There’s been many a time where I’ve written a glowing review of a first episode of a show only to then be extremely frustrated as subsequent episodes have disappointed enormously, but for once this thankfully isn’t the case, as Ted Lasso’s a show that’s just got better and better as its gone along. Jason Sudekis’s Ted is such an optimistic, sweet, warm hearted character that he’s incredibly endearing, and may just be my favourite new comedy character of the past few years because of his seemingly never ending capacity for kindness.
That’s an enormous reason I’m so fond of the show as a whole, as during these bleak times it’s a relief to watch something which isn’t mean or cruel and tries to see the best in people, and features central characters (as Brendan Hunt’s Coach Beard is definitely Ted’s equal in the caring stakes) who bring out the best in those around them. So while club owner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) was initially a scheming so and so hellbent on doing everything she could to destroy the team so that her ex-husband Rupert (an impressively slimy Anthony Head) would suffer, by the ninth episode she was apologising left, right and centre, and best of all is that Ted and co were ready to understand why she’d acted the way she did and forgave her.
The Roy Keane-esque Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) has also had quite the journey as he’s gone from a gruff, angry man to, well, a still quite gruff, angry man, but also one who has learned to let others care for him during the twilight of his career, and even self centred player Jamie Tart (Phil Dunster) seemed to realise that the way he treated women wasn’t okay. Plus the characters who were already decent like Nate (Nick Mohammad), Keeley (Juno Temple) and Higgins (Jeremy Swift) were able to become better versions of themselves thanks to Ted, because this really is that kind of a lovely show.
None of the above highlights just how funny the series is though, because as much fun as Ted’s kindness has been it has been the smart wordplay and general daftness that this very self-aware character loves which has made it such a joy, and his friendship with Beard and the others has led to a huge amount of very funny moments. It’s nicely unpredictably too, especially in this final episode where I thought we’d be given the standard sports underdog storyline and see the team win in the very last seconds of the game and avoid the horrors of relegation. It almost looked like they were going to do that too, but this is a smarter show than I gave it credit for, and so seconds later City scored a second goal, dooming Richmond FC to the Championship (even though, as Ted comments, given its name that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing).
That said, this has been renewed for a second season and a three season arc was originally planned out, and hinted upon at the end of this episode, and I’d love it if it did come true for them. These are characters who deserve a win after everything they’ve been through, and given the nature of the show I’d be amazed if they don’t get it. But even if they don’t, Ted’s such a smart, wise old beast that it’s not going to be the end of the world.
Come December I’d be extraordinarily surprised if Ted Lasso doesn’t feature in the top 3 of my list of best tv comedy of the year, a couple of shows are going to have to come along and be absolutely amazing if it’s to be ousted. Along with being such an incredible sweet, thoughtful and all round lovely affair, it’s packed full of fantastic performances and a real sense of joy that is infectious and then some.
Episode rating: ★★★★1/2
Season rating: ★★★★★