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Ted Lasso Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Creators: Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence
Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Stephen Manas, Colin Blyth
The history of TV is studded with attempts to make commercial pitchmen into the stars of their own series. During the dot-com boom, “Baby Bob” advertised the service provider FreeInternet.com before getting his own CBS sitcom; Geico’s “Cavemen” moved from hawking car insurance to telling jokes on ABC.
In this tradition follows Ted Lasso, a character created by NBC Sports to sell Americans on coverage of English Premier League soccer. Bulked out from Jason Sudeikis’s short videos into a 10-episode season on Apple TV Plus with the help of executive producer Bill Lawrence, Lasso, played by Sudeikis, coaches college football in the U.S. before being recruited for the U.K.’s version of football — with which he lacks even passing familiarity. Clever viewers will be able to guess whether a positive attitude and homespun wisdom help this fish survive even out of familiar water.
Sudeikis brings to bear genial charisma and light accent work, but it’s not clear what about this character suggested that going deeper would yield more — for one thing, Ted Lasso is about as deep as a pleasantry. Recruited to purposefully tank the team by vengeful team owner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) for a job to which he is obviously unsuited, Ted puts on an attitude of bland willingness to help. His most distinguished characteristic, besides an undifferentiated hope for the best, is a tendency to lean heavily on self-coined adages. Within a single scene, we hear him describe the human body as “like day-old rice: If it ain’t warmed up properly, something real bad could happen,” and the ability to change directions while running as “like Kanye’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’ — it don’t get nearly enough credit.” Later in the same episode, he declares ice cream “like seeing Billy Joel live — it never disappoints.” Could these pronouncements all have come from the same person? It doesn’t seem to matter, as Lasso’s being upbeat is where the character study stops.
Lasso is tiresome company, but he charms his team — his ability to wring squad unity, if not consistent wins, simply by failing toward it feels a bit Forrest Gump in its trust in the American naif. In this way, “Ted Lasso” comes to feel out of step. It’d be a great deal to expect of a sitcom based on a series of promotional shorts to have much to say about transatlantic cultural differences, but Ted fits into his team — one composed of players from a variety of backgrounds within the U.K. — so seamlessly as to suggest all that was really needed to make English soccer interesting was … us. This is, perhaps, the point of Lasso, to inflect “the beautiful game” with a touch of the ugly American. But Lasso’s path among the Brits he consistently charms is so conflict-free that there’s little to grab on to. Why should we root for Ted if he hardly needs our help?
Sudeikis does his best with a barely there character; Waddingham, playing a conflicted admiration for Lasso, fares better, as does the ever able Juno Temple, putting a witty but humane spin on a social-media influencer character in the team’s orbit. In the end, though, the players on Lasso’s team run together, in what’s perhaps the show’s defining flaw. Conceived to market soccer, Ted ends up making the game look like a slog.
The Gist: Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) has gotten ownership of the Premier League football team AFC Richmond during a messy divorce with the team’s longtime owner, who philandered one too many times. Her first order of business is to fire the misogynist coach who wears tiny shorts. When Higgins (Jeremy Swift), the team’s communications director, asks about candidates for the job, Rebecca tells him she already has her choice.
Cut to SportsCenter’s announcement that Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), head football coach at the small school in Wichita that he took from the dregs to the Division II championship, has been hired to manage AFC Richmond. He got the job despite knowing nothing about soccer, or what pretty much the rest of the world calls football. As he’s flying to London with his assistant, Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), a kid asks for a “usfie” and tells Lasso that he’s going to be crushed by the press and the players in England. At least Coach Beard has been studying, enough to know what the term for “out of bounds” is.
When they get to the UK, Ted is wired because he hasn’t slept and, after taking a detour to see the Tower Bridge, they’re ushered into the offices and home stadium of AFC Richmond, where they’re yelled at by the waterboy, Nathan (Nick Mohammed), to not touch the grass. Ted jokes that he loves Nathan’s hot dogs, and Nathan has no idea what he’s talking about.
Ted and Coach Beard meet Rebecca. She immediately throws the jet-lagged coach to the wolves; in other words, his introductory press conference. There, he promises that his team will play hard for “all four quarters” (“two halves!” yells a reporter), and they’ll try hard “win or lose” (“or tie!” yells another reporter). When one reporter asks Ted, “is this a fucking joke?”, Rebecca defends him in front of the reporters. Then in the background, she tells Higgins that she hired Ted to ruin the team, her ex’s most prized possession.
Ted and Coach Beard meet the players, but they mostly ignore him. The team captain, Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) thinks Ted’s presence is a complete joke, and one of the players, Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) leaves early when his girlfriend Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) picks him up to get waxed. Ted and Keeley bond a little when she gets back later to pick something up, which is good because, while Ted misses his family back home, he’s not just in England for the new job.
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