It’s the end of the road for “Ted Lasso” and AFC Richmond as it all came to life in the Apple TV+ comedy from Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Bill Lawrence.
Or is it?
Apple remained vague as to whether it was the final outing of the Emmy-winning series, despite bittersweet public sentiment from the cast and near-constant speculation since well before the third season’s March premiere. Recently, on the morning of the finale, titled “So Long, Farewell,” a publicist pointed out to IndieWire that Season 3 hadn’t been (bold, underlined) confirmed as the finale. Along with the episode, Apple is now streaming a six-minute, 38-second goodbye video from the cast.
Episode 312 itself ties in the big questions of the season (“arcs” is being generous), with Ted (Sudeikis) returning home, Nate (Nick Muhammed) returning to Richmond, Roy (Brett Goldstein) taking over as team manager, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) meet a man and no more problems, Colin (Billy Harris) proud, Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) playing for the Nigerian national team and Beard (Hunt) getting married. Much of this occurs in a thrilling emotional montage, complete with a ‘Superstore’-style team barbecue (fans have also suggested that all of this is Ted dreaming about the flight home, which doesn’t explain the Dutch boyfriend’s presence by Rebecca).
Despite Apple’s hard line, there’s no denying it something it’s running out, whether it’s Ted’s time in Richmond or the show’s specific position in the zeitgeist. Season 3 was besieged by criticism, from the unpredictable episode length to the exclusion of key characters and not knowing what to do with those who remain (if you liked Amsterdam, I’m happy for you. And envious).
Ted’s return journey, while inevitable, feels more contrived than earned, a logical plot device that denotes the conclusion and reunites this man with his son who lives thousands of miles away. Everyone else is still very close and ready for a spin-off, working and dating and living life “the Richmond way” (warning on the title!).
A spinoff would theoretically be the perfect way to dig into those characters and storylines that weren’t serving, or just to spend more time with them when season 3’s 70-minute episodes (give or take) couldn’t. A year ago, a “Ted Lasso” spinoff would have translated into free money (and free Emmys), but the question now is how even the concept would have been received; fans alternately loved and hated the season (and everything in between), which actually scored lower with audiences than critics Rotten tomatoes. The question has never been Self people care about the characters other than the titular Ted, but what’s in question now is whether they Still cure after 12 confused episodes.
But why the constant ambiguity? ‘Barry’, ‘Succession’ and ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ have just reached their respective conclusions after months of ultimate hype. Certainty informed cast and crew comments, press coverage, and fan responses. The “Lasso” mode comes across as coy at best and smug at worst, seemingly withholding information for the sake of withholding. Even with a possible spinoff in the works, why not give viewers the space to downright mourn a show as big as this? Even a fourth season without Ted would appeal to viewers, who have invested as much in the ensemble as in the lead over the years, freeing up Sudeikis for other projects and a handy executive producer credit.
This lack of clarity didn’t stand out during the heyday of network television, where even the most beloved and acclaimed shows were subject to the whims of executives and the scrutiny of advertisers — and even then, the biggest shows were lucky enough to end up on their own. condition (got from the plane!). It’s ironic that “Ted Lasso” harkens back to older sitcoms in such an inexplicable way, or with weekly character studies instead of season-long arcs. And it’s a shame that, after an explosive debut and a success with audiences, the third season of “Ted Lasso” – even if it’s not the end – becomes such a baffling television experiment.
All episodes of “Ted Lasso” are now streaming on Apple TV+.