Jason Sudeikis returns as Ted Lasso, well-intentioned but clueless American football coach managing a soccer team in England. Lasso’s AFC Richmond squad is mired in an endless streak of tie games. The team is presented with a golden chance to break the winless run as a Richmond striker lines up for a penalty kick. As he boots the ball, Richmond’s greyhound mascot ambles onto the field and unwittingly fouls up the path to a win.
The striker, Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández), is traumatized by the PK fail. Lasso likens his player to “an expensive tape measure — he snaps back real quick.” Alas, Rojas does not, and the coaching staff wrestles with how best to handle a player in a serious funk.
Lasso faces another challenge when a former standout player seeks to come back to AFC Richmond after being booted off a cheesy reality TV show. His old teammates do not want him back.
Hannah Waddingham plays the Richmond owner Rebecca Welton. Brendan Hunt is Coach Beard, Brett Goldstein plays profane star player Roy Kent and Juno Temple plays Roy’s girlfriend, Keeley Jones. Jeremy Swift is Higgins, director of football operations.
Sudeikis, also an executive producer, has Lasso nailed. As funny as he is, Lasso is best, and most human, when delivering other emotions, such as ruminating on his childhood history with dogs at a post-match press conference, and finding common ground with a despondent former player in a pub.
Season two, available on Apple TV Plus starting July 23, spells new misadventures for Lasso and his squad. Sudeikis is up for the task, and the myriad of merry mishaps is fun to watch.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.