At least in its first few episodes, Ted Lasso season three is a mixed bag, as delightful as ever but undoubtedly overburdened by too much plot and too many characters. And yet, those faults exist because of what the show has become in the last few years, and how instantly beloved the characters. 


The show has also become a way of talking about mental health, as Ted’s struggle with anxiety and panic attacks is now a center-stage plotline, along with Nate’s parallel struggle with low self-esteem. It makes sense, then, that Jason Sudeikis and some of the Ted Lasso cast stopped by the White House yesterday to promote mental health awareness, which is part of President Biden’s “unity agenda”. Sudeikis appeared alongside Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Brett Goldstein, and Toheeb Jimoh at a press briefing with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Also present but not behind the lectern were Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Cristo Fernández, and James Lance.

This is 100% me overthinking things, but I sort of wish they’d done the whole thing in character, fully committed. In reality, Sudeikis’s tone splits somewhere between his public persona and Ted, as did James Lance, who introduced himself as “Trent Crimm, fake journalist”. I LOVE that they brought Lance, not only because Trent is a great character—there’s a reason he became a series regular this year—but because he is involved in one of only two subplots I care about, and I cannot wait for everyone to catch up because I desperately want to talk about Trent and what’s going on with him and a certain AFC Richmond player.


Anyway, can Ted heal the US as he has Richmond? LOL, no. No one can, we’re doomed! The message of checking in and caring for one another is nice, but we’re way past that. Some people are capable of empathy for others outside their in group, but a whole helluva lot of people would be happy if everyone they disagree with died in a fire. Sudeikis called Ted Lasso “wish fulfillment”, but I think it’s more escapism. The appeal lies in the longing for a world in which Ted’s brand of folksy neighborliness is enough to glue a community together beyond socio-political divides. But there’s nothing wrong with wishing a little more kindness into the world, so good on “Ted” for trying to make the world a better place one down-home homily at a time.