Throughout its first two seasons, Ted Lasso on AppleTV+ has managed to strike a delicate balance of what sometimes feels like overwhelming positivity while also dealing with intense themes and empathetic personal struggles for its characters. Season 1 introduced viewers to Jason Sudeikis’ never-down soccer coach, but season 2 decided to delve further into his psyche. The series gave the ever-positive attitude of the titular character some tragic underpinnings, painting the premiere season in an entirely different light while making season 2 feel wholly original and separate from the first. Now, after an emotionally cathartic ending that saw surprising developments to the team of AFC Richmond, Ted Lasso Season 3 is finally here.
It’s been almost two years since the last episode of the Emmy award-winning Apple TV+ original, and rumors have run rampant regarding the quality of the third season of Ted Lasso. However, judging from the first three episodes of Ted Lasso Season 3, it’s safe to say that any worries about how it would turn out should be calmed. Despite making some odd story decisions within the third episode in particular, Ted Lasso is exhibiting promising character development and new challenges for the team for audiences to enjoy in the incoming weeks.
The previous season did a fantastic job of showing Ted overcoming his insecurities and anxiety by opening himself up to others. In the first few episodes of this third season, viewers see that even though Ted has grown as a person, there are still everyday mental struggles to deal with. Interestingly enough, the season premiere offers brief hints about how Ted Lasso might end its run on Apple TV+. The hilarious concept that drives the show of an American Football Coach going overseas to coach a Premier League soccer team is acknowledged in a fresh and unexpected way through Ted’s uncertainty. Whereas another streaming show similar to this one might thrive off keeping the status quo of its characters and their dynamics, Ted Lasso Season 3 proves that this AppleTV+ original series strives for something more.
It isn’t just Ted, either. Other faces from the main cast like Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), Keeley Jones (Juno Temple), and of course, Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed) all enter Ted Lasso Season 3 with unprecedented problems of their own. Goldstein is as charming as ever with his stoic and foul-mouthed performance as Roy Kent, who has to fill in the gap left by Nate. One of the biggest talking points of last season was the heel turn of assistant coach Nate, with his unjust resentment toward AFC Richmond boiling over to him switching sides as the new head coach of rival team West Ham United.
Nick Mohammed, whom we interviewed earlier last year talking about Nate’s villainous turn, continues to give an excellent performance in Ted Lasso Season 3. As with anything in this show, Mohammed’s Nate Shelley isn’t morally black and white but instead a complicated matter. As much of a comedy as Ted Lasso can be, it also uses its genre to convey much more powerful messages about mental health. The ceilings of unrelenting optimism are explored between the puns and quick, witty dialogue.
Speaking of the comedy, you could do worse than Ted Lasso. The humor is fast-paced and easy to miss, but the ensemble cast oozes so much charm that it’s hard to feel left out, even if a joke might not land. The newly-promoted AFC Richmond soccer team is at the center of most of this comedy, dealing with its share of growing pains and ridicule. Against all odds, there are still issues involving the increasing skill and notoriety of the team. Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) is at the center of these problems. Jamie is, without a doubt, one of the characters that has changed the most throughout the series; however, his story seems a bit repetitive here. Fans will be more interested to see what Ted Lasso Season 3 does with new additions to the team rather than Jamie’s reckoning with his own ego (yet again).
In terms of more interesting character arcs, Hannah Waddingham’s Rebecca shows the most potential out of the rest from the early episodes of Ted lasso Season 3. Rebecca is now the inverse of who she was as a person at the start of the series, and it’s refreshing. Looking at the larger number of characters that the series juggles and how each feels real with genuine care put into their dialogue and performances, even if they’re in the background of a comedic bit, you can’t help but be impressed. Even if some characters like Jamie get repetitive story points, you can have faith in Ted Lasso as a series to still use the character in poignant moments in all the right ways.
When looking back at the critical success this show has found, with its astonishing amount of 40 Emmy nominations and 11 wins garnered over a 2-season run, the third and final season of Ted Lasso leaves an even greater impression with these first few episodes. The pressure clearly didn’t get to the team behind the series, as Jason Sudeikis and co-creators Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), Bill Lawrence, and Joe Kelly have created some entertaining, hilarious, and emotionally poignant television. Ted Lasso Season 3, even with all the hardships and negativity surrounding the characters at times, is as optimistic as ever. Leave it to a show as charming as this one not to feel nostalgic or ruminating as most final seasons go – instead, it just feels like another day of football practice with Ted Lasso and AFC Richmond.