I think it’s finally time for me to accept that in season two Ted Lasso has morphed into a very different show to the one that first debuted on Apple TV+. It has gone from being a silly half-hour comedy based on an advert about an out-of-his depth sports coach to a moving, emotional… I’m not sure what genre it really fits into anymore. This transition started in the first season but has been doubled down on as the characters and storylines develop. It means that when the show doesn’t quite hit the mark it can feel a bit messy, even vacuous, but when it gets it right it is brilliant.
Ted Lasso Season Two Returns to Form
Thankfully, episode eight of Ted Lasso season two gets it (almost) totally right and is up there as one of the best so far. There are (finally) some genuinely very funny bits, all the tugs on our emotional heartstrings that we’ve come to expect, and even some soccer.
It all starts in quite dramatic fashion when Dr. Sharon crashes on her bike. A couple of things here: Firstly, don’t have your AirPods in when you’re cycling. Ever. Secondly, only Apple could have it that a bike is damaged by a crash but an iPhone doesn’t even have a scratch on it. The crash though gives a good opportunity to bring Ted and the Doc even closer together, and for both the coach and viewers to get an insight into the more troubled elements of the seemingly well-composed Doctor’s life.
As for the comedy, we have the brilliant dynamic between Coach Beard and Roy, and Higgins’s inevitable transformation of a broom cupboard into his office. The scene in which Isaac gives Sam a pre-date haircut is also very funny, as is the moment when Sam and Rebecca finally realize they are meeting each other, which the writers and actors paced to perfection.
The Ted Lasso Magic Fails at Wembley
Then it’s off to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final. The scenes based there do well to honor this traditional and important competition here in England. Alongside jokes explaining the differences between old and new Wembley Stadiums, there’s plenty of realism. The FA Cup semi-finals, as well the final, do now take place all take place there. Large parts, if not all of it, appear to have been shot on location too. ‘Blue Moon’ is the Manchester City anthem and would have been played for their fans before such a game. Also, having a song by well-known Manchester City fans Oasis play as the Wembley sequence ends is a very nice touch. I have to acknowledge here that my expectation of a Richmond victory in the FA Cup as sporting redemption in Ted Lasso season two has not come to pass. Realistic, but a shame.
The New Rachel and Joey?
In amongst all that we have Roy dealing with some school disciplinary issues with his niece, and Sam learning his campaign has been successful back home in Nigeria. Again, this is nicely put together, with his Dad calling whilst he’s on an exercise bike, mirroring the scene from earlier in the season. Jamie’s relationship with his father is not so positive, however.
In fact, the only bit that doesn’t really work is Sam and Rebecca’s new relationship. Yes, it’s less obvious than Ted and Rebecca getting together, and still early days, but I fear Ted Lasso season two may be straying into ‘Rachel and Joey’ territory.