A funny TV series about soccer

On the lighter side, the funny Apple TV+ comedy series Ted Lasso features Jason Sudeikis as a US college football coach, hired by the owner of a lower division English football team to coach a demoralized and dysfunctional team desperately trying to avoid being relegated to an even lower division. The owner Rebecca had acquired the team from her husband Rupert after a bitter divorce. Why she hired an American who has no knowledge of soccer and why he accepted the offer so that he is hated by the team’s loyal fans are plot points that are not really that much of spoilers but I will not reveal them here.

The story does not show much soccer. It is mostly about how the folksy, genial, and unflappable Lasso believes that sport should be fun and is about building character and that his role is to bring out the best in his players as people, that when people are happy and appreciated and working well together, success is a byproduct. Sudeikis won a Golden Globe award for his role.

Here is the trailer.

Here is one of the best scenes from the series, a darts game between Lasso and Rupert who seeks to control the team again.

It was announced that the second season will begin on July 23, 2021.

Interestingly, the Lasso character was initially created for a series of promos for NBC TV’s coverage of the Premier League, with Lasso being hired by Tottenham Hotspurs. Here are the promos that eventually led to the show. Some of the gags in the promos made it into the show’s episodes.


  1. mastmaker says

    Just finishing watching the season. I agree that it is very funny and very refreshing, even if full of stereotypes.

  2. mailliw says

    Test cricket must drive US Americans insane. They play for five days and it ends in a tie? Are you kidding me?

    Ted Lasso would make a good replacement for Jose Mourinho at Spurs, though I hear they are hoping to sign up Jürgen Klinsmann who is fairly similar in his coaching style.

    The series looks good, just a shame it’s only on Apple TV+.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … Lasso believes that sport should be fun and is about building character and that his role is to bring out the best in his players as people…

    No wonder he got nowhere in US football.

  4. Mano Singham says

    mailliw @#3,

    Sorry to be pedantic but Test cricket (the version played over five days) almost never ends in a tie. Only two ties have occurred in the over 2,000 Test matches played since 1877. One was in 1960 and the other in 1986.

    That is because what I think you are referring to is not a tie but what is referred to in cricket as a ‘draw’ of which there have been plenty, though the frequency seems to be decreasing recently. A draw is a ‘no decision’, when the five days end and there is no result because one team is still batting at the end but has not reached their target score to win.

    A tie is when both teams have each completed both their innings and the aggregate scores of both teams are identical. Since a cricket team’s total in an innings is often around 300, you can see how unlikely that is to occur.

  5. mailliw says

    Mano @6.

    Thank you for the clarification, I did mean a draw, but my understanding was that a draw in American English is a “tie”. I have never heard a draw in soccer referred to as a tie -- except in the trailer for this series.

    @5 blf. Cricket is a beautiful game and a splendid example of English fair play -- 11 against 2.

  6. mailliw says

    @4 Pierce R. Butler

    There is a romantic notion here in Germany that a soccer team should be 11 friends -- there is a football magazine called 11 Freunde.

    When asked about this, Bayern and Germany captain Philip Lahm replied “do you have 10 friends? I don’t.”

  7. Mano Singham says

    blf @#5,

    Thanks for that funny clip.

    That is exactly how I feel when watching curling. I know that there is something deep and subtle and strategic going on but I have no idea what.

  8. sonofrojblake says

    @mailliw, 6:
    “I have never heard a draw in soccer referred to as a tie”

    That’s because, annoyingly and confusingly, the match may be referred to as a tie BEFORE IT BEGINS. As in “tonight’s FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Arsenal”. This kind of thing drove me mad as a kid -- why are you calling it a tie already?

  9. Rob Grigjanis says

    sonofrojbake @10: In this sense, the word ‘tie’ is only used for cup matches. And of course, cup ties are often determined by draws, as in drawing numbers from a bag. And a player who is ‘cup-tied’ can’t play in a tie if he took part in the same competition, in the same season, for the opposing team.

    I suspect every long-standing sport has its own long list of terms whose origins are rather obscure. For football, there are ‘cap’, ‘dribble’, ‘nutmeg’, ‘dummy’, ‘hat trick’*, etc.

    *Which started in cricket, so it’s a boring story 😉

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    Oops, ‘sonofrojblake’. And it’s not even Christmas, the season of no L.

  11. John Morales says

    “A funny TV series about soccer”

    “The story does not show much soccer.”


  12. mailliw says

    @5 blf

    As footballer Lukas Podolski once remarked “football is like chess, but without dice”.

  13. sonofrojblake says

    @John Morales, 13: it’s a subtlety of the English language that you might not quite get if it’s not your first language.

    “About”, when applied to a media depiction, can have two slightly different meanings. One sense describes the setting, characters, events from a superficial standpoint, and is the sense usually used when describing the work to people who haven’t see it. The other describes the deeper themes, messages and authorial intent, and is the one you can use when discussing with people who have seen it.

    For instance:
    Sense 1: Moby Dick is about a whale. Night of the Living Dead is about zombies. Batman Begins is about an orphaned billionaire who in his spare time takes the stuff he can buy with his billions and dresses up and assaults working-class criminals, so, y’know, fuck that guy.

    Sense 2: Moby Dick is about the limits of knowledge, fate and free will, nature and man and madness. Night of the Living Dead is about the Vietnam war, cold war politics and American racism. Batman Begins all about fear, its effects and potential uses.

    You appear to be confusing sense 1 with sense 2, to comedic effect, if you feel it worthy of comment that a series that is “about”(sense 1) a thing does not in fact feature much of that thing. I think you’d be disappointed with Jaws if you think it’s about a shark, and all I’ll say about Waiting for Godot is you’re probably best not bothering.

  14. John Morales says


    @John Morales, 13: it’s a subtlety of the English language that you might not quite get if it’s not your first language.


    Ah yes, the subtleties of natural language and of English in particular; that’s to what your comment was referring. 🙂

    (Such opaqueness for non-natal speakers!)

  15. mnb0 says

    @15 Sonofrojblake: “you might not quite get if it’s not your first language”
    For native Dutch speakers it’s obvious and JohnM’s attempt to joke is as lame as almost always.

  16. says

    I’ve only heard good things about this series and I’d love to watch it, but unfortunately I’m at my limit for streaming services and I’m not going to subscribe to AppleTV+ for one show.

  17. Mano Singham says


    It so happened that I bought a new Mac computer laptop last year and they threw in a year’s free subscription to Apple TV+ with it. Otherwise, I would not have seen it either.

  18. Silentbob says

    @ 19 Mano Singham

    they threw in a year’s free subscription to Apple TV+

    Activated by a dongle?

  19. DrVanNostrand says

    John is still upset that there were no scenes in Cheers about inventory management or liquor license applications. All they did was follow the inane lives of its patrons!

  20. mailliw says

    @21 DrVanNostrand

    I was very disappointed by the film The Accountant. They made a dull action picture when I was expecting an thrilling story about bookkeepers struggling to find that 15 cent discrepancy in the annual close -- with the cliffhanger ending where the CFO tells them to just write it off.

  21. Holms says

    I had the opposite problem when I watched Starship Troopers. I wanted a brainless action flick, but all I got instead was a goddamn social critique of patriotism being wedded to militarism in an increasingly authoritarian world >:(

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