If you are watching Ted Lasso—ad I hope you are—you are watching the long game in comedy unfold like an accordion.
Namely, season two sees the cast is all getting their moments and propah due, none more so of late than Coach (Brendan Hunt), Ted Lasso’s laconic brain trust soccer/football guru who keeps Ted apprised of the changing rules (and pitch sizes) of the game and who conducts brilliant silent conversations with the other man of few words, Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein).
Jason Sudeikis’ brilliant fish-out-of-water meets redemption comedy shows us that we are all more connected in strange ways than we realize and that in the face of indifference or a cold shoulder, persistence—much like practice makes perfect in sport—tends to soften people’s hard edges.
The ninth episode of the Emmy nominated series will feature scenes with Hunt as Coach, who told Lasso he had to “shake off” the brutal loss to Manchester at Wembley Stadium. “Beard After Hours” is the next episode after the fateful semifinal, as Beard sets out on an “all-night odyssey through London,” meeting some strange people in “an effort to collect his thoughts.”
To call Hunt’s work as Coach “a foil” to Lasso is shortchanging the actor whose brilliant timing and perfect lines and physical comedy reveal a complex, enigmatic soul with a wicked sense of humor struggling with a problematic girlfriend and a sleight of hand management style. All of which keeps the more chatty and mercurial Ted even-keeled.
In short, without Coach, the show would taste like flat coke. Or hot tea without sugar to Ted Lasso.
About the series Ted Lasso thus far.
Spoilers ahead. Stop reading if you are not caught up.
Jason Sudeikis is Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team without experience. But his unflagging optimism, underdog spirit, and propensity to wear people down with kindness and sugar (home-baked biscuits) wins out.
The award-winning series stars Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein, Phil Dunster, and Nick Mohammed. Sarah Niles joined the cast in season 2 as “Doc” Sharon,’ a sports psychologist.
The series was developed by Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly and is based on the pre-existing format and characters from NBC Sports.
What makes Lasso more resonant a story than the sitcoms of yore? The episodic television comedies normally told self-contained situational moments, not really strung together unless there was an arc of a romance (Cheers) or ongoing antagonism (All in The Family).
Lasso is like peeling an onion, discovering each episode the vulnerabilities of the cast and what they are made of deep inside. It’s both endearing and riotously funny, as Lasso will also break your heart. And this happens all within one scene oftentimes.
What happened previously?
Thus far, an improper office romance is brewing between Bantr (the dating app sponsor) lovebirds Sam and Rebecca. Roy Kent learns his beloved niece Phoebe is emulating his profane speech patterns in school. And the deep damage done to Jamie Tartt from his abusive father serves as the catalyst that finally makes Ted Lasso open up his own personal loss of his father (suicide) to Sharon in a poignant reveal post-game.
The Jamie Tartt storyline brought out the paternal instincts of both Roy Kent and Coach Beard, who dispatched the elder Tartt out of the locker room after a painful exchange. This scene cemented the team in ways that sport alone could not. They are now a tribe of many, rowing in the same direction.
And as for Ted? Dr. Sharon has won his trust, and she has opened her heart a bit more to this problematic closed-off “patient” who genuinely cares for her as a person and not just the team psychologist. In this excellent series, several lonely existence themes are pinned to several characters, and Dr. Sharon is part of that group.
Make sure to tune in to Beard After Hours and watch how Coach handles a snooty club hostess who blocks his entry.
Ted Lasso airs on Friday, September 17, Exclusively on Apple TV+
The ninth episode will premiere globally on Friday, September 17 on Apple TV+, followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday through finale Friday, October 8.
“Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+: apple.co/tedlasso
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AppleTV and https://twitter.com/tedlasso