‘Ted Lasso’ (Season 1)

A less than inspiring series of trailers failed initially to raise interest in the comedy tale of an amateur American Football coach (Jason Sudeikis) taking over a struggling English Premier League soccer team. But recommendations came in fast and furious (and 20 Emmy nominations), so…

The fictional AFC Richmond finds itself in the hands of a new owner – namely Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) – as part of a divorce settlement. Looking for revenge on philandering husband, Rupert (Anthony Head), his beloved team is to be run into the ground. Hence the appointment. Naive idealist Ted Lasso arrives with Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) as his sidekick – and immediately finds himself at odds with veteran team captain Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and the young, arrogant star, Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster).

Needless to say things do not go according to plan although the team do continue to struggle throughout the season (thankfully Ted Lasso does not fall into the comic book trope of waving a magic wand and, in the face of adversity, AFC Richmond become overnight champions). Ted is immensely likeable and non confrontational, and, through promoting a believe-in-yourself philosophy, wins over the begrudging respect of Rebecca, Kent and Jamie’s girlfriend, Keeley (Juno Temple).

The reality is that the series as a whole is generally non confrontational – a light, warm hearted dramedy with a focus on the characters in the board room, offices, dressing rooms – even a few of the highly critical supporters in the local pub. And then there’s the fabulous, understated Nate (Nick Mohammed) – kit boy, ignored by all, jostled in the dressing room – until, by simply remembering his name, Ted changes Nate’s world.

Rating: 70%


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