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“Ted Lasso” is a sports comedy following the fictional British soccer team AFC Richmond.
The show stars former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jason Sudeikis as the title character.
The second season premiered exclusively via Apple TV Plus ($5/month) on July 23.
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The second season of “Ted Lasso” premiered on July 23 exclusively on Apple TV Plus ($5/month). The show recently received 20 Emmy nominations, including lead actor in a comedy series for Jason Sudeikis’ portrayal of the titular coach.
The comedy series focuses on the fictional British soccer team AFC Richmond. Sudeikis stars as Ted Lasso, a football coach from Kansas City who is hired to lead the team despite having no experience with soccer. The team’s owner, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), hopes Lasso will run the team into the ground as part of a revenge plot she’s hatched against her ex-husband, but the good-natured coach is more skilled than he first appears.
The first season of “Ted Lasso” premiered in August 2020, and Apple has already renewed the series for a third season. Season two will include 12 brand-new episodes. The show received widespread critical acclaim, and both the first and second seasons are certified fresh on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Currently, season one holds a “91% Fresh” rating and season two holds a “100% Fresh” rating.
In addition to Sudeikis’ nod, the show received 2021 Emmy nominations for outstanding comedy series, directing for a comedy series, and writing for a comedy series. The show also received six nominations for actors and actresses in supporting roles.
How to watch ‘Ted Lasso’
You can watch the second season of “Ted Lasso” exclusively on Apple TV Plus. The season premiere debuted on July 23, and new episodes are expected to arrive weekly every Friday. In addition, all 10 episodes of the show’s first season are available to stream right now.
Apple TV Plus costs $5 a month for access to all of the platform’s exclusive streaming shows and movies. New members can get a free seven-day trial to test the service.
Apple also bundles Apple TV Plus with other services as part of its Apple One platform. The base package includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud, and Apple Arcade for $15 a month. Other plans include more iCloud storage and – if you pay $30 a month – you can get Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus, as well.
New Apple One members can get a free one-month trial for any services they haven’t signed up for before. If you’re interested in any of Apple’s other services, Apple One is a better deal compared to Apple TV Plus on its own.
To Brendan Hunt, self-confidence is like a ferret.
“Imagine it’s buried under a pile of rubble,” the writer, actor, and cocreator of the Apple TV+ television show “Ted Lasso” told Insider. “And the ferret keeps getting pinned by another rock.”
After a childhood marred by verbal abuse and his mother’s alcoholism, Hunt’s self-esteem was boosted by his acting-school colleagues at Illinois State University. He founded Theater of Ted as a performance opportunity for other students and had a variety of roles in the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Now, as one of the creative minds behind the Peabody Award-winning, 20-time Emmy-nominated show, Hunt is paying forward lessons he learned about hardship, pain, and significant losses.
It turns out ferrets are also humorous creatures who love to dig, and “Ted Lasso” has dug its way into the hearts of viewers through its funny lessons about kindness.
At its core, “Ted Lasso,” which began its second season on July 23, is a workplace comedy that’s especially relevant for managers and executives. An American college football coach with absolutely no experience with European football, is purposely hired by the recently divorced owner to manage a struggling Premier League team. The show exceeds the format’s constraints by illustrating the best ways to develop talent, learn from mistakes, and deal with major losses on and off the field.
“New season starts today and I’ll be honest – I’ve got butterflies,” Ted Lasso tweeted. (Yes, Lasso has his own Twitter account.) “But one great fact about butterflies is that they only show up when you care a lot about something. And also they taste with their feet.”
For those who’d like a guide to the first season (with a few spoilers), here’s a breakdown of the five biggest leadership lessons from Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), his assistant Coach Beard (Hunt), and the team owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham).
Learn people’s names
Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed) is the team’s often-bullied equipment manager. On Lasso’s first day, he surprises Shelley by asking for his name. This basic act of respect eventually pays off when Shelley demonstrates his knowledge of the game and earns a well-deserved promotion.
