Ted Lasso Review: Jason Sudeikis Scores with Feel-Good Apple TV+ Series

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Every once in a while, all of the elements of a show converge to produce something that is truly special.

Ted Lasso is the result of such a convergence.

On paper, Ted Lasso should be an average show. It's not a new concept, the plotlines are predictable, and the humor isn't groundbreaking. But you put the comedy, the cast, and the kindhearted nature of the script together, and this is a workplace comedy that shines.

Ted Lasso Poster

Ted Lasso, the character, was originally designed as part of an ad campaign that married the NFL and the Premier League together in an effort to establish a relationship between the two to lure Americans to the football watched by the rest of the world.

It worked so well that Jason Sudeikis has said he's recognized more around the world for those short spots than anything else he's done.

If you've seen the spots, Ted Lasso is a buffoon. He's a former US football coach recruited to lead a London football (aka soccer) team. Sudeikis is so good-natured and charming that even at his absolute worst (which is still better than most), Ted Lasso is recognizable and lovable.

While the spots did little more than prove that you don't have to know everything about the sport to enjoy it and discover why the world is so passionate about it, Ted Lasso, the series, creates an affable character with so much heart that he's irresistible.

Ted Greets Rebecca - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 1

The series sees Ted hired by the AFC Richmond team. It's a stunt casting by the newly divorced and new owner of the franchise, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), in an effort to wreck the team her philandering husband (a vile Anthony Head) lost in the divorce. Her goal is for Ted to fail.

But Ted is in the midst of his own mid-life crisis, and his winning attitude and desire to make the most of every situation, no matter how firmly the deck is stacked against him, makes Rebecca's dreams a little more difficult to achieve.

Ted arrives in the UK with his assistant, Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), in tow. They formed the duo on the sidelines of the commercials and continue their dedicated friendship and working relationship on the series.

Where Ted is jovial and upbeat, Coach Beard is a bit more pedantic. He sobers Ted's exuberant can-do attitude (but greatly enjoys his time at the pub).

Nate Has an Idea - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 3

They're joined by the team's equivalent of a waterboy, Nate (Nick Mohammed), who has a keen understanding of the sport but lacks the confidence to express it.

He's invaluable to Ted and Coach Beard because, with their coaching abilities and his sense of the sport, their coaching staff has a shot at doing what Rebecca wants to steer far away from -- winning.

Rebecca tries to remain stoic and on point, but Ted finds a way through her battle scars with an incessant barrage of pleasantries and colloquialisms and a secret ingredient that threatens to break down Rebecca -- mysterious and tasty biscuits (cookies) that he delivers to her daily.

Rebecca turns to her right hand, Higgins (Jeremy Swift), to continue the assault on Ted's success even as she begins to soften to her new coach.

Juno Temple as Keeley - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 1

Rebecca finds another friend in Keeley (Juno Temple), a social media influencer with major street cred and who happens to be dating the star Richmond player, Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster).

Jamie is everything you'd expect a recruited star athlete on whom a team depends to be -- crass, unkind, and unwilling to bend with the new team dynamic imposed by Ted.

Aging superstar, Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), butts heads with Jamie as he realizes the damage Jamie's attitude does to those around him, especially in light of Roy's burgeoning appreciation for Ted and his strange, American way of putting the players before the plays and the team before the win.

Ted Lasso, the show, pulls heavily on goofy comedy and unexpected friendships. There is a lot of heart in the writing, and while you might expect the series to lean on Sudeikis as the star, as you watch, you begin to realize it's a genuine ensemble piece.

Phil Dunster and Brett Goldstein as Jamie and Roy - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 3

Every character is equally important to the series in the same way they're crucial to the success or failure of the Richmond football team.

The relationship between Rebecca and Keely might be one of the best explorations of female friendship we've seen in a while. Rebecca mentors Keeley to do something more meaningful with her life, while Keeley lifts up her new mentor, helping her to find the confidence in herself that her cheating husband has zapped.

If Ted is the heart of the show, then Keeley is its soul, and they both work from different angles to find a cohesive mix that will elevate the Richmond Team from the bottom of the league to, well, something different.

