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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ted Lasso is a sports comedy series that's upbeat and heartwarming but aimed at a mature audience. The show is packed with positive themes, including perseverance, teamwork, and defying the odds. The titular coach, played by Jason Sudeikis, is an extremely likable, optimistic character who personifies the series' worthy messages while also displaying empathy, humility, and respect for others. While the show exudes a feel-good vibe, some of its topics -- including infidelity, divorce, and sex -- are of a mature nature. The series also contains some sexually themed jokes and regular use of strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t." Characters also drink in social situations, sometimes to excess.
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What's the story?
TED LASSO's concept comes from a series of NBC ads promoting the network's 2013 coverage of Premier League soccer. Much like that campaign, the Apple TV+ comedy finds fish-out-of-water college football coach Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) recruited to manage a Premier League team in England. The series explores Ted's journey, as well as his evolving relationships with his players, co-workers, and the team's owner, who's secretly attempting to sabotage his efforts. While the show can certainly be described as a "sports" comedy, most of it story unfolds off the field (or pitch) where it focuses on Lasso's story and his interactions with the other characters.
Is it any good?
Based on a series of commercials that began airing nearly seven years ago, Ted Lasso doesn't seem like an obvious candidate for one of 2020's best TV comedies. But that's exactly what it is, having fine-tuned and polished that original concept into a smart, funny, feel-good series that tugs at the heartstrings and tickles the funny bone in equal measure. In fact, it further defies the odds by pulling off that latter, rare feat, delivering quality television that consistently makes you laugh, while also warming your heart. Big credit is due to Sudeikis, who plays Lasso as the nicest guy ever, but not at the cost of undermining the character's wit. This balance is brilliantly showcased when Lasso -- pressured by the press to prove his credentials -- describes soccer legend David Beckham as, "The fella that bends it like himself." It's a funny line that works not in spite of the character's wholesome charm, but because of it.
It doesn't hurt that both the show and character waste little time evolving beyond the one-note conceit of the commercials, quickly establishing engaging character arcs backed by layered performances. Sudeikis steals the show as the obscenely likable Lasso, but his supporting cast -- from Nick Mohammed's eager-to-please towel boy to Hannah Waddingham's icy team owner -- is equally excellent, bringing nuance and emotion to roles that could lack depth in less capable hands. A funny, feel-good sports series (that actually requires no knowledge of soccer or football), Ted Lasso is 2020's comedy MVP.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Ted Lasso's coaching methods. How does he communicate with his players? How does he bring them together? How do they respond to his coaching style?
What are some of Ted's defining character traits? How do other characters respond to his optimism? Ted is portrayed as a very positive person, but does he also possess any character flaws?
What are some of the cultural differences Ted encounters in England? How does he adapt to his new home? What does he like/dislike about England versus his home in America?
- Premiere date: August 14, 2020
- Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Juno Temple, Nick Mohammed, Hannah Waddingham
- Network: Apple TV+
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- Character strengths: Communication, Empathy, Humility, Integrity, Perseverance, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Available on: Streaming
- Awards: Common Sense Selection, Golden Globe
- Last updated: July 23, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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