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Why Jason Sudeikis’ sports comedy series Ted Lasso has landed 20 nominations at the 2022 Emmys

Based on an unconventional ad campaign, the Apple TV+ show turned into one of the best feel-good shows during the lockdown period

Saikat Chakraborty Calcutta Published 10.08.22, 05:52 PM
Jason Sudeikis in and as Ted Lasso.

Jason Sudeikis in and as Ted Lasso. Twitter

Season 2 of the Apple TV+ comedy series Ted Lasso has been nominated in 20 categories in the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, and rightly so, as the series clearly stands out in terms of acting performances, storytelling and rib-tickling moments that add to the already interesting premise.

The first season of the show, which was released in August 2020, also managed to win seven of the 20 awards it was nominated for in the Emmy Awards 2021. The show’s co-creator and lead actor Jason Sudeikis, who won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series last year for his performance in Season 1 of Ted Lasso, has made it to the nominations for the same category this year as well.

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An unconventional premise

Ted Lasso was adapted from a 2013 NBC Sports advertisement campaign of the Premier League in which comedian Jason Sudeikis played an American Football coach, Ted Lasso, who knew absolutely nothing about football but managed to bag a job as the coach of a Premier League team. Seven years later, this very bizarre framing of the advertisement became the premise of Ted Lasso the show.

The Chemistry between Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham

On Saturday Night Live, Jason Sudeikis was a master of comedic timing and mimicry. And in Ted Lasso, he elevates his craft to a new height. The way he portrays Ted’s ardent optimism for the world and his frail interior makes the character likeable. Suudeikis’ performance is the heart of the show, which is complemented by a very strong supporting cast.

(L-R) Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso.

(L-R) Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso. Twitter

Known for her appearance as the Shame Nun in Game of Thrones, Hannah Waddingham plays the owner of football club AFC Richmond, Rebecca Welton. She finds the strength to embrace new bonds in order to maintain her independence while going through a personal crisis. Waddingham’s performance got her two Emmy nominations and one win in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category for the series last year.

Sudeikis and Waddingham share sparkling chemistry which evolves over time. As a sceptical and vengeful Rebecca (Waddingham) eventually melts because of the charm and humour of Ted’s (Sudeikis) endearing personality, the duo forge a close friendship and serve as one another’s support system.

The superb supporting cast

Nick Mohammed as Nathan Shelley in Ted Lasso.

Nick Mohammed as Nathan Shelley in Ted Lasso. Twitter

British comedian Brett Goldstein received two Emmy nominations for the series and one victory in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series last year. He portrays Roy Kent, an eccentric yet seasoned AFC Richmond midfielder with a tough demeanour. His character is a caricature based on former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane.

However, Nick Mohammed as Nathan Shelley, a hesitant and innocent former kit manager-turned-assistant coach, steals the show in Season 2 as an envious and opportunistic professional. Juno Temple as Keeley Jones, a former ambitious model who becomes the club’s manager of marketing and public relations, also shines in several scenes. For the forthcoming Emmy Awards, they are nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively.

Exploring the world of elite sports

A group photo of Ted Lasso’s AFC Richmond.

A group photo of Ted Lasso’s AFC Richmond. Twitter

The show gallops ahead in a less-travelled path of sports comedy and thoughtfully portrays the human drama associated with elite sports. Dressing room banters, televised expert punditry and team-building exercises are all incorporated into the show. The series also includes several montages of actual football games, but it deftly prevents these from dominating the story.

The importance of mental health

Sarah Niles as Dr Sharon Fieldstone in Ted Lasso.

Sarah Niles as Dr Sharon Fieldstone in Ted Lasso. Twitter

In Season 2 of Ted Lasso, the series highlights the significance of mental health among athletes. The show’s titular character, Ted, encounters a new foe in the form of sports psychologist Dr Sharon Fieldstone (played by Sarah Niles) who plays a pivotal role in the show.

With Sharon’s guidance players like Dani Rojas and Sam Obisanya overcome their professional and personal inhibitions. Ted Lasso poignantly touches upon the themes of the importance of mental health by digging into the fears and insecurities of the titular character and his frequent panic attacks. His reluctance to talk about his inner conflicts and eventual opening up to Dr Fieldstone not only helps him recover but also keeps his undying optimism alive.

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