Season Air Date:
- Season 1: August 14th – October 2nd 2020
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Ted Lasso (Season 1)
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple, Cristo Fernandez, Anthony Head, Keeley Hazel
One of the first TV shows I saw ever was Monk. The show was about a detective who’s wife was killed in a car bomb- and the entire 8 season run has him solving crimes as a consultant for the police again, while trying to solve his wife’s murder. Mind you, Adrian Monk has OCD and has an assistant who helps him in literally everything- and as me and my family saw the show (not religiously, but here and there) I enjoyed it for what it was- a procedural comedy/drama. Back then in the early 2000’s I wasn’t concerned about ratings and whether one show was cancelled or renewed- it just was what it was, and I was none the wiser as to the process as to determining a show’s fate. In the early 2010’s when I started to religiously watch TV shows week to week, and more often than not looking forward to them (Once Upon A Time, Person Of Interest, every single show from the Arrowverse, Packed To The Rafters, Parenthood, the latter seasons of Psych, Castle and The Mentalist, White Collar, Royal Pains, Switched At Birth, The Fosters and Continuum to name a few!); that was when ratings mattered. I was familiar with what was a ‘good rating’ which meant a show was likely safe, and I found myself being familiar with ratings that meant a show was in danger of being cancelled. Sometimes a show would be unexpectedly renewed or unexpectedly cancelled… but more often than not a shows survival depended on the ratings.
Then Netflix came along, as well as other streaming site like Apple TV+, Disney +, Hulu and HBO Max. They’d be cancelling and renewing shows with seemingly no rhyme or reason- and they had a system and weren’t letting the public know about it. I guess it’s in the streaming service’s interest to keep quiet about numbers so that viewers could watch all shows if they think they’re in danger… but on the flipside, we’d be noncommittal to a show until it’s renewed for season 2 or 3. If we all have that mentality though- a lot of shows would be cancelled though. So it was in that period where Netflix and co. started creating and creating and creating, and also tossing out and tossing out and tossing out (and renewing the odd few, of which some made no sense)… and then I made the conscious decision to only stick with shows that were veterans, with a known brand, and with reliable and dependable stars. Shows from the Arrowverse received a tick. Remakes a tentative tick. But an original concept TV show. No way, I promised myself I would stay clear away from those! The streaming services would break my heart- as well as the broadcast network channels! But then along came Ted Lasso. The unassuming, naïve, goofy, yet hopeful and inspiring comedy show (on Apple TV+) which captured my heart with the charm and fuzzy emotions. Yep, this is a comedy, with Jason Sudeikis in the lead (the guy who’s starred in films like Horrible Bosses, We’re The Millers, Hall Pass, Mother’s Day, The Campaign, and Going The Distance to name a few); but I feel like it’s more like a 30 minute drama.
Essentially the film is about Ted Lasso, an American coach of an NFL team who has been drafted at the start of the English Premier League season to be the coach of the fictional team AFC Richmond. Turns out that the owner Rebecca had just broken up with her husband Richard, after he started sleeping with and then began seeing another girl called Rebecca. And with the end of the first episode showing us all that Rebecca purposely chose Ted as coach- an on-the-surface buffoon designed to tank the club so that Rebecca’s ex would lose the last real thing he loves (AFC Richmond); we as viewers see the petty and emotional things we as humans are capable of doing without thought, all for revenge or justice. While I agree that the reasons why Rebecca wants AFC Richmond to tank are quite nonsensical, and without a care in the world for the well-being of the players and the staff of the club- the basis of Ted Lasso shows us a man who by all means should fail at his job, and shows him instead succeeding and warming his way into the hearts and minds and souls of everyone he meets. Ted is just a likeable guy- and anyone who has seen the show would agree with me completely.
With the episodes pretty much self-contained, with the overall arching theme being Ted learning the game on the job, and actually cultivating a winning team, and a team with the right attitude; the major takeaway, if anything from Ted Lasso (a show you must find time to watch, and find the show by any means necessary!), is that kindness and love and humility and gentleness and treating people with decency, goes a long way. As that is how Ted has acted all throughout the series- with no care and concern for his own well being but with immense love for those around him- even rival players and nosy reporters; we are reminded through Ted that this is how Jesus would want us to act- to take care of the least of these, and be the hands and feet of Jesus that way.
I don’t really want to give much away with the plot and everything- as this is a show that you must watch… except that there is an insane but heartbreaking twist at the end of season 1- but let me just say that the entire cast (save for Jason) is unknown to me. Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple, Cristo Fernandez, Anthony Head and Keeley Hazel all make up the cast- and with that level of anonymity, these ‘unknown’ actors are able to fly by underneath the radar and let their acting do that talking. Sometimes I feel as if a big name spoils the series, and having unknown actors can really let them shine- and this is why I reckon Ted Lasso is good- there’s a big name and other supporting actors to let Jason shine, and to shine themselves when they have the chance. For those of you all living in England and for those who know these actors and want to say that they are famous; I’m sorry. I live in Australia, and these actors aren’t known to me. anyway, I reckon for American audiences and around the world, these actors were chosen because of the relative unknown-ness- I might read too much into it, but let me know if I’m going off on a tangent.
Ted Lasso is a charming show that has and will continue to warm the hearts of millions around the world. Even during the early episodes with me not knowing whether the show would be renewed or not; I still thoroughly enjoyed Ted Lasso and wasn’t paying attention to the possibility of cancellation. It’s a good thing that the show was renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 (partly due to the likeability of Jason as an actor!), but if it was a one and done- I’d be disappointed, but not at all regretting my decision to watch the show. A must watch especially in 2020 while we are all craving for something good and something meaningful to distract us from the painful realities of COVID-19, Ted Lasso shines amongst all of the rubble- and no doubt will have more inspiring and meaningful stories to tell, considering the ending season 1 gave us. I’m not the biggest fan of Jason- however he has been superb here, as is everyone else. Well done Apple TV+ for helping us get through the year that is 2020, and let us be more acquainted with soccer in the future, so that we’ll be experts come Ted Lasso season 2.
Did all 10 episodes of Ted Lasso leave a lasting impression on you? Did any themes in the episodes speak to you, and which was it? What elements of the show are you enjoying- The antagonistic relationship between Jamie and Roy, Rebecca’s change of heart regarding Ted and his methods of coaching, the naïve yet charming and positive outlook that Ted possess throughout the duration of the series, or the budding respect Ted has garnered from the team? Will you be tuning in for Season 2 and season 3 of the show now that Apple TV+ has renewed the comedy for 2 more seasons? Let us know in the comments.
RIYL: All American, Friday Night Lights, Glow, Pitch, Ballers, Cobra Kai
Rating: 4.5/5 (based on 1 season aka 10 episodes)
Ted Lasso debuted 3 episodes on August 14th on Apple TV+ and one episode per week until October 2020.