Ted Lasso: Season 1
September 19, 2020 7:08 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

American college football coach Ted Lasso is recruited to coach an English Premier League team, AFC Richmond, despite having no experience with the latter sport.

This is a show that features:
-a fish out of water
-relentless optimism
-kind pragmatism
-reluctant but inevitable admiration
-overwhelming decency

I'm not really sure how much info to add here, but I wanted to nudge more people to give this show a shot. In the first few minutes I was certain it would be super awkward and not funny, but, happily, I was wrong. There is a deep theme of... bringing out the best in people, and it has been a good antidote to the general state of gloom right now.
posted by Acari (40 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This show is SO what I need right now. It is about relentless optimism that wins out in the end.
The guy knows who he is and what he values and just chooses to do the decent thing each and every time, whether or not it produces results.

Eventually, in different ways, the people around him come to value him, each in their own way and the team starts to come together as a real team.

Also, the rest of the characters are fun and much more well rounded than i had feared.

Yes, it give it a shot!!! It is a real shot of sunshine.
posted by metahawk at 9:28 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by sixswitch at 10:21 PM on September 19, 2020

I just saw ep.1 last night and at the end I thought "is this a tv show version of 'Major League' ?" Looking forward to the other episodes.
posted by alchemist at 10:59 PM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would binge this if Apple let me so I guess it's good they don't. When possible, I watch each episode twice in a row, once for plot, again for fun.
posted by kingless at 2:39 AM on September 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

Come for the wholesome humor and sweet characters, stay for Giles from Buffy being an absolute turd of a human and making you love and hate him at the same time.
posted by teleri025 at 2:50 PM on September 23, 2020 [9 favorites]

This show is delightful.
posted by gwint at 6:12 AM on September 24, 2020

Everyone please watch this show, especially now that the season's over and you can binge it. If you need to convince friends or family to check it out, tell them it's the new show by the Scrubs guy (or maybe just tell them "Scrubs, except it's about an English soccer team")

I cannot wait for the second season aaaaaahhhh
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:35 PM on October 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fantastic show; so humane and decent and kind. Can we just get another 5 seasons and a movie? Like, tomorrow?
posted by nubs at 10:24 AM on October 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I binged this across three evenings, and I loved it. So many cliches sidestepped in favor of the better, kinder resolution. This is exactly what I needed right now.

And the bonus of really good music. I don’t think I ever skipped the intro.
posted by gladly at 9:26 PM on October 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

And, Rebecca was the “Shame”’Septa from GoT? What?
posted by gladly at 9:30 PM on October 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

It took me forever to realize that Giles was the ex.
posted by nubs at 11:22 PM on October 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh wow, this was so good! I cared about AFC Richmond as much as my actual football team! So nice to see just goodness onscreen. Glad it's been renewed for a second season.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:57 AM on October 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I loved this so, so much. This Twitter thread calls it speculative fiction, and I agree completely:

"What if a man saw kindness, generosity and emotional connection as his most powerful levers for meeting his goals?"

The whole thing explores what non-toxic masculinity can look like. Some of the characters reminded me so much of men I love, and I was so invested in their success and failures.

There's really only two women in the season, and it only barely (pun intended) passes the Bechdel test. But it doesn't matter to me because firstly it's one of the few stories that actually needs to take place in a mostly-male setting. And secondly because the two women are fun characters who build a genuine friendship instead of falling into standard cat-fight tropes or making them victims.

If you like sports movies I think you'll like this? If you liked Happy Go Lucky by Mike Leigh (starring Sally Hawkins) I think you'll love it.
posted by harriet vane at 2:59 AM on November 23, 2020 [17 favorites]

Ted has very strong Joe Pera energy, though the show as a whole has a pretty different vibe. (Joe Pera Talks With You is more Twin Peaks-but-mostly-nice-and-no-supernatural-stuff)

Maureen Ryan in Vanity Fair (December 3, 2020): “Bring Ted Lasso Energy Into Your Life!”
If I had to boil Ted Lasso down to one word, I’d say it’s a show about noticing.
If Ted were not self-aware—and if he did not have a keenly attuned perception of other people’s emotional states—he would probably be unbearable. But as a man going through some difficult things in his personal life, he not only has therapy jargon at the ready, he notices when other people are struggling. He may careen into Rebecca’s office without always noticing how his brimming energy unnerves her, but day after day, he sees how she’s using anger to keep pain and humiliation at bay.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:22 PM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Watched the first 4 episodes last night and was giddy by the end. The friendship between the women was so good.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:35 AM on December 16, 2020

Thanks, Going to Maine, that Mo Ryan piece is so good. It makes me want to watch the show all over again.
posted by gladly at 12:47 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

I binged the whole season last night, and holy hell was this good. So much to love in the broad strokes and details. Ted as a character isn't dumb, even though that would initially seem to be a prerequisite for his situation, and it's such a great instinct to build the season not around "fish out of water doesn't know the sport he's coaching at the top level" so much as "fish out of water trusts his players to know how to play the game, and focuses his efforts where he can do the most good: making them a cohesive team."

