Apple TV’s comedic tour de force, Ted Lasso, that has charmed viewers far and wide, is back for its final season. The third season of the sports comedy-drama television series, starring the affable Jason Sudeikis, has captured hearts and minds with its earnest approach to life and leadership, all while scoring big laughs along the way.
Despite the optimism of die-hard fans, the bleak reality facing the fictional Richmond FC football club seems to be a topic of consensus among sports journalists. The team's chances of finishing the season any better than the 20th place are regarded as slim at best.
This harsh outlook is further underscored by the sarcastic remarks of Nate, a former equipment manager turned shrewd strategist, who now coaches the formidable West Ham United under the patronage of the despised tycoon Rupert Mannion. Mannion, the ex-husband and sworn enemy of Rebecca Welton, Richmond's owner and Ted's superior, seems determined to crush his former spouse's aspirations.
I distinctly remember receiving the first episode of season 3 desperate to know if the writers were going to lay the foundation for Nate's possible redemption. Then I got to this scene and thought: oh heck! Ep 1 out now on @AppleTVPlus #TedLasso pic.twitter.com/H0IMVqhJzN— Nick Mohammed (@nickmohammed) March 15, 2023
In the much-anticipated Season 3 opener, we witness the first clash between Ted and Nate. The shift of the once-adored "wonder kid" to the living embodiment of everything that Lasso isn’t, is a tough pill to swallow.
As Mannion sits menacingly in his swivel chair against an office window that looks straight out of the Death Star, his unnerving faith in his newfound Chosen One - the one who seemingly turned to the Dark Side - is more than suggestive in a cool Star Wars homage.
The season premiere seems to suggest that Ted has a breaking point and will not hesitate to reach it. However, this notion is quickly dispelled. The Ted Lasso way, as the episode emphasizes, is to let Ted be Ted, even if his approach borders on self-destruction. Ted remains convinced that his unwavering kindness will eventually penetrate Nate's defensive walls.
From the moment Ted steps foot on British soil, he brings with him a can-do attitude and a heart as big as the Atlantic Ocean. Sudeikis’s wit is as sharp as a well-struck free kick, and his wisdom as deep as a well-placed header. embodies the spirit of a true sportsman, never giving up even when the odds are stacked against him.
And yet, despite his sunny disposition, Ted is not without his flaws. His puns can be as cheesy as a slice of American cheddar, and his jokes as predictable as a penalty kick. But even when he misses the mark, his warmth and sincerity win the day.
Indeed, what has continued to make Ted Lasso so endearing is its commitment to kindness and empathy, traits that the current audience seem desperately in need of. Whether he's raising team spirits with a trip to the sewers or entertaining journalists at press conferences, Ted's heart is always in the right place.
Of course, the show's supporting cast is no slouch either. Each character continues to bring their own unique blend of humor and heart to the table - from Roy’s austere facade enveloping his soft-heart to Rebecca’s collected poise, stringing against Lasso’s daily antics.
What distinguishes this third season however, is a more serious exploration of difficult themes in a nuanced and empathetic manner. The show manages to tackle these themes without coming off as preachy or heavy-handed, thanks to its clever writing and talented cast.
“ted lasso is a comedy”— jo ⚡️| tl spoilers (@lassoleil) March 13, 2023
me after watching two seasons: pic.twitter.com/DRZVJc6bK1
Despite being a relentlessly optimistic and upbeat character, Ted also struggles with his own mental health. He experiences panic attacks and homesickness, and is open about his struggles with therapy and medication. By showing a character who is both lovable and flawed, the show presents a realistic and relatable depiction of mental health.
Each character in the series has their own personal struggles and the show takes the time to explore these struggles in a sensitive and thoughtful manner, never reducing them to mere plot points or easy solutions.
Despite the gloom that seems to have particularly descended upon the final season, the series continues to be undeniably funny, with witty one-liners and charming characters that make it a pleasure to watch as always. By injecting humor into difficult situations, the show makes these issues more approachable and less intimidating. It invites its viewers to laugh along with the characters, even as they confront their own struggles.
When Keeley bawls, “I’m so busy, I literally have to make time in my schedule to sit at my desk and cry '', we feel that. When Ted learns of the existence of a mysterious "mom's friend", we feel that. When Dani learns that Paddington Bear doesn't handle his own Twitter, we DEFINITELY feel that.
With its clever writing and talented cast, Ted Lasso is a must-watch for anyone looking for a thoughtful and uplifting exploration of the human experience. And if you're not sold on the show yet, just remember: it's got more heart than a cardiologist's office.