Ted Lasso premiered in 2020, and the show was an absolute treat that’s hard to beat in every aspect! It was funny and light-hearted, with great dialogues and plot twists that, while we may have seen some of them coming, we still loved! The show went on to sweep numerous awards: Golden Globes, Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Award, you name it!
Ted Lasso‘s first season alone was nominated for 20 Primetime Emmy Awards, making it the most nominated first-season comedy in Emmy Award history. Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein won for their performances, and the series won the Primetime Emmy Award.
While the series hit the screen in 2020, that wasn’t the first time that the audience met the famous Ted Lasso. In the 2013-2014 season, Ted Lasso made an appearance as Tottenham Hotspur’s coach in a promotional campaign for NBC ahead of the Premier League’s return to its content.
No one was counting on the fact that seven years later, the character created by the brilliant Jason Sudeikis would place the character in what would later be one of the greatest television revelations of the season—probably even the best, too!
With a simple but tight script and football in its showcase, Ted Lasso is made for those who even hate football. In the show, we follow Ted Lasso as he puts his best intentions at the service of a team in the process of self-destruction. So, the current president of the club (imperial Hannah Waddingham), divorced from the owner of the team and eager to sink it as much as possible, will do everything in her power to obtain a cold revenge.
In order to achieve her desired downfall, signing an inexperienced coach (not a manager) is one of her master moves. But no one was counting on the goodness and light that good old Ted Lasso exudes! Now that we have said goodbye to one of the best comedy TV series in recent years, let’s break it down season by season.
Ted Lasso: Season One!
Ted Lasso‘ was a pleasant surprise in the year of its release. The series presented a perfect cross between the best of American and British comedy that handles that balance in an exemplary and iconic fashion. It was not just a fish out of the water, a culture shock story.
This story was about how the key to everything is that we all try to be the way we’re really meant to be, and Sudeikis’ character does his best to emote this with his adorable sense of life.
Die-hard lovers of the beautiful game may not be able to get what they were hoping for when it comes to the training sessions and the purely sporting resolutions of the story, but anyone looking for more than that and who can see that football is actually the least important thing in this world will enjoy an open bar of pints like a hooligan.
The series was filled with moments as embraceable and relatable as the one about semantic satiety or his relationship with the press (or with sparkling water). These moments were always there to lift the spirits.
Ted Lasso was like a much-needed gift, a character that has arrived to try to help us get through what we have left to endure and a series that reminds us that Apple TV+ is very clear about its style book.
In these times of cynicism and nihilistic views of life and the Western world, to be able to watch a comedy centred on someone who has an optimistic point of view and who only seeks to do the right thing has seemed to us a marvel and a breath of fresh air.
The series gets the humour right at the expense of the differences between British and American cultures, but it has a lot of great details, such as the three fans who are always in the pub when Ted goes, everything to do with Keeley, Jamie’s girlfriend, or the non-verbal communication of several of the characters.
This first season of Ted Lasso was hilarious, and aside from its own base concept craziness, the show stayed genuinely funny throughout the season. Perhaps not laugh-out-loud humour, but the show managed to keep a smile on your face as you watch each episode, leaving you with a positive and optimistic feeling that is super infectious.
Ted Lasso: Season Two!
Ted Lasso season two featured 12 episodes that aired between July and October 2021. In March of the same year, filming began for the third season as well.
In the second season of Ted Lasso, Jason Sudeikis’ comedy series continued to triumph with its particular spirit of self-improvement and good vibes. This season had a clear purpose: to fully ground the person who has defused the cynicisms of those around him.
The new episodes begin with Richmond in a slump with a run of draws (Ted’s least favourite result). After an unfortunate incident involving Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández), the club decides to hire Sharon (Sarah Niles), a sports psychologist who doesn’t quite fall for the charms of our protagonist.
The appearance of this new psychologist forms a subplot that remains latent until it explodes. Lasso sees a certain threat (disguised as suspicion) in having a psychologist in Richmond because that means, among other things, a failure of the coach’s pedagogy. But also because of the “unmasking” that can come from scratching what’s behind this whole new change and the hidden fear of facing his inner dark thoughts, which he has been avoiding.
The position of positivism, good vibes, altruism, and being kind to make the world a better place works to a certain extent. In the second season, it was clear that situations were more complex than they seemed, and not everything could be swept under the carpet, under the mask we put on to work, as Ted did for a while. This second season of Ted Lasso was decidedly more introspective, delving, little by little, into the interior of its characters.
As this introspection took place, Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly’s series widened its focus by showing us more and more of the main components of Richmond. We had, for example, Rebecca (Hannah Waddinham) returning to the realm of the love game, and we explored the lives of Keeley (Juno Temple) and Roy (Brett Goldstein). We even saw a dark side to the character of Nathan Shelley, played by Nick Mohammed.
As always, some subplots worked quite a bit better than others. Roy Kent’s storylines were better when they involved his niece (Elodie Blomfield); there was also more intent to develop the team’s players, especially Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh)—but the result was somewhat uneven.
