More of the same from Ted Lasso — and that’s a good thing

Upbeat series continues to be a paragon of positivity

Ted Lasso
Where: AppleTV+
What: Series, season 3, 12 episodes, 48 mins.
When: Now, new episodes Wednesdays
Genre: Comedy-drama
Rating: NNNN (out of 5)
Why you should watch: Has the same vibe as the Peanuts comic strip — but with swears — as this upbeat show, which was a beacon of hope during COVID lockdowns, continues to be a paragon of positivity.

IT’S TAKEN ME until the third season, which debuts this week on AppleTV+, to realize Ted Lasso has the same vibe as the Peanuts comic strip. Whether it’s Charlie Brown or Ted Lasso (Jason Sudekis), our hero is often befuddled, always well-meaning and capable of using simple words to say profound things. Neither can muster an evil thought or action and both make those around them feel they’re in the presence of kindness.

Fans of the COVID-lockdown-era breakout hit, the good-feelings machine that everyone craved in the darkest days of the plague will be pleased the show has stuck with its fundamentally upbeat and hopeful vibe: the warm hug we all crave.

Not that Lasso doesn’t have challenges: his panic attack at the end of the last season being a big one and, not surprisingly, he continues to wrestle with his mental health this season. Nathan Shelly (Nick Mohammed), the one-time “Kit Boy” at Lasso’s Richmond club has jumped ship defecting to West Ham, the team owned by the hated ex of Lasso’s boss, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham).

Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) is as foul-mouthed — and sympathetic — as ever and his romantic entanglement with Welton’s BFF and PR newbie Keely Jones (Juno Temple) remains complex. The team is forced to negotiate the arrival of an eccentric, high-profile superstar, all while being picked to finish dead last in their division.

The crises feel more like “that’s life” than “life or death,” which is just fine from a show that is, in many ways, a balm for the challenging realities of the everyday world.

A four-episode preview of this latest season shows there are no real surprises this year, which, in the case of Ted Lasso, is a-okay.