Ted Lasso – The TV show I didn’t know how much I needed

I put off watching Ted Lasso for a long time. I’m not sure why. Sometimes I get cold feet when it comes to committing to a new TV show (it takes a lot more time to watch a multiple-season series vs. a stand-alone movie). I didn’t have Apple TV+ and I didn’t want to have to sign up for yet another streaming service. 

But when I finally did get Apple TV+ and watched my way through Monarch: Legacy of Monsters and For All Mankind, I realized that maybe it was time to listen to my friends who kept suggesting that I give Ted Lasso a try. 

And now I’m so glad I did. 

You’re probably already familiar with the basic premise of Ted Lasso, but for the uninitiated, it follows the story of an American football coach (played by Jason Sudeikis), who is hired as a British football (i.e. known in the U.S. as soccer) coach. (Fun fact: In the show, Ted is supposedly from the city of Wichita, Kansas, which is actually my hometown. I got a real kick out of Lasso’s Kansas jokes and references on the show.) 

While Ted is by no means an expert in British football, his caring, enthusiastic demeanor ends up transforming the players and everyone involved in the organization. 

Ted Lasso is one of the most positive, uplifting characters I’ve ever seen on a TV show. I was initially worried that his intense positivity would eventually become annoying, but it doesn’t, because Ted is such a genuine guy. He makes everyone around him feel better about the world and about themselves. 

I’d classify this show primarily as a comedy, and it has lots of laugh-out-loud moments. There’s an amazing cast of side characters that you get to know in greater detail as the show progresses. However, be warned: this show has its share of tear-jerking moments too, and I can’t deny I had watery eyes during several episodes.

Pretty much every single character on this show goes on some sort of journey where they discover something new about themselves; experience a season of change; or deepen their relationships with their family and friends. What I love is that even though Ted Lasso inspires these characters to improve, he always values who they are and what makes them unique. Assistant coach Roy Kent is still a grumpy, salty guy, but through Ted he learns how to show his softer side and be vulnerable. Footballer Jamie Tartt is still, well, Jamie Tartt, but he learns how to be a team player and share the spotlight. 

I also appreciate that the big twists on the show were handled with surprisingly little drama. (Spoilers ahead!) When Hannah Waddingham confesses to Ted that she only hired him because she thought he would fail as a coach and tarnish the reputation of her ex-husband’s football team, I wondered if Ted would be angry at her and if the moment would ruin their friendship. However, Ted is quick to reassure her that he understands and forgives her. Then, when Ted decides to leave the team and return to the U.S. to be closer to his son, I thought some of the players might be resentful. But yet again, everyone is quick to respond with compassion and understanding. 

This show just feels so wholesome (despite Roy’s frequently colorful language) 😉 and it’s one of those that, after I finished watching it, I felt like a better, more hopeful person. 

Ted’s passion for encouraging and inspiring the people around him made me want to look for areas of my life where I can be more like him. I’ve had a hard start to 2024, and I feel like I’m not necessarily thriving right now. But I still want to strive to be like Ted and be a force for good in the lives of those around me. None of us are perfect – but as Ted Lasso reminds us, we can still be the best version of ourselves. 

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