Our Take: 5 Stars
After a successful first season filled with laughs, life lessons and feel-good signature “Ted Lasso” moments, fans were filled with excitement as to what the second season of “Ted Lasso” on AppleTV+ would bring. It did not disappoint.
“Ted Lasso” shows how Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis, “Saturday Night Live”) a football coach from Kansas, becomes the coach of AFC Richmond, a soccer team in England, despite his lack of knowledge in soccer. Throughout the show, he inspires those around him with his “Lasso way” culture within the team. Season two continued this story with a balance of comedy, character development and teaching moments.
One of the main topics discussed in the season was mental health. In the first episode after Dani Rojas’ (Cristo Fernández, “Fuera De Serie”) penalty kick attempt kills the team mascot, Dani Rojas, one of AFC Richmond’s star players, gets a case of the yips, bringing light to the importance of athletes’ mental health.
Another storyline that carried through several episodes was Ted’s childhood trauma, which caused him to suffer from panic attacks throughout the season. Ted has always been viewed as an uber-kind, jolly soul who has had a perfect life. Learning about his past and the emotions those events invoke builds a bigger picture: we never know what others have gone through and so it is always the right time to choose to be kind.
In the season finale, when Trent Crimm (James Lance, “No Heroics”), a highly reputed journalist in England, writes that Ted had been having panic attacks, Ted addresses the team in one of the season’s classic “Lasso scenes.” He says that he should have been the one to tell them rather than letting them find out via the media, and that he made a choice that he cannot take back. “It is our choices, gentlemen, that tell who we are, far more than our ability,” Lasso says.
The show also addresses the idea of athletes using their voices for social good. Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh, “Anthony”) has become the face of AFC Richmond and in one of the earlier episodes of the season, he raises awareness for a cause important to his home country. Rather than keeping his endorsement, he stood up for what he believed in, making him an even bigger role model for his fanbase as he showed that it is never a wrong time to do the right thing and stand up for what you believe in.
One of the first teammates to join Sam was Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster, “Humans”) who had previously left the club. A major moment of the season was when Tartt approached Ted about rejoining Richmond and Ted agreed. Ted believed in the good side of Jamie and decided to give him a second chance.
After Jamie rejoined Richmond, he began to right all the wrongs from his first stint with Richmond. As the season progressed, he became more and more in touch with the team culture and continued to bond with each of his fellow teammates. Towards the end of the season, he had an encounter with a former rival and current coach Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein, “The Catherine Tate Live Show”). Instead of trying to defend himself, Tartt took ownership of the mistake that he had made.
On the other side, Roy also showed significant growth throughout the season. A season ago, Kent was a once-great player who had suffered injuries that derailed his career. But in this season, despite his tough exterior, at his core, he genuinely cares. In one of the most heartwarming scenes of the season when Jamie’s father insults his son, Roy walks over and embraces Jamie.
As the season approached its end with Richmond clinging on to the hope of promotion, the team finds themselves in an important match. After trailing at halftime, the coaches allowed the players to take the initiative, a product of the “Lasso way” culture that had been instilled in the organization. With a chance to tie the game in the final minutes, Tartt, one of the league’s best penalty takers, allowed Rojas to take his place and take the kick, bringing the series full circle.
Ted has always been focused on creating the best group of people his team can be and allowing the team’s success to be a product of this characteristic. This season followed the same formula. Now, fans are left wondering what new twists and turns the season’s cliffhangers will bring.
Overall, while some may argue that this season did not live up to the first season, this was an incredible all-around season that encompassed a multitude of topics. The first season showed the audience who Ted Lasso is; the second season showed the impact he made on others. In true Lasso fashion, this season continued to make the viewers “Believe.”