Season 3 of Ted Lasso proves in the first four episodes that it’s worthy of the premier league. A show that has gotten better season by season keeps finding new ways to be relevant while endearing you to its key ensemble of characters.
It’s rare to see a lead so confidently give time and care to their ensemble, but Sudeikis deftly gives the reins when it’s needed and the talented cast constantly step up to the plate.
Season 3 starts with the continuance of the Nate (Nick Mohamed) /Ted (Jason Sudeikis) semi-showdown. “Semi” because while Nate is pulling no punches, Ted is respectfully declining to get involved in the drama. While the first episode revolves mainly around Ted trying to create a detente between the two, it’s the following episodes that really cement why this show is so good.
There are new characters which present exciting new challenges to team members and coaching staff alike. We see Keely (Juno Temple) trying to breathe life into the corporate world as she settles into her new agency. She’s being funded by a high level VC and has been given a staff along with office space. She’s trying to find her footing which is made all the more difficult after her breakup with Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein).
Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) is still fuming over Rupert’s (Anthony Head) purchase of West Ham and becomes enraged when Richmond is predicted in last place of the league, especially so soon after coming back from relegation. In the later episodes the team receives a blessing that may also be a curse.
One thing Bill Lawrence is great at is understanding the balance between sitcom reality and actual real life. Ted has a masterful array of zingers at the ready that could only realistically be conferred by a group of comedy writers, but he also has anxieties around his performance for the team, Michelle (Andrea Anders) dating again, and possibly finding love for himself.
We also see the return of Trent Crimm (James Lance)! No longer of The Independent, this time he’s more embedded into the fabric of the team and a welcome addition to the Diamond Dogs. For a show with so many key characters, it’s a wonder they’re able to balance their storylines so well, and yet they do. The moment you start to wonder how someone is doing, that someone shows up. What could be a huge interruption introduced in episode 2 sits firmly in the background during episode 4 and it’s not missed because you can trust the writers will resolve it by the end.
In the age of streaming sitcom, there are admittedly few standouts. But Ted Lasso is leading the pack along with Lawrence’s other project Shrinking also on AppleTV+. Bill Lawrence now has a voice and it’s easy to recognize when he’s had his hand in a project. Sassy talking lady? Check. Indie music? Check. Main character is part of a buddy pair which includes one hero and one worshiper? Check. Christa Lawrence? Check. And in a lesser producer this could become annoying, but with Lawrence, these markers have become signs of excellence and you know whatever you’re getting into is going to be entertaining. It’s an accolade that’s well earned.
From Spin City to Scrubs and Cougar Town, Lawrence has a knack not only for creating engaging shows, but for crafting ensembles that fit together beautifully. He has helped launch careers through his projects and created not only characters that stay with you, but actors as well.
The lovely Jeremy Swift continues to shine and be a beacon of wisdom around the office. And we see real maturity from Jamie (Phil Dunster), especially now that Keely is single. Toheeb Jimoh’s Sam has just opened a Nigerian restaurant and after Rebecca sees a psychic, we learn that their fling may not be as extinguished as either of them think.
One to watch this season will be Billy Harris as Colin. He’s been elevated from “dumb jock” to someone who has been leading a double life. When his privacy is threatened, it will be up to him to figure out how to put his world back together, and who will be in it.
This is such a great show that gets better with every re-watch. The actors are confident and in turn we get tight, solid comedy/drama in too short half hour doses. Ted Lasso is a gem and well worth the watch.
Season 3 of Ted Lasso is full of heart, laughs and good fun.
Ted Lasso will premiered on AppleTV+ March 15th