The new series – Ted Lasso – playing on Apple TV+ is just about the best show I have seen in an exceptionally long time. I know I should be reading (this is a library blog after all), but I am admitting here to binge watching the whole first season - and I'm typically a one-and-done type of watcher. I didn’t have Apple TV or even an Apple Device but my savvy daughter explained that it was a streaming service like Netflix and - bonus - I could get a free week! So maybe I could explain the bingeing because I wanted to finish it before my week ran out? Naw - I am not going to lie, I would have done that even if I had more than a week to accomplish the task. It was that good.
This is a story about a US football coach and his sidekick, Coach Beard, who are hired to coach a soccer team in England (why? well, I'm not going to tell you and spoil the fun). Football is football after all, right? Nope – not when it’s soccer. He finds this out as he “crams” to learn the language of the game. In his words, “I think I literally have a better understanding of who killed Kennedy than what is offside.” And “Ties and no playoffs – why do you even do this?” Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, seems to be unnervingly optimistic and upbeat – even when it’s clear people are making fun of him (how many times is he called a “wanker”? Do not even bother to try and count). He is no fool though, he’s just that unflappable. And you just have to love the guy.
His task of bringing his team to glory, in the face of many trials, tribulations and personalities of the players, seems daunting. There are a number of other subplots which I won’t give away here though. Each 30 minute episode seems to offer a lesson as well but definitely not in a preachy way. It is funny and it just makes you feel good.
I especially loved the episode where Ted ends up playing darts with the team owner’s ex-husband (who is a jerk by the way). Ted ends up quoting Walt Whitman, “Be curious, not judgmental”, while they play the game that has some pretty high stakes. Here is the scene (warning - some language not appropriate for kiddos):
I think about that and ask how often do I make a judgement without really taking the time to find out all the facts or circumstances. I'll be better now, I promise. Thanks Ted – lesson learned!
All the actors in the series do a wonderful job of making you believe in – and cheer for - them (well, except for the jerk ex-husband). You will get excited for Ted, the team, all those personalities, and – of course –what happens when it comes down to the big game. Again, I am not going to spoil anything here – you will just have to get your free week and watch it for yourself. While you are laughing at the great lines and characters, you’ll find yourself drawn into the mind of an eternally positive person – and, really, who couldn’t use a good dose of that nowadays?
Oh and be sure to stop by the library and check out our very own DVD collection. It will keep you entertained until Ted Lasso - Season 2 - rolls around!