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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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Film Fridays: “Ted Lasso” Season 2

<p><em>Graphic by Carissa Gurgul</em></p>

Graphic by Carissa Gurgul

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

Every now and again, a show connects with its audience in a profound way. Fans cry over lost characters, jeer at the villains, cheer at climactic events and invest a considerable amount of their emotions, energy and time into losing themselves in a show.

It’s not hard to get lost in the recently concluded second season of “Ted Lasso”, the heartwarming soccer comedy that won over audiences during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After coming off a string of Emmy wins, including the primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, the second season of “Ted Lasso” continues the uplifting story of Theodore “Ted” Lasso and adds a much greater depth to both the main character and his supporting cast. Not only does Lasso --  who is brilliantly performed by Jason Sudeikis -- grow into a more mature and realistic character, but his friends, family and loved ones all develop alongside him during their pursuit of victory. 

Based on an original sketch from NBC in 2013, “Ted Lasso” follows the journey of an American coach who is hired to run and organize a struggling premier league team in England. At first, Ted really has no conception of British culture and norms. He is laughed at and chewed out by locals for ruining their team. However, his happy-go-lucky personality intertwined with his sage wisdom eventually starts to win his enemies over one by one. 

By the end of the first season, Ted has brought the team together and has helped them grow as both players and men. His practice methods are interesting, his pre-match speeches are quirky -- yet inspirational -- and his dedication to helping his young team get better and better is seen in nearly every episode.

Season two picks up right where the first season ended. After suffering a devastating loss, Richmond FC needs to pick up the pieces and fight their way back to the top. However, things are not the same as before. Ted isn’t the same cheerful, light-hearted character that viewers came to know. He grapples with larger issues and is reluctant to confront his demons. Sudeikis gives a truly moving performance as Lasso, bringing me to the brink of tears countless times. 

Dealing with subjects such as suicide, mental health and anxiety are all major factors of the show’s sophomore season, and it shows that there is more to the happy and energetic persona Lasso is known for. With “Ted Lasso” known for being a heartwarming show, it was great to see a different side to the usually positive series. The way the producers went about presenting these issues was fantastic, especially with them not being confronted directly at first. His anxiety and long-withheld thoughts loom over him throughout the season, and it is only when Lasso begins talking about it with friends that he starts to recover. 

With a 98% certified-fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, “Ted Lasso” season two plays directly into the strengths of the show, while also giving the supporting cast more screen time. These side characters are what made the first season so comical. Whether it be the brooding, yet kind former footballer Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), the confident yet insecure Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) or the nervous and distraught Coach Nathan (Nick Mohammed), the season two cast is sure to make you laugh in each of its 12 new episodes.

If you thought the first season was a little cheesy with its inspirational moments or feel-good scenes, that continues into the second. However, this heartwarming aspect is what distinguishes “Ted Lasso'' as a show and allows its audience to connect in such an emotional way. It may make you cry. It may make you laugh so hard that it hurts. Regardless, you’re sure to feel good after watching the new season.

Every fun fact or life lesson instilled in a character stays with the viewer. You never know what a scene might hold and I have to say that I was overjoyed when this new season dropped on Apple TV+. 

If you haven’t already, I could not recommend watching both the first and second season more. This show is an emotional rollercoaster that will make you a fan of not only soccer, but also the lives and nuances of each character. “Ted Lasso” is one of those rare shows that uses its characters to portray a larger message. Whether it be guides to modern dating or how to feel confident, every episode offers something more exciting than the last. 

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Contact columnist Quinn Humphrey at quinn.humphrey@richmond.edu.

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