The gift of Ted!

The gift that is the writing of Tish Harrison Warren “There is a kind of magic at work in Ted Lasso’s life. When everyone else seems to be carried along by the powerful riptides of ambition, vanity, fame, jadedness and contempt, it startles us when someone swims upstream against the current.

Lasso’s great humility, again and again, makes him a wellspring of transformation and redemption. He disarms people. In the main story arc of the series’s first season, Rebecca goes from trying to use and humiliate Ted in order to destroy her team (seeking vengeance against her philandering ex-husband, whose only true love is the club) to embracing him as a loyal friend. He won her over with daily “biscuits with the boss,” which, we discover, he secretly bakes himself, the kind of extravagant thoughtfulness we come to expect from him.

Lasso is not a perfect man, and he knows it. When his not-exactly-love-interest Sassy rejects him as a “mess,” he embraces it (he calls himself, in a delightfully terrible pun, “a work in prog-mess”). He is not guilt-ridden, sullen or perfectionistic. He’s just Ted. He struggles with panic attacks and normalizes our nearly universal need for therapy, so much so that President Biden hosted the cast of the show at the White House last month to promote mental health awareness.

In a time when our culture is marked by outrage, division and cynicism, Ted Lasso calls us back to humility. He asks us to lighten up a little, to not take ourselves too seriously. In doing so, he reminds everyone he encounters — including us watching at home — of our shared humanity. We are all, in the end, not winners or losers, successes or failures, pure heroes or villains, but people who long to be known, loved and delighted in. This is the gift of Ted Lasso. He shows us what’s possible when we give up winning — soccer games, power grabs, professional success, culture wars or online fights — and, however foolish it may be, choose to root for the people all around us.”

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