What We’re Watching: Ted Lasso

One of the most enduring cinema themes of all time is the “fish out of water.”

Think wannabe rock star Jack Black teaching a middle school music class in School of Rock, Emilio Estevez’s hot-shot lawyer coaching peewee hockey in The Mighty Ducks franchise, or Michael J. Fox stumbling around the past, new present and future in Back to the Future.

You just can’t help but root for the underdog in all of these films, even though the hijinks they find themselves in can get pretty amusing.

That’s one of the common themes in Ted Lasso, the first season of which has just wrapped up on Apple TV+ and is ready for you to binge.

To give you the bare-bones outline: The titular Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, is an American college football coach whose DII Wichita State team won the national championship in his first season at the helm. Lasso first appeared in NBC Sports commercials starring Sudeikis back in 2013.

Quintessentially Middle American, Lasso somehow finds himself hired as the new manager of fictional Premier League team AFC Richmond, and is promptly shipped off to England to start his new gig.

Lasso knows nothing of the United Kingdom, much less the sport he’s been tasked with coaching. As you can expect, culture shock is a running gag throughout the series, and provides some definite belly laughs.

And a bonus Easter egg: In the first episode, as Lasso and his assistant Coach Beard step onto the AFC Richmond pitch for the first time, you’ll notice bright yellow sponsor boards around the stadium calling out jdsports.com.

Premier League fans with a sharp eye will know why: the arena used as Richmond’s home ground is actually Selhurst Park Stadium, the home of Crystal Palace FC, which is sponsored by JD Sports. The more you know!

Check out the official trailer below.

 

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