‘Ted Lasso’ is One of the Most Important Comedies of the Year

Published on October 26, 2020

When we talk about important movies or television shows we often focus on stories that discuss real-world issues, politically or socially. Rarely are comedies called “important” or “timely.” Mistakenly, “lighter” stories are often seen as less important, but shows like Ted Lasso are important. 

Since Apple TV+ is new, the streaming service still hasn’t produced anything to take pop culture by storm. As good as The Morning Show and Beastie Boys doc are, Apple’s content hasn’t driven people wild like Netflix yet. That’s OK, of course, but as well-liked as Ted Lasso is, it should be huge and talked about more. The comedy introduces one of the greatest heroes of the year, Ted Lasso, a positive thinker and motivator from Wichita, Kansas. 

Lasso was the football coach at Wichita State University, but in episode one, he’s on his way to England to coach English football. In England, he’s a joke and mocked, and yet he maintains his drive and focus and ignores the negativity. He’s a kind man as well as a strong man. There’s strength in kindness, and that’s a reminder from Ted Lasso.

He’s also a character without question from Wichita, Kansas. The coach couldn’t feel more like he’s from that part of the world. The best traits from the best people in that city — good manners, personability, and the wave at your neighbor attitude — is all there. It’s an authentic performance with such winning sincerity.

It’s a beautiful character that’s a reminder of important qualities often forgotten in times of anger, hate, and polarization. Marvel and DC characters are superheroes, but they’re not real heroes like Ted Lasso. What the character values is of the highest value. The show champions goodness and sharing it with others. Yes, an easy and obvious message on the surface, but these days, it doesn’t look as easy and obvious for some people. 

It’s not all positivity, either, which is why Ted Lasso is effective. He’s a great guy, no question, but he’s a flawed guy, too. He struggles. Not the greatest struggles or drama in the world, no, but he experiences pain and doesn’t do and say everything right, either. He feels real, which is why his ideas, positivity, and motivation plays as real too.

Often characters as kind as Lasso are portrayed as dim or weak, but not Ted. He’s strong, he doesn’t let people run all over him, and he knows how to read a room or person. He’s strong. The main antagonist, the owner of the team’s ex-husband, is cynical and mean-spirited, and because of that, weak. In the world of Ted Lasso, there aren’t many villains, but the villain here is everything Ted Lasso is not. He may have all the money and success in the world, but he could never buy what Ted has. There’s an especially fantastic scene between the two in which Lasso quotes Walt Whitman. “Be curious, not judgemental,” Whitman wrote. 

Ted Lasso is a comedy that champions curiosity, empathy, forgiveness, and kindness. It is just a warm blanket of a show that is a reminder of important, never-to-be-forgotten qualities. During these dark days, it’s wonderful and inspiring to see a character like Ted Lasso. I know he made me feel better, just like he makes a lot of characters feel better in the show. It’s an inspiring comedy, and again, an important comedy. The show is full of laughs, but it’s also full of heart and low-key wisdom. Ted Lasso is one of the best feel-good stories of the year with, in my book, one of the best characters of the year.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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