On September 19 2021, a small and unassuming comedy series cemented its status as one of the best and boldest new series on television with five Emmy wins.
Ted Lasso—an Apple TV+ series based on Jason Sudeikis' character invented to promote Premier League Football on NBC—didn't sound like a good idea when it was first announced. The premise felt like the hubris of a comedic actor who wanted to bank an Apple paycheck for doing slapstick with an outlandish character.
However, all doubters were unilaterally silenced when they saw what Sudeikis and his team had up their sleeves. The show is a comedic gem—a comedy on its surface but a drama hiding beneath the veneer of its comments and witty dialogue.
For the uninitiated, Ted Lasso remains a mystery. You have to see it for yourself to really understand what it is. Still not convinced? Here are several reasons why you should check out Ted Lasso.
5. The Lovable Performances
Ted Lasso's most obvious strength is its cast's performances, none of whom let down the show in any way. Next to Jason Sudeikis, we see compelling scenes from Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Brett Goldstein, and Juno Temple.
The cast forges an atmosphere similar to the one that Ted creates within the Richmond F.C. dressing room, with everybody pulling to make the series a collective achievement.
Everybody gets their moments to shine in—and, more impressively, they give those moments to the other actors when the balance of the sequence calls for it.
These traits aren't evident in every comedy TV series, with many having a more dog-eat-dog presence in their work. Ted Lasso practices what it preaches, and the feeling of hope and optimism permeates the cast's collective on-screen performance.
4. The Show's Heart and Substance
Underneath the warm and cosy veil of Ted Lasso's positivity, there's a beating heart that brings a dimension to the series that few others can deftly handle as well as this one does.
It isn't all sunshine and no worries. In fact, some issues tackled in the show are as heartbreaking as the best drama series out there. Ted's hidden pain, Coach Beard's coping techniques, Nate's breakdown—they're all haunting portrayals of real-world problems.
These characters aren't one-trick ponies. They have thoughts and feelings that they hide from their friends, and they deal with them in their own (often insufficient) ways.
Rebecca's whole first-season arc and the ultimate conclusion of that narrative is one of the most touching moments of television we've seen in the modern age. The show uses its comedic premise to deal with heavy themes, ones that are important to explore.
3. The Overt Humor
While the series uses humor to delve into its visceral moments, it must be made clear: Ted Lasso isn't just serious, but seriously funny. The fish-out-of-water fun that's had with Ted as he adapts to life in the UK and coaches an entirely different sport? Downright hilarious.
Jason Sudeikis plays off the slight yet fundamental differences between American and British cultures with the inquisitive nature of a puppy, always willing to try and understand the people he finds himself surrounded by.
There's room for much physical humor, too. The writing squad behind the show enjoys putting in some fun slapstick sequences knowing that they'll balance out the series nicely.
Ted Lasso's comedy is the initial selling point of the series and its emotionally raw explorations are what keep the audience hooked. But it always comes back to more laughter to round everything out.
2. The Story Balance
Balancing out a long season is difficult when it comes to comedy TV, but the writers of Ted Lasso hit every beat with perfect timing.
The cleverest thing about Ted Lasso is that could have been created as an out-and-out comedy—which would have lasted a season or two before ending forgettably—but instead took the character of Ted Lasso and pursued him in a way that was much more profound.
The moments of heartache and joy are measured with the mixing glass of comedy so that when the audience feels at their most vulnerable, they are immediately hit with a funny sequence to soften the blow.
That's hard to do for any team who have to balance a story between various leading characters, but Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Brett Goldstein, and Bill Lawrence manage it flawlessly.
1. Jason Sudeikis' Ted Lasso
Indeed, the biggest draw of the entire series is its big-hearted leading man. Ted Lasso is the guy you want to be friends with. He's caring, kind, and always there when it matters most.
But Ted Lasso isn't a simple one-dimensional character. Like many people in the world, he also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks due to trauma he sustained throughout his life.
Jason Sudeikis' performance is gripping. And despite the expansion of the other characters' storylines, he's still the person you want to watch the most. His pain is hidden beneath a well of positivity and a never-say-die attitude—but when the pain shows, it's devastating.
The role of Ted Lasso has won Jason Sudeikis an Emmy and a Golden Globe, among other awards. By the time he hangs his moustache and finishes playing Ted, Sudeikis will look back and know that Ted Lasso isn't just his greatest creation—he's modern TV's biggest hero.