Ted Lasso: Do the Right-est Thing
August 6, 2021 12:04 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Rebecca has a special visitor shadow her at work. A player's return is not welcomed by the team. Sam makes a stand, but not alone.
posted by Happy Dave (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Terrific episode, it seemed to have steadied the course from the first two episodes, somehow--and then I saw this Twitter thread from Brendan Hunt:
Last year when #TedLasso came out, they dropped three episodes first, then went weekly. When we were writing season 2, we carried the expectation it would go out the same way, that people would be able to watch these first three all at once.(1/3)

Now it’s not like anybody’s mad that the S2 release was weekly-only from jump. The episodes all stand alone, of course; it doesn’t really matter *that* much. (2/3)

But if you felt like watching S2 eps 1-3 in one sitting, you’d be watching them as we originally imagined you would be.

This has been Ted Lasso: Behind the Music. (END)
posted by LooseFilter at 1:08 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Ohh, that's interesting, LooseFilter. I've been watching them weekly and haven't been as enraptured as I was last year. But I have a friend who has been waiting for a good number to drop so they can binge. Will be interested to see if the first three episodes work better in that format!
posted by merriment at 1:12 PM on August 6


I’m digging the sort of bait-and-switch they did with the trailer I saw, that implied that the main conflict of the season would be between Ted and the sports therapist, so the “principles versus money” angle kind of came out of nowhere to me.

Suddenly struck by the realization that even if Led Tasso didn’t do the trick, the sponsor protest may well have served as the mutual enemy the team needed for a sense of unity. Absolutely loved loved loved the “we broke the tie streak” at the end, too.

Man, what a heck of a show this is. Funny, perceptive, deeply human. Already can’t wait for next week’s.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:39 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


A completely anonymous dating app being downloaded by all the single people in the club! What could possibly go wrong? DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNN
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:40 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


I'm so glad that Led Tasso was 'funny' mean, and not Bobby Knight mean.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:06 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Dating app - I’m terrified Ted will match with his boss and if that’s the case they jump the shark.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:55 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Also, re: the Cerithium (which is a kind of sea snail i.e. shell...) storyline:
Today's ep of #TedLasso was based actual environmental & human rights offences that oil companies like @Shell & @eni are perpetrating in #Nigeria. Cheers to the writers & @Toheeb_Jimoh1 for spreading awareness. For more info, click here #NigerDelta

- @rensaviour
posted by misskaz at 11:14 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


Roy Kent is more and more perfect, which can't be an accident. Will he ascend to heaven and become the new godhead, move to Delphi to be the new Oracle, will something dire happen, or will it be something wildly unexpected? Oi!

Did not expect the political action, delighted by it and looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
posted by theora55 at 1:09 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Dating app - I’m terrified Ted will match with his boss and if that’s the case they jump the shark.

The show is definitely going somewhere with that dating app. But they made a point when Rebecca talked to Sassy that Ted Lasso *always* talks in his folksy way. It is unbelievable that someone would text chat to Ted and not realize it's him.
posted by Gary at 1:40 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Here's something I'm thinking about a lot: why is Roy Kent such a highlight, and so beloved?

Sure, it's been established that he nearly always ultimately does the right thing, and also that he's more self-aware and in touch with himself than he appears. But he's almost always grumpy if not downright furious, moreover he's grumpy and furious in a notably masculine way. If Keeley wrote an AskMe about her boyfriend and his anger, it's almost inconceivable that she would hear anything other than "dump him before he hits you."

But somehow we know he would never hit anyone who didn't deserve it, and that in some sense we're not meant to read (for example) his profanity-laced shouting at the little girls on the team he coached as literal. It's supposed to be funny and part of his charm.

I suspect Roy Kent as a character works because we buy his fundamental goodness. I don't mean "deep down he's a good person even if he's an asshole a lot of the time", I mean on a moment-to-moment basis, we believe that he actually is doing the work of being a good man. His anger is a weapon he's proven he's worthy of carrying; one that makes the people around him more safe, not less.
posted by Sokka shot first at 2:35 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]


I believe that Roy's perpetual grumpiness is just identified as a persona by the viewer, whereas we recognize his secret weekly meeting with the yoga ladies (plus the time he spends with niece) as his actual self?

But there is definitely an interior struggle with what it means to be masculine. While his actual anger seems quite focused and never physical (please correct me if I am forgetting something, not counting the bench!), he also seems to only be learning how to express his feelings, or rather that it's perfectly okay to be insightful, feeling, vulnerable. In that context, lacing his words with profanity feels just like another persona to (unconsciously) distance himself from that.

It's definitely an interesting question, Sokka. Because it's not that difficult to imagine a morose man like Roy Kent snapping at some point. Plus, setting the bar at 'no physical violence' is incredible generous (on my part): verbal attacks evoke a physical reaction, as well. I wouldn't wanna be shouted at by (a real-life) Roy.
posted by bigendian at 3:51 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Oh yeah and the episode itself? Pretty great! It makes sense to see/watch the three episodes as a narrative unit.
posted by bigendian at 3:52 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Roy's whole anger thing (to me) was one of the only gripes I have with Season One.