It's a little bit "Major League," but with the cold socialite owner trying to tank the team being very human and sympathetic (even if tanking the team out of pure spite rather than trying to get out of Cleveland is on paper a much less defensible motivation.) It's a little bit "A League of Their Own," with Roy Kent and Jamie Tartt standing in for Dottie and Kit.

It does such a great job of peeling back layers on characters and, in so doing, proving Ted not to be a fool for his approach to them, especially once we meet Rupert, a person so genuinely shitty that Ted, well, is still polite and cheery, but knows not to bother.

And it devotes a lot of its time to the growing friendship between Rebecca and Keeley, which is delightful! And then, when Keeley learns the truth about Rebecca's actions in early episodes, Keeley is pissed, but pissed like "Go own up to this right now so we can all go back to being friends, dammit!" It's so refreshing.

Anyway, I loved this.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:01 AM on December 23, 2020 [11 favorites]

The situation with Michelle Lasso lands different once you know that Jason Sudeikis separated from long-time fiancé and co-parent, Olivia Wilde, early this year.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:54 AM on December 23, 2020 [5 favorites]

I finally got around to watching this and I love how it's not just about improving the team dynamics, it's also about building up Rebecca's sense of self-worth to the point where hurting her ex isn't the most important thing to her. I really liked her character and that aspect of the show felt like it made a nice counterpoint to the dudes-playing-sports side of the show.

Also the dynamic between Ted and Coach Beard is just so funny and great.
posted by beandip at 9:42 AM on December 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Just finished this last night myself. Easily the best series of 2020 for me.

The Rebecca story arc was great, and what an amazing trick where the writers turned the whole thing around in 10 episodes. Now I can see Rebecca wanting to get back to the Premier League and winning it all just to show up Rupert even more than before.

And why did New Rebecca walk out of Rupert's room when the final game was over? That was subtle but I think it means something.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:08 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

This was a really sweet show. I was wary: I'm not that into shows about a bunch of white men -- but there was some diversity, at least, and I hope for more focus on the non-white players next season(s). And the story wrap-up with Rebecca was so well done; also I enjoyed Keeley, and her relationship with Rebecca.

That said the use of the Baby Shark earworm was evil.
posted by jeather at 7:47 AM on January 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

I really did enjoy this, it’s funny and sweet and there are some great performances, but I’m not surprised I’ve seen lots of comments like “I loved this and I don’t even like sports!”, because the times it gets involved with specific details of the sport, it did tend to break the illusion a bit for me.

For example, in the first episode, when he doesn’t know anything about soccer it’s cute and it’s the whole premise of the show; when he’s still needs to have very basic things explained to him in the final episode, it seems less like fish-out-of-water and more like he’s very unprofessional. It’ll be interesting to see how they develop that in season 2, he can’t keep being the complete novice forever.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:00 AM on January 12, 2021

when he’s still needs to have very basic things explained to him in the final episode, it seems less like fish-out-of-water and more like he’s very unprofessional.

I hear what you're saying and don't disagree; however, having just re-watched the final episode a couple of days ago (what? I needed an emotional lift!) I think there's a great touch. Lasso gets offside explained to him again, and then during the trick play there's this exchange:

Beard: Dani's onside
Lasso: Yeah, he is

Which is maybe the little nod needed to show that Ted is learning things too.
posted by nubs at 7:40 AM on January 12, 2021 [5 favorites]

Nananananananananana Dani Rojas! Rojas! Dani Rojas! and his million-watt smile!

Right now this show is saving my sanity.

Fútbol is life!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 10:14 AM on January 12, 2021 [14 favorites]

I'm rewatching because it's just so nice to have a show that's so....nice. Like, the touch of Ted sending Jamie a congratulatory note after he sets up the winning goal, having also seen Jamie getting ripped a new one by his father.

