Season two of Jason Sudeikis’ series Ted Lasso was an instant hit with critics following its premiere episode on Friday.
The award-winning Apple TV+ series scored an impressive 100 percent fresh rating from critics surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes, and several reviewers praised the sports comedy’s warm-hearted tone.
Among those charmed by the new season was NPR’s Eric Deggins, who was won over by the shows ‘kindness and empathy.’
It’s a hit! Season two of the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso is a hit with critics after premiering on Friday, with writers singling out Jason Sudeikis’ performance and the show’s kind-hearted nature
He writes that the second season’s episode were ‘just as good’ as those of the first season, ‘if not better.’
Sudeikis stars in the series as an American college football coach who’s brought in to lead the English Premier League soccer team AFC Richmond, even though he’s strictly an expert on the American variety of football.
Although the series might not play well with fans of darker, more cynical comedy, Deggins writes that the cheery storylines never ‘become too predictable, maudlin or outrageous.’
Although supporting players like Hannah Waddingham, who plays the team owner Rebecca Welton, have more developed roles the second time around, it’s Sudeikis who’s the heart and soul of the series.
Consistent: NPR’s Eric Deggins writes that the second season’s episode were ‘just as good’ as those of the first season, ‘if not better’
Fish out of water: He praised Sudeikis for never being ‘too cutesy.’ He stars as a college-level coach of American football who’s drafted to lead an English soccer team; seen July 15 in West Hollywood
He writes that whenever the show is in danger of becoming ‘too cutesy,’ ‘Sudeikis and his writers come up with a jolt of emotionalism that gets things back on track.’
ABC News’ Peter Travers similarly praises Sudeikis’ work in the role, which he calls a significant departure from his snarky roles on Saturday Night Live and in Horrible Bosses.
For The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Fienberg contrasts Ted Lasso with HBO Max’s dark comedy The White Lotus, calling it the ‘antidote’ to that show’s toxic batch of characters.
Despite being ‘obstinately corny,’ the second season is ‘an admirable mixture of repeating — and refining — the elements that resonated so well initially and expanding the show’s ensemble and tonal reach.’
Keeping it up: The Hollywood Reporter said the season is ‘an admirable mixture of repeating — and refining — the elements that resonated so well initially and expanding the show’s ensemble and tonal reach’
In a positive review for Vanity Fair, Maureen Ryan points out that Sudeikis and Lasso’s ultra-charming act is cover for darker impulses.
‘One of the wisest things about Ted Lasso is how it never loses sight of the fact that the title character uses his likability as both a fluffy, comforting duvet and a vibranium shield capable of unhealthy and self-serving deflection,’ she writes.
Although the praise was nearly unanimous from major critics, some admitted the series could be too cheerful to handle at times.
Despite describing season two as a ‘lovingly crafted, impressively written and acted series,’ Washington Post TV critic Inkoo Kang said she often did not want what ‘Ted Lasso is selling.’
‘Given the international makeup of AFC Richmond, I would’ve preferred a show about soccer culture in the UK that deals more directly with the racial dynamics within its fan base,’ she writes.
Missed opportunity: But Washington Post critic Inkoo Kang wasn’t always sold by the series and wish it had dealt ‘more directly with the racial dynamics’ of the soccer team’s fan base
A recurring criticism was of Ted Lasso season two’s lack of major conflicts.
For Rolling Stone, television critic Alan Sepinwall singles out ‘a conflict with a sponsor that should be a much bigger mess, but instead gets forgotten instantly.’
However, Slant Magazine writer Niv M. Sultan suggests the lack of conflict is sometimes intentional, as the series has ‘a self-awareness about its tendency to resolve conflicts with breezy neatness.’
The first episode of season two of Ted Lasso is now available to stream on Apple TV+.
Too easy: Some outlets, like Rolling Stone, mildly criticized Ted Lasso season two for lacking major conflicts or resolving them too neatly