One of the things that fascinated us most about this season of Ted Lasso (or the show in general) was how it was ultra-aware of the artifice that made both romantic comedies and stories of self-improvement in sports work and used it to its advantage. Even when it came to throwing in relevant cultural references and using homages to iconic scenes, the series avoided cliches.
If you liked the first season of Ted Lasso, you would probably like this second one even more. In addition to the hilarious interactions with the players, the series showed even more heart when it came to presenting the life, love and problems of the characters.
From a Ted with growing anxiety, Roy had to clarify what he wanted to do with his life after his retirement or Keeley, who, even though she loved Roy, also needed her space to be able to grow professionally. All the characters had a dramatic moment, along with some super funny ones. Even Jamie Tartt or the young Dani Rojas had emotional problems; it was no wonder that the club needed a psychologist.
In short, the second season of Ted Lasso was back doing what it does best: entertaining and thrilling us in equal parts in doses of just over half an hour per episode (the eighth, for example, lasted 45 minutes).
Ted Lasso: Season Three!
After The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel, Barry and Succession TV series, it was time to say goodbye to Ted Lasso. Maybe his ending doesn’t exactly qualify to be among the pantheon of the best in history, but the show has said goodbye in the best way it could: giving us one last dose of optimism, and that is something for which we will always be grateful to this series.
The winner of the last two Emmy awards for Best Comedy Series has a great competitor this year in Amy Sherman-Palladino’s series because Mrs. Maisel‘s farewell achieved that great ending that few series are capable of achieving.
The critics may not have been so fond of this latest season, but for the viewers, Ted Lasso has remained the happy place that has welcomed us since 2020. But if there was one thing that got the media’s hackles up, it was the character of Nate because it’s been evident that Ted Lasso didn’t know what to do with this villain. Ultimately, his plot leaves the feeling that he was only brought to the dark side with the excuse of redeeming him and bringing him back.
Nate’s was an unsatisfying arc because of the development of the character in this season. While it couldn’t have come to an end in any other way, given the nature of the series, the development of the character in the third season somehow made the whole journey Nate went on from the beginning seem unnecessary.
It was kind of awkward because although his conflict was interesting, it didn’t quite fit. With Rupert as the ultimate villain and no nuance, there was no need for another depiction of darkness. But undoubtedly, what bothered us the most about this whole plot was that they used Jade, the restaurant waitress character, as a mere tool in his journey of redemption.
Despite all the possible narrative flaws that can be attributed to its last season, Ted Lasso has continued to be the place we wanted to return to every week because we knew we were going to find a utopian world. A world where the characters would always find a way to be the best version of themselves.
Moments like Colin’s fear of rejection ended with Isaac at his door telling him that the reason he was angry was because he thought he couldn’t trust him. The warm and informal support of the dressing room in the face of what Colin thought would be a big revelation. When the whole team went to help repair Sam’s restaurant after a racist attack, these beautiful moments were just perfect!
The show brought a farewell quite worthy of the characters, with a string of happy endings and tender moments as Richmond takes on West Ham United on the decisive final day of the Premier League. We won’t dwell on wins or losses, but the episodes flew by.
We have to recognise that the ending was what the series deserved. It had its funny moments, its tenderness, its emotionality, and, for the most part, they have been true to themselves despite the fact that the general expansion of plots and focus on characters has taken its toll, with some working better than others.
The third season tried to tackle hot-button and important issues. There are two in particular that stand out (basically by dedicating whole episodes to them), such as the taboo of homosexuality in football (with Billy Harris’ character Colin at the centre) and, in another episode, the damage that can be done by the leaking of an erotic video like the one recorded by Keeley (Juno Temple).
One of the most surprising things and not-so-great about this season was the sudden movements. We jump from situation to situation (suddenly Keekey breaks up with her girlfriend of a couple of episodes, Nathan is no longer at West Ham, etc.).
Mind you, it’s not that the twists and turns the characters took during the season weren’t justified, but they’re too sudden and abrupt. Our friends at Richmond stumble through their near-final run in what felt like a testing ground for possible spin-offs—as we see at the end, for example, one about the club’s women’s team.
This spoiled a little the viewing of the series that at no time ceased to be that warm, friendly and pleasant place to live in. A place that we visited probably for the last time and that, perhaps because we were aware of it, was overstuffed.
This is not to say that we didn’t have emotional moments this season. In fact, the final stretch of season 3 of Ted Lasso was quite emotional from start to finish as the writers set out to bring most of the characters to the possibility of somehow being in an evolved version of where they started as they resolve the personal arcs that have kept them hanging around for three years. While the third season of Ted Lasso wasn’t exactly the best season, it was definitely a great send-off.
Ted Lasso was an exceptional work of art. It is easy to see why the series has received unanimous praise from critics and audiences alike, especially for its performances, script, uplifting tone and emotion. The series has been somehow a gateway from the unsettling reality we all faced, starting with the pandemic, and it will definitely be missed!