Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis, right) with assistant coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) and striker Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández)
Photo: Colin Hutton / Apple TV +
Ironically, »Ted Lasso« returns this summer with a penalty scene.
Ironically, with a penalty that has a tragic end, the second season of the comedy series begins about an American coach who slips into English football - just a few weeks after real English football suffered another penalty tragedy in the European Championship final.
That Jason Sudeikis, the inventor and actor of the mustached trainer Ted Lasso, noticed this connection: no wonder. The fact that Sudeikis reacted by wearing a T-shirt with the first names of the three penalty misses Marcus Rashord, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka at a PR event at the start of the season to assure them of his solidarity in the face of racist abuse: It was a gesture , which was extremely worthy of the series character Ted Lasso.
Because Coach Lasso stands for an unshakable belief in the good, in the fact that everything can be solved nicely, that cohesion is the decisive human virtue.
Equipped with this worldview, in the first season of the series he initially clashes with pretty much everyone in the English football business - especially since he had only worked in American football until then and was actually only intended as a token in a cynical plot of revenge by the abandoned wife of the club boss.
Relaxation exercise in tense lockdown times
But little by little, Ted Lasso with his disarming manner draws almost everyone to his side. And not just within the narrative: initially received rather cautiously, when it started in the late summer of 2020 on Apple's streaming service, the series developed into an insider tip and more. In the USA in particular, Lasso's worldview became an antidote in the poisoned election campaign atmosphere, a relaxation exercise in the tense lockdown times.
The reward was 20 nominations for the Emmy Awards, just under the record for a comedy series (held by "30 Rock"). And a final third season has long been commissioned by the team around Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt (who plays Lasso's assistant coach Beard), Joe Kelly and the experienced showrunner Bill Lawrence ("Scrubs"). But before that there is the question of whether the second season - of which a new one of the total of twelve episodes is to be released every Friday - can withstand the hype.
A ghost continues to haunt the cabin at Richmond FC. »I believe in communism«, says Ted Lasso in one of his legendary, intricate motivational speeches: »Romcommunism«. He believes that, as in romantic comedies (English genre term:
ends well in the end. That is why he sees difficulties only as the dramaturgically necessary middle section, after which things would necessarily turn for the better.
The players nod approvingly and engage in a specialist discussion about the merits of Romcom stars like Hugh Grant or Renée Zellweger: Coach Lasso has his team under control, the mood is great - even though the first season is over with relegation the Premier League had ended.
But it turns out to be a fallacy that it is possible to work quietly outside the glaring media light of the top division.
There is still »the damn internet«, all the little scandals are amplified via Twitter and cause additional irritation.
Charm and Cookies
This already shows that »Ted Lasso« in its second season initially (eight of the twelve episodes were made available to the press for viewing) moved a little away from its fairytale-like basic idea.
Yes, there is a joke about Sheffield Wednesday being played on a Saturday, but the basic irritation of the unfamiliar American is no longer the main topic.
To do this, some aspects of modern football are examined more closely.
One episode, for example, is about the involvement of the jersey sponsor "Dubai Air" in an environmental scandal, well-known moral questions arise, to which there are, however, unusually clear answers.
Constantly great supporting character: Hannah Waddingham as club boss Rebecca Welton
Photo: Colin Hutton / Apple TV +
At the same time, the already very lovingly designed secondary characters are further developed. It's wonderful how the grumpy midfield motor Roy Kent tries to come to terms with the end of his career, even if he has to curse a U9 girls' team. It's great how the media landscape is parodied with reality show cynicism, good-mood terror on breakfast TV and ex-footballer-expert overkill on "Gillette Soccer Saturday".
Because a good mood without good results is not sustainable in Richmond either, a sports psychologist is hired.
Not only because she doesn't react to his charm and cookies, she soon reveals a depth behind the unshakably positive nature of Ted Lasso.
But that shouldn't put you off: The frequency of pop-cultural allusions, stumbled gags and joke-staged calendar sayings is not decreasing.
And in the supreme discipline of the Rom-Com series, the heartwarming Christmas episode, »Ted Lasso« shines as expected.
After all, the whole association is now influenced by the good spirit of Ted Lasso.
A good spirit that one would want more of in real sport, yes, in real life.
But that's why people continue to watch him so much.