Actor Jason Sudeikis returns to the role of college-coach-turned-soccer coach Ted Lasso on Aug. 14 when the first three episodes of the titular series release on Apple TV+. Some critics have watched screener episodes and have weighed in on the sitcom. The general consensus is that Ted Lasso is an entertaining expansion of the former NBC Sports sketch from 2013 — although one outlet did not particularly enjoy the series.
For those unfamiliar with Sudeikis' character, Lasso is a disgraced coach from America who gets hired to run a football franchise in the United Kingdom. He joins AFC Richmond and struggles to acclimate to the differences between the two main types of football. While this "fish out of water" storyline is nothing unique, the reviewers did express the opinion that Sudeikis and the show's creators — Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly — created an entertaining sitcom. They expressed appreciation for the one-liners and the gags that take place during the first few episodes.
"Thankfully the show is funny, with plenty of zingy, laugh-out-loud one-liners that increase as the show picks up momentum," writes Daniel Cooper of Engadget. "Many of the best lines from the pilot are cribbed straight from the first NBC trailer, and I did wonder if the gags would stop soon after. Thankfully, as soon as the show broadens its focus out to the wider world, and onto the club's roster of oddballs, it gets funnier."
Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly echoes the sentiment, writing that "Ted Lasso has no right to be this funny. It's got a one-joke premise, built around a character created for NBC Sports back in 2013. But the new Apple TV+ comedy — starring Jason Sudeikis as a soccer neophyte hired to coach a football club in the U.K. — is a wonderfully amusing, surprisingly thoughtful sports sitcom that is, of course, not really about sports at all."
Not all reviews were positive, however, considering that Variety's Daniel D'Addario was not a fan. The writer referred to Ted Lasso as a "deflated soccer series" and said that Sudeikis "does his best with a barely-there character." As an example, D'Addario said that the character study stopped with Lasso being upbeat.
While Variety's review was fairly negative, others expressed appreciation for the series. The writers didn't call Ted Lasso "groundbreaking" by any measure, but they praised Sudeikis for making the character and the overall series enjoyable. Decider, in particular, said that the series is "worth going out of your way to stream."
The first three episodes of Ted Lasso hit Apple TV+ on Aug. 14. The remaining seven will air every Friday thereafter to complete the first full season. Each episode will run 30 minutes.