Here's the Thing
A publicity still from Ted Lasso featuring the title character, a mustachioed caucasian man with kind eyes, a sharp v-neck jumper and neatly parted hair.

Ted Lasso’s Third Season

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #164. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.

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Here’s the Thing is where Rob dumps his random thoughts and strong opinions on all manner of nerdy subjects – from videogames and movies to board games and toys.

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Much has been said about Apple TV’s Ted Lasso since its first season took pretty much everybody by surprise and unfortunately much continues to be said about its now third (and likely final) season. I keep seeing lots and lots of disappointment and chagrin because “it’s gone off the rails” or “it’s not about Ted anymore” and other bizarre complaints. But here’s the thing: Something not being what you were expecting doesn’t make it bad.

Spoilers ahead, naturally, but seriously, I don’t get these complaints at all. The first season of the show did focus on Ted, yes, but it also spent time establishing other characters and how Ted’s influence began to change them. If you’ll forgive the cheesy metaphor, Ted was a stone tossed into a pond and we were watching the ripples. It’s a very heartwarming and optimistic story that isn’t all positivity all the time, to be sure, but seeing how the silly goof starts to crack even the toughest nuts is extremely satisfying.

Thing is, while season three may not be focusing on Ted and his magic whatever you want to call it, it does still carry the original spirit of what came before it. Only now instead of seeing the ripple effect we’re seeing just how far those ripples have gone. Heck, many of the supporting characters have even become their own stones with their own ripples.

I never would have believed someone if they told me I was going to be invested in Colin’s (one of Jamie Tartt’s toadies from early in the first season) personal life or his standing with the team, but here I am in season three genuinely rooting for him and just a bit nervous about how everyone will respond to what he’s inevitably going to have to tell them. If anyone told me the resident grump Roy was going to smile and laugh at any point in the show ever I would’ve called them a liar, but he’s opened up so much since the beginning and finally let himself be happy I can’t help but cheer him on.

And Jamie. Holy shit Jamie. That little shit being anything other than an obnoxious prick would’ve been a shock in its own right, but to see how far he’s come – how much he’s changed for the better – due to the right encouragement and reinforcement has been staggering. There have been so many times throughout this season that I found myself saying “I never thought” when talking about Jamie and his interactions with other characters it’s almost comical. And yet here we are. And it does make sense – it’s been earned – when you account for his slow and steading progression over the course of three seasons.

I know everyone (myself included) has been invested in Nate’s redemption arc, and it’s been a great thing to watch unfold, but I can’t help feeling like it’s an intentional ruse. We’ve been tricked into thinking we’re there for Nate’s redemption, but really the entire capstone of the show is about wrapping up everyone’s redemption arc. Nobody has been perfect, everybody has had secrets and insecurities and doubts and regrets, and they’ve all been working through them. They’re all getting to be their best and most authentic selves and I’m 100-percent here for it. Why can’t we all just be happy for them?

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Rob Rich is a guy who’s loved nerdy stuff since the 80s, from videogames to anime to Godzilla to Power Rangers toys to Transformers, and has had the good fortune of being able to write about them all. He’s also editor for the Games section of Exploits! You can still find him on Twitter, Instagram and Mastodon.

 

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