Ted Lasso

I am still getting used to this new means of watching television – streaming. I joined Netflix a good 5 years ago…and felt that it had such a reservoir of good programming, I thought I would never leave it.

But competition with new streaming venues have affected them. When Disney, who owns the Marvel franchise, started their own channel, Netflix lost a number of great series, such as Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones….

Anyway, last month I left them and apparently I wasn’t alone. Over 200,000 have left them recently, and a few days ago, their stock prices was down 36% in one day.

I have learned to treat streaming channels like the proverbial frog jumping from lily pad to lily pad. If I run out of interesting things to see, it is adios for awhile on that channel. On to the next channel.

Jumping around, I have watched a number of great series and movies, many of them profiled here. Yellowstone, 1883, Reacher, Bosch…

Reacher, on Amazon Prime, has had rave reviews. And among those who are fans of the many books from Lee Childs on this character, the actor who was picked to be Jack Reacher seems to me aligned with the character. He is physically imposing and, if you do bad things, menacing.

One thing about viewer’s habits and streaming makes me smile – “binging” through a season. I remember a passage from James Garner’s biography, The Garner Files, when he was talking about the business of studios and acting. He was talking about his own Rockford Files from the 70s, a hit show, and how grueling it is for an actor to be the star in a series. He said that every 2 episodes is the equivalent of doing the average movie.

And they do it, week after week.

And so many who stream binge watch, blowing though an entire season in a matter of days. All that work is like a chef slaving to create a gourmet meal, only to watch it wolfed down.

Anyway, with this long windup, I had wanted to see the Tom Hanks movie Greyhound on the AppleTV+ channel for a couple of years.

When Covid-19 hit the world, different studios treated the distribution of their movies differently. Actually, it probably depended more on the movie and the cost of production than individual studios’ choice of distribution.

With the theaters closed, some movies like Top Gun II (I know, lex, all caps, one word, don’t ask) had been put on the shelf for at least 2 years. It is supposed to be theatrically released next month.

Others, like Greyhound, were still released but in Greyhound’s case, it went straight to streaming on the AppleTV+ channel. I had wanted to see it for 2 years, but couldn’t see joining for just one movie. Finally did, and the movie, which depicts an American destroyer Captain – Hanks – leading his first convoy through U-Boat infested waters.

It was a great movie.

Anyway, after finally seeing Greyhound I am about to dump AppleTV+ and learned they have a number of great original content programs and series, one of which is Ted Lasso. IMDb readers rated it an 8.8 out of 10, which is about as high as I’ve seen any show.

So I have started watching it.

The premise is almost ludicrous. The owner of a premier soccer (football) team in London hires Ted, even though he has no experience coaching any soccer team. His only previous experience is coaching a college (US) football team. Yes, I know using soccer and football interchangeably can create confusion, especially when soccer means football in the rest of the world.

Nor does he even know the rules. And we learn that the owner has her own motivations for doing so. The entire British population, upon learning of this ridiculous appointment, calls him The Wanker.

Imagine being in the center of the stadium and hearing 100,000 fans chant Wanker. If you don’t know what that means, google it ;-).

However, over the episodes we learn that Ted has a special gift for reading and understanding people and their motivations.

So far, