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Series / Ted Lasso

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Ted Lasso is a live-action sports sitcom on Apple TV+, developed by Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly. Sudeikis stars as the eponymous Ted Lasso, an American college football coach who is hired as the new manager of the fictional English Premier League soccer club AFC Richmond, despite having absolutely no experience with The Beautiful Game. Co-starring are Hannah Waddingham as team owner Rebecca Welton, and Hunt as assistant coach Beard.

The show was based on a series of promos for NBC Sports' coverage of the Premier League, where Lasso instead coached Tottenham Hotspur. The series premiered on August 14, 2020. Just five days later, Apple renewed the show for another season.

Previews: First Look Trailer, Official Trailer.

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The series contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the original ads, Ted is portrayed as a stereotypical dumb, obnoxious American. Here, he's a sweet, dogged optimist with major Hidden Depths.
  • An Aesop: Unsurprising, given Ted's unconventional approach to coaching.
    • Surprisingly demonstrated by Higgins when he finally tells Rebecca that her actions to sabotage the team are hurting many innocent people, and she won't actually achieve the closure she desires by continuing to try to hurt Rupert.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Keeley and Roy after half a season of sexual tension, when they walk back to their hotel after the post-win karaoke celebration.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bilingual Bonus: With Dani Rojas, amongst others.
  • British Brevity: Though an American show, it takes place in Britain and is capped at only 10 episodes for the first season.
  • Call-Back
    • Roy and Keeley's reactions to Ted's antics
      • Keeley, episode 1: I never know how to react when a grown man beatboxes in front of me.
      • Roy, episode 9: I never know how to react when a grown man does The Carlton in front of me.
    • Jamie making the extra pass that he never would at Richmond, winning the game for Manchester City and relegating Richmond in the process.
  • The Cameo: The two commentators in the show, Arlo White and Chris Powell, are real-life football commentators.
  • Downer Ending: Especially episode 5, which ends with Ted realizing he needs to let his wife go and they agree to get a divorce, and episode 6 when, after months of trying to get Jamie to become a team player, he finally gets through to him only for Jamie to be sent back to Manchester City the next morning. Episode 10 ends with Richmond being relegated after a game against the much better Manchester City, Roy with a potentially career-ending injury, and Jamie being screamed at by his father for making the extra pass to win the game instead of trying to score the goal himself.
  • Establishing Character Moment
    • Rebecca's calm, poised, and scathing firing of Richmond's old coach.
    • Ted's interview with Trent Crimm (The Independent) and his speech during his game of darts with Rupert.
    • Roy's reaction to Ted's first press conference as well as his colorful language during first practice.
    • Jamie Tartt's self-centered behavior during the first practice.
    • Dani Rojas's enthusiastic entrance.
  • Expy:
    • AFC Richmond themselves have a lot of parallels with Crystal Palace FC, as both are London-based Premier League clubs with long histories, very little glory, and red-and-blue color schemes. Ironically, Crystal Palace themselves still exist in the show's verse, as they are Richmond's first opponents during Ted's tenure.
    • Rebecca could be viewed as an English version of Rachel Phelps, as both are blonde, female sports owners who are trying to tank their own teams for their own ends.
  • Fish out of Water: Ted's a Kansan Division II gridiron football coach, who ends up working in the world's biggest league for the other kind of football.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • During episode 5, we can see that Roy is carrying around the copy of A Wrinkle in Time that Ted gave him.
  • Hope Spot: During Episode 10, when they realize that Crystal Palace has pulled off a win that means that Richmond only need to tie Manchester City to avoid relegation, and Richmond score, tying the game. However, in the final moments, Manchester City score again, resulting in Richmond's relegation.
  • Kick the Dog: Rupert to Rebecca, when he comes to tell her in person that Bex, his much younger fiancée, is pregnant. During their marriage, he had told Rebecca that he didn't want children; he tells her that this turned out not to be true, and that he just didn't want children with her.
  • Multinational Team: Realistically so, as this is a Premier League football team.
    • Sam Obisanya from Nigeria
    • Dani Rojas from Mexico
    • Richard from France
    • Zoreaux from Canada
    • Colin from Wales (could be considered both international and not)
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The show was advertised as a goofy comedy spinoff of a popular ad. It's actually a surprisingly insightful exploration of leadership, masculinity, and relationships.
  • Noodle Incident: When Richmond are checking into the hotel before an away game, Nate reminds the players to not remove the furniture from their rooms, put it in the pool, ship it home, or to another hotel.
  • Not So Different: After a talk with Ted, Roy realizes that Jamie's attitude is not so different from his own when he was Jamie's age, and they begin to work towards a more functional working relationship.
  • Odd Friendship: Rebecca and Keeley.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • The bubbly, cheerful, blonde Keeley with the surly, hot-headed, dark-haired Roy.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: The normally cheerful, kind Ted when he snaps at Nate. Turns out, he wasn't handling his divorce as well as he'd hoped.
  • Pokémon Speak: Dani Rojas alternates between this and his Catch Phrase “football is life!”.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After the events of episode 5 (Jamie is benched and Ted and his wife agree to divorce) Jamie claims he cannot practice because he is injured. Ted becomes visibly angry for the first time ever on the show, to the shock of everyone.
  • Shoutout:
    • Though possibly coincidental, many of Richmond's tribulations resemble those in Netflix's Club de cuervos.
  • So Proud of You: Roy to anyone who breaks something, whether in rage or by accident. (Nate accidentally shattering the glass door with his elbow, Isaac throwing a chair at the TV in anger, Phoebe breaking Ted's nose...)
  • Springtime for Hitler: The entire reason Rebecca hired Ted. She wanted to ruin the team as it was the only thing her ex-husband ever loved. Thus, hiring an American with zero soccer experience seemed just the way to do it only for him to start winning. Ends up subverted as at the end of the season, the team has lost but Rebecca has realized her plan would have harmed scores of people who worked for and loved the team. She thus turns down Ted's resignation and wants his help making the team into true winners.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Many of the Brits, but especially Rebecca when provoked by reporters or Rupert.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Multiple examples of this.
    • The opening scene, in which Rebecca, new owner of Richmond FC, summons the team's long-time manager to her office and fires him, lambasting his misogyny and mediocre results in the process.
    • A subtler version, but Ted's monologue just before he's about to win a game of darts against Rupert, wherein Ted explains that he has been underestimated for his entire life by judgmental people who dismiss his positive, unconventional attitude as one of naïveté. This lesson is further brought home when Ted beats Rupert soundly in the game.
  • Tantrum Throwing: After Nate shows Richmond a clip of Jamie Tartt insulting both the team and Ted as a way to motivate the in their final game against Manchester City, Isaac throws his chair at the TV.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jamie Tartt.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 6. After half a season of working with Jamie, Ted finally gets through to him, only to return to work the next day and find that Jamie has been sent back to Manchester City. Episode 10. After a season of having the specter of relegation looming over their heads, Richmond are indeed relegated during their final game.


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