S2: Ep3, Tad Lasso, "Do the Rightest Thing."
Ok, so I have a history of liking entertainment that is sweet and light and funny and where all the characters are behaving as their best, most beautiful selves. When I first started writing, I wrote similarly. My lovely characters blossomed and grew and had no real conflict and everyone got along and it was lovely and....fucking boring and unrealistic.
When we finished watching this week's episode, my husband said, "Well, that was wholesome," and got up and walked away.
Yes, it was. Sweet to the tipping point, about to fall into a vat of sugary goo. The humor has to at least keep pace with the earnestness or it'll lose me. The show has always skated the edge of reality and fantasy, as far as human nature goes, and this went too far into idealism to my taste. I guess that's part of the sports show/movie trope, but blech, this show has always been better than that.
The topics weren't light- this episode focuses on one of my favorite characters, Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) who's always had a dear supporting role in the show/on the team. In this episode, he's the new face of an airline, the same airline proudly sported on the team's jerseys- one of the team's major financial supporters.
It's been previously established that Sam has a great relationship with his dad (back home, it seems, in Nigeria)- in fact, Sam and that relationship modeled to Coach Lasso why Jamie Tartt, the shit nugget, should be allowed back on the team- because he, Lasso, could be a father-figure to Jamie like Mr. Obisanya was to his son, Sam. ANYWAY- Sam's dad texts him that the parent company of the airline Sam's the face of is polluting Sam's native Nigeria. Not only that, but the Nigerian government isn't doing anything about it and is kind of holding the citizens hostage to the powerful $$$ company.
And so, Sam is suddenly enlightened and activated and wants to back out of the ad deal. That's a little thin to me that he was clueless and now he's woke after one text- I have to assume they didn't show all the reading Sam does after the text. We do know from backstory that, although Sam is young and has presumably been an English football star for a minute, he is keenly aware of the colonizing history and the pain people of his native country, and perhaps he himself, have suffered.
So, he goes to the team owner, Rebecca, and says, "I can't do it" and she's all like, no sweat, we'll shut it down.
That right there felt a bit out of character to me. THEN when she calls the owner of the evil parent company and he tells her to fire Sam, she has a split second indecision before taking morality advice from her god-daughter, a middle-schooler, and tells her team's biggest financial backer to bugger off.....this also seems unrealistic to me.
The team rallies around Sam's decision to the point that they all cover the airline logo on their jerseys with black tape before a game. Jamie Tartt does it, too, and now he and Sam are bros, it seems. Boo.
Then the team loses, and everyone is cool because they're glad it wasn't a tie. Double boo. And Rebecca gets a call from the parent company about the jersey thing and she assumes it means she's won the morality battle.....hmmmm.....triple boo.
SO, I *think* this episode was a bridge to get us from one place to another. Dr. Sharon Fieldstone keeps dropping hints that, while the environment that Coach Lasso sets up is cozy and nice, it doesn't encourage competitive edge in the players/characters.
I believe that's what we're starting to see here- it explains how quickly Jamie Tartt was mollified when he came back, how easily Sam forgave him, and Rebecca's bizarre un-corporate killer shark CEO-type behavior. They've all been lulled to sleep by the Texan nice juice and they're gonna need to wake back up soon. For the show's sake.
I have no opinion about "Led Tasso," the over-exaggerated rage-filled alter-ego of Ted Lasso, that he brought out to distract the team from their trepidation about Jamie being back. I thought it was silly. AGAIN, I think we're starting to see things through Dr. Sharon's eyes, and she also found it silly- or thinks Coach Lasso has some work to do on himself, if he thinks that's an effective leadership move.
What else? We learned that Ted Lasso is basically Ned Flanders in bed, and "very eager to please" sexually, which bums me out. Last season when he was emotional post-divorce, and dealing with his shit in a realistic way (drinking too much, crying during karaoke, and sleeping with strangers), I was more open to him as a sexual creature, but now that he's working SO hard to be a cheeky bumpersticker instead of a whole person, I don't want to hear about him in bed.
Lastly, I think there's something big brewing with Ted and Dr. Sharon and there had better be, because we need some UMPH and I really don't want them to underutilize her.
Ok. So that wasn't my favorite episode, but I still will watch it another forty times and TL4EVA, Amen.