I can't find Roy's angry, shouting, bench-breaking schtick charming or cute or rogue-ishly attractive. It reads as dangerous and scary to me. I hate that he trained the next captain to "never stop breaking TVs" after he chucked a chair at a flat screen, too.

Roy's Tragic Backstory is that he was scouted when he was very young and then was scared shitless as a 9 year old wrapped in a blanket in the back of his soon-to-be-dead grandfather's car. So the relationship he has with his niece is a nice counterweight explained by his backstory -- he's taking care of her in all the ways that Roy missed out on.

Roy's I'm Mad All The Time act just...doesn't fit the rest of the guy, to me. He's written to have deep and kind insight into the worth and value of others, but whenever that intersects with football and other men in particular, he's gonna do a whole Hulk Smash routine because...reasons?

It's kinda boring and feels lazy, and if he's going to do more of it this season I hope he at least faces some consequences.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:45 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


In S1 there's the segment where the Diamond Dogs give Roy relationship advice, but right before that Ted's trying to guess what Roy's problem is and he says "you just realized your dad might be a little racist" and Roy replies "he's in his sixties and he's from south London, of course he's a little racist." Then the Diamond Dogs advise him to "get over it," it being his knee-jerk anger about Keeley's having slept with Jamie.

Like his dad, he has an obvious, even predictable, problem: he's expected to perform masculinity by acting hard and angry and so on (and surely that probably serves him well on the pitch), but really what he wants to do hang out with the women in his yoga group, so now in S2 we see him starting to reckon with those two sides of himself. He's coaching his niece's football team, and giving heartfelt retirement speeches, and giving in to pressure from Keeley to explore commentating, so we see steps in that direction. I don't want him to face consequences (that framing seems strangely punitive to me) so much as I think where they'll go is to resolve the conflict between those two aspects of his nature.
posted by axiom at 6:20 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


"Pass the tape, bruv."

SOLIDARITY IS ALWAYS GOING TO GET ME CHOKED UP.
posted by brainwane at 10:49 PM on August 7 [12 favorites]


I just looked it up: the beautiful song that plays in the final moments and closing credits of this episode is Khala My Friend, by 1970s Zambian rock group Amanaz. According to their Wikipedia page, the band's name is the acronym of "Ask Me About Nice Artistes In Zambia".
posted by trotzdem_kunst at 3:44 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Like his dad, he has an obvious, even predictable, problem: he's expected to perform masculinity by acting hard and angry and so on (and surely that probably serves him well on the pitch), but really what he wants to do hang out with the women in his yoga group, so now in S2 we see him starting to reckon with those two sides of himself. He's coaching his niece's football team, and giving heartfelt retirement speeches, and giving in to pressure from Keeley to explore commentating, so we see steps in that direction. I don't want him to face consequences (that framing seems strangely punitive to me) so much as I think where they'll go is to resolve the conflict between those two aspects of his nature.

I'm with you on almost all of this.

Reckoning with the two sides of himself isn't a new Season Two thing, though. His relationship with his niece, hanging out with his old lady friends, being vulnerable about Blankie and his backstory -- that's all Season One stuff.

We know Roy has a Heart of Gold, that's been pretty clear since the start.

The Hulk Rage Anger is a version of toxic masculinity, something the show is mostly Against. Unlike Jaime's different expression of toxic masculinity, Roy not only hasn't experienced any pushback for it, he's been actively encouraged to be Angry Monster by his team in Season One and to pass that toxic behavior on to the next generation. That's not okay, and I hope that he sees consequences for it.

I am using the word consequences in the sense of a Story Being Told, not like, he gets prostate cancer or something. I'm not trying to suggest punishments or whatever, I'm saying that as a storytelling thing, the show seems to have overlooked Roy's toxicity in favor of his Heart of Gold, and that feels like an oversight. He needs some pushback to make the story feel believable, to me.

It also feels like an implicit approval of toxic masc behavior on Roy's part, and that's an odd miss for the show in S1, for me.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:57 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


See also: Roy's line on the sport show about Jaime:

"I hope he dies of the incurable condition of being a little bitch."

That line is supposed to funny, I guess, but it just reads as shitty, to me. We know Jaime's an asshole. We also know that he has a Tragic Backstory with Physically Abusive Dad. He's been rounded out to start earning the audience's sympathy back. Hell, Ted is in his camp forever, right?

Roy's line just comes across as mean and toxic, not funny haha Roy being Roy. But the show seems to think that the line is played for laughs, and the audience is supposed to enjoy it.