An effective leader is attentive, diligent about small details, and respects his subordinates, no matter how junior. Having an interest in people’s names and an understanding of their value to the team also demonstrates curiosity instead of judgment – an act people often remember as a sign of respect and importance.
Give people a chance
In episode three, Lasso uses one of Shelley’s plays. In episode seven, Lasso asks for Shelley’s honest assessment of the players and encourages him to give the pregame pep talk. Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) is initially presented as a stereotypical WAG – the wives and girlfriends of high-profile athletes. But Welton sees how Jones is driven, smart, and savvy after she arranges a branding partnership. Through Welton’s encouragement and support, Jones is given official marketing and communications duties, including brand deals for the players.
Great talent might already lie within your organization. Drawing it out requires giving people, especially those in junior roles, multiple chances to demonstrate their skills, capabilities, and expertise. Encouragement and a psychologically safe environment are also essential. You never know what a person can provide to an organization in the future.
Personal issues can affect work performance
Throughout much of the first season, Welton sets the team up for failure in retaliation for her abusive ex-husband’s infidelity. After hiring Lasso, she arranges unflattering paparazzi photos of him with Jones, sets up an interview with a highly critical reporter, and returns a star player to another team earlier than necessary. After Lasso signs his own divorce papers, he experiences a panic attack outside a karaoke bar. Welton helps him calm down. And when Welton finally reveals her plan, Lasso’s response is simple. “I forgive you. Divorce is hard. … It makes folks do crazy things.”
Significant life events like divorce, major illnesses, and deaths can become major distractions at work and affect performance. An effective way to get staff back on track is honoring their feelings and working together to find a path forward with humility and empathy.
Have a trusted advisor without an ego
The most important person in Lasso’s professional life is Coach Beard, his assistant. Beard travels with Lasso from Kansas, learns the rules of the game on their flight, provides important details and plays, and assertively tells Lasso when his philosophy on winning and losing has reached its limits. Beard does something Hunt learned while working in theater: “serving the piece.” In the end, both his and Lasso’s ideological preferences are secondary to the greater mission. “He’s not doing it for himself,” Hunt said of the character he plays. “He’s doing it for the whole of the job that Ted has brought him on.”
Every company needs advisors and senior leaders who understand what the overall mission is and says what needs to be done, even when it goes against the desires of the person in charge.
Be willing to accept feedback
In addition to advice from Beard, Lasso is willing to accept direct feedback from everyone: his players, people in town, patrons of the local bar, Welton, Shelley, even members of the media. He gets called “wanker” a lot, but it doesn’t faze him. It helps that Lasso responds with humor and a Mr. Rogers-like sense of cheer.
Even if you don’t run a football team, being a good manager means being open to hearing from other people about how to improve and do things differently. Regularly scheduled meetings can be very helpful. (Homemade biscuits – a Ted Lasso specialty – are not required.)
Stand-up comedians need to make a connection with their audience. It starts with getting attention, then stoking interest, developing a rapport, and ultimately provoking a reaction.
To do it right, you need empathy, knowledge of your audience, creativity…oh, and a spark that makes you unique.
B2B marketers: Does any of the above sound familiar? I’ve been a professional marketer and an amateur comedian for over a decade, and it’s surprising how much the two inform each other.
Here are just a few lessons that B2B marketers can learn from standup.
Keep It Real
In the early 19th century, standup comedy depended on wordplay and absurdism. For example: “Take my wife…please!” or “The other night I shot an elephant in my pajamas… how he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.”
As the art form of standup has evolved, however, personal observations with a unique point of view (more on that later) have become more popular. Here’s a classic bit from Ellen Degeneres as she dissects the minutiae of her life:
For marketers, keeping it real means being honest and sincere with your audience. It could even mean not being afraid to show flaws or own up to mistakes. Look for ways to bring the audience behind the scenes to meet the people behind the brand.
