TED LASSO: SEASON THREE
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Phil Dunster, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple, Toheeb Jimoh, Kola Bokinni, Billy Harris, Cristo Fernàndez, Moe Jeudy-Lamour, Jeremy Swift, James Lance, and Anthony Head
Creators: Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly
From the outset, Ted Lasso has been a fantastic show. That said, its third season is certainly its weakest as it just doesn't flow the same as previous seasons. Some characters are focused on too heavily (Keeley (Juno Temple)) while others are ignored for large portions (Sam (Toheeb Jimoh)), and come the finale, everything feels like it is rushed to conclusion. Now, while it may not reach the heights of last season, it still has the heart and wit it’s known for, which is aided by stand-out performances from Hannah Waddingham, Anthony Head, and Phil Dunster. The television landscape will undoubtedly be dimmer without Ted Lasso.
When a TV show’s “down” season is better than most other shows, you know you’re dealing with an all-time great, and Season Three solidified that for Ted Lasso. Things that would make most shows feel bloated resulted in greater development for multiple characters this season. Things that would make most shows feel muddled and aimless resulted in build-up for Lasso’s strongest end to any of its seasons. Something that started as a hilariously joyful feel-good comedy is now an insightful (yet still hilariously joyful) examination of grief and mental health. Ted Lasso is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. That’s not up for debate.
The final season of this beloved series sadly crumbles under the pressure, even if its heart is in the right place. Season Three of Ted Lasso lost belief in itself, and it abandoned the majority of its strengths and stories from previous seasons for longer episodes and disjointed storylines. At its core, the show works best when it sticks to its original intentions, which this season simply lacked. Despite this being its weakest outing, the AFC Richmond Greyhounds still managed to put a smile on my face every week, and I’m hoping for a few spin-offs.
Even with an emotionally poignant finale in play, the unfortunate truth is that Ted Lasso’s third (and final?) season is certainly its weakest. From its indecision and slight indifference as to what to do with Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) to Colin’s (Billy Harris) mishandled coming out story to many episodes’ overly bloated runtimes, a series of misfires turned the series from an optimistic comedy into a somewhat saccharine prestige drama. The characters themselves remain quite fun to watch, but even this season’s best moments seem to be tied to us having known them from the previous two seasons rather connecting with them this time around.
In the closing moments of Ted Lasso’s series finale, Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) says “it’s not about me, it never was,” a sentiment that perfectly embodies this season. In having more (and longer) episodes, Lasso becomes more of an ensemble show, focused on the whole of Richmond. Sure, it’s predictable and mostly trades season-long narratives for episodic moments, but every character gets a few chances to shine. Despite the shift in plotting, the series still maintains the same level of heartfelt emotion, non-cloying optimism, and dynamic character interactions and development as before. Overall, it has been a tremendous three seasons, and I’m eager for both hinted-at spinoffs.
Ted Lasso’s final season is the series’ worst; however, to be fair, the bar was super high. That said, it juggles far too much, and despite the episodes’ extended runtimes, it isn’t enough to make most characters’ arcs not feel rushed or abandoned. The ones that are done well (Billy Harris’ Colin, Phil Dunster’s Jamie) are satisfying and feel like typical Ted Lasso, though. Ultimately, the charm is there, and there are moments in the latter half of the season that reminded me why I fell in love with the show in the first place, but it was still a disappointment. I will miss it, regardless.