With Jason Sudeikis as the lead, I really expected this to be nothing more than a raunchy goofball comedy. Don’t get me wrong, I like Sudeikis, but most of the stuff I’ve seen him in fell into that typecast. So it was really refreshing to find out that his character here is more like Earl from My Name is Earl. That is, Ted Lasso is an overbearingly friendly and optimistic “hillbilly” out to make the community a better place despite no one liking him. Ted Lasso the show wants to be feel-good entertainment so badly, though, that the stakes actually feel quite low. Sure, everyone expects/wants Ted to fail when he’s first hired as the new football coach, but most of these naysayers are won over before the season has even ended. And the biggest possible confrontation—Ted finding out his boss purposefully sabotaged his efforts—is quickly forgiven, as only Ted would do.
At least the season didn’t conclude with the obvious underdog win, showing that they have some restraint with the feel-goodery and are setting up decent goals for Season 2. It is weird, though, how so much of the sport at hand happens offscreen. I’m not a big sports fan myself, and I understand that filming a football match would seriously complicate the production. Still, it always felt like a cheap cop-out whenever the show would jump from a pre-game locker room scene straight to a post-game locker room scene. But I get that the locker room scenes are the whole point. While we don’t get to know very many of the team players, the few we do spend time with are fun and help round out the cast. I also liked how a lot of seemingly pointless side stories still tie into the bigger picture in the end. It’s a tightly written show. I just hope Season 2 adds a little more antagonism to the mix so things don’t become too cozy and sugary.