I Need You to Watch Ted Lasso
As someone whose lifetime dream it was to be a Disney Channel star but then legitimately went on to get a minor in Film Studies, I know that my entertainment suggestions can be… touch and go, to say the least. I want to start this out by fully recognizing that I have just enough education in what makes a quality piece of film/television to be self-righteous about it and as low-brow of personal taste to admit, I like stupid stuff sometimes and that’s okay.
However, this isn’t like that time I wrote a fun little article suggesting Bravo’s “Below Deck” and lamenting on the state of reality television. This is the real deal. It very well may be the greatest thing I’ve seen on television in the last 10 years (maybe even ever?). I have yet to meet someone who disagrees. I don’t think I’ve been more serious about a suggestion yet: I really need you to stop what you’re doing and watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV+. Yes, you.
My goal is to not even give the slightest bit of a spoiler so here’s the baseline premise: Jason Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso. Ted is a Kansas born-and-bred college football coach who gets hired as the manager for a Premier Soccer team in England. I love sports but know next-to-nothing about soccer, and evidently, I still knew more about soccer than Coach Lasso.
It feels like every possible odd is stacked against this wide-eyed and open-hearted man. But it’s not a show about the odds or the answers, it’s about the work in-between. Ted himself doesn’t concern himself much with wins or losses, his focus is on connection. In the hyper-masculine, win-obsessed sports world? To say his approach is different would be an understatement.
Ted’s not just some midwestern positively plucky, “ignorance is bliss” bozo. He is whip smart, openly flawed, and humbly dealing with mess after mess (and more than a few bad names) being thrown at him. The way he responds and adapts, is unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Ted’s character and the show as a whole is a study in humanity, leadership, and goodness. It’s lovable, it’s hilarious, it’s earnest.
In a world where everything can seem increasingly bleak at times, Ted Lasso is a beacon of hope unlike anything I’d seen before. A salve for downtrodden souls. It is sincerely optimistic and heartwarming without any of that dreaded toxic positivity. For me, it brought glimmers of hope and joy in a year that too often felt irredeemable. It feels like a therapy session — without all of that exhausting trauma-mining.
That’s why I need you to watch Ted Lasso. Especially, as a leader. And aren’t we all leaders in our own lives? Ultimately, it shows how great leaders aren’t the ones who know the most or are the most obsessed with outcome. Great leaders are the ones who know how to adapt, empathize, empower, and encourage. To put their people above profit, trust the process, and stay steadfast in deeply caring about others.
If you don’t take my word for it, FINE. I don’t blame you. Just check how many awards it’s already won or gotten nominated for. It became the most-nominated freshman comedy in the Television Academy’s history. Ted Lasso also already won a Peabody award “for offering the perfect counter to the enduring prevalence of toxic masculinity, both on-screen and off, in a moment when the nation truly needs inspiring models of kindness.”
The first episode of the second season starts airing on July 23rd, with new episodes dropping weekly on Apple TV+. (Yes, it’s worth a new streaming subscription. My phone came with a free year, there are trials available, or ask your ex for their log-in. Whatever you have to do, it’s worth it!) It’s not too late for you to hop on the bandwagon and Believe in the importance of Ted Lasso. I think we’re all better off because of it, I know I am.
The Ted Lasso images were included in promotional materials from Apple TV and can be used for promotional purposes.