Nick Mohammed in “Ted Lasso,” streaming on Apple TV+.

By Nicusor Ciumacencu  —  EASY. That’s how Ted Lasso always felt – the story, development, predictability, expectancy, etcetera. An easy show with not many surprises, some humor, some drama (very predictable), and silliness all around that filled up three seasons so far, and likely there will be a 4th one. There will be (4th season), that’s certain. 

But sometimes the audience needs something easy to watch, something that doesn’t require a lot of thinking and here Ted Lasso fits perfectly. The basic principle is based on the “fish out of water” concept, in which a character is plunged into a completely new world and has to adapt to all of the unknown situations.

And that’s about it; that’s the story of Ted Lasso, a Kansas City coach ending up in the headquarters of soccer (real football), England’s Premier League that is, and defies the odds; ending up being liked and keeping his job longer than everyone expected. 

At its debut, in 2020, the show was flooded with positive reviews from both critics and audiences. It was the quarantine, everything looked better on the TV screen than what was out there in the open field. From that moment forward things went down, just like the pandemic, and in 2023 no one was talking about Ted Lasso; same with the pandemic.

Which makes you wonder, what will the 4th season be made of?

(Editor’s Note: Season 3 Spoiler’s Follow)

Juno Temple, Hanna Worthington and Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso / Apple TV+)

Season 3 ends with Ted back in Kansas City enjoying his son Henry and to some extent his ex-wife Michelle. It’s the opposite of how the season started, with Ted feeling sad that Henry was returning to America all while questioning if there was still a reason for them, Ted and Brendan Hunt’s Coach Beard, to continue being in England.

It is possible that even Jason Sudeikis was tired of Ted, but what the hell, let’s milk one more season. And so, from one week to another, the show lost its focus and some of the most wonderful interpersonal situations end up happening off-camera as if they ran out of time, even though the finale was 75 minutes long.

Perhaps as a thank you for their service, every character — including the kit man who replaced the original kit man — receives their own arc. Leslie plays a jazz show while Nate works as a waiter! Keeley dates a billionaire then opens a PR Firm, or vice versa. AFC Richmond brings a superstar into their lineup who, at first, seems to be a major plot in the season, and then he’s nowhere to be found! Rebecca meets a man in Amsterdam, they have dinner, yet somehow she doesn’t remember his name! Trent Crimm — the reporter played by James Lance — pens a book about Ted!

Brendan Hunt, Brett Goldstein, Nick Mohammed and Jason Sudeikis in “Ted Lasso,” streaming on Apple TV+.

Last but not least, a multibillionaire tries to create a football super league (this actually happened in European football when Real Madrid’s president tried to bring together all the major clubs to give birth to an NFL-style league in which no one is relegated — but he failed, Europeans reacted super negatively about the idea, so it was abandoned) and it ends in a food fight. 

And so season 3 gets five hours of extra time compared to the previous seasons — why? It could’ve all been so much better with maybe 200-250 minutes less. Perhaps “Mom City,” the show’s penultimate episode, was the season’s best. Ted’s mom arrived unannounced, and this creates an awkwardness, as no one wants to talk about Ted still being affected by the suicide of his father when he was a boy. Jamie sheltered into his mom’s lap and cries about his alcoholic and abusive father. Thus, the episode feels earned by two characters with whom we lived for three seasons. 

Cristo Fernández, Stephen Manas, David Elsendoorn, Kola Bokinni, Moe Hashim, Toheeb Jimoh, Phil Dunster, Billy Harris and Moe Jeudy-Lamour in “Ted Lasso,” now streaming on Apple TV+

The finale tries to be big but falls short. The team says goodbye to Ted with a musical number. For Nate, the story takes him from head coach to restaurant worker to assistant to the kit man and then back under Ted’s wing. The team almost wins the championship, but it’s fine, everybody learned a lesson. Jamie’s father is now sober and shares a tea with his boy. 

All in all, it feels frustrating to see a shortage of creativity just after 3 seasons. I mean the show started out great, but I expected to reach this level of ordinariness after 5 or 6 seasons. But Ted Lasso was initially capable of inventiveness and distinction simultaneously, it just lost steam along the ride.

Going forward it needs to be good in its storytelling, in its interactions on the screen, in the approach to comedy not always rising from kind, unoffensive, well-behaved conflicts. Maybe they even need to breathe new life into Ted himself with the result of a bit more of a European style coach — rather wild, unpredictable  — whatever is needed to get all the ingredients to keep audience lassoed to the show, and that’s not EASY.




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