Ted Lasso

What a show. I thought for sure Wandavision would be my show of 2021, and I still absolutely loved it – but Ted Lasso, at least at this point, is my show of 2021, and I don’t even think it’s all that close.

If you’re put off because you’re not a sports person, the thing that stuck with me was one episode where the big buildup was to the game, and then they immediately cut to after the game, showing literally none of the actual soccer match at all. It’s not about “sports”, except in that sports can create certain types of conflict and stakes. But it’s a character-focused show through and through, and the characters in this are just fantastic.

You might have heard that it’s an optimistic show, or a positive one, and those things are true and meaningful and *necessary* right now, in a time when it’s so easy to be cynical and angry. But the thing that I was really impressed by was how Ted Lasso, as a character, can be optimistic without being naive, and kind without being a sucker. He hears the world, but chooses how to react to it.

In that way, he’s kind of a stoic. He chooses to be positive. He chooses to react to situations – even hard ones, things that cost him personally – with kindness. He chooses to believe the best in people, because those are the things he wants to bring out of them.

It’s also a funny show. Laugh out loud. And yet, it can also be subtle and very dry. It’s a show about being part of a team – so much so that I *wept* at one point because it made me miss those feelings so. There’s a whole post worth writing at some point on that – how I loved being on a team, and how I loved trying to create that sense of camaraderie at work, and why I *can’t* do that anymore in the same way. But it doesn’t make me *miss* that feeling any less.

There’s a moment in the show where Ted has a full-blown panic attack, and it reminded me *so much* of how I felt at times in the just-post-Self Aware Games era, being around folks who were still there – something about the way it was shot, his reaction, it brought me right back to that feeling. It was shocking how … immediate it felt.

There’s a lot about it. I could go on and on. How Roy Kent’s story resonated. How charming Keeley was. How every character felt like they should have been a one-note in any other show, but here they all had depth. How Sam & Rebecca’s interaction was one of my favorite moments in the whole thing. How I bought a “Believe” sticker for my laptop, and an AFC Richmond pin after seeing it, because having some physical reminders in the real world of how that show made me feel felt worth doing.

It looked like a dumb show – sort of the embodiment of Apple TV+ doing family-friendly saccharine sort of light pablum nonsense. Holy shit, though.

Watch it. I’d be very surprised if you don’t get something actually *valuable* out of it.

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