Ted Lasso lost its way this season but I’m confident it can bring it back

Apple TV+

I absolutely adored the first season of Ted Lasso, I devoured it in no time at all (months after it came out, in all honesty) as I loved the characters and how wholesome, nice, heartwarming and charming it was.

But that hasn’t been the case this season. I was super eager to watch it when it returned but the first four episodes were very weak story-wise, not much happened and felt very much like pointless filler (especially the Christmas one, blimey), so I stopped being so keen to tune in. To be honest, I only caught up with the final three episodes this weekend because I didn’t want the ending to be spoiled (and I’m relieved I did) and these were better and made me feel confident about the direction of the third season – it has left us with the promise of some juicy conflict.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

I still love a lot about the show – Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent being number one, followed by Juno Temple as Keeley, Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard and Jason Sudeikis as Ted. I loved that we learned more about Ted’s past and he finally let his perpetually chipper facade slip, that there was a big focus on mental health and being open about it, and how Roy and Jamie’s (Phil Dunster) relationship has evolved.

But ultimately, the storytelling was still much weaker than the first time around. It felt to me like they had been commissioned for 12 episodes when their story only needed seven or eight. I know not every single scene has to drive the story forward or build character and can simply be for entertainment’s sake, but there was a bit too much of that – for example, I expected “Beard After Hours” to have more of a point but it wasn’t satisfying at all (although I enjoyed his hula-hooping skills). However, the narrative massively improved towards the end of the series as certain stories needed to be wrapped up while others were set up for the next one.

I have conflicting feelings about the Nate (Nick Mohammed) situation. His feelings of inferiority, being invisible and nobody caring about him have been building all season but I didn’t like that they escalated to such a point that he became an absolutely horrible person leaking gossip about Ted to the press. While I’m not sure he’s a particularly strong adversary, it’ll be interesting seeing what he gets up to as West Ham’s new coach.

And that brings me to another big issue – the lack of football. I find it bizarre that Richmond got into the Premier League with so little build-up and fanfare. I feel like we should have been more aware of their progress throughout the season so the reveal that they’re super close to promotion in the penultimate episode didn’t just come out of nowhere. I’m not a huge football fan so I’m not asking for a ton of gameplay scenes, but going from a losing streak to being towards the top of the Championship is just baffling. It’s also really annoying how unrealistic some football moments are, such as the handling of Sam’s (Toheeb Jimoh) possible transfer and Nate’s swift rise from kit man to head coach at West Ham.

So, all in all, this season of Ted Lasso has been a proper mixed bag and I’ve finished it just because I’ve invested so much time already and want to see where it goes. But the Nate twist gives me hope that the series will have a stronger sense of direction in season three, which could end the show.

Streaming now on Apple TV+