Watch Keri Lumm in the video above or read the transcript below:
2020 has felt like a dumpster fire. Even the landscape of television has felt kind of gloomy, so imagine my surprise when I turned on the TV to Ted Lasso and felt a swelling of a now unfamiliar emotion—hope.
Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, is an American football coach who doesn’t understand the other kind of football, but does understand coaching.
I for one, am no expert on sportsball competitions, and wrongly assumed that this show would not appeal to me, but I learned along with Lasso about different ins and outs of soccer. Ultimately, I loved this Apple TV+ show because it was less about sports and more about American perseverance.
Dare I say, Ted Lasso is the quintessential American hero. He dons his American smile at every turn. Every morning he happily strolls into his boss’s office with homemade cookies to chat about the day. Every day!
He fashions a handmade sign that says “Believe” above the door.
He learns people’s names.
When I think of the American ideal, Ted Lasso is the kind of American I picture. Someone who has a can-do attitude. Someone who feels deeply, but who perseveres with hope because anything is possible.
For example, he believes the team can win, and even though it is clear that the team (and their fans) don’t like him—calling him a euphemism for a male body part a lot—he persists. He asks for suggestions; the teams scoffs at him. But with real suggestions, he follows through. They want hot showers with good water pressure. Consider it done.
His boss, Hannah, is actively using him to try to sabotage her ex-husband’s team, and yet even her embittered heart is slowly softened by the perpetual hope and joy that Ted brings to her team. Though she keeps trying to fight it, you can see him wearing her down.
The oldest player, Roy, is perpetually cranky and always seems annoyed at Lasso, but can’t help but see that what Ted is saying works. Coach Beard is another example as Ted’s friend and partner; while not as outwardly excited about life, he understands how Lasso works, and sees it as a winning strategy.
And even with the star player, he doesn’t get to play if he can’t be a team player. People think Ted is crazy, but he does what he knows is right—and doing what you know is right is the right thing to do.
It has felt recently like Americans have lost their hope, and what my one European friend describes as “The American Smile.” Ted Lasso gives us an ideal: an imperfect person with unabashed hope. It will inspire you to recall some of the hope you had in the Before Times.
Watch on Apple TV+
Keri is a professional chatterbox who loves watching TV & movies, reading about pop culture, and gawking at any craziness on the internet. You can follow Keri on Twitter.
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