by Senji Torrey
Media Production Editor
From the minds of an NBC advertisement team comes Ted Lasso, an Apple TV+ series that takes you through the life of an eccentric American football coach who travels to Britain to coach English club A.F.C. Richmond, a team that plays a different type of football, or rather soccer.
Ted Lasso follows Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, a Kansas City-based American football coach who — after a short stint as the head coach of the Wichita State American Football team — is transferred to England to be the head coach of A.F.C. Richmond, a European soccer team who plays in the English Premier League.
As an individual who is more accustomed to seeing the ball in the hands of players, Lasso enters into the European football world just a few levels short of the standard for “proficient to be a Premier League manager.” However, this deficit in knowledge does not prevent him from giving everything he has as he begins to learn all of the ins-and-outs of soccer, while also trying to manage a professional squad of what he describes as “Rodin sculptures in cleats…or boots.”
However, Lasso doesn’t go through this perilous journey alone. Right beside him is his trusty sidekick, Beard, played by Brendan Hunt, who actually read the soccer manual given to the two of them before coming to England.
Beard can be described as Lasso’s rock, in all senses of the word. When the concept of offsides is just too complicated for Lasso, Beard is right there with a concise, two-word answer that appeases a very passionate Lasso. Just as quickly, Beard is there as a shoulder to lean on when Lasso faces issues surpassing sports, such as when Lasso loses his wife in a divorce.
Despite the lightheartedness of this show, Ted Lasso dives deep into real issues that affect most, if not all of us, in one way or another at some point in our lives. The ten episodes examine such topics as racism, anxiety, and the aforementioned subject of divorce.
Through all of these disadvantages, both in football and in his personal life, Lasso becomes a formidable coach, leading Richmond through success and sorrow. More than this, however, Lasso prevails as a coach whom his players respect and appreciate, something that Lasso values more than any win or loss.
Win or lose…or tie, Ted Lasso never gives up on his team, and in turn, his team never gives up on him. So if you want to laugh, cry, and even poke fun at British traditions during the last quarter, or rather half, of this dreary 2020, look no further than Ted Lasso, and get ready to “BELIEVE!”
Photo courtesy LA Times