I have a natural affinity for soccer, puns, and especially soccer-based puns—so it should come as no surprise that I am predisposed to like Ted Lasso. And I do: watching season one was the most fun a person can have this side of The Great British Bakeoff. Season two, though? Well, with season three of Ted Lasso on the horizon, it is about time that I offer my unsolicited opinions on season two. (It’s not even worth a spoiler alert because the season aired a year ago, and if you haven’t watched it by now, you’re not likely to suddenly purchase an Apple product solely for those free three months of Apple TV.)
My first complaint with season two is mostly a personal one. The best parts of season one are the jokes about soccer and about England, and the best parts of season two are the jokes about soccer and about England. The moment when they discuss how all the fields are different sizes at Wembley is hilarious. When Ted finds out the NHS is free and is confused about how a country could provide health care without charging an arm and a leg — comedy perfection. And my favorite line of the entire season is when Ted reads Dr Sharon’s letter to himself in front of her and his only comment is, “You spelled favorite wrong.” I giggled with delight. The premise of the show—as stupid as it sounds—is just really, really funny.
The second season of the show mostly moves beyond this premise, which is probably the correct decision to make from a writing point of view. It does seem reasonable to conclude that it is not possible to do an entire second season of a show based on a premise that basically boils down to someone mixing up “American football” with “futbol.” I acknowledge this. An idea like this really should never have made it out of any self-respecting writers’ room. But no matter how stupid the premise sounds, it is still extremely funny. When the show moves away from this premise, it loses something essential that makes it cohere.Continue reading