Only Shoresy Can Fill the Ted Lasso-Shaped Hole in Your Heart

Comedy Features Shoresy
Only Shoresy Can Fill the Ted Lasso-Shaped Hole in Your Heart

After a third season that was either—depending on who you ask—gone too soon or overstaying its welcome, Ted Lasso has wrapped. Regardless of your feelings about the show, it was fairly unique: a paean to niceness, an ode to personal growth, a spotlight on one of those weird sports that non-Americans are better at. There’s been, of course, the requisite talk of spin-offs and sequel series focusing on the other characters in the world of Richmond FC, but even if they do eventually materialize that will be years away—and in the meantime, that’s a very difficult itch to scratch.

Ironically, the show that’ll come the closest features a main character who is the polar opposite of Ted Lasso in every way.

“Three things happen: I hit you, you hit the pavement, and I f— your mom again.”—Shoresy

Shoresy, currently in production for a second season on Hulu, follows the exploits of one “Shoresy” Shore, possibly the nastiest player in all of hockey—and one of the nastiest players in the history of sports fiction. In any other show or movie, Shoresy would be the bad guy, sneering across the ice at the Mighty Ducks or cheating against the hometown heroes in Mystery, Alaska. Almost every single word out of his mouth is abusive, and virtually none of it is quotable without a content warning. When it comes to sportsmanship, Shoresy is at the absolute bottom of the barrel.

Which means there’s nowhere to go but up.

Circling the drain of his hockey career at the Sudbury Bulldogs, Shoresy and his teammates have lost 20 straight games—and the time has come, according to owner Nat, to fold the team once and for all. Shoresy makes a bold promise: the team will never lose again. All they have to do is follow his lead. 

This should not, to be clear, work. Shoresy is a spin-off of the hit Canadian sitcom Letterkenny, where the character of Shoresy was not designed to be load-bearing in a plot or dramatic sense. Played by Letterkenny star and co-creator Jared Keeso, Shoresy never showed his face, only arriving to verbally dismantle various other characters on the show and insist that he’s hooking up with their mothers.

On Shoresy, Keeso finally shows us Shoresy’s visage, and while it’s obviously the same actor that plays Wayne on Letterkenny, the transformation is nevertheless remarkable. Slouching, mulleted, missing a tooth and perpetually carrying a cup of dip spit, Shoresy is nothing like the other character Keeso plays, existing at another end of a very Canadian spectrum. 

And here’s where the similarities with Ted Lasso become clear. Ted was, after all, selected to coach AFC Richmond specifically because he was not expected to win, and nobody expects Shoresy to be able to pull off his feat, either. Where Lasso’s Rebecca is trying to tank the team on purpose, Shoresy’s Nat simply doesn’t have any other ideas left but to hand the reins over to the nastiest man in hockey.

The secret sauce that connects the shows is personal growth. To get the Bulldogs back on top, Shoresy has to make amends with fellow players he’s wronged, elevate people into new roles, and learn a new method of motivating the team beyond a constant stream of disgusting insults.

The insults, too, are a common thread that unites the two series, in a way. Ted Lasso is full of intricate wordplay, the sort of densely-referential dialogue you have to watch with the subtitles on lest you have to keep rewinding to catch all the stuff you missed. Shoresy pulls off a similar verbal high-wire act, just grossly scatological, wildly inappropriate, and supremely Canadian, as though Roy Kent were filled with Molson Ice, taught to say “eh?” and unleashed upon an unsuspecting population.

And while the character of Shoresy might be problematic as all-get-out, the show Shoresy populates its world with powerful women, well-rounded Indigenous characters, and a lot of lessons about being a better person. They also manage to add interesting depth to Shoresy’s previously one-note character, giving him curveball character traits like a fondness for Drumstick ice cream cones and a firm insistence that the first thing you do after getting off a plane is call your parents to let them know you got to your destination safely. In addition, he’s given a backstory, which turns out to be surprisingly wholesome while also, somehow, explaining why he’s constantly nailing people’s moms. 

Shoresy’s first season is short—only six episodes—but it doesn’t overstay its welcome, and by the end, you might actually find yourself shedding tears at the sincerity on display. This is a show that loves hockey as much as Shoresy hates losing, and isn’t afraid to pull at your heartstrings in the same episode as a poop joke.

So if you find yourself missing Ted Lasso, there’s at least one other show on the air about an underdog team, personal growth, and sports Americans don’t dominate. And with Season 2 presumably arriving soon, there’s no better time to get out on the ice.

Sean Kelly is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. For more nerdery, find him on Twitter @StorySlug.

For all the latest TV news, reviews, lists and features, follow @Paste_TV.

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