SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this if you haven’t watched Season 2, Episode 5 of Ted Lasso. The goal here is not to give a blow-by-blow recap, but light spoilers are inevitable.
Ted Lasso is back! Apple TV+ is releasing one episode of the new season per week. Episode 6 will be available on Friday, August 27. And yes, we’ll be breaking down each episode individually here on High Press Soccer.
Below are links to the previous installments in this series:
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 4
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 3
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 2
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 1
A RARE DUD
As I’ve made pretty clear, I’m more than a little into this show, while acknowledging that it has nearly crossed the line between “a little cheesy, but still funny” and “too sappy.” But Season 2, Episode 5 was too close to the latter.
Even for Ted Lasso, his speech early in the episode about “romcommunism” – essentially, everything will work out, no matter how bleak things look at a given point – seemed excessive. For the most part, I’m totally on board with Ted’s attitude, but the fairy tale stuff was a little rich.
I will, however, admit that I didn’t hate the parodying of rom-coms toward the end of the episode, especially Ted ripping off several old blockbusters while pleading with Roy Kent to become an assistant coach. Roy’s frantic journey from the broadcast studio to the stadium for his sudden coaching debut also worked as a winking nod (spoof?) of the climax of so many ‘90s love stories.
But I’m starting to understand why this show has some detractors (later in the piece, we’ll get deeper into Ted Lasso’s transformation from universally beloved to divisive). I certainly still enjoy watching AFC Richmond every week, but at the very least, I’ll say that Season 2, Episode 5 was not the writers’ best work.
ABOUT THAT SPONSORSHIP FIASCO
Last week, I gave Ted Lasso a pass when it did nothing to follow up on the climax of episode three. The players’ decision to cover the front of their shirts with black tape seemed like it was surely setting up a compelling storyline about the impending loss of shirt sponsor Dubai Air – and an accompanying blow to the team’s bottom line. They nailed the Christmas episode, though, so ignoring that topic made sense, but only briefly.
However, there was no mention of Dubai Air in the latest installment either, which I don’t understand. And yes, I did spot the new company that replaced Dubai Air on the front of the AFC Richmond shirt – none other than hot, new, Rebecca-and-Keeley-approved dating app Bantr. I’m not a detective, but I can infer that the club simply said, “Out without Dubai Air, in with Bantr.” We shouldn’t be guessing about what happened there. Maybe we’re going to learn more about the fallout from the big boycott against Dubai Air soon, but the lack of follow-up to this part of the story makes no sense.
Another pending criticism I have (this is another topic that could get more attention over the remaining seven episodes) has to do with the lack of update on how Jamie Tartt is being received. He went from unwelcome upon his return to warmly embraced for backing Sam’s boycott of Dubai Air, and that was understandable. But surely we’ll find out more about how he feels now that he’s been back at the club for more than five minutes, and more importantly, whether he’s really a better teammate.
THE HONEYMOON IS OVER
A few short weeks ago, it was hard to find anyone saying a bad word about this show. In addition to the 20 (!) Emmy nominations Ted Lasso received for Season 1, it seemed like no matter how many reviews you read, you couldn’t find much negative reaction to this show. Through just five of 12 episodes of season two, Ted Lasso is now, somehow, a “lightning rod.” It’s even got The Ringer’s TV critic, Alison Herman, diving into what’s happened to the show’s approval rating in a piece titled, “How Did ‘Ted Lasso’ Become Such a Lightning Rod?” In that piece, Herman sums up both the early acclaim and mounting criticism the show has recently received, while also trying to explain the now-wide-ranging ways people feel about this show.
My first answer would be that A) we just can’t agree on anything in this country, can we? Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that once something becomes as popular as Ted Lasso, takedowns from haters are inevitable.
But I will admit that B) after a first season that offered much more than just Ted’s irrepressible positivity – there were plenty of plot twists and characters who grew over the course of the season – season 2 is, at the moment, failing to answer some burning questions, while coming dangerously close to finally laying on Ted’s optimism too thick for a growing number of viewers.