Telling a marketer to know their audience is like telling a comedian to… well… know their audience. It’s not a radical new technique; it’s part of the toolkit. At the same time, it’s easy to think of your own culture, background and thought processes as universal. That’s one of the reasons comedy can be so hard to translate.
One famous example is when Jimmy Carter told a joke to break the ice at a college in Japan. He was gratified when, after a brief translation from his interpreter, the crowd erupted in laughter! It wasn’t until later that the interpreter confessed that what he said was, “The president has told a funny story. Please laugh.”
For marketers and comedians alike, the only way to truly get in your audience’s head is to do the research. Putting out the same message for audiences with different cultural backgrounds is a path fraught with peril.
This Jerry Seinfeld bit — a superbly clever American Express commercial — illustrates the point precisely:
Alternate Storytelling with Quick Jabs
John Mulaney and Mitch Hedberg are two of my favorite comedians, and for wildly different reasons. John is the master at telling longer stories, taking a few minutes to set the scene, not rushing to a punchline. Here’s an example (with some strong language, be warned):
On the other side of the spectrum, Mitch Hedberg is the undisputed master of the one-liner. “I don’t have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who’d be mad at me for saying that.” Or, slightly longer, “One time, this guy handed me a picture, he said ‘Here’s a picture of me when I was younger.’ Every picture is of you when you were younger! ‘Here’s a picture of me when I’m older.’ Woah, lemme see that camera.”
Just as there’s room in comedy for the Mulaneys and Hedbergs, there’s room in marketing for both long-form narratives and short, punchy taglines. Invest the same energy into each one, and you’ll resonate with a wider audience.
Develop a Unique Voice
In the ’80s, there was a brief stand-up fad of weird, extreme voices. For example…
Thankfully, it was a short-lived trend, but it does illustrate how memorable a unique voice can be. Anyone who has heard Bobcat Goldthwait, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Tenuta or Sam Kinison will never mistake them for someone else. On the flip side, the junkyard of comedy is strewn with the careers of bland comedians who were indistinguishable from each other.
In marketing, it’s easy to slide into a kind of homogeneous, safe, “professional-sounding” corporate speak. Don’t make waves, use — I mean, utilize — the right jargon, and you can avoid offending anyone. The problem is, you’re also unlikely to avoid affecting anyone, too. Make your brand voice personable, lively and unique, and you will have something no competitor can copy.
Serious Business Can Be Funny
All of the above can help you as a marketer address, connect with, and affect your audience. But there’s one other thing that comedians do that marketers should do more often: Be funny. There’s plenty of room in B2B marketing for actual comedy, and those who do it well tend to be rewarded. And hey, if Intel can do it, so can you.
Trevor Noah joked that former President Barack Obama’s quips about both President Donald Trump and Kanye West pushed them both to run for office.
“Are you going to be more careful, moving forward, about who you roast? I say this because you roasted Donald Trump. He ran for president. You roasted Kanye West. He ran for president,” Noah told Obama during an interview.
He added: “So, I don’t know if you noticed but you have an ability to inspire people to run for the highest office in the land, with some of the jokes you tell about them.”
In 2015, when Kanye West initially announced that he would run for president in 2020, Obama made a few jokes as advice for the rapper including: “Saying that you have a beautiful dark twisted fantasy, that’s what’s known as ‘off message’ in politics.”
Obama even poked a joke at himself while roasting West.
“Do you really think this country is gonna let a black guy from the south side of Chicago with a funny name be president of the United States?” Obama said.
In his interview with Noah, Obama joked that he should “roast people I admire more.”
He then suggested he roast Noah more often, and made a birtherism joke.
In the past, Trump repeatedly and baselessly insinuated that Obama was not born in the US and was not a US citizen. Trump called on Obama to release his birth certificate to prove that he was born in the US, during the 2012 presidential election.
“I’ll start roasting you man, who knows. Although you weren’t born here,” Obama said. “But look I was able to get away with it apparently.”