Saving my sanity.
posted by nubs at 10:59 AM on January 12, 2021 [5 favorites]

This is one of my favorite shows. Ensemble cast, well written characters who do the things you would expect them to do, and with developments in later episodes subtly set up in earlier ones

(Coach Lasso leaving the karaoke event, the audio as he exited was also used during his first press conference.)
posted by zippy at 9:38 PM on January 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

I loved this show, but I'm really curious as to how it played in the UK. It feels like a purely American show would have had them win the final game; what took place felt a bit more of a British narrative to me.

I have a lot to say about this show and I will sometime soon. The moment with Jamie and his dad at the end of the final episode...well, oof. It's really sticking with me.
posted by rednikki at 2:40 AM on March 6, 2021

This was great, great stuff. We binged it after a recommendation from friends of ours, and then sat through it again when my in-laws came last weekend.
posted by jquinby at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2021

I watched the series for the third time through this past weekend. The more I get familiar with the material, the more I feel like the darts scene with Rupert is the mission statement of the show. The incurious nature of insecure (usually white) men... that theme just vibrates through the whole series for me, as a cis white guy.

In fact, as I reflect on it a little more, I think Roy, Jamie, and Rupert hold down three points on a spectrum - it's all about their openness to leave behind insecurity and move toward redemption through community.

Roy sees it coming pretty quickly and responds with flashes of anger that yield to acceptance. He's immediately ready to change because he already knows that he can't keep playing the same game he played until now - literally and metaphorically. His struggles are far from over, but now he knows what he needs to do.

Jamie begins with no awareness of any need to change, and his interactions with Ted create an opening for that awareness. Jamie's remarks at the training room sacrifice scene offer a glimpse of how an incurious guy can actually start to interrogate his own behavior. It feels super important at this moment in history to tell stories like this - by white guys, for white guys, offering vital information in a relatively safe package.

Rupert superficially demonstrates a little self-awareness (in response to Ted's insight about calling Robbie Williams) but that's a deflecting tactic to avoid doing the work. He feels irredeemable even to the end of the season - making Ted's forgiveness of Rebecca such an important moment for the story. Just like herd immunity, the way we eventually get out of toxic masculinity is by cutting off its routes of travel. Rebecca starts out as a vector for Rupert's foolishness. Keeley and Sassy call her out on her complicity quite well, but it's the forgiveness from Ted that really breaks the chain. (I think Brene Brown has some things to say about women and the patriarchy, and that's about as far as I'm qualified to go on that point.)

In my own writing, I've been turning toward a focus on work that evokes a sense of joyful possibility in the reader. This is exactly what keeps bringing me back to Ted Lasso. It's Major League by way of Mister Rogers, and I am 100% here for it.

Eventually, we will advance beyond this stage to work that actually de-centers white male supremacy - the main character is still a white guy, and the whole show is named after him - but this is marvelous progress.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
posted by sockshaveholes at 8:12 AM on March 29, 2021 [18 favorites]

The major thing I would have liked is for Ted not to have had a kid. I think that his wife saying "we need space" so he moves across the OCEAN and has her be a single mom is not a great look (even if she was ok with it, which we don't know), and would have been interrogated a lot had he been the mother as opposed to just accepted as a normal move one might make.
posted by jeather at 9:37 AM on March 29, 2021 [6 favorites]

It just hit me: I know the actress playing Ted’s wife from her role on the show Better Off Ted.
posted by Monochrome at 2:59 PM on April 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

GQ interview with Jason Sudeikis:

...Asked once on a podcast about what people tended to get wrong about him, Sudeikis responded, “That I was in a fraternity—or maybe that I would be.”

To that point, Hunt told me, “He's much less the assumed fraternity guy than you'd think.” But Hunt said he also understood where the impression came from: “I don't know where he learned it necessarily, whether it was from his parents, or his basketball coaches, but he exudes an easygoing confidence. And it's easy to hang with a guy like that. But some people are also like, ‘Fuck that guy,’ intrinsically.”...

