Television Review: Ted Lasso

There are times when I can feel very contrarian when it comes to what I want to watch. I might hear great things about a show, but I just put off watching it for no real reason other than “I don’t want to watch the same thing everyone else is watching.” Of course, other times I’m the first to line up for the thing that everyone else is going to be watching, so it’s not like I’m consistent. But for whatever reason, I delayed watching Ted Lasso even though I’d heard fantastic things about it from many different corners. A show about an American football coach who goes to head a British soccer team? It couldn’t be that good, could it?

Having now watched the whole season in about 4 days, I can confirm that yes, it actually is that good. I gave it a 10/10 and enjoyed every minute. That said, I definitely can’t unequivocally recommend it to everyone, so read on a bit to see why.

First off, why did I love the show? At its heart, it’s just wholesome. Ted Lasso is an incredibly optimistic, genuinely good person, and the show manages to be both heartwarming and very funny by placing him in a variety of situations where his nature just typically doesn’t belong. Perhaps one reason I was avoiding the show was that I generally don’t love shows where the main character does stupid things and is put in awkward positions. While I think The Office is hilarious, it often could make me feel too bad for the people involved, and so I’d have a hard time sticking with it for too long, just because I don’t like cringing non-stop. I worried Ted Lasso would be that sort of humor.

It isn’t. The show isn’t about making fun of Ted Lasso, or about people taking advantage of him. Often, they let him come out on top, showing how good nature can really beat out jaded underhandedness. He’s not the butt of the jokes. He ends up being able to use his positivity to overcome problems, instead of having it create non-stop problems for him.

The writing, the acting, and the characters themselves are all very well done. Really, the biggest complaint I had was that it was just 10 episodes, and I wanted way more.

So why can’t I recommend it to everyone?

The content. It’s rated TV-MA for language alone. There is no sex or violence to speak of, but the language is very salty, and not just with swears, but with subject matter at times. It’s not generally raunchy (though at times some of the characters definitely dip their toe into the raunch pool), but it’s pervasive. Is it necessary? That’s a different question. A lot of what makes the show so good is the contrast between Ted and the people he’s up against. By having the football fans all hate his guts (and be very specific as to why), Ted is even more admirable for being able to stand up to the hate and keep smiling. Could they have done it without all the swears? Definitely. Though then perhaps it would have felt less like Ted’s living in our world and more like he’s living in an alternate TV land.

Like it or not, people swear in the real world. Some of them are often raunchy. And this show is true to life in that way. Not all the characters are like that, but some are. Is this a show you’re going to watch with the whole family? I definitely wouldn’t. But if you’re a grown adult and four letter words aren’t going to turn you off right away, then it’s certainly worth your time. (Of course, it’s also just on Apple TV+, which might be a bigger turn off for many of you than the language . . .)

Have you seen it already? What did you think?


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