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In Season 2 of “Ted Lasso”, Jason Sudeikis Is Better Than Ever: NPR

Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed in Ted lasso.

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In Season 2 of “Ted Lasso”, Jason Sudeikis Is Better Than Ever: NPR

Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed in Ted lasso.

Apple TV +

Now is the time that many people would start to hate Ted lasso.

The show’s first season was a hit out of nowhere on Apple TV + last year – a fun ode to the power of cuteness that dramatically increased viewership thanks to pandemic lockdowns.

Since, Ted lasso garnered the kind of success few shows see in a first season, including 20 Emmy nominations – a record for a freshman comedy. Who knew that a water-fishing story about an ignorant American coach taking over a football (excuse me, “football”) team in England could be so touching, encouraging and downright funny?

So, as its second season hits the world tomorrow, it’s natural to expect a lot of nit-picking and cynicism, as everyone is looking for a weak spot in the world. Lasso juggernaut, positioning itself to pronounce a sophomore collapse.

Yes, the second season is as good as the first

But here’s the thing. The episodes of the second season are just as good, if not better, than the first. The show’s cast of characters – an eccentric assembly of players, coaches and administrators running an ill-fated football team (sorry again, “football”) in England – has become something of an on-screen family. .

And the best part about this new season is how these side characters got more room to shine. Brett Goldstein’s retired footballer Roy Kent is a bombshell spitting Socrates – brutal and uncompromising, but also insightful and caring, even as he struggles with his relationship with the sport he has dedicated his life to, but doesn’t play more.

Brendan Hunt is set to get a Special Emmy for reaction photos, as his silent trainer Beard raises his eyebrows to the sky as he watches his longtime friend Coach Lasso navigate long-distance parenting and the arrival of a new one. thorny but effective sports psychologist.

Hannah Waddingham’s Frosty Team owner Rebecca Welton, Jeremy Swift’s sycophantic COO Leslie Higgins and Nick Mohammed’s gentle manners assistant Nathan Shelley all show a new depth and more humanity. nuanced in new stories centered on their characters. It’s no wonder that all of them – along with Juno Temple as brave model turned public relations manager Keeley Jones – were nominated for Emmy Awards this year as supporting performers.

Sudeikis Shines as Ted Lasso

And then there’s Jason Sudeikis’ Ted Lasso. In lesser hands, that fountain of folkloric and relentlessly optimistic encouragement and weird sayings (“There are two buttons I never like to press,” he told a reporter after a disappointing game. “C ‘is’ panic’ and ‘snooze’ “) might come through as something of a creep.

Instead, his sincere good intentions shine through, even as we learn that Coach Lasso’s attitude is in part a coping mechanism hiding a struggle with much more serious issues. Just when Lasso’s flippant approach is about to seem incredibly effective or too cute (“It’s a wigwam and a teepee,” the coach says of one player. “Too tense.”) Sudeikis and his writers arrive with a jolt of emotionality which becomes things resume their course.

Indeed, Ted lassoThe superpower of is its ability to come up with surprising and thought-provoking storylines, while maintaining its mission of emphasizing the power of human kindness and empathy.

For example, when Kent’s niece is depressed about a boy at school who called his breath stinky, the ex-footballer takes a deep breath, intending to lie about the quality of the aroma – to admit, just half-jokingly, “I think you might be dying.” (The ensuing odyssey on Christmas Day may be the show’s best example of crossing the line between heartbreaking feeling and unexpected laughs.)

In Ted lassoin the world, the worst sin a character can commit is wanton cruelty. So even the toughest members of that on-screen family are given a humanizing touch. Often times they are their own worst enemies, with issues that are mostly the result of going their own way, aided by corrosive romantic partners or gleefully hurtful parents who have yet to learn the lessons of healing empathy from them. Coach Lasso.

This can all be a bit harsh for those who prefer their TV humor to be a bit more cynical and biting. I admit, I spent parts of some episodes dreading the moment when the script would become too predictable, tearful or outrageous. But that time never came.

So when this second season of Ted lasso makes people laugh and widen in equal parts, no need to cite the desire for connection in the face of a pandemic or the rejection of cynicism in an emergency.

This time around you will simply enjoy a unique and distinctive comedy, made with a lot of talent and heart. And that’s welcome on my TV screen anytime, pandemic or not.

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