I loved the first season of Ted Lasso. It was just what I needed to survive pandemic depression. More than survive – watching the show enabled me to fully embrace what I thought of as THE POWER OF THE HAPPY ENDING.
Season 2, however, is a disappointment. Same powerful outlook, but with a far less powerful result because something I couldn’t put my finger on was missing.
The season is about halfway over now, and that mysterious key element is still in hiding, but my half-assed “WTF am I not getting?” feeling has finally gone away thanks to a force I’d never have imagined would do the job.
In her column today, Times TV critic Lorraine Ali spells it all out. The second season, she says, suffers because it’s “short on the dramatic tension since Lasso cleaned up most [of] the conflicts that gave him purpose last season. Here’s Ms. Ali’s summary:
The team’s owner, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), who initially hired the clueless Lasso to sabotage the team, is now rooting for her boys to win. Her nemesis, piggish ex-husband and former club owner Rupert (Anthony Head), is out of the picture. The players are mostly pulling in the same direction, even preening bad boy Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster).
So why am I still watching the show? And why should you? For the same reason Ms. Ali is.
A character by the name of Roy Kent.
Of whom she says,
Roy Kent is the only one keeping Ted Lasso Season 2 afloat…This year, the best thing about the warmhearted “Ted Lasso” is its hardest-to-love character.
In other words, Roy Kent is, well, he’s an asshole, kids. In the most delightful, Han Solo, anti-hero kind of way.
Ms. Ali, I should note, also has a lot of objections to other elements of the series, including those in the much-beloved Season 1. I don’t agree with most of them, but I’m happy to agree to disagree because thanks to Ms. Ali’s insight I’m pretty sure I’ll no longer be waking up in the middle of the night wondering, “Why, Ted? Why?” and at my age a full night’s sleep trumps everything.
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