Ted Lasso Season 3 is the first season of the show I've liked
★★★ | Killing them with kindness
If you like Ted Lasso, you will enjoy, or even love, its third and final season. It's really that simple. Season 3 is more Lasso, with maybe a touch more melancholy and realism.
Which is why, if, like me, you don't like Ted Lasso, you'll find this one the most relatable season to date. In a way, it's almost a shame that this is the end. If the series continued down this path, I could see myself enjoying it more.
Not much has changed. The series still coasts by with little stakes, some nicely rounded archetypes, and the living embodiment of a "live, laugh, love" poster in Jason Sudeikis. If that's what you want, Ted Lasso delivers.
But there's also a touch more reality. A kind of acknowledgment that these past two seasons have been more or less a joyful grown-up fantasy. The kind of world where kids speak like adults, but only because the adults are so childlike in the first place.
The first season of Ted Lasso came at the perfect time. The global pandemic brought everything to a shutdown, and people needed something kind. Ted Lasso delivered that in spades with a folksy charm that solved all problems. There wasn't a single issue that a salt of the earth saying couldn't fix.
Which is why the series never connected with me. Lasso's first appearance as a mascot for NBC ad campaigns felt like the perfect platform for the gag. They were short vignettes of a well-meaning, if competitive and buffoonish, American coach thrust into the British football leagues. Naturally, his solution is to bring America along as much as possible. Especially when it doesn't fit into his new surroundings.
Unlike the series, the ads saw Lasso as the main focus of the jokes. It was a perfect fit for Sudeikis who excels at playing confidently incorrect people. By the time the first season aired, it took a drastically different approach. Lasso became a Marty Stu. Perfection personified. Whatever faults he had were the effects of a cruel world unfit for his purity.
Season 1 was particularly guilty of this. Each scene played up what a nice guy Lasso is. Even those who didn't like him were impressed by his niceness. The world became better for his existence.
To butcher a Lassoism, I don't trust a fella who makes a big show about how swell they are. That farm don't milk. Or something.
But something about Lasso connects with people. To date, the show is a minor phenomenon. A go-to for feel-good endorphins. That's something I can get behind. Anything wholesome that teaches people the value of the social contract, bonding, and being kind can't be bad.
Season 3 doubles down on that, delivering more Lassoisms, more drama, longer episodes, and a sense that there may be a point to all this beyond folksy fortune cookieism. It is an escapist fantasy that only slightly overstays its welcome. The shorter episode format of earlier seasons worked in its favor.
I love the results. I just can't get along with how the series gets there. Which is to say, it's not a bad series. Never was. If anything, it's a failure on my part to connect.
Sometimes it just goes like that.