This year as September approached, no bolt of lightning struck offering me a timely topic to discuss. And so, I waited…and waited…and continued to watch my new favorite TV show, Ted Lasso. And then it hit me, how could I not write about this show? (No major spoiler alert.)
What an absolute pleasure to watch a feel-good TV series—about an American football coach, Ted Lasso, who is hired to coach an English soccer team—that is entertaining, uplifting, funny, empowering, and downright wonderful! It is a truly perfect blend of heart and humor, of wit and wisdom. Not everyone would agree with me as some would call it cheesy, unrealistic, predictable, and ridiculously optimistic. But like me, most are enamored by the amazing cast and script. The first season of the Apple TV+ hit (2020) was nominated for twenty Emmy Awards, the most ever for a comedy in its first season.
Thoughtful Moments and Inspirational Messages
Ted Lasso (played by Jason Sudeikis, an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer) is the life of the show. As a coach, friend, father, and husband, he exudes passion, joy, enthusiasm, radical kindness, and even brave authenticity as he moves through some very real anxiety around his failing marriage. Lasso makes everyone feel seen, heard, valued, and appreciated, and he does so without effort. The invisible feel visible. The neglected feel cared for.
What I most love about Ted Lasso are the heartfelt “thoughtful moments” and inspirational messages that are embedded throughout the show’s narrative. For example, the use of the green army men which are tiny little toy soldiers that Ted gives to special people as a gesture of kindness. The intention is to “keep them safe” and to also act as a reminder to be courageous and “soldier on” through adversity. Another example is the freshly baked, daily treats he brings to his boss, which he calls “biscuits with the boss,” even if she has not “earned” them.
Lasso never counts or keeps score, and he is always delivering one-liners, witty remarks, and empowering statements that uplift, teach, forgive, comfort, and even charm. That list is endless, but here are a few that stand out for me:
- “If you care about someone, and you got a little love in your heart, there ain’t nothing you can’t get through together.”
- “I promise you, there is something worse out there than being sad, and that’s being alone and being sad.”
- “There’s two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.”
A Reminder Around Basic Goodness and Humanity
Many would argue that Lasso is not real—that the character he represents does not exist. I would argue that the concern or question, “Is such a character real?” is not the important one. What is essential to ask instead is, “Who could not benefit from a weekly reminder around basic goodness, kindness, and humanity?”
Lasso may not represent the majority, but he most definitely can speak to the majority. And most of us are feeling very heavy these days around some very heavy issues that exist in our reality. We are living in lingering COVID times with great fear and ravaging uncertainty. We are witnessing Afghanistan’s newly appointed Taliban government take over as we’re about to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The list goes on for global tragedies as does the day-to-day list of injustices and stressors that we are bearing.
Do You Believe in Miracles?
As I think back on the episodes I have watched, there are many memorable moments that stand out, but one in particular is when Lasso asks each player on the team if they believe in miracles. You’re probably thinking, how corny, but in the context of the show it was spot on. When the players were feeling most vulnerable and anxious around playing a team they had never beaten, Lasso offered each of the players an opportunity to look within and uncover what was possible.
At the same time, he offered each of us, the viewers, the opportunity to do the same. To ask ourselves some very important questions around hope, faith, and belief. Many people are struggling emotionally at this time and are facing very real adversity. They are grasping for even glimmers of hope but cannot seem to find them. Sometimes our internal despair and helplessness need an external boost.
Let Kindness Make a Comeback in Your World
I’m not suggesting that you binge on Apple TV or Netflix but rather that you enjoy, appreciate, and internalize the wisdom imparted from this particular series, which does stand in a league of its own, yes pun intended. The Season 2 tagline is, “This year, kindness makes a comeback.”
Ted is kind and forgiving—at a visceral level. He holds no grudges or resentments. He speaks with integrity and listens deeply. He loves completely and respects entirely. He is a kind witness and unconditional champion to everyone. This is “the Lasso way.”
I encourage you to watch this series, which will most likely consist of three seasons, not to become “Lasso” and live the “Lasso way” but to find one or two things that you can integrate into your life that will help you get from where you are to a slightly better place.
It is especially during these hard times that we need every possible message and reminder to practice being kind to ourselves as well as to others.