Ted Lasso: Unafraid or Overrated?


Unafraid: Olivia Teeter

Since Season 3 of Ted Lasso is currently dropping weekly on Apple TV+ from now until May 31st, we have noticed differing opinions on the (11-time Emmy-winning) comedy series in the editor’s room. I’m here to argue why the TV show is worth watching and ultimately why it should be one of your favorites.

Ted Lasso is a light-hearted comedy series about an American coach managing a Premier League soccer team in London called AFC Richmond. While the jokes and pop culture references are obvious, Ted Lasso goes beyond its humor to delve into the players’ lives on the team. One thing that makes Ted Lasso stand out against other comedy series is it doesn’t shy away from being different. In fact, there are many ways in which it isn’t afraid. 

For starters, Ted Lasso isn’t afraid to show raw, genuine emotion, especially with men.

While Ted Lasso is ultimately a comedy series, some of the more memorable moments from the series involve the players and Ted Lasso himself grappling with their emotions. Whether it’s Jamie’s anger at his father or Ted coping with panic attacks, seeing a range of emotions from mostly male characters is refreshing to watch on a TV show. Mental health for men, especially in the sports space is not talked about nearly enough, and Ted Lasso brings a real and honest approach to the conversation. It sends the message that it’s ok to feel vulnerable, no matter how powerful a position you may be in. Everyone has their flaws and internal battles, it’s what makes us human. 

It isn’t afraid to diverge from stereotypes.

When the show starts, every character seems to be an archetype of some sort. Ted the loud American, Roy the angry, grumbling captain, Nate the bumbling kit man. But as the show progresses, these stereotypes get flipped on their head. Sure, lots of shows use these tactics in one way or another, but the character development on Ted Lasso really makes each character feel unique, not a product of age-old stereotypes. 

Lastly, it isn’t afraid to be exactly what it says. 

Yes, Ted Lasso is cheesy and the jokes aren’t always sophisticated, but they don’t need to be. Audiences know exactly what to expect when they turn on the show, and the writers lean into the fact that it’s corny and light-hearted. The dad jokes, inspirational speeches, and humorous banter all make the show what it is. Without its cheesiness, Ted Lasso is not Ted Lasso.

Of course, not every TV Show is going to appeal to everyone, but I think the amount of success Ted Lasso has gotten is indicative of just how much it means to people. Whether it’s relating to certain characters, waiting for mentions of your favorite Premier League team (yes, all the teams they play against are real), or just trying to watch for a laugh, there are many ways to enjoy Ted Lasso. So even if my other reasons didn’t convince you, it doesn’t hurt to try it out before it ends on May 31st.

Overrated: John Gorman

Olivia does raise some good points about Ted Lasso. However, after my intentionally brief and thoroughly agonizing experience with the show, I felt compelled to respond to her argument in the hopes that I could save some innocent member of the Breck community from hitting rock bottom as they reach for the remote and select Ted Lasso. Here are my reasons for abandoning the show. I hope they persuade you to do the same.

My chief grievance with Ted Lasso is the humor itself. Coach Ted often goes on off-the-cuff sprees of outlandish metaphors, and that just got old way too quick. They were always about people from older generations and overblown caricatures of the South, which were never that funny. They were a staple of every episode, and it became enraging. Other than these unnecessary literary device overloads, time and again the directors relied on jokes using characters who were the same in every scene. For example, Roy never says more than 3 words at a time and never cracks a smile. After two seasons of him being a gruff old stooge, the show was no longer entertaining.

On top of that, the practice and game scenes were painful. The actors were good at their job, which was acting. They were not good at playing soccer. However, a show about a soccer team needs to have scenes where the sport is being played, and however good the actors’ skills were, they were not good enough to make any of these scenes pleasant to watch.

I reached my breaking point with Ted Lasso while watching the Christmas episode in season 2. It mostly consists of meaningless, corny moments in which players and team staff enjoy quality time together. However, at the end of the episode, it starts snowing outside and everyone is frolicking around. Okay. Then Santa and his reindeer fly over the house. What director in their right mind includes Santa in a real-world show, you ask? I have no clue.

While the show admirably confronts mental health issues, especially in men, and it does have some funny moments, I think there is much better TV out there. It’s all a matter of opinion, though, so if Ted Lasso is your thing, there’s nothing wrong with that.