TV’s nicest man is again, as Ted Lasso and its eponymous, eternally optimistic American soccer coach-turned-English Premier League gaffer (performed by a golden-hearted Jason Sudeikis) returns for a second season on Apple TV Plus.

Some spoilers for Ted Lasso season 1 and the primary episode of season 2 forward.

Photograph: Apple

The excellent news: the second season is off to a superb begin, choosing up a number of months after the crushing loss and relegation of the fictional Richmond staff all the way down to the second-tier Championship. However in contrast to season 1, the brand new episodes don’t take pleasure in being a pleasing shock — season 2 has been overvalued for months, together with a highlight slot at one in every of Apple’s tech occasions alongside a brand new iPhone announcement. Season 2 has expectations now.

In contrast to the primary season, which largely targeted on the soccer-ignorant Ted working to win over his skeptical staff, the brand new season has the Richmond crew already on his aspect, at the same time as they nonetheless battle to really succeed on the pitch. And it’s that climb again to sporting success that seems to be a serious level of the brand new season, one thing that even Ted’s limitless enthusiasm may not be capable to clear up by itself.

New within the second season is Sarah Niles (I Might Destroy You) as Sharon, a sports activities psychologist introduced in to assist the Richmond gamers, who represents a cooler, extra skilled tackle self-improvement than Ted’s heat and fuzzy persona. It’s an fascinating dynamic that needs to be enjoyable to see progress all through the season.

Photograph: Apple

However essentially the most encouraging factor from Ted Lasso’s second season is simply how properly the present continues to work, no less than up to now. The primary season of the present, quite improbably based mostly on some outdated NBC Sport commercials, got here seemingly out of nowhere final summer time, earlier than slowly snowballing into Apple TV Plus’ most surprising hit.

The present debuted on the service with extra of a whimper than a bang, earlier than word-of-mouth and its undeniably charming forged of underdogs managed to show the equally underdog collection into Apple’s flagship collection, full with a bevy of Emmy nominations and awards to go together with it.

There have been some considerations that Ted Lasso’s success may have been a flash within the pan, a mix of a extremely bingeable present, Apple’s prolonged free trials for TV Plus, and a jaded populace simply on the lookout for one thing optimistic and upbeat after the relentless terribleness of 2020.

Season 2, nonetheless, reveals that Ted Lasso’s success is greater than only a fad. The present’s model of goodness (which continues to keep away from tilting over into cloying early within the second season) is, if not at all times relatable, no less than aspirational. The present’s forged of characters in the end really feel human, and it’s arduous to not root for them to succeed, whether or not at soccer or at simply being higher individuals.

Ted Lasso’s largest problem nonetheless lies forward, although. The present returns for its second season right now, with only a single episode, and can break the standard mildew for streaming reveals by debuting new episodes weekly for the following 12 weeks on Apple’s streaming service.

Coupled with the truth that Apple’s service simply ended its free trial for all of its earliest subscribers, Ted gained’t have to simply win over a bunch of gruff footballers — he’ll need to get viewers to shell out Apple’s $5 monthly subscription till October.

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