Many comedies earn laughs with cynicism. But Ted Lasso, the Apple TV+ sitcom about an American coaching an English football team, features an unflinchingly optimistic title character.

Re-watching the show as I moved through the year left me with an inimitable fuzzy feeling. A whole universe of sceptical naysayers are won over by Ted’s energy and his unshakeable belief in humanity.

Ted, played winningly by Jason Sudeikis (also a co-creator of the show), connects to an idea that bucks the trends of an increasingly individualistic life – that we are always going to need some kind of team.


The sport in the show serves as a moral and a metaphor. The programme’s world opens up to give each person, on the field and off, more context than simply the (fictional) team AFC Richmond and their relationship to it and each other.

While the show acknowledges that we are not going to solve the problems with aphorisms and hopeful hashtags, it is still a comforting thought that one kind person can heal a community, one home-baked box of biscuits at a time.