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Ted Lasso Season 3 (Apple TV+) review: Smart, charming, and heartwarming

By Hoots the Owl & Aaron Yip - 2 Apr 2023

Ted Lasso Season 3 (Apple TV+) review: Smart, charming, and heartwarming

Note: This article was first published on 23 March 2023.

Image Source: Apple TV+

American sports comedy-drama Ted Lasso is back for a third season, and what a ride it is. AFC Richmond has returned to the English Premier League after a harrowing season, but the fight is far from over. The underdog club is a minnow among giants in the league, and is pegged by pundits to finish last.

At the same time, big changes are afoot. Kitman-turned-assistant coach Nate (Nick Mohammed) has left the club to work for Rupert (Anthony Head) at West Ham United. Nate's departure completes his villain arc, where he teams up with Richmond owner Rebecca's (Hannah Waddingham) nemesis and cheating ex-husband. In the meantime, the taciturn Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) steps up as assistant coach to fill the gap, alongside Beard (Brendan Hunt).

But despite Nate's betrayal and the challenges ahead, Ted (Jason Sudeikis) continues to bring his signature optimism and upbeat energy to the locker room. Both are rare commodities in dreary England, and it's easy to see why his unpretentious and down-to-earth style has won over his club. Ted's self-effacing manner also shines through in his first press conference of the season, standing in stark contrast to Nate's earlier jabs at him during his own press outing.

Image Source: Apple TV+

The season also introduces a new character in Zava (Maximilian Osinski). The former Juventus player is a new star pickup for Richmond. His flair and talent for the game are undeniable, but he is also a massive narcissist with a huge ego attached. Zava hilariously echoes AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimović – his man bun, penchant for talking about himself in the third person, and club history all point to Ibrahimović, and the player makes for side-splitting comedic foil.

However, Ted is still grappling with personal issues back at home in Kansas. His son, Henry, has recently returned home after a summer visit, and Ted is visibly homesick. He is starting to question why he is really still here with Richmond – even as his son enthusiastically tells him that he has to at least try to win despite the odds stacked against them. A revelation back home also threatens to push him over the edge into panic attack territory once again.

Image Source: Apple TV+

Having said that, the best part of the series is that it never veers off into mawkish sentimentality. It exudes a gentle warmth and humour, but never takes itself too seriously. It reminds us of the characters' humanity, alongside a generous sprinkling of comedy that will elicit more than a chuckle or two.

There are several subplots jostling for your attention, including Roy and Keeley's (Juno Temple) breakup and Keeley's new PR gig. There is quite a lot to keep up with, but the core of the show remains the game where 22 men jog after a ball. It remains to be seen how Zava will fit in with the rest of the team, and whether a single, star signing can give Richmond the lasting lift they need to edge out the competition.

But with Season 3 rumoured to be Ted Lasso's last, the show appears to be wrapping up toward a natural conclusion. Richmond are already in the Premier League, and the only things left to explore are how the club will fare this season and Nate and Ted's professional rivalry.

Image Source: Apple TV+

The latter may be one of the most intriguing aspects of this season. The good-natured Ted is likely to forgive Nate if he does come around, but it is also possible that the new West Ham head coach is going to stay the course. Passions run high in football, and the machinations in Ted Lasso continue to be a source of tension and more than a few laughs.

And even if this does turn out to be the show's last season, it can bow out knowing what a marvelous job it has done.

Ted Lasso is streaming on Apple TV+ now.

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