Note: spoilers for season 2 of Ted Lasso
Season 2 of Ted Lasso feels “off.” Specifically, Ted himself seems to be doing a “Ted Lasso” impression, working extra hard to be folksy, quick with one-liners and jokes, jokes, jokes. He’s actually annoying at times. I find myself wanting to say, “Ted, give the jokes a break for just 30 seconds.” Some have proposed that this is evidence of the show’s sophomore slump. But I agree with Phil Hornshaw, writing for Game Spot. Ted is having a breakdown right before our eyes.
Look at the evidence:
- We’ve seen Ted use humor to cope with stress before. Now, the one-liners are incessant.
- We saw him drinking alone on Christmas day (not the first time we’ve seen Ted dive into a bottle while lamenting the state of his family).
- The team hasn’t won a single match.
- Coach Beard had to snap Ted out of the abusive “Led Tasso” character he put on to move the team’s negative feelings away from Jamie Tartt and onto himself.
Speaking of, let’s talk about Jamie Tartt.
Ted has made decisions that seem very out-of-character in season two, the biggest one being re-signing Jamie Tartt. In season one Jamie was a major distraction, a selfish, narcissistic bully who made almost everyone unhappy. He was relentlessly cruel to Nathan (now on the coaching staff), always at odds with Roy (now on the coaching staff), and controlling of Keeley (now on the team staff and dating Roy). Why did Ted bring Jamie back, despite the huge can of worms that move would open? Not to benefit the team, but because Ted feels Jamie got ripped off in the dad department. Jamie is back because Ted feels guilty over how he’s fathering his own son, 3,000 miles away.
In addition to this, there’s conveniently a new psychologist character on the show whom Ted is avoiding like the plague.
Ted is annoying this season. He is making odd decisions and behaving out-of-character. But I believe that’s all by design. Ted will lose it before the season ends, it will be ugly, and his behavior up until that point will make sense. I believe this will be a tremendous season of Ted Lasso, but they’re playing the long game and we just have to wait for it.