Ted Lasso is about to end, or not? Jason Sudeikis, the show’s co-creator who also plays the eponymous American football coach of Richmond, previously said he envisioned the series to have a three-season span.
That would imply that the current third season will be the show’s last, but Brendan Hunt, one of the show’s other co-creators, isn’t so sure.
“The following things are true,” the writer, who also plays Ted’s right-hand man, Coach Beard, tells Yahoo UK.
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“We’ve always seen it as a three-movement suite, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s finished. We will definitely take a break here.”
“We are all very tired of each other’s faces,” he laughs. “They’re adorable, gorgeous, huggable faces that need to get away for a while. And after that, we’ll regroup and see what we think.
He explains that despite the creators’ desire to initially stop at three seasons, “apparently the whole world would much rather we didn’t stop.”
“Do we have artistic integrity?!” she asks with another smile. “What are we going to do? We’ll find out later.”
Many fans are speculating that the current season is preparing for Ted to return to America to spend more time with his son. And while Hunt is tight-lipped about what will happen in season three, there’s a chance the show could one day go on without its leading man.
When Yahoo UK suggests a spin-off on AFC Richmond and its players, Hunt replies: “Really, everything is on the table. [But while] obviously we are very comfortable taking certain liberties with world football, to go into a fourth or fifth or sixth season where somehow this club keeps all the same players, which would also strain our fantastic gullibility .
“But I don’t know, maybe each season is a week long and everyone gets old really, really fast.”
Should the adventures of Ted Lasso and Richmond’s many lovable characters continue, there will be an audience ready to watch. Debuting during the height of the lockdown, the series quickly became an online sensation thanks to its quirky and feel-good nature.
The likes of Hannah Waddingham, who plays AFC Richmond owner Rebecca, and Brett Goldstein, foul-mouthed midfielder turned manager Roy Kent, have become household names – Goldstein even has a future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the character Hercules . Perhaps the greatest testament to the show’s popularity is the fact that the President of the United States invited the cast to the White House to discuss the importance of mental health, a theme of the series.
“Being in the Oval Office because of the show we put on football just wasn’t the plan,” says Hunt. “It was just a mess. [At the start] we were on a streaming service that essentially didn’t exist. We didn’t even know if we were going to make it to season 2. The madness of being now practically led to any football match for free. It’s absolutely crazy.
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Ted Lasso had such an impact that many fans have drawn on the similarities between the story of the fictional AFC Richmond and the real Wrexham AFC, the Welsh football club that was taken over by Hollywood’s Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, and is the subject of the documentary Welcome to Wrexham.
“We’re not credited on the show, I think they’re just making fun of Jason, frankly, but that’s okay, they’re big guys,” Hunt says with a dry smile.
“Let me go on the record here – I love the whole Wrexham story. What they’re doing is kicking ass. I think of the documentary, which some people despised in the beginning, saying, ‘They’re right [buying the club] make a documentary.’ No. They’re shooting the documentary to make money for the club. This is fucking brilliant.
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“And now they’re in the league and are going to play a friendly against Man U? The sky’s the fucking limit. No one should assume they’re going to get one promotion after another. But what they’ve already done is a huge achievement. And all credit it goes to them. I think it’s really, really great.
Season 3 of Ted Lasso is releasing after lockdown, post-POTUS visits, after Wrexham, and it would be easy to imagine that audiences might not embrace the wholesome nature of the series now that the world isn’t such a terrifying place. Hunt, however, still feels the love from everyone watching.
“There’s probably something inherently different about this season, as people aren’t holding them by the waist in a world of darkness and confusion and questions,” she says. “But people are still damn lovely about the show.
“Everywhere I go, people stop me – mostly for selfies – but often to share things about what the show has meant to them and often their families. It’s still incredibly captivating and rewarding.
One element of Season 3 that has become a talking point is how the show’s format has changed: Season 1 stuck to a roughly thirty-minute episode structure. The sixth episode of the third season, in which the Richmond football team travels to Amsterdam, is over an hour long.
“It happened organically,” says Hunt. “It’s a confluence of a few things. One, it’s streaming. I don’t know if other shows have taken advantage of this as much and to the extent that we have, but [when you’re watching] there isn’t another show coming after that. There is no commercial break that we have to hit.
Second, Hunt says Apple has accommodated their vision of the show, which has been a luxury they don’t take for granted. And finally, they know that people like the show, so much that they can get away with playing with form.
“Let’s hope we don’t overdo it. The reception of the Amsterdam episode indicates that we use the time well. Will it be our last episode that is over an hour long? No sir. Oh, you’ll see.
Another organic and surprising change from Season 1 is that Goldstein’s headstrong Roy is befriended by once selfish forward Jamie Tart.
“I don’t know if we’ve seen Jamie and Roy ever become friends,” Hunt says when asked which characters have changed the most since their original three-season vision. “We have some milestones that we know we’ll hit along the way. But myself, Jason and the creators of OG come from an improv background where you just follow the good idea and can make room for what others bring to the table.
“That means, story-wise, if something develops, you just let it develop, you don’t stifle it just because you didn’t see it coming. Jamie is a wonderful example of this. Those scenes between [him and Roy] episode six had some of the funniest scenes to write in the entire damn series.
It wasn’t just those on screen who became friendly. Reflecting on the joys of working on the show, Hunt says he’s incredibly proud that all of the season 1 writers have remained faithful throughout the entire journey thus far.
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“And hanging out with this cast has been amazing,” she continues. “None of us had ever worked with anyone else in this cast before. And we were casting, even pre-Covid, all the auditions they were doing in the UK, we were watching in Los Angeles. We didn’t know if they were all going to be assholes. And it turns out that none of them are.
“We all love to see each other. I’m here in London this week and haven’t seen anyone yet. I’m biting the bite to receive hugs. Getting to know all these people, both on and off camera, I was going to say it’s double all other pleasures, but really all other pleasures are double for this.”
So, how will season three and maybe, maybe not (probably not) play out? Yahoo UK says the previous two seasons ended on bittersweet and wholesome notes.
“Those are two of the things we like to do,” says Hunt. “All I can say is that it was a very carefully executed finale.”
It feels fitting for a series that continues to care for its characters and fans in equal measure.
Ted Lasso S3 streams on Apple TV+ with new episodes every Wednesday.