The second season of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso is here, and it is even better than the near-perfect first season. The sports comedy debuted last year in August and it was a breath of fresh air as the world dealt with hopelessness and isolation. With its sunny disposition and unfailing optimism, it was just what the doctor ordered for people who had lived through months of a global pandemic.
Starring Jason Sudeikis and based on the character he created for promos of NBC Sports’ coverage of English Premier League, Ted Lasso has a midwestern American football coach being recruited by a down-on-luck English football team. The owner of the team, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), wants to run the team into the ground after winning it in settlement from her cheating ex-husband.
She initially sees Ted Lasso as her perfect chance, for he is totally football-illiterate, does not know the rules and does not seem to care whether the team, called AFC Richmond, wins or loses. The players, who Ted Lasso is meant to coach, are naturally dubious of him, and consider him as an outsider who is in England to chill.
But such are Ted’s undeniable charms that everyone warms up to him in the end — including the rabid English football fans who are something of a Greek chorus in the show.
The second season begins with more of the same, but you won’t see us complaining. It is more assured of its storytelling, and the first episode this time round doesn’t have the rough spots of the first season’s initial episodes.
Ted Lasso begins with showing us Richmond’s tally and the club has had a series of ties. In one game, the star player Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández) has had a shocking encounter on the field and is so disturbed that even Ted’s methods, against all odds, appear to fail. Reluctantly (reluctance due to his less than ideal experience with his and his wife’s marriage counselor), Ted invites a therapist to take care of the situation.
Rebecca has started dating again, finally free of the shadow of her ex-husband. She invites Roy and Keeley on a double date with the guy she is seeing, and likes very much. Roy, who is now coaching little school girls (with his same gruff, foul-mouthed methods) is not impressed.
While not much happens in the episode, plot-wise, the writing and acting remain great. And although Ted Lasso will never be a laugh-out-loud comedy, nor does it want to be, there are gags aplenty, and the show’s kind, gentle humour remains appealing and fresh.
So far, Ted Lasso season 2 is an enjoyable, comforting watch like the first one. Watching it feels like spending time with a good friend you’ve met after a long time. It does not do anything radically different from the first season, but as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.