Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso has been one of the biggest surprises in recent television history. The sports sitcom quickly became beloved by fans not for its depiction of Premier League football, but for its quirky characters, its wholesome humor, and its commitment to all things kindness in a television landscape filled with cynicism.
With season 2, however, Ted Lasso has consistently revealed that there is much more to the show than what viewers may have initially expected. Season 1 has been beloved by fans and critics alike since it was first released in 2020, but it just might be the case that the series’ sophomore season is even better.
10 Characters Are More Fully Explored
Most shows spend a good deal of time establishing their universe, and their main characters, in their first seasons. It’s only in a potential second season that supporting characters are really given their time to shine, and Ted Lasso is no exception to this trend.
Season 2 starts off right off the bat with incredible character development for characters like Dani Rojas, who is forced to reconsider his “football is life” attitude after a shocking accident, and Isaac McAdoo, who has just become the team’s new captain in the wake of Roy Kent’s retirement.
9 Jamie Tartt Grows Up
Even in the world of sitcoms, characters who function primarily as sources of conflict are common. In season 1, Jamie Tartt filled this role incredibly well. The show makes it clear that Jamie has always been used to being the best of the best, and only ever looks out for number one.
But season 2 gradually pulls the layers back on Jamie’s character, revealing the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Although he may still not be the most likable character in Ted Lasso, Jamie undergoes an incredibly emotional journey in season 2, learning how to put petty feuds aside and becoming a real team player.
8 The Pub Regulars Got Shine
The pub The Crown & Anchor features prominently in Ted Lasso from the beginning of the series. Not only do Ted and his friends and colleagues frequently dine there, but the pub has a real devoted social scene of AFC Richmond fans who watch every game there. Three patrons – Baz, Jeremy, and Paul – have emerged as real fan favorites.
The three men are incredibly vocal and loyal both in their Richmond fandom, but also in their friendship. Season 2 allows their characters to feature more prominently, particularly in the memorable episode “Beard After Hours,” where they get to experience a dream come true by running around Nelson Road when the pitch is empty.
7 Roy And Keeley’s Relationship
Ted Lasso the character isn’t the only one who believes in “rom-communism.” The development of the relationship between the surly Roy Kent and the bubbly Keeley Jones shows that Ted Lasso the series believes in “rom-communism,” too. Opposites do tend to attract, especially in the world of the sitcom, but Roy and Keeley have never once been a conventional sitcom couple.
Time and again, these two have faced what seem to be stereotypical sitcom tropes – the threat of a looming love triangle, insecurities over work/life balance – and each time, they come away stronger than before. Ted Lasso has allowed Roy and Keeley to become one of the series’ strongest storylines, all without taking focus away from any other integral part of the series.
6 The Christmas Episode
It may have taken viewers by surprise when Ted Lasso featured a Christmas episode in the middle of its summer-airing season. But Ted Lasso‘s Christmas episode, “Carol of the Bells,” is not just one of season 2’s best episodes, but one of the series’ best episodes overall. The sweet, low-stress adventure episode highlights much of what makes Ted Lasso work so well.
No one is allowed to be alone or lonely on Christmas in the Ted Lasso universe. Everyone has a place and a purpose, whether coming together for a multicultural holiday feast at the Higgins home, or bringing toys to children in need. Sitcom Christmas episodes can be hit or miss, but “Carol of the Bells” goes far beyond the familiar holiday tropes.
5 Expectations Are Routinely Subverted
On multiple occasions, Season 2 sets up new storylines and teases reveals that would be expected of a lesser, more obvious sitcom. But almost every time, Ted Lasso finds new, refreshing ways to challenge the viewers’ expectations, and redefine sitcom conventions in the process.
Rebecca connects online with an anonymous suitor. But is it Ted like viewers would believe, based on sitcom history? Of course not, as it’s Sam, one of the team’s star players. Likewise, when Jamie foolishly professes his love to Keeley during Rebecca’s father’s funeral, does it result in a messy reconnection and love triangle? Absolutely not. Instead, it leads to Jamie healing his fractured bond with Roy, and Roy and Keeley’s relationship growing stronger.
4 Dr. Sharon’s Presence
Introducing a therapy narrative into a series is something that has to be done carefully, for more than one reason. Mental health discussions are incredibly sensitive and vitally important, especially in the modern era of television and the increased focus on representation. But on the other hand, therapy sessions can get pretty talky, and lean heavily into the telling rather than showing.
By introducing the team psychiatrist Dr. Sharon, however, Ted Lasso finds a character who needs analysis just as much as she provides it. In fact, Dr. Sharon even has her own therapist. Through her conversations with Ted, in particular, Dr. Sharon imparts the kind of wisdom and profound emotional truths not often found in sitcoms, which often shy away from these sensitive, but true-to-life experiences.
3 Sam Obisanya’s Rise
Few characters have as incredible a journey in season 2 of Ted Lasso as the beloved Sam Obisanya does. There is barely a moment of Sam’s jam-packed narrative in the series that feels wasted. He takes on a protest against team sponsor Dubai Air when he learns of their destructive influences in his home of Nigeria, showing his moral character.
As the season progresses, Sam finds love in his unexpected romance with Rebecca, which also emboldens him to further prioritize his own needs and his journey. When he is sought after by a wealthy Ghanian businessman to serve as a key player in his new football team, Sam instead rejects this offer and further settles into his leadership role with AFC Richmond, even launching into a new business venture by planning to open a Nigerian restaurant.
2 Ted’s Backstory Is Explored
Ted Lasso is a character who has so much more going on inside than anyone would ever imagine based on his sunny disposition. Although best known for his puns, his impossible enthusiasm for everything in life, and his genuine appreciation for everyone he comes across, Ted struggles with the long-lasting effects of a profound trauma he endured in his youth: his father’s suicide.
Season 2 finds Ted further struggling with his own anxiety, having panic attacks and other anxious episodes, while also trying to reckon with his complicated feelings about his father’s death, for which he blames both his father and himself. This devastating reveal adds new, profound levels of nuance to Ted’s cheery demeanor, and to Jason Sudeikis’s Emmy-winning performance.
1 It’s Not Afraid To Get Deeper And Darker
Season 2 of Ted Lasso has frequently been compared to Star Wars‘ original sequel film, Empire Strikes Back. There is a new mentor character introduced (Dr. Sharon/Yoda), and there are shocking reveals about the main character’s father (Ted’s father’s suicide/Darth Vader’s identity). Overall, the tone is much darker and more serious.
Even the season’s ending feels ominous, in the same way, that the ending of Empire Strikes Back does. There is a new threat looming in the form of Nate Shelley, a character the series has taken on an unexpected, completely believable journey from underdog to villain in just two seasons. Ted Lasso may not be the same happy, easy comfort show that it was for so many in season 1, but season 2 proves that the show can masterfully switch tones and genres.