It’s hard to express the pure joy that the first season of Ted Lasso gave me. I found myself laughing out loud, cheering, I found my eyes watering at a football match. A FOOTBALL MATCH! This is no small feat.
From Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) comes the story of Ted Lasso (Jason Sudekis, co-creator) an American football coach who ends up the new football (soccer) coach for Richmond United. Despite knowing nothing about the game.
It’s a fish out of water tale, with pantomime style characters and backstabbing sub-plots that somehow manages to elevate itself above all of this, and becomes a story about what it is to be a good person, to be part of a team, to find yourself a home and to truly believe. Sudekis is so chrematistic and endearing that you can’t help but brim with joy as he fills the scream, warming every sense in you and winning you over almost immediately as he tries to win over the team and town.
The best thing about this show, however, is that it’s not just Lasso’s rodeo. We are treated to a selection box of wonderful characters, and it’s hard to pick any out without feeling guilty about not mentioning the others. Brendan Hunt who also helped to create the show plays stoic Coach Beard, rock hard but with a melt in the middle heart. Brett Goldstein, one of the show’s writers, also portrays Roy Kent, ageing team Captain who will drop more aggressive swear words than anyone on TV this autumn, yet feels like the most caring man in the world. Juno Temple arrives on the scene as bubbly bimbo WAG Keeley, attached at the hip to star player Jamie Tartt, played by Phil Dunster (yes that Phil, from the Cineworld commercials) yet the pair who could easily be the most stereotyped during the 10 episode run become some of the most nuanced and balanced characters in the show.
All 10 episodes are currently streaming on AppleTV+ and a second season is in the works. It won’t make you ponder great philosophy, or contemplate joining a drug cartel, but I can guarantee it will put a smile on your face, and make these Autumn nights feel that little bit brighter.