Ted Lasso is an American comedy streaming television series developed by Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Joe Kelly and Brendan Hunt, based on a character of the same name that Sudeikis first portrayed in a series of promos for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Premier League.
Right off the bat (sorry, wrong sports metaphor), it seems a bit of a stretch to base a 10-part streaming TV series on a marketing gimmick, which the character most certainly was originally intended to be. Which is why we’d originally dismissed this AppleTV+ series as a non-starter when it was first announced.
However, we are glad, by and large, to be wrong about the viability of Ted Lasso as a comedy-drama. And “by and large” is a necessary qualification because while the series does a good job crafting interesting characters – besides our protagonist – to care about and give a damn about, strong characters alone are not enough to carry a series unfortunately.
Where Ted Lasso utterly fails in the final analysis is in the good old suspension of disbelief department. Anyone remotely familiar with the real-life Premier League will simply not be able to accept all the inaccuracies evident in the series. Especially when – rather than take the fictional elements to their logical conclusion, the series attempts to inject a certain amount of realism (but not enough) into the proceedings.
Thus, while we were able to accept the bitter divorcee club owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), the hilarious Roy Keane analogue Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and even the domestic issues Lasso is given, the ludicrous use of actual Premier League clubs and scenarios simply threw us out of the story completely.
The only way to make Ted Lasso work consistently is to treat the series as a farce all the way. Why the need for realism in this context is beyond us. That all said, the five hours spent on the series was good fun and hopefully, the producers will not hold back on the inherent farcical elements in the second season.
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