When the trailer for Ted Lasso first dropped more than a year ago, it seemed like the show would be a mindless comedy. But a few episodes into the first season, it became clear that the series was so much more than that.
If you haven’t watched it yet, stop what you’re doing, sign up for a month of Apple TV+, and start binging, because Ted Lasso is a rare gem that everyone should see. If you’re already a fan, you’re probably well aware of the fact that the comedic aspect of the series falls secondary to the feel-good moments of every episode, which always manage to hit you right in the heart (without being cheesy).
But, let’s be honest, there’s really nothing new about a warm-fuzzy sports story that evokes emotion. It’s been done many times before. So, what gives?
According to actress Juno Temple, who steals the show every week as Keeley, it’s all in the show’s timing. As she told W magazine, Ted Lasso premiered at a time when we really needed it most.
“[Ted Lasso is] a reminder of the fact that humanity can be kind. You can turn people around. You’re in control of what you do. You can’t control anybody else, but you can be a positive person.”
“I think that was a message that people needed reminding of a long time ago, and need it now.”
The first three episodes of Ted Lasso dropped in August of 2020, at a time when we all desperately needed something, anything to make us feel good. It came less than three months after the murder of George Floyd and the racial reckoning that followed, during the peak of the pandemic when anti-mask and re-opening protests were constant, and right as a very heated election season was ramping up. Morale was low, to say the least.
Personally, I remember sitting down to watch the first episode of Ted Lasso with very low expectations. I, like so many others at the time, was going through each day carrying the weight of pure dread and I thought that if this show could lift my mood even a fraction, then I didn’t care how stupid the plot was.
But, it ended up making me laugh, like actually laugh. It gave me an excuse to cry when I was otherwise just trying to hold myself together. More than anything, it gave me something to look forward to every week during a time when it felt like there was no light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Between the cast, the writers, and the well-developed storyline of the series, Ted Lasso probably would have been a success no matter when it premiered. But its timing is what made the feel-good show such a phenomenon. Last year, we all desperately needed to be reminded that kindness still exists and I think Ted Lasso was the antidote to the collective doom we were all experiencing.
Still, there’s no doubt that the show will continue to be successful throughout its three-season run. Because Juno is right, as much as we needed our faith in humanity restored last year, we also still very much need it now.