If Season 3 is the end for ‘Ted Lasso,’ the coach is going out in style

Jason Sudeikis’ wonderful Apple TV+ series back in play with superb performances, crisp writing and some insight about Hallmark Christmas movies.

SHARE If Season 3 is the end for ‘Ted Lasso,’ the coach is going out in style
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The title character on “Ted Lasso” (Jason Sudeikis) is wondering what he’s still doing in London as third season begins.

Apple TV+

More than 20 years ago, Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt were with the Amsterdam-based Boom Chicago comedy troupe when they began playing with the notion of an American football coach managing a European soccer team. The concept was turned into a series of TV commercials for NBC Sports — and then, improbably and remarkably, developed into one of the most acclaimed and beloved television shows of the 21st century, with Sudeikis creating a Top 100 All-Time lead character and Hunt providing invaluable supporting work as Ted’s loyal assistant and best friend, Coach Beard.

It’s an underdog story worthy of Ted Lasso himself — and what a treat it is to welcome back Coaches Lasso and Beard, as well as one of the finest supporting casts in all the lands, for a third go-round after an off-season that lasted a year and a half.

While there are a few moments when “Ted Lasso” seems to be repeating certain themes and gags, the first four episodes maintain the Lasso standard of excellence in all phases of the game, from the superb performances to the crisp writing to the steady stream of pop culture references.

‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3

Untitled

Season premiere available Wednesday on Apple TV+, with a new episode premiering each subsequent Wednesday through May 31.

Anyone up for a “Diamond Dogs” debate about the best Julie Andrews movie, and a Ted Lasso soliloquy about the key plot points of Hallmark Christmas movies, and how “they suck but they’re great, but they also mostly suck, but they’re also kinda great”? How about needle drops ranging from the Peter, Paul & Mary version of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” to “Night’s Falling” by Andrew Bird to “Ring the Alarm” by Beyoncé to the main theme from “Jesus Christ Superstar”? Heck yeah.

We don’t know if this is the penultimate season or the victory lap for “Ted Lasso,” but here’s hoping the talk of spinoffs turns into a reality, as there are myriad characters, from the aforementioned Coach Beard to Brett Goldstein’s Roy Kent to Juno Temple’s Keeley Jones to Hannah Waddingham’s Rebecca Welton to Toheeb Jimoh’s Sam Obisanya, who easily could be the centerpiece of their own series.

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Nate (Nick Mohammed) has defected to a rival team.

Apple TV+

With each of the first four episodes running at least 44 minutes, “Ted Lasso” continues to provide room to story arcs following a multitude of characters, many of whom have settled into new chapters of their lives. After Nick Mohammed’s Nate delivered that blistering rebuke of Ted (father/son themes run deep throughout this series), he’s now coaching West Ham, owned by Rebecca’s nefarious ex-husband, the slimy and evil Rupert (Anthony Head), whose offices look like the villain’s lair from a Marvel movie. Temple’s Keeley is running her own P.R. firm, Sam is opening a new restaurant and Roy finds himself becoming an unlikely mentor to Jamie — and that’s just for starters.

Front and center, of course, is Ted, who is tasked with rallying an AFC Richmond team picked by one and all to finish last in the Premiere League, all the while coping with anxiety as he begins to question why he’s still in London, thousands of miles removed from his family.

Maybe it’s time for Ted to go home (even if his ex has moved on to a new relationship) and spend more than summers and the occasional holiday with his son, Henry (Gus Turner). Maybe he’s ready to turn the page for a new chapter in his life. In the meantime, we’re going to treasure all the time we have left with him.

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