I admit, I'm a little late to the Ted Lasso game. It was just a few months ago that I dove into the series and as Ted would probably appreciate, he had me at hello. Since then, I've discovered that the show has been the subject of much psychological fodder. And rightly so. There is a lot to think about.
I'm in the process of rewatching the released episodes for the third time and I always discover something new.
What follows are spoilers if you haven't seen the show through season 2.
Right now I am exploring the contrast between Sam's relationship with his father versus Nate's. There's lots of father stuff in the show actually. Jaime and his dad. Ted and his. All different, but quite telling. What I appreciate about the long set up regarding Sam's relationship with his father is that somehow we know it's good. Not only through the short communications we witness between Sam and his father via text and phone, but also the way Sam holds himself. With humility, integrity, and honesty. We can see that Sam himself was held. And this is big.
We witness this holding come to a head when Sam shares the news of his Air Dubai campaign with his father. His father responds quickly with honesty and more importantly facts. I'm disappointed, he says. Here's why, he offers. There is data behind why Sam might want to reconsider. It's hard to hear and Sam is visually upset, but the fact that their relationship not only survives the disappointment, but Sam is able to act upon it in such a grounded way means that there is one hell of a foundation of love and support there.
Sam is not so much afraid of letting his father down as he is able to recognize that the choice he made was not aligned with who Sam is. And his father let him know. Sam rights the ship and what unfolds is a really beautiful storyline that allows Jaime to act against what he has been taught by his father. Yeah, I totally cried.
This changing of the tide is a common theme in Ted Lasso and maybe that's why we love it so much. The show allows for people to change. Without shame. And with space to talk about the change in real time. There is forgiveness. Second chances. And possibility. The potential for people to change their mind, act in different ways, allow for new possibilities is called intellectual humility. And it is something that is really comforting to witness right now.
I think it makes us feel good to watch characters behave as we wish we could. With an open mind. An open heart. And a willingness to constantly move toward deeper connection even at the risk of heartache. Whether it is Ted hearing with compassion and humility why Sam does not want an army man, Sam telling Ted without apology why he didn't want one, Rebecca's apology and Ted's loving acceptance (also, just to say there is a lot going on here for Ted as well, having to do with accepting apologies and his father's death but that is for another time) to Nate and Rupert acting like the unbelievable assholes we wish we could be sometimes. There is a lot to unpack.
What's truly telling though, is that I'm rooting for everyone. I'm rooting for Ted. Rebecca, Sam, Roy, Keeley, Danny, Higgins and Jaime. Just as much as I'm rooting for Rupert to welcome fatherhood with a new perspective and for Nate to have a moment of reflection and tell his father to fuck off. And maybe give his mother a piece of his mind too.
And this is BIG JOY. The whole lot of it. The joy we see in Ted. The hurt we know he holds. Witnessing Roy find himself all over again. Jaime learning that he is not his father. Keeley kicking ass. And Higgins being lovingly overwhelmed and humored by his 5 boys. No one gets around change in Ted Lasso. And maybe that's the real JOY. Being scared and also changing.
BEING SCARED AND ALSO CHANGING.
I have so much to say about this show and the psychological themes. If hearing more psych based on Lasso is a place you'd like to visit, hit reply to this email and let me know. It would be fun to dive in together.
Ted + Lisa 4E