The acclaimed sports comedy returns with new cast members and hilarious new twists
Apple TV+When sports teams don’t win, management searches for the reason why—and when you’re an English football club, well... the pressure to find an answer now is never less than overwhelming. And so it is in season two of Ted Lasso that a sports psychologist winds up in the A.F.C. Richmond clubhouse.
Unrolling weekly on Apple TV+, this 12-episode sophomore round finds the Greyhounds (who were heartbreakingly relegated to a lower division at the end of season one) in the midst of a long streak of draws, so the team calls in Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (new cast member Sarah Niles, I May Destroy You) to get inside the minds of the players to find out who needs fixing and how.
But as she familiarizes herself with all involved, Fieldstone determines that perhaps the most fascinating case might be Coach Lasso himself (co-creator and star Jason Sudeikis), whose relentlessly positive attitude intrigues her. (It does not, however, impress her... at least not at first.)
Apple TV+“I think he’s interesting because usually people can only hold up that kind of energy for a short time and he holds out for quite a while,” explains Niles, a British theatre vet. “And as you realize... the team really likes him, he’s managed to have their support and they’re on his side, so to speak. So I think she’s curious about it. She’s curious about this man and what’s going on beyond this happy energy.”
Her arrival is a less-than-welcome development for the American coach (who still knows next to nothing about the English version of football), given that he’s more accustomed to playing the role of motivator for his club... and has had a bad experience with therapy in his personal life. As such, viewers will get to see Ted squirm a little, as he wonders just what it is that the inscrutable Dr. Fieldstone is able to bring out in his players that he isn’t—and why she seems immune to his relentless positivity.
“We wanted to give Ted another kind of, if not an antagonist then at least a foil,” explains executive producer and writer Brendan Hunt, who also plays Ted’s right-hand man, Coach Beard. “And you know, Ted likes to get in his players’ heads and find out what’s in there and what makes them tick and why they are the way they are and then see what he can do to help them out in that way.”
“And here comes now Dr. Sharon Fieldstone to do basically the same thing,” he continues, “but from an educated and academic level as opposed to going on gut. So they are inherently what would seem to be competing on the same patch of land. And how they work that out, or if they work that out, we shall soon see.”
In other season-two developments, club owner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) has put her toxic marriage behind her and is wading back into the dating pool; former model Keeley (Juno Temple) is flourishing in her role as the team’s promotional director; and Coach Beard... well, he’s still a man of few words, which Hunt has found to be somewhat problematic during filming.
“Because I have so few lines, I get to watch scenes a lot,” he explains. “The problem is that I get lost in watching and I forget that at the end of this speech Ted is saying, I have one quick word I’m supposed to say. So I’ve ruined some takes. But that goes with the territory and that’s why we shoot multiple times.”
Ted Lasso streams Fridays on Apple TV+