Thursday, March 16, 2023

Review of Season 3 of Ted Lasso: A stirring conclusion to Apple's masterpiece that saved lives

Review of Ted Lasso: Season 3: Ted Lasso, Apple's flagship show, returns for a third (and possibly final) season just as people emerge from a long hibernation into the light. During the pandemic, it provided solace to many people.

An undercurrent of sadness frequently distinguishes great storytelling. Unlike joy or rage, which are far more complex emotions, sadness causes people to feel seen because their first instinct is to suppress it. It can be almost as cathartic to talk about one's own sorrows as it is to watch other people go through sadness and come out of it. And how amazing it is that Apple's flagship series Ted Lasso has quietly transformed from a wholesome fish-out-of-water comedy to something completely different after two highly acclaimed seasons. The show, now in its third (and possibly final) season, has developed into a sad love story about a man who tries to escape his past while simultaneously refusing to let it go.

The scenes in which Ted, played by Jason Sudeikis in an Emmy-winning performance, is confronted with painful reminders of his loneliness, such as an unexpected tackle from behind by a massive centre-back, are easily the best in season three. It's like watching a man fall off a cliff when Sudeikis portrays his fleeting realization that he forgot his ex-wife's phone number with such heartbreaking vulnerability. He must have felt an eternity in what seems like a split second to us. The event serves as a cruel reminder that, regardless of how hard one tries to hold on to the past, time does not stop and that the impartiality and brutality of VAR erodes passion and pain.

However, despite the fact that scenes like these are what make Ted Lasso unique, the show as a whole continues to be enjoyable. Ted, who describes himself in one scene as "a work in prog-mess," now has his work cut out for him as Richmond faces off against some of the biggest clubs in English football. He led the perennial underdogs AFC Richmond back into the Premier League. However, as is typical of Ted Lasso, the characters rather than the plot propel the story.

A compelling journey is given to each major character as well as most of the supporting characters. On the pitch, Ted is up against Nate, his former subordinate, while he struggles with unresolved feelings about his separation. By the way, he has now fully embraced therapy. You may recall that Nate was given the job of managing West Ham United at the conclusion of season two. On the other hand, Ted's boss Rebecca Welton, played by Hannah Waddingham, has decided to focus all of her efforts on defeating Richard, her ex-husband. In another scene, Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley (Juno Temple) are dealing with their recent breakup. The fact that their paths continue to cross frequently at work makes an already difficult situation even more difficult.

The early episodes of the third season — four were accommodated this audit — painstakingly spread out the numerous plot strings that we're supposed to put resources into over the course of the following two or three months. The character Zava, a vaguely Baltic superstar who makes the shocking decision to join the newly promoted Richmond despite interest from far larger clubs, is a key new addition this season. Maximilian Osinski's Zava is an extremely talented player who is also fully aware of his status as the Chosen One. He exudes the aura of Jesus Christ as well as the swagger (and man-bun) of Zlatan Ibrahimovi. Like Zlatan, Zava likes alludes to himself as an outsider looking in, and when he joins Richmond toward the beginning of the time, the whole group sees him as a Deliverer of some kind.

This season's episodes are also huge. The first four are all longer than 45 minutes, which is twice as long as a typical sitcom. However, the lengthening of the running time is yet another illustration of Ted Lasso's development over time. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the third season is hardly a sitcom at all. It more closely resembles a sports drama with a dash of humor, like Field of Dreams or, to use one of Ted's own references, Hoosiers. The show seems to be getting bigger to fit the bigger cast—even Trent Crimm, who plays The Independent, gets his own story. Even though most of the football scenes are clearly shot against a green screen, they give the third season of Ted Lasso the impression of being glossier than ever.

However, the show's scrappy quality would not be diminished by a larger budget. Ted Lasso is still, at its core, the same program that captivated the world in 2020. In a way, it makes sense that the show is saying goodbye now, when people are emerging from a long slumber. Ted Lasso entered our lives at a time when we needed it most, and it is leaving not because we no longer have any use for it but rather because its work here has been completed.

Ted Lasso will always be associated with the pandemic, regardless of how future generations discover it—perhaps they will watch it on Apple chips embedded in their skulls. It will be one of the few pleasant recollections of a very difficult time for many. And that ought to have some bearing.

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