This is a spoiler-free review of “Ted Lasso” season three. I will update it after the finale.
The opening episode of “Ted Lasso” season three neatly weaves in many of the factors viewers enjoy and expect from the show. There are indications of Ted’s family troubles, him being quirky and charming, and key motifs (the biscuits) remain. There are some proper laugh-out-loud moments too. Frustratingly, some of the not-so-good stuff has also stayed – English characters using American terms and football inaccuracies, to name but two.
The premise this time around is that AFC Richmond have returned for a season back in the Premier League, but nobody believes they have a chance of staying in the top division. The underdog storyline is there from the start. The team’s poor prospects are causing particular consternation given that West Ham, owned by Rebecca’s ex-husband Rupert and now, infamously, coached by traitorous former Richmond kitman Nate, appear ready to fly high. Well, I did warn you that some of the football stuff is inaccurate!
With his players distracted, Ted takes the squad away from the training ground for a trip. There we get his first bit of philosophy of season three. The scene hits the right balance between being naff and being sweet, and I assume there are many more such occasions to come.
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Laying The Foundations For “Ted Lasso” Season Three
Having proper Premier League branding available for use provides a subtle, but meaningful, improvement to the show. All the West Ham players are wearing proper training gear and it makes the show look a lot slicker. This will increase further as we start to see matches. It previously all looked a little amateurish.
As was the case with season two, when this “Ted Lasso” episode gets it right it is pretty special. There is even comfort in some of those corny scenes. Unfortunately, other bits are predictable and some elements feel very signposted for later in season three, although twists are always possible.
I am also not sure that we need to have episodes of 45 minutes plus. The whole thing felt tighter and more impactful when it was a quickfire 30 minutes. The extra time allows a little bit too much to be crammed into each episode. Depending on how you count it there are at least four storylines in the season opener.
What continues to be really wonderful is the relationships between the characters. Whether it’s the dressing room banter between the players, the dynamic of the three coaches, or the sisterhood of Rebecca and Keeley, they are what give the series its soul. The actors in those key roles have put in another excellent set of performances.
It always going to be hard for this Apple TV+ hit to continue to live up to the hype. Overall, though, this is a nice beginning to “Ted Lasso” season three. We don’t learn much, but it lays all the foundations for what is to come.