Ted Lasso: half of what our world needs

(spoilers throughout, sorry)

Finally watched s02 and I have opinions. And they have coalesced enough to make a Malcolm Gladwell Grand Unified Theory Blog Post, so here we go.

Ted Lasso is set in a world where everyone does inner work

After s01, I was blown away by how everyone is just… believable, and good? Spearheaded by Our Hero, who is just, I mean, I’d say “unbelievable and good”, but for Mr. Rogers. Everybody has to learn some lessons, confront their demons, and they do, and they succeed because of it. This keeps up in s02, in complex and real ways!

It’s all brilliant! I want the entire world to learn from these paragons of realistic not-simple virtue!

Ted Lasso is set in a world where inner work is easy

My gripe with the show didn’t become clear until s02, where they brought in Sharon, the Magic Therapist. She makes for some real, complex drama with Ted, where he overcomes his well-earned distrust of therapists and eventually makes a big breakthrough in his own psyche. I mostly like this arc (though it does perpetuate a stereotype that therapy is always about Confronting Your One Big Trauma). But along the way, she confronts everyone else’s issues in one session each! Rojas and Colin and even Jamie are seemingly instantly “cured”. Y’all, this is not how therapy works!

Ted Lasso is mostly set in a very safe world, which makes inner work easier

Why does it work? Maybe partially because nothing has big bad consequences. Doing The Right Thing always succeeds. You can imagine a few times it perhaps wouldn’t, in the real world:

At least a few times, problems are solved with literally a wad of cash. Ok, they’re footballers, fine. I guess that also explains how they can afford to live in the disgustingly cutest London neighborhood.

(If saccharine is a problem to you, skip the Christmas episode s02e04; I got so mad I almost quit the series.)

Coach Beard is the exception here

He’s got issues, it’s not really clear what they are, he’s trying to address them, he’s not really succeeding, his relationship is kinda-toxic but kinda-life-affirming?, he’s troubled but successful? I kinda think “the Beard episode” (s02e09) might be the best of the series. (imdb people disagree.) Maybe Beard is parachuted in from the real world, trying to follow the Lasso-and-friends example but hitting realistic stumbling blocks.

And Nate, ok

but I’m bummed about him; his Anakin-to-Vader turn in s02 seemed to come out of nowhere. Maybe I missed something.

All that said, I still love the show

I feel like more shows should be set in “the world in which everyone goes to therapy.” Not that TV has to hold up examples to follow in real life, but … I don’t know, I like it better than shows that pretend to hold up examples of how you should be but are unrealistic.

Tuca and Bertie is also set in “the world in which everyone goes to therapy.” I might think more about this.


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