'Ted Lasso' believes to the moving end
By Martha K. Baker
Given the crummy ends to beloved series that viewers have endured (talking to you "Seinfeld"), "Ted Lasso" gave its all to the (supposed) end of its run. Each episode of Season 3 offered the show's trademark funny business and heartfelt understanding of human nature.
What began as an extension of a brainy commercial, thunk up by producers and stars Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt, expanded, with support from brilliant Bill Lawrence ("Scrubs") to study sadness and to sing in harmony. The plot, for those still under Covid lockdown, follows Ted Lasso, a Kansan coach, who hauled his depressed and divorced heinie to London to manage a struggling English Premier League team playing the other football. He lugs nothing but a bit of optimism which he sprinkles over a motley United Nations of boys.
"Ted Lasso" may have been just the bromide the nation needed in the midst of a killing pandemic and in the fallout of an insurrection, but it grew beyond those bounds. In the third season, it addresses themes of mothers, rejection, yearning, and grit. None of the themes overcomes the depression in the hearts of each character, but they do prove it's possible to be afraid yet still believe in yourself -- as the yellow and blue sign commands -- and do what needs doing.
Standing in for the audience is the writer, Trent Crimm (James Lance), observing the team as he takes notes for a book. Zava (Maximilian Kosinski), a "charismatic unicorn," makes a brief appearance. Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) is mentored by the growling sweetheart and F-bomber, Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), and Nate (Nick Mohammed) gets a girlfriend. Rebecca (the amazing Hannah Waddingham) is growing away from revenge into her own power, and pink-fluffed Keely (Juno Temple) steps away from routine.
Throughout are allusions to literature (watch what Coach Beard reads, his feet on his desk) and music, including Leonard Cohen and Julie Andrews. The homage to "The Sound of Music" in the last episode is spectacular.
The series sports 10 directors and 15 writers, working like a Ted Lasso-coached team. In Season 3, Episode three, in which the main characters are given a chance to shine in Amsterdam, is sunnily delightful. The last episode, No. 12, elicits tears of "outright, prolonged" laughter and poignancy -- often at the same time. Yes, there are too many codas, but who really wants this wonder of a series to end? All the show ever asked for was to believe.