You’ve heard about it. Maybe you’ve watched it. But one fact is clear: you cannot escape seeing some acknowledgement about Ted Lasso. The show that has finally given Apple a bonafide hit for its Apple TV+ service is everywhere. It received 20 Emmy nominations and took home seven of those. What is it about a goofy guy coaching soccer, knowing nothing about the sport, we find so appealing?
I think part of why this show sticks the landing is the state of the world. We’re still dealing with COVID and all the ripples affecting our lives. Just how Tiger King was the right show at the right time, Ted Lasso landed when we’re all grasping for positivity. It doesn’t hurt that the show is witty, well-cast, easily digestible 30-minute episodes, and a fun story. We look at Ted mockingly in the beginning (along with everyone in the show) but quickly grow an affinity for him. Of course that spreads to everyone else on the show.
Apple TV+ has been trying to find its footing since launch with some programs doing well (The Morning Show & For All Mankind) and others flying under the radar. Critics out there did mock the service, which to me feels unfair. Netflix didn’t knock it out of the park in its early streaming days. Good content takes time to produce and it’s a numbers game. Apple would eventually get a hit. Nobody knew which one it would be.
The COVID effect on Tiger King and Ted Lasso cannot be understated. For Tiger King, the series was watched by 34.3 million people over its first ten days of release. I believe a collective shift for positivity in these weird times is what draws us to Ted and his story. For a 10-episode show, based on a clueless soccer coach, on a fledgeling streaming service giving its product away, it doesn’t look appealing on paper. But Ted Lasso is a fantastic show and one where a handwritten sign saying BELIEVE is as important as his dad jokes.