Apple TV + Ted Lasso has been one of the biggest surprises in recent TV history. Sports sitcom was quickly loved by fans not for its portrayal of Premier League football, but for its quirky characters, its healthy humor and its commitment to everything, kindness in a television landscape full of cynicism.
With season 2 though Ted Lasso has consistently revealed that there is much more to the show than what viewers might have first expected. Season 1 has been loved by fans and critics ever since it was first released in 2020, but it may just be the case that the series’ second season is even better.
10 Grades are more fully explored
Most shows spend a lot of time establishing their universe and their main characters in their first seasons. It’s only in a potential second season that supporting roles really make their time shine, and Ted Lasso is no exception to this trend.
Season 2 starts with an incredible character development for characters like Dani Rojas, who is forced to reconsider his “football is life” attitude after a shocking accident, and Isaac McAdoo, who has just become the team’s new captain in the wake of Roy Kent’s retirement.
9 Jamie Tartt grows up
Even in the world of sitcoms, characters who primarily act as sources of conflict are common. In Season 1, Jamie Tartt filled this role incredibly well. The show makes it clear that Jamie has always been used to being the best of the best, and only ever looks to be number one.
But season 2 gradually pulls the layers back on Jamie’s character and reveals the abuse he has suffered from his father’s hands. Although he may still not be the most lovable character in Ted Lasso, Jamie undergoes an incredibly emotional journey in season 2, where he learns to put small feuds aside and becomes a real team player.
8 Pub Regulars Got Shine
The pub The Crown & Anchor is prominent in Ted Lasso from the beginning of the series. Not only does Ted and his friends and colleagues eat there often, but the pub has a truly devoted social scene with AFC Richmond fans watching every game there. Three patrons – Baz, Jeremy and Paul – are shown as true fan favorites.
The three men are incredibly vocal and loyal both in their Richmond fandom but also in their friendship. Season 2 gives their characters the opportunity to appear more prominent, especially in the memorable episode “Beard After Hours”, where they get to experience a dream come true by running around Nelson Road when the track is empty.
7 Roy and Keeley’s relationship
Ted Lasso’s character is not the only one who believes in “Roma communism”. The evolution of the relationship between the ugly Roy Kent and the bubbling Keeley Jones shows it Ted Lasso the series also believes in “space communism”. Opposites tend to attract, especially in the sitcom world, but Roy and Keeley have never even been a conventional sitcom couple.
Time and time again, these two have faced what appear to be stereotypical sitcom tropes – the threat of a looming love triangle, uncertainty over work-life balance – and each time they get away stronger than before. Ted Lasso has enabled Roy and Keeley to become one of the series’ strongest stories, all without taking focus from any other integral part of the series.
6 The Christmas episode
It may have surprised viewers when Ted Lasso featured a Christmas episode in the middle of its summer airing season. But Ted Lasso‘s Christmas episode, “Carol of the Bells,” is not just one of season 2’s best episodes, but one of the series’ best episodes overall. The cute, low-stress adventure section highlights a lot of what it does Ted Lasso work so well.
No one should be alone or lonely at Christmas in Ted Lasso universe. Everyone has a place and a purpose, whether they come together for a multicultural holiday party in the Higgins home or bring toys for children in need. Sitcom Christmas episodes can be hit or miss, but “Carol of the Bells” goes far beyond the well-known holiday tropes.
5 Expectations are routinely undermined
On several occasions, season 2 creates new stories and teases reveal what would be expected of a smaller, more obvious sitcom. But almost every time, Ted Lasso find new, refreshing ways to challenge viewers’ expectations and redefine sitcom conventions in the process.
Rebecca connects online with an anonymous suitor. But is it Ted, as viewers would think, based on sitcom history? Of course not, since it’s Sam, one of the team’s star players. Similarly, when Jamie foolishly confesses his love for Keeley during Rebecca’s father’s funeral, does it result in a messy reconnection and love triangle? Absolutely not. Instead, it leads to Jamie healing his broken relationship with Roy, and Roy and Keeley’s relationship grows stronger.
4 Dr. Sharon’s presence
Introducing a therapy narrative into a series is something that needs to be done carefully for more than one reason. Mental health discussions are incredibly sensitive and vital, especially in the modern era of television and the increased focus on representation. But on the other hand, therapy sessions can get pretty talkative and lean heavily into the narrative rather than show.
By introducing the team psychiatrist Dr. Sharon, dog, Ted Lasso finds a character who needs analysis as much as she gives it. In fact, Dr. Sharon even has her own therapist. Through his conversations with Ted in particular, Dr. Sharon the kind of wisdom and deep emotional truths not often found in sitcoms that often shy away from these sensitive but lifelike experiences.
3 Sam Obisanya’s Rise
Few characters have such an incredible journey in season 2 of Ted Lasso as the beloved Sam Obisanya does. There is hardly a moment of Sam’s filled narrative in the series that feels wasted. He takes on a protest against team sponsor Dubai Air when he is told about their destructive influences in his home in Nigeria and shows his moral character.
As the season progresses, Sam finds love in his unexpected romance with Rebecca, who also encourages him to further prioritize his own needs and his journey. When he is coveted by a wealthy Ghanaian businessman to serve as a key player in his new football team, Sam instead rejects this offer and puts himself further into his leadership role with AFC Richmond, even launching a new business venture by planning to open a Nigerian restaurant.
2 Ted’s background story is explored
Ted Lasso is a character who has so much more inside than anyone would ever imagine based on his sunny disposition. Although he is best known for his puns, his impossible enthusiasm for everything in life, and his genuine appreciation for everyone he encounters, Ted struggles with the long-term effects of a deep trauma he went through in his youth: his father’s suicide.
Season 2 finds Ted struggling further with his own anxiety, having panic attacks and other anxious episodes, while also trying to reckon with his complicated feelings about his father’s death, which he blames both his father and himself. This devastating revelation adds new, deep nuances to Ted’s cheerful appearance and to Jason Sudeikis’ Emmy-winning performance.
1 It is not afraid to get deeper and darker
Season 2 of Ted Lasso has often been compared to Star wars‘original sequel, Empire strikes back. A new mentor character (Dr. Sharon / Yoda) has been introduced, and there are shocking revelations about the protagonist’s father (Ted’s father’s suicide / Darth Vader’s identity). Overall, the tone is much darker and more serious.
Even the end of the season feels ominous, in the same way as the end Empire strikes back do. There’s a new threat looming in the form of Nate Shelley, a character the series has taken on an unexpected, completely credible journey from underdog to villain in just two seasons. Ted Lasso may not be the same happy, light consolation show as it was for so many in season 1, but season 2 proves that the show can masterfully change tones and genres.