I started watching “Ted Lasso” because early reviews were positive. Surprisingly positive.
I almost forgot to keep up with the show since it’s one of those once-a-week releases. How am I supposed to remember new episodes come out on Fridays (or whatever day it was) when the concept of time has disappeared during the pandemic?
I’m glad I remembered to check back in because “Ted Lasso” is one of the most pleasant viewing experiences I’ve had this year. (Admittedly, that’s a low bar. But still, it’s a fun time!)
The show follows a bunch of characters who are defined not by their flaws (because they all have flaws), but by their fundamental decency. They make bad decisions. They do things impulsively that hurt others. But when they’re confronted with the truth about what they’ve done and who they are, they apologize and course correct. There’s legitimate character development and emotional resonance in this show, and it pulls this off while also landing a lot of jokes.
Other things of note:
Some of the plot is reminiscent of “Major League”: an owner not-so-secretly wants her team to tank so she can accomplish some other goal; a collection of misfit players comes together in an unusual way; trick plays temporarily even the field against more talented competitors, etc. But “Major League”–which I love–is cynical. “Ted Lasso” has zero cynicism.
Bill Lawrence is one of the executive producers on this show and it appears he’s evolved since his “Scrubs” days. Watch “Scrubs” with a modern lens and you’ll see its objectification of women is icky, and all of the relationships are shaped and defined by the men. Objectification is mostly absent in “Ted Lasso” and the women are portrayed as whole people with full lives and aspirations–the friendship between Keeley and Rebecca is particularly delightful.