Whether they win or lose, they'll find a deeper meaning to the sport by embracing Ted's vision of being the best people and players they can be to achieve greatness on and off the pitch (field).

Coaching Richmond - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 2

Sudeikis clearly loves this character and the feel-good premise. With the help of Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town), Joe Kelley (How I Met Your Mother), and a writing team that includes stars Hunt and Goldstein, that premise goes from mundane to magical.

With a confluence of events, including the genuine effort to make something uplifting, the talent on screen and behind the scenes, and desire of audiences everywhere to engage in good-spirited entertainment, Ted Lasso emerges as something quite remarkable.

We have interviews with the talented cast and writers next week and will be reviewing the show weekly, as well. We hope you'll join us as we believe Ted Lasso will warm your heart and win you over.

Ted Lasso premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, August 14, with three episodes. Subsequent episodes will drop weekly.


Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Ted Lasso Quotes

Beard: Coach, is this nuts? Us leaving like this?
Ted: I mean, we almost won the whole frigging thing, you know? Saying goodbye to a bunch of nice folks. And I know I've finally accepted that air conditioning is a privilege and not a right. I don't know. What do you think?
Beard: I can't do this. I don't wanna go, Ted. I'm in love with Jane. I wanna stay, and I don't wanna let you down. But with your permission, I'd love to run off this plane and into her arms.
Ted: Well, I mean, what about your luggage?
Beard: Forget my luggage. It's full of rice.
Ted: What? Why?
Beard: I haven't slept for three days, man.
Ted: Okay.
Beard: I'm sorry, you know. I've been dreading this. Talking to you. Abandoning you.
Ted: What?
Beard: No, no, no, hold on, Coach.
Ted: You ain't abandoning me, okay? You're just following your heart. I get it. And, yeah, you should go. But look, man, I don't think they're gonna let you off this plane with that door already shut.
Beard: I have a plan.
Ted: Of course you do. Okay. What do you need me to do?
Beard: Whatever's about to happen, that's a great start. I love you, Ted.
Ted: I love you too, Willis.

Rebecca: John Wingsnight. What a lovely surprise.
John: Hello. Oh, uh, this is Jessica Darling.
Rebecca: Jessica, darling, Rebecca Welton. It's so lovely to meet you.
Jessica: Oh, hi. Likewise. Hello, there.
John: We actually went out on a few dates. And then Rebecca dumped me out of nowhere. In this exact coffee shop. Not that I come here all the time, hoping to run into you. 'Cause I don't.
Jessica: Okay. Well, may I say, Rebecca, thank you. We're engaged. Ring-a-ding-ding. Wedding calling.
Rebecca: Engaged. Congratulations. That's... Wow. How... did...it happen?
John: Oh, we matched on the apps, uh, six months ago. Not Bantr. Couldn't use that. It felt a bit weird since, uh... Yeah. And in a sea of anythings, I went fishing and caught myself a soul mate.
Rebecca: Oh.
John: Took her to see Hamilton on our first date. Amazing. And then defended my honor.
Rebecca: Oh, God.
Jessica: Yeah. Get this. It's intermission. We're standing in line to buy the CD of the soundtrack, 'cause I refuse to stream music. And guess who's standing in front of us. Sir Anthony Hopkins. Can you imagine?
Rebecca: Nope.
John: Jessica politely taps him on the shoulder and asks if he'll film a little video for Jessica's father as Hannibal Lecter, you know. And he said no. Yeah. So I grabbed that rapscallion by the collar, and I said, "Hey, we didn't ask you to be famous." And took a quick ussie of the three of us and emailed it to her... her dad's nurse. Made his day.
Jessica: My shite in nining armor.
Rebecca: What? I just... What did you say?
John: You jumbled your words there a bit.
Rebecca: What did you... You just said, "shite in nining armor"?
Jessica: Yeah. I... I meant to say "knight in shining armor." I just... One of me brain farts.
John: Quite rare for her. She's actually very smart. Went to Oxford for a bit.
Rebecca: Wait, n-no, you said, "shite in nining armor." You actually said those specific words.
Jessica: I did.