KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — I’ll be honest and say it took me a while to get around to watching the viral wonder of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+.
This was because the first few shows that came out on the streaming service did not persuade me to stick around.
The Morning Show got on my nerves because I actually work in media, Truth Be Told moved far too slowly as did For All Mankind while See was laughably, terribly bad.
A reason to stick around
I am that kind of viewer who cancels Netflix whenever the show I want to see ends but the thing is every streaming service needs that show that will get people to subscribe and hopefully stick around for a while after.
After persuading someone to watch Ted Lasso with me, that person has now subscribed to Apple TV+ all on their own just to watch it whenever they want.
Ted Lasso is the kind of show that hits that easy-to-watch sweet spot — episodes that are not too short or too long at 30 minutes each, a pace that is not too slow to bore but not so fast that you can’t keep up.
The writing of the show is sharp and the quality of the ensemble cast is ridiculous; you can see just why the show gobbled up so many Emmy Awards.
Of course Jason Sudekis is brilliant as the title character, somehow managing to make a character written for a Super Bowl commercial solid enough to carry a TV show.
What also makes the show work the way it does is that some of the writers actually play the characters — Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent and Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard live comfortably in their roles, likely very much helped by their being part of the show’s writing team.
Foreboding and foreshadowing
While the first season ended on a hopeful note, the second season moves into darker, sadder territory with a birth, funerals and an unexpected but funny music cameo by an 80s pop star.
While Ted Lasso started off being fun and heartwarming fare for those who needed levity during the pandemic, Season 2 also parallels how as we keep going through Covid times, regardless of whether we caught the virus, we are all affected in some ways, especially mentally.
Ted Lasso’s relentless positivity and his “Believe” slogan mask a lot going on underneath and it was a brave decision for the writers to try and address that in the show.
This might make the show heavy watching at times, when you expected a bit more of a laugh.
Sudekis has described this season as an Empire Strikes Back, which means however, that the third season could redeem itself in a Return of the Jedi manner — with hope and perhaps some big victories, though perhaps with a price to pay.
If you enjoyed the first season and weren’t quite prepared for the sadder bits in the second one, the way things are set up, the third season might make up for it.
The keyword here is “might” but if there’s a good reason to trial the Apple TV+ service, Ted Lasso was and still is it, Foundation notwithstanding.
Now the real question is if Apple can find something else to keep people streaming.
Ted Lasso’s finale comes out next Friday on Oct 8 so if you’d like to avoid spoilers, you have one week to binge both seasons on Apple TV+.