One of the (few) joys of 2020 was Ted Lasso, the Apple TV+ series co-created by Jason Sudeikis and Scrubs’ creator Bill Lawrence. They took a jokey character Sudeikis did for a series of sports commercials and turned him into the heart and soul of one of the kindest shows on television. And now, like an emotional support dog come to cuddle under a weighted blanket, we know when Ted Lasso will return to whatever screen you watch things on now because concepts like “TV” and “screen” are all relative. Season two will drop on July 23, just in time to serve as a mid-year spirit booster. If the characters of Schitt’s Creek are the family and/or friends we wish we had, then Ted Lasso is our collective life coach.
And we need to make the most of him while we have him. Late last year, on the Fake Doctors, Real Friends podcast with Zach Braff and Donald Faison, Bill Lawrence said that Sudeikis has Lasso planned as a three-season show. Part of me instantly shrieked, “That’s not long enough!” but so many things just run on and on, honestly, I wish more television series were conceived with a finite point (and those that did start out finite, like Big Little Lies, don’t feel the need to keep squeezing milk out of the cow. Let things end 2021). If I had to guess, I’d say the shape of Lasso is “Loss”, “Comeback”, and “Championship”, though I don’t think we should assume Richmond will ever actually win the championship. What makes Lasso so great is that this is not a world where everything is great, and it all works out. Characters suffer setbacks, the team loses, and yet Ted remains kind no matter what, an attitude that begins to rub off on everyone around him. I could totally see a Lasso finale in which the team makes it to the championship game only to lose in the end. But given that they got relegated at the end of season one, that would be QUITE a turnaround in three years.
Speaking of the championship and relegation, if you haven’t heard, there is an atrocious proposal floating for a “European Super League” that would see six top English Premier League teams join up with other top soccer clubs across Europe, such as Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain, to form an exclusive league in which they just play each other and keep all the revenue to themselves. James Corden called this out for the terrible idea that it is:
I’m not a huge fan of Corden and as an American, I have no horse in this race, but anyone who has ever loved sports has probably, at one point or another, seen a beloved team suffer so that a rich owner could get richer. As a fan of the Chicago Cubs, maintaining the historicity and charm of Wrigley Field is an ongoing concern, even if we are like, two-thirds of the way through a Ship of Theseus experiment with the stadium (and it increasingly looks and feels like a baseball theme park). But at no point has anyone suggested an idea as bad as pulling out of the National League in order to play in a limited “super” league where the Cubs would play the same dozen teams over and over. What a horrendous and incredibly boring idea. But the public outcry might have worked, as the EPL teams are all withdrawing from the compact, prompting the “Super League” to “reshape the project” which, I’m sure, will end it with never materializing. It’s only a good idea for the rich owners and people haven’t cared this little about rich people since like the 1770s.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if any of this super league stuff makes it into Ted Lasso, and if it does, what Ted has to say about it. You know he’d hate it, but he’d say it in a really thoughtful way. As for season two, it looks like a sports psychologist is coming to mess with Ted’s vibes, and Rebecca is dating—low key shipping her and Ted—and Keely and Roy are still happening. I have been waiting FOREVER for everyone to get on the Juno Temple train. Now that she plays one of the best characters on one of the best shows, is everyone on board with Juno Temple? If not, what’s the holdup?