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Photo: ‘Ted Lasso’/Apple TV+

Ted Lasso’ came at the perfect time in 2020: everyone had been cooped up inside for months, spent endless hours on Zoom, and we were in the middle of a tumultuous presidential election, all of which seemed as if there was no end in sight. The show focused on an American football coach and his journey to becoming a British football (or as we call it in America, soccer) coach despite knowing nothing about the sport. It became an unexpected phenomenon due to its unapologetic optimism and the fact that it is undeniably one of the best comedies on television now (just look at its 20 Emmy nominations). With such high expectations after an incredible first season, there was great hope that the second season of the Apple TV+ hit would continue its positive momentum. Well, I have good news: it does. 

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Season One Recap

Season one of ‘Ted Lasso’ introduced us to the titular character (played by Golden Globe winner Jason Sudeikis) through a series of British news broadcasts mocking the announcement of his appointment as new head coach of the AFC Richmond soccer team despite the fact that he is an American football coach and knows nothing about soccer alongside his assistant coach, Coach Beard (Emmy nominee Brendan Hunt).

Throughout the season we meet the AFC Richmond team and those who surround it, including team captain Roy Kent (Emmy nominee Brett Goldstein), star player Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), kit man-turned-assistant coach Nate (Emmy nominee Nick Mohammed), team girlfriend-turned-AFC Richmond brand manager Keeley (Emmy nominee Juno Temple), Director of Communications Higgins (Emmy nominee Jeremy Swift), and team owner Rebecca (Emmy nominee Hannah Waddingham). By the end of the season, the Richmond team had adopted the optimism and positivity of the Lasso way, thwarted Rebecca’s attempts to sabotage the team, but also lost Roy as a player due to a devastating injury in their final game of the season and their place in the premier league. 

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Ted Lasso Season 2 Brings The Same Charm With Some New Layers

The first few minutes of the first episode of season two give viewers exactly what you would expect from ‘Ted Lasso’: some soccer, some folksy and motivational idioms, and a meeting of the Diamond Dogs to solve a conflict that arises. At the start, ‘Ted Lasso’ brings nothing new to the table but still is the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down and provide comfort on our televisions. Once it gets beyond the first 10 minutes, however, things start to get more interesting and dive deeper into the psyche of some of the main players and see more of their personal lives in a way that makes the show feel new and evolving. 

The biggest new development for the show is actually looking into the psychology of the characters on the show, which has also led to the introduction of the new series regular Sarah Niles’ Dr. Sharon Fieldstone. She is a sports psychologist brought in to help with some performance issues with one of the players related to some mental health struggles they are having. While she seems to greatly help with the problems the players are having, her presence also reveals some insecurities within Ted and allow us to peel back more layers to the character we love and understand more of who he is beyond just being a constant motivator (and provide a new challenge and person for him to try and win over since his usual charms do not seem to work on her). 

Another new team element is Nate trying to find his place in his new role as an assistant coach. He got the promotion in the season one finale after showing how he could contribute to winning strategies for plays and motivate the players, so in the new season, we start seeing him try to find his coaching style and how he might be letting the power of his position get to his head just a smidgen too much. 

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Outside of the soccer stadium, season two also will be exploring two lives (and love lives) of some of its main characters. After witnessing the effects of Rebecca’s split with Richard from season one that kickstarted the plot of the show, season two starts with looking into her dating life. With some help from Keeley and Roy, Rebecca sets off on a deeper journey to find the love she really deserves and never had with Richard. While there is only so much of her dating life shown in episode one, there is sure to be more in the coming episodes of the season. 

The other life being explored more deeply outside of soccer for the first time this season is none other than the newly-retired Roy Kent. Episode one shows him seemingly in a bit of a rut after having to retire due to his injury from the season one finale, with him coaching his niece’s soccer team, hanging out with his circle of senior women from his yoga class, and being unwilling to accept any jobs related to professional soccer (yet). Everything we know for the most part about Roy so far is what his soccer life has been and, with the exception of his niece (which can we get more of her please, she is simply precious), we know virtually nothing about his private life. This season will be delving into more of his life post-soccer and his relationship with Keeley which has the potential to really create an entirely new side of this standoffish character. 

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The Verdict

Ted Lasso’ may have one of its character’s names as the title, but the show has proven to be an excellent ensemble show. Each character has had its moment to shine in the season premiere; no one felt like they got the shaft to put focus on a certain storyline. With the new elements introduced in the premiere, I think the season will be heading in a very interesting direction. If season one was all about setting the scene and introducing the cast of characters to audiences, season two is going to be all about breaking down and exploring those characters more deeply and literally examining their psyches. Season two of ‘Ted Lasso’ is introducing more depth to the show we all love while still keeping the elements that have brought audiences so much joy and positivity over this past year. 

New episodes of ‘Ted Lasso’ drop every Friday on Apple TV+. 

Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Hannah Waddingham, Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein, Jeremy Swift, Nick Mohammad, Sarah Niles, Phil Dunster

Created by: Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudekis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly

By Caroline Schneider

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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