Apple TV+ captures lightning in a bottle twice with its electrifying second season of the hit comedy/drama “Ted Lasso.”
The show hilariously tells a classic underdog/fish-out-of-water story about a happy-go-lucky college football coach, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudekis), who moves to the U.K. to manage a struggling football club in London. While initially met with resistance, the lovable Coach Lasso manages to charm his way into the hearts of the players, the fans and the club’s recently divorced owner, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham). Season two picks up with Richmond desperately trying to claw their way back into the premier league.
First things first, you don’t have to be a football (soccer) fan or even a sports fan to enjoy this show. I was hesitant to watch myself, mainly because I’ve never cared much for soccer. However, while there are many sports elements, the show centers its focus on the characters and the comedy.
I can’t emphasize enough just how funny this show is. “Ted Lasso” is one of the best comedies since “The Office” went off the air back in 2013. Most of this is due to the phenomenal cast who deserve all the awards that have come their way.
Sudakis in particular is the standout. He was born to play this role perfectly, balancing Lasso’s unquenchable optimism and hilarity with his hidden pain. I can’t imagine any other actor playing this part.
That being said, the show is far from just a mindless sitcom. Its many three-dimensional characters and relationships are used to tackle complex issues such as mental health, divorce, friendship and love, and ultimately, it drives home a simple yet powerful message: believe.
Parent/child relationships are another central theme this season doubles down on. Season two delves even deeper into the psyche of the main cast exploring their many flaws, and often, relationships with parents are at the core of these issues. This is especially true for Jaime (Phil Dunster). He began season one as the cocky bully but slowly becomes more sympathetic after we’re introduced to his despicable dad.
Coach Lasso also deals with similar issues. Lasso spends most of the season forging a reluctant relationship with the team’s new sports psychiatrist, Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), and through this relationship, we finally get a peek behind the curtain at why Ted is the way that he is, and it’s devastating.
In general, it’s the relationships that make this show pop. From the fantastic friendship between Ted and Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), to the love/hate dynamic that develops between Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Jaime, to the more intimate bond between Roy and Keeley (Juno Temple), nearly everyone feels believable and nuanced. It’s so captivating to watch these relationships grow and change and so heartwarming to watch these friends support one another through hardships and celebrate together in triumphs.
The only relationship that didn’t quite work for me was between Rebecca and her secret lover. Once the person is revealed, there’s a very uncomfortable age gap that hindered my investment in them. Nate also got the short end of the stick this season. His character sharply deviates from season one, which is a shame because he was one of my favorites. His motivations aren’t strong enough to justify his horrible actions.
Despite that, “Ted Lasso,” is just a fantastic feel-good show. It was something I looked forward to every single week. For 30 minutes, I could disappear into this wonderful world of complex, lovable characters and emerge feeling happier and inspired. If you can handle its occasionally raunchy humor, “Ted Lasso” is an absolute must-watch!