I did not expect Ted Lasso to be my new favorite show of 2020, but when I binged the first season of 10 episodes in two days the series quickly rose to the top of my list. The Apple TV + show revolves around the title Ted Lasso, an American college football coach hired to head the (fictional) medium-sized London Premier League team AFC Richmond. However, Ted has no experience coaching soccer and is about as salt of the earth in the Midwest as they come. This is a classic fish-out-of-water story that in poor hands could easily rely too heavily on tired cross-cultural jokes and couldn't explore anything deeper.
Instead, Ted Lasso thematically takes up the same space as shows like Schitt & # 39; s Creek and Parks and recreation. It's heartwarming and gentle, and it leans on the power of fellowship and what we can accomplish when we lift one another up. It's a hug of a show, and in that infinite lockdown I almost forgot what a hug feels like.
Ted Lasso Exceeds expectations with witty writing, compelling storylines, and a stellar ensemble led by co-creator and star Jason Sudeikis. You know Sudeikis, consistently one of the brightest stars Saturday night live during its run from 2005-2013. His comedic skills are a given, but Sudeikis also shows an incredible range of emotions. Ted could easily have felt one-dimensional and irritating, someone so optimistic his head is in the clouds. But therein lies the genius of Ted Lasso: Ted is positive and happy, but not an idiot, and his optimism does not come from naivety. He's great at reading people (he knows right away that the team's star player is selfish, immature, and cocky) and carries his own pain (for the first time at the end of the first episode during a heartbreaking phone call that reveals Ted's crumbling marriage) .
Storylines are set up throughout the season that, if the show had a cynical view of the world, would fail Ted or embarrass himself. Instead, things are generally going well (especially out of the field), and in doing so he picks up on the people around him. As Ted says, he loves helping people become the best version of themselves, and he's really good at it; As it turns out, watching people thrive is an incredibly satisfying show. By getting Ted smart and showing how his life philosophies pay off, the show shows that approaching life with an optimistic mindset can in and of itself contribute to success. And the power of optimistic thinking is needed now more than ever.
To illustrate the understatement of the century, 2020 was absolute hell: endless uncertainty thanks to a botched containment of COVID-19 with a president spreading disinformation, a high-stakes election where voter suppression is a real threat, one ongoing racial injustice crisis and countless other headlines that make me lie face down on the floor. The constant flow of bad news from all directions is so relentless that it is easy to feel cynical, apathetic, and hopeless.
But if you're ready to throw in the towel (good sports reference, me!) I could suggest an episode or two (or 10) of Ted Lasso? It's a wonderful respite from this year, not only because it's delightful but because of the optimistic attitude at its core. Ted Lasso is a fantastic reminder that there is power to believe in yourself and that we can all succeed by lifting one another up and helping one another to be our best selves. As we see with Ted, holding on to your humanity and leading it with optimism does not make you stupid or weak. In fact, they can be the very things that can ultimately help you overcome many of life's challenges.