Review: ‘Ted Lasso’ is life!


Photo credit: Apple Promotional Images

“Ted Lasso” is a heartwarming and hilarious TV series about an optimistic American college football coach finding his way as the coach of a professional soccer team in London. It was nominated for 20 Emmys this year, making it the most nominated comedy series in 2022.

By Audrey Chang, Editor-in-Chief

Sometimes the world of TV can seem a bit dark and overwhelming, but Apple TV Plus’ original series, “Ted Lasso,” is refreshingly optimistic, heartwarming and hilarious. 

The series follows a lovable American football coach, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), who accepts a position to manage A.F.C. Richmond, a struggling English soccer team, while knowing basically nothing about the sport. He was hired by the club’s new owner, a determined Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), who tries to spite her ex-husband by bringing down his beloved club. The team and England’s large soccer fan base are very unwelcoming to Ted and unhappy about having an inexperienced American coach, but he begins to win them over one by one with his relentless positivity and a genuine desire for team bonding. 

The first season of 10 episodes premiered on Apple TV Plus Aug. 14, 2020, and the second season of 12 episodes premiered July 23, 2021.  

Besides Ted Lasso himself, the distinctly endearing characters and the connections they form are the heart of the show. The series follows Ted’s developing relationships with the players on the team, the staff at A.F.C. Richmond, his family and other individuals in England. 

Phil Dunster portrays star soccer player Jamie Tartt, whose self-centered personality can best be exemplified by the baseball hat he constantly wears, which reads “ICON” in bold letters. While Ted may not know much about soccer, he is an expert in team building, and one of his main goals is to get Jamie to “make the extra pass” and work as a team. 

The series also stars Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent, an aging soccer player constantly at odds with Jamie. Roy communicates mostly in grunts and monosyllabic responses, yet is fiercely protective of those he cares about and secretly loves yoga, reality TV and spending time with his adorable niece, Phoebe. 

One of the funniest and most heartwarming parts of the show is watching the development of Roy and Jamie’s relationship, as they begin constantly at odds with each other but start to find common ground and even friendship from the environment Ted creates on the team.

Meanwhile, Dani Rojas, played by Cristo Fernández, comes to play for the team from Mexico halfway through the first season. With an infectious smile, he brings an overwhelming amount of energy, positivity and love for soccer to Richmond. His most commonly used phrase, for any situation, is “Football is life!” His enthusiasm transfers to watchers as well, embodying the show’s message that we should all strive to find this type of joy through our activities and the people around us and focus on these things that make us truly happy. 

A unique element that adds to the close-knit feeling of the show and the cast is that many of the actors have helped write, create or edit the show, including Sudekis, Goldstein and Brendan Hunt, who plays Ted’s assistant coach, Coach Beard. 

“Ted Lasso” reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously and to take the time to truly get to know the people around us, even if they seem unfriendly or closed off at first. A prime example of this in the show is Ted and Rebecca, which begins as a very one-sided friendship of Ted asking random questions in an attempt to get to know her better. Despite her dislike of him at first, he continues to bring her cookies every day for their “biscuits with the boss” sessions, and watching their friendship grow was one of the sweetest moments of the show. 

The release date for the third season has yet to be announced, and I’m sad to hear that the show is coming to a close, as the show’s creators have planned for this to be the last season. While both seasons of the show maintain these core messages and hilarious moments, season two delves deeper into characters’ more serious problems — mental health, family dynamics and relationships. I can’t wait to see what the third season brings. 

Above all, “Ted Lasso” shows the audience an environment where actions of sincere kindness, curiosity, and openness become instinctive, showing us that, no matter how different we are, we can start to do the same.

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When American football coach, Ted Lasso, is hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, he tries to navigate his way through a sport and country he knows nothing about and win over those skeptical and even hateful of him. While being positive and lighthearted, “Ted Lasso” carries important messages about teamwork, kindness and belief.