Disclaimer: There are very minor spoilers in this article regarding the second season of Ted Lasso, whose 12 episodes will be released one a week on Fridays on Apple TV + starting July 23.
Halfway through the premiere of the second season of Ted lasso, the titular soccer coach, played by Jason Sudeikis, sits down with his employer, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), owner of AFC Richmond, for a round of “girl talk” about her new boyfriend. When she reveals that her name is John, Ted blurts out, “Are we ?!” then excited riffs on the boy’s real last name: Wingsnight. (“Like in a sports bar? Like, ‘Are there wings at PJ Flat’s on Monday night?’ Like this?”)
After being told to stop talking, a reprimanded Ted says, “Rule number 1: Even though it’s called girl talk, sometimes it has to be more like, ‘Girl, listen.’ “
Long before Ted Lasso appeared, John Wooden built his famous Pyramid of Success, which contains a similar sentiment. One of the blocks deals with cooperation. “With all levels of your co-workers,” he begins, “listen if you want to be heard. Be interested in finding the best way, not getting your way. “
If there’s one reason Sudeikis slips so easily into the character of Ted Lasso, the affable football coach hired to take over a struggling English football team, it’s that he and the legendary UCLA coach are actually quite similar. Last summer when Sudeikis spoke to Illustrated Sports after season 1, he explained their philosophical connection. “Wooden had a tremendous book that I give to people all the time,” he said. “When I was training and conducting improvisation, I was teaching the Pyramid of Success. It’s a great philosophy for doing collaborative work, and what’s more collaborative than improvising? “
Ted lasso It’s not the first time that Sudeikis has shone as a cliché-spitting man shaper. He clearly feels comfortable in the role. It received rave reviews for an off-Broadway production of Dead Poets Society as John Keating (played by Robin Williams in the movie). Keating memorably implored his students to seize the day, which Sudeikis has done, in part thanks to the particular day he was trying to seize; Time has undoubtedly played a role in the attractiveness of the show. “It’s the heart above all else that makes people feel like they want to see and be a part of it,” says Sarah Niles, who plays the new character, Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, a sports psychologist. “The honesty that Ted has, he doesn’t understand the game, but he will try, it’s the courage we need in life, in these dark and crazy times.”
How much have viewers embraced a show with the theme of “the man in a position of power tries to do well by doing good”? Well, Sudeikis won the Golden Globe and SAG Award for Best Actor, while the show was honored with a Peabody Award. She received 20 nominations for upcoming Emmys, including best comedy, and a staggering seven for individuals (Sudeikis, four supporting actors, and two supporting actresses).
For a show with a premise, let’s face it, wildly unreal (an unconscious, inexperienced Yankee is hired to be the face of a team in the most visible soccer league in the world), Ted lasso he has formed a genuinely heartfelt connection to the world of soccer.
When the United States women’s national team unveiled its roster for the Tokyo Olympics, it did so with Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt, who plays coach Beard and is one of the show’s co-creators and writers, featuring the female players in character. (Ted, speaking of midfielder Rose Lavelle: “Perfect name for a candle. What are you going to get? I’m going to get the Rose Lavelle. Like sandalwood.”)
Alex Morgan held a Lasso-inspired celebration after scoring a goal in May for Orlando Pride. (Better to see than explain, but it involved mimicking Lasso’s “Give me the ball!” Routine that she used when she showed her team how to sell a trick play in Season 1.) Then last week, she and her USA teammate at an online lovefest, with Morgan telling the actors that the show is “huge in the world of soccer.”
And on the red carpet at the season 2 premiere, Sudeikis wore a T-shirt that read “Jadon & Marcus & Bukayo” in honor of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka, the three black players of the English team who were abused. Racially online after missing a penalty. begins the defeat of his team against Italy in the final of the European Championship. Sudeikis offered a moving explanation for the gesture to Stephen Colbert this week. “Our show has its roots in disregarding things like bullying and racism, but it also has its roots and takes place in London and England,” Sudeikis said. “So it was our way of using this great and elegant premiere to highlight them and let them know that we support them and how much we support them. … It was just a way to humanize and personify those three boys. Their last names are on the back of their kits, their uniforms, that’s why I used their names, the names that their parents gave them. Because they are children. They are young men. They should have a chance to succeed and fail, and draw, like everyone else. “
Season 2 of the show also prominently features, gleefully, thankfully, ties, penalty kicks, and some shirt-related drama of its own, as canny viewers of the trailer will see. But a New Jersey sponsor isn’t the only change for AFC Richmond. They are now in the Championship, having been relegated in the Season 1 finale (the unhappy ending is another example of the genuine nature of the show), and things are not going well. The Greyhounds open the season with eight straight draws, the latest after Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez) missed an injury time penalty with tragic results. (Hint: the episode title is “Bye, Earl”). That leads to a case of yips, which leads to the presentation of Niles’ sports psychologist.
Calm and collected, Sharon presents herself as an island of normalcy in a sea of weirdos. There are many characters besides Dani on the show who could use your services. The foul-mouthed Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) is struggling with life in retirement, which leads to him coaching a team of 9-year-old girls, sipping rosé with a group of yoga moms, and considering an offer to become an expert. . Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) doesn’t seem to be doing particularly well with Manchester City, showing up and getting kicked out of the reality show. Lust conquers all. Rebecca has her aforementioned romantic dilemma. And so on.
However, one character who doesn’t seem interested in the idea of talking to Sharon is Ted. His presence reminds him of the song “Hey Jealousy” (Gin Blossoms’ best song, he declares, but not his favorite, which would be “Follow You Down”). And he has a general aversion to his line of work. When asked what he thinks about the therapy, he responds: “General fear and modest skepticism from the Midwest. Why do you ask?”
But we’ve seen Ted struggle with the pressure of work before, of being alone in a foreign country, away from his children as his marriage falls apart. It’s hard to believe that a trip to his chair, in fact, the chair belongs to the beleaguered Leslie Higgins (Jeremy Swift), who has sacrificed his office, again, it will not be a major thread throughout the season. And as for your character’s direct behavior, Niles says give Sarah time to develop.
“She is more than meets the eye,” says Niles. “I think that’s what the whole show is generally about.”
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.