Stuck in the current reality of the pandemic and all it entails–lockdowns, vehement anti-maskers, political tension, unemployment, and lives lost–people are looking for escape in the little ways that are available. With travel bans and quarantines in place, our options have dwindled to the tried and true classics–music, books, and cinema to transport us elsewhere. A slew of pandemic television has been released over the course of the past year, and with Covid affecting our lives in so many ways, it seems the comfort of our living rooms should be a safe solace from the world around us. To save the day, Ted Lasso marches onto the scene (Apple TV+). He’s a mustachioed, quirkily upbeat, and as sweet as a glass of southern sweet tea hero whose superpowers are optimism, kindness, and humor. He’s the breath of fresh air no one knew they needed.
The plot of the show is fairly uncomplicated
Ted (Jason Sudeikis) is a football coach from the Midwest who is recruited by uptight, prim-and-proper Londoner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) to be a football coach (not to be confused with the pigskin Americanized version of the sport) for AFC Richmond, an English Premier League club. Rebecca’s mission is simple: destroy her team in an attempt to hurt her cheating ex-husband, whom she inherited the club from in their divorce settlement. Richmond was Rupert’s crowning jewel, the thing he loved and cherished more than Rebecca, and she is determined to ensure its demise. Ted is her ultimate weapon. Ted, however, is sunshine and rainbows, unfazed by the daunting task of coaching a sport he has no experience in, in a town of hostile strangers, for a boss who wants nothing more than to see him fail. He is armored with hope and optimism, despite the crumbling of his own marriage back home overseas. You can’t help but rooting for him the moment he appears onscreen.
Ted Lasso is a warm hug, the comfort of a homemade meal, or a re-run of your favorite sitcom
It promises us a happy ending, no matter how many obstacles Ted faces throughout the two seasons. Much like romance novels and horror movies, the audience can rest in the comfort that everything is going to end the way it is supposed to. Ted has to triumph, right?
Despite its feel-goodness, there are moments of true vulnerability and depth that come in subtle and surprising moments, like when Ted has a panic attack in a crowded karaoke bar or when Rebecca finally reveals her scheme against Ted, tears running down her cheeks, to be met with forgiveness.
Though this is a comedy sports program, which could be expected to have somewhat of a niche audience, Ted has captivated the hearts of people all across age, socioeconomic, and gender barriers. The show’s overwhelming success shows that people are desperate to cling to hope, and as Ted preaches to his teammates, to believe. Who could have known these vital messages would be delivered to us by a cheesy, Midwestern underdog.