playing a guy named Ted Lasso, an American college football coach who had headed to England to coach their football, which we call soccer. He doesn’t know the rules and such. That’s all. That was the premise. And this was the jumping off point for the series Ted Lasso, which is about an American college football coach who heads to England to coach a Premier League team.
Of course, I’m somebody who actually thought the Cavemen TV show was pretty good (don’t come at me for that), so I don’t know why I was so skeptical. To be fair, as soon as I started hearing good things I was willing to buy in, especially since the show was co-created and co-developed by Bill Lawrence. Now, I don’t like Scrubs, but I thought Cougar Town was pretty good, so I considered this some degree of respectability. After one season, though, I would say Ted Lasso is better than either of those shows.
At first, it seems like the show has a bit of a Major League thing going on. Rebecca Welton has received AFC Richmond in a divorce settlement from her awful, philandering ex-husband. Her goal is to destroy the team, because it’s the one thing her ex truly loves. Thus, she hires Lasso, fresh off leading Wichita State to a Division II title in college football. He doesn’t know a thing about soccer, but he considers it a challenge, and he wants to help the players on the team grow and develop as players as people. Ted brings along his assistant and confidante Coach Beard, and the journey begins.
The team has a variety of personalities, including gruff veteran Roy Kent and rising star Jamie Tartt. Most of the cast is British, and the only people I recognized were Sudeikis and Juno Temple, the latter of whom plays Keeley, Jamie’s girlfriend when the season starts. There are a lot of talented performers and actors, though. Also, it turns out the show isn’t really like Major League at all.
If you’ve heard anything about Ted Lasso, it’s probably about how it’s a show about kindness and that it’s pretty uplifting. It’s not a dark comedy. Ted’s definitely trait is he’s a nice, optimistic person. That’s not what comedy is often about, but it works on Ted Lasso. There’s plenty of laughs, and it’s not some insanely upbeat show devoid of any cynicism, but people are sweet to each other and they grow and develop and forgive one another for misdeeds. And it works. I really enjoyed Ted Lasso. I laughed, but I also got emotionally invested at times. It worked on me. Sudeikis is a delight as Lasso. The show is a delight. Also, the music is unexpectedly good. Even if you don’t like sports, I’d recommend Ted Lasso. If you are a soccer (or football, for you Brits) fan, though, I can’t recommend it enough.