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Late in 2020, Apple TV released a new show about an American football coach who is hired to teach English football without any experience. The show, Ted Lasso, immediately reached the top of the charts, and for good reason. I was a little late to the game (no pun intended) and did not start watching Ted Lasso until a couple of months ago. Starting the show I was intrigued. It was goofy, upbeat, and had a great plot. I busted through the first season with ease. I’ve never been a huge soccer fan but the show seemed to only be half soccer and half comedy. Many viewers compared the main character, whom the show is named after, to a present time Mr. Rogers. Ted promotes optimism, kindness, and above all, empathy. Every episode features a giddy Ted who can do nothing but smile and remain positive. Moving on to season two, the pace changed a bit. The show took a sharp turn towards realism and began to feature darker, less cheery situations. Although the change seemed sudden, it all makes sense in the larger scheme of things. Mr. Rogers and Ted are great, but they are also humans. 

Ted is one of those people that gets the most out of what he gives. His character is always putting others first but never stops to consider himself. That is why, in the second season, Ted finally realizes that it is okay to ask for help and not be alone. Ted isn’t the only character in the show that portrays a certain personality but has a hidden, more truthful side. Characters including Rebecca, Roy, and Jamie all disguise insecurities with big personalities. Roy, for example, acts tough and disassociated, but in the second season, it is revealed that he has soft spots and fears. 

Throughout the beginning of season two, Ted resists the idea of going to therapy and claims he “distrusts” therapists. After having several panic attacks, Ted finally decides to seek help. This is one of the most influential moments in the show because it opens up the conversation to mental illness and addresses hesitations to the idea. Often enough, mental health and therapy are not correctly represented in shows and media. Simple solutions and willingness to try therapy are seen on TV, but this is rather inaccurate. It isn’t easy to make the step to engage in therapy, especially on one’s own. I think it is important that Ted Lasso emphasized the difficulties associated with pursuing therapy.

I find the way the show was written to be very interesting. Viewers were introduced to a happy-go-lucky plot, which seemed like a beacon in the midst of real-world chaos. I for one latched on to the brightness so it shook me when the show took a more realistic route in the second season. In honesty, it makes sense to be written like this. Ted Lasso shows viewers that everyone can portray an attitude that may not be reflective of how they actually are. This is why it is important to get to know someone before judging. The show also teaches us that it is okay to be vulnerable. Every character on the show has a moment of weakness and is helped by those around them. Ted Lasso truly isn’t just a soccer show but an ode to the human connection. 

Lauren Wharton is a third year UC Davis student majoring in Animal Sciences. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, CrossFit, eating copious amounts of Halo Top, and spending time with her family, friends, and Shiba Inu, Mable.
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