A Little Feelgood

I’ve been concentrating on music posts a lot recently, so I thought I’d give you something different for a change. This is about a TV show that I’m guessing many of you won’t have seen, or even heard of, as it is on the Apple TV+ streaming platform, which isn’t the best subscribed streaming channel. Apple have to date concentrated on original content created especially for their channel, rather than stuff it with the same shows the other services provide, and it has a growing reputation for the quality of its programming. One such is Ted Lasso, which is about an American sports coach, with success in lower level leagues, who is hired as Head Coach by a fictional English Premier League (EPL) football team, AFC Richmond (that’s soccer, for the Yanks). The series is based on a character created in 2013 by NBC to promote their coverage of the EPL, in a series of short films. This is one of them:

Quite a lot of this has been reused in the show, which began its second season yesterday, and I tip my hat to them for getting away with the word ‘wanker’ in a trailer – it is a recurring theme! The first was very successful, and three seasons in total have been commissioned: the writers have a plan to round things up in that time. It stars Jason Sudeikis, an actor, writer, comedian and producer who rose to fame on Saturday Night Live and has been in a number of movies. On a completely irrelevant side note, one of his uncles is George Wendt, who played the wry, laconic Norm in Cheers – it clearly runs in the family!

Having become hooked on the show I couldn’t wait for the second season to begin, and settled down yesterday morning to watch. I wasn’t disappointed: it had the usual mix of laugh out loud moments and warm, homespun philosophy. Ted even took time out to send me an email yesterday:

He needn’t have worried, as I’d beaten him to it. But the text of that really gets to the heart of why I like the show so much, and why so many have been attracted to it. It has won Jason a Golden Globe award and the show has a further nine awards so far, with loads more nominations pending, including twenty for the upcoming Emmy awards. Whilst the show is billed as a comedy, there is much more to it, and it is, for me, the perfect antidote to all of the misery that we see on the news programmes and in the press: we could all do with a little bit of feelgood in our lives, perhaps now more than ever. The ‘Believe’ message is a simple one, but it strikes home, I think. Without belief in ourselves, what can we hope to achieve?

This is the season two trailer, which in its own inimitable way makes that point:

As I said at the outset, I expect that this will be new to most of you, so why talk about it? Well, hopefully the clips will have given you a few laughs, which are always welcome, I think. But there is a much more wide-ranging point to be made: one of the (so far) largely hidden side effects of the pandemic is the effect it is having on our mental health, and will continue to have for many years. Having something as simple as a TV show to boost our feelgood factor has to be a good thing, right? And if it makes us think, and can even show us how to feel more motivated than we might otherwise have been, so much the better. Here’s another clip from the show to make my point for me. In just a few minutes we laugh, we cry, and we learn something about life:

You may not have Ted Lasso in your life, but if you can find him I strongly recommend that you do. And if that isn’t possible, I hope you have another show that gives you the same effect I get from this one: do tell, I’d be interested to hear what moves you and brightens your days. And whilst you may not have it pinned above your team’s changing room door, don’t forget to keep Ted’s message close to you:

Have a great weekend 😊