That's a weird choice being propagated up from S1 Roy. Celebrating his shitty-ness because it makes a nice Tough Exterior foil to our Heart of Gold Hero. Yuck.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:04 AM on August 8


Roy's line just comes across as mean and toxic, not funny haha Roy being Roy. But the show seems to think that the line is played for laughs, and the audience is supposed to enjoy it.

I'm glad there is discussion about Roy in this thread because his characterization has been taking me out of the show, too. Specifically his coaching of the little girls - he's ferocious, critical, bordering on verbal abuse. The girls just giggle in response (showing the audience that it's not "hurting" them) and I can totally see that being hilarious on another show, but it's confusing because in the Ted Lasso universe, what you say to people matters; you build people up; and you reward pro-social, team-building behaviors.

So in one scene we're supposed to laugh at an adult man bellowing angrily at small children, but then in all the other scenes we're supposed to root for another adult man who is using kindness and integrity in his personal interactions, and watch other adults show sensitivity and be impacted by the words of those around them? It feels like two different shows to me.
posted by rogerroger at 9:03 AM on August 8 [7 favorites]


Brett Goldstein who plays Roy Kent is one of the writers of the show as well as Soulmates so I'm fairly trusting that their take on masculinity won't be as toxic as it appears.

I see Roy as the masculine analogue to Keeley. The Hard Man with a soft centre trope is almost as common as the Superficial Model with Hidden Intellect so seeing these writers' take on masculinity without the toxicity will be interesting.
posted by fullerine at 9:21 AM on August 8 [5 favorites]


fullerine, I had just learned yesterday about Brett Goldstein starting out as a writer for the show and then wanting to be Roy! That's such a delightful, Ted Lasso-y story and it made me feel warm fuzzies all over again for the show.
posted by rogerroger at 10:57 AM on August 8


SOLIDARITY IS ALWAYS GOING TO GET ME CHOKED UP.

Same. I don't like this show very much but I'm such a sucker for these moments.
posted by fleacircus at 4:24 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Linda Holmes on NPR does recaps. I like them.

Everybody says Led Tasso is a way of having the team unite against a common enemy, and they're not wrong, but it could also be an indication that Ted has an actual inner Led Tasso, who is not so benign.
posted by theora55 at 12:47 PM on August 10 [4 favorites]


The Hard Man with a soft centre trope is almost as common as the Superficial Model with Hidden Intellect so seeing these writers' take on masculinity without the toxicity will be interesting.

Except Keely never tries to hide her intellect or savvy.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:47 PM on August 10 [3 favorites]


I feel like this season is going to solve the big question I had from season 1 which was "why on earth would his wife want a divorce from such beam of light kind of guy?" and I have to say the way the writers have made Ted like 10% folksier than even his usual high level, and the way he scoffs at the therapist, and the awkward conversation with sassy and his boss about periods and sexual exploits, I feel like the second season is making me understand how someone would be annoyed with him. Instead of being a saint like in season one, he's a tad annoying and he's avoiding confrontations left and right with dumb folksy catchphrases and they're getting old.

I feel like by episode 6 or so there's gonna be a big Sharon the therapist vs. Ted stand off and she's going to read him up and down instantly like she does and tell him to stop relying on folksy bullshit to avoid tough conversations and decisions, and hopefully by the end of the season, he'll come out of it a more authentic person/character.
posted by mathowie at 11:31 AM on August 11 [11 favorites]


I only started watching recently and am still catching up, so I'm a few weeks behind and just saw this episode last night.

I'm glad there is discussion about Roy in this thread because his characterization has been taking me out of the show, too. Specifically his coaching of the little girls - he's ferocious, critical, bordering on verbal abuse. The girls just giggle in response (showing the audience that it's not "hurting" them) and I can totally see that being hilarious on another show, but it's confusing because in the Ted Lasso universe, what you say to people matters; you build people up; and you reward pro-social, team-building behaviors.

I think Roy has been portrayed as toxic masculinity after it is drained of power. Roy was probably feared and respected in his Chelsea days, but his prime is well behind him and his outbursts in S1 were largely ignored by the rest of the team. The girls he coaches view him as Harmless Uncle Roy, so the cursing and abuse is amusing to them rather than scary. Even the other commentators on the sports show view him as an odd curmudgeon rather than someone to be taken seriously.

Roy still goes through the motions of how he has interacted with the world for his entire life, but he is coming to terms with the fact that the world is interacting with him differently than it used to. I don't know if this means that his behavior will change, but that's how I view it.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:05 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Was the inspirational music as overt in S1? This time around m it feels a little more manipulative, making some of these moments feel unearned.

Many parts of this episode felt like they should have been better-developed multi-episode arcs - Led Tasso, Jamie’s first game, the evil sponsor, and losing the first match all felt like they were rushed.

If the writers were instructed to make the episodes stand alone (as was implied upthread), it feels like the show is suffering for it. A show like this one depends on long arcs that develop the characters, and I’m not feeling like we’re seeing that yet.
posted by schmod at 3:26 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]


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