...So he tried to stay open. But it wasn't until Ted Lasso that people really saw the side of him that comported with the way he saw himself. Last year, as it became clear that the show was a hit, he found himself answering, over and over, some version of the same question. The question would vary in its specifics, but the gist of it was always: How much do you and this character actually have in common? Sudeikis told me that over time, in response to people wondering about his exact relationship to Ted, he developed a few different evasive explanations. Ted, Sudeikis would say, was a little like Jason Sudeikis, but after two pints on an empty stomach. He was Sudeikis hanging on the side of a buddy's boat. He was Sudeikis, but on mushrooms. Sometimes, in more honest moments, he would say that Ted is the best version of himself. This, after all, is how art works: If it was just you, then it wouldn't really need to be art in the first place. And so Sudeikis learned to separate himself from Ted, to fudge the distance between art and artist.

Except, he said, after a while, every time he tried to wave off Ted, fellow castmates or old friends of his would correct him to say: “No.” They'd say: “No, that is you. That is you. That's not the best version of you.” It's not you on mushrooms, it's not you hanging off a boat, it's just…you.

posted by nubs at 7:59 AM on July 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I cannot wait for the post for S02E01 on Friday. Like, I'm going to stay up, watch it as soon as it drops, and then come here.
posted by tzikeh at 6:39 PM on July 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Describing the show, I said, “It’s the opposite of that phrase ‘Nice guys finish last’”. Then I realized the show literally has the nice guys finish last (in the season finale) but it maintains its persistent optimism.
posted by Monochrome at 11:40 AM on August 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

"is this a tv show version of 'Major League' ?"

If we're doing baseball media comparisons, Ted Lasso is Hot Stove League as comedy.
posted by zamboni at 7:45 AM on August 17, 2021

I think I knew I was hooked early on when Ted says to Nate "What's that? I have a hard time hearing people who don't believe in themselves."

As a guy who generally does not believe in himself, but who's been lucky enough to get some people around me who actually say stuff like that to me, I know what that ray of light out of the darkness can feel like and how damn important it is.

(And on a completely different note, as a former Kansas City kid I totally giggle at all the shout outs to Kansas City BBQ. My "Joe Arthur GateStack" t-shirt is on order!)
posted by dnash at 8:01 AM on September 5, 2021

I'm way late to this thread, having just finished the first season!

And why did New Rebecca walk out of Rupert's room when the final game was over? That was subtle but I think it means something.

I think this was really important in contrast with the scene with Roy and Keeley in the locker room. New Rebecca is only there when things are fun and happy. Keeley's there even when it's tough and sad. Which I think highlights the differences between those relationships, the depth of love, and the willingness of the male partners to be accept comfort and be vulnerable.
posted by mandanza at 1:43 PM on January 1

Okay, finally finished first season and am loving this.

* Ted is just so generous and loving to almost everybody. He is ON YOUR SIDE if he's on it. Except to Rupert.
* The homemade biscuits! Every morning! Always being on Rebecca's side! And her doing the same for him!
* The dart game! Bwahahahah.
* Ted being called wanker and insulted in the bar every day but taking it coolly.
* Roy being crusty and cranky as fuck but still being the better dude.
* Adore Rebecca and Keeley together. Flo/Sassy as a third was great, bring her back any time.
* Sam and Nate and Dani being very endearing and sweet.
* Even Higgins, finally sacking up and saying fuck you, I quit! And Rebecca apologizing!
* Anthony Head is great as super charming yet totally jerkfaced Rupert.
* "I forgive you," right off the bat, not even fazed or bothered by it all.
* Love this. Love it all.
* Oh, and I totally agree with Ted on tea, but if you put honey in it, it fixes the whole water thing. Too bad I've been told that's Not A Thing in England.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:13 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]

I loved this show, but I'm really curious as to how it played in the UK. It feels like a purely American show would have had them win the final game; what took place felt a bit more of a British narrative to me.

UK perspective from a non-football fan. I thought the show is really interesting in confidently wades into an zone that has been the graveyard of so many shows: American TV show trying to depict British culture (the converse also applies of course). What is interesting is that most of the characters in the show are British - and of course it is also about the world of Premier League football - but clearly the perspective is from Ted's point of view: the audience are assumed to be outsiders like Ted. As a British viewer, there are a number of American references that I don't get: and that is fine because the show is written that way and they aren't crucial to being able to enjot it.

So, in brief, Ted Lasso takes deals with a very British (in fact English) world in a way that a British made show would probably not have done. And it does it very well - all the British characters - and the foreign players residing in Britain - come across as credible. And yet none of them can be thought of as cliched either. The shows sets some really high goals in terms of bridging cultures - and them meets them.

I like the conceit of having basically one pub too. It feels very local to a particular neighbourhood, in fact.
posted by rongorongo at 2:44 AM on February 2

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