Wednesday, February 1, 2023

‘Be Curious, Not Judgemental’. Why Ted Lasso Will Make Your Life Better

Let's be friends!

The books we're reading, the vibrators we're using, the rants we're having and more in our weekly EDM.

Update: This was written just before Ted Lasso went on to become one of the biggest shows in the world (deserved!) so if you’ve gone through the entire season and are looking for more, here are our top ways to fill the Ted Lasso hole in your heart.

Years ago, I saw a smart person on Twitter once joke that Netflix needed to group calming, feel-good shows like Great British Bake-Off and Queer Eye into a sub-genre called “You’re Clearly Going Through Some Stuff”. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, as in the past year I’ve veered away from any kind of dramatic TV content and instead am purely watching what I can only describe as ‘nice people doing nice things.’ Your Schitt’s Creek, your Nailed It, your Somebody Feed Phil. I’ve watched Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver cooking shows. Are people eating things? I’ve watched it. I’ve gone back through Gilmore Girls and The Mindy Project. I know I should be watching more prestige television but truly? I want ease. 

And so today I want to talk to you about Ted Lasso, the absolute best show that not enough people seems to be watching. It’s on Apple TV+ which, again, few people seem to have even though everybody owns Apple products and that gets you a free subscription. It’s also the home of series like The Morning Show (excellent) and Tehran (gripping!) I get it – there are too many television platforms and you don’t want to have to log-in to another thing. I know. I know!

But the thing is, Ted Lasso is a perfect show. Ted Lasso will improve your life and your mental health and I am not saying this lightly. I am saying with this EXTREME seriousness! Look at my use of capital letters and then these exclamation points!!!

Ted Lasso is about a hot and thoughtful man, who has the face, moustache and wardrobe of a handsome Ned Flanders but the wisdom, heart and quotability of Brené Brown.

You know how, after a slow burn, Schitt’s Creek managed to become a joyful and feel-good and emotional bounty of a show, it just had to get some snark out of its system first? Or how Parks and Recreation needed to work out that Lesley was a Type-A genius, not a doofus, for the show to hit its stride? Ted Lasso is as perfect as these shows ever got but does it STRAIGHT OUTTA THE GATE.

It’s whole-hearted AND laugh out loud funny, wholesome enough while also incorporating judicious use of the word ‘f**k’. Ted Lasso is about a hot and thoughtful man, who has the face, moustache and wardrobe of a handsome Ned Flanders but the wisdom, heart and quotability of Brené Brown. The initial premise seems a bit average: Ted Lasso is an American comedy (meh) with a male lead (double meh) about sport (triple meh) but manages to transcend all of these things.

Basically it’s about a Texan man (Ted) who is well-known in the US for coaching American Football (rugby but with more of an outfit) and is then poached by a UK soccer team to coach their dismal team, where everyone hates each other. He brings along his best friend and co-coach, Coach Beard, and the pair try and improve the *waves hand vaguely* sports, while really digging into the psychology of the fractured team and the football club’s manager, Rebecca, who is going through a terrible divorce from her football team owner husband.

(You’ll notice I interchange ‘soccer’ and ‘football’ here regularly, simply because I do not know the difference and it’s not in my life path to ever learn it. Anyway, they kick a ball around). 

Ted’s entire life, people have underestimated him because he wasn’t traditionally masculine and the Walt Whitman quote, “Be curious, not judgemental” changed his way of thinking.

But you get lessons about leadership, self-esteem, divorce, competitiveness, being a good team member PLUS some of the best examples of female friendship I’ve ever seen onscreen.

The key lesson that sums up Ted’s entire view on life comes in another sports moment where Ted is challenged to a bet over a darts game and I will pop the clip below should you wish to see it, and also because I cannot and will not understand that game of darts and would be at a loss to do so now. Anyway, Ted wins (bullseye?) but imparts some wisdom about how, his entire life, people have underestimated him because he wasn’t traditionally masculine and the Walt Whitman quote, “Be curious, not judgemental” changed his way of thinking.

Ted is curious about everything, and holds zero judgement, which means even when trying to win over the British press/a sports team that hates him/a boss that wants to see him fail, none of them can wear down his good nature. He simply will not think less of anyone and constantly believes that everyone is good in them, with absolutely no exceptions.

And I know this a serious point to make in a prattling piece about television but it’s hard to think of an area of life or an interaction that wouldn’t be improved by a) thinking the best of people as our default and b) Being curious, not judgemental. Imagine how our social media spaces, our political spheres, heck, even our own friendships, would be altered by this way of thinking. This is the power of Ted Lasso. Just trust me.

The #1 Communication Secret To A Happy, Long-Term Relationship

Could one communication technique improve your relationship a lot? Sarah Lang looks into The Gottman MethodAuckland lawyer Kate*, 39, and her husband of eight...

‘I Can Buy Myself Flowers’: Why We’re Here For The Revenge Anthem

Move over, crying in the shower to Adele. Come in, singing about self-love and revenge. We look at the best revenge anthems, from Miley...

Jacinda Ardern Has Resigned. Who Could Blame Her?

This is an opinion piece.After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's shock resignation, Emma Clifton looks back at her stratospheric rise and asks, have we become...

Which Streaming Platform Suits Your Personality, And How Much Are You REALLY Paying A Month?

Looking to streamline your finances? Paying attention to what streaming services you're forking out for each month is a great way to start. Bel...