I don’t know why I didn’t latch on to Apple TV’s “Ted Lasso” when it was first released several months ago, but I just caught up with the first season and was pleasantly surprised.
As an American college football coach recruited to take over a British pro soccer team — despite knowing less than nothing about the game — Jason Sudeikis imbues Ted with a kindness rarely seen in sports movies and TV shows. He has plenty of antagonists, from egotistical players to condescending journalists to Rebecca, the female owner who was awarded the team in a divorce.
Hannah Waddingham, who plays her, reminds me of a cross between TV game show host Brooke Burns and Margaret Whitton, who played Rachel, the Cleveland Indians owner in “Major League.” At first glance, Rebecca might seem like a Rachel ripoff, but the showrunners have wisely given her more depth and her relationship with Ted has improved both characters.
Fortunately, “Ted Lasso” isn’t really about soccer, but rather the personal interplay between the show’s quirky characters, and that’s what makes it work. I’m looking forward to the second season, due to begin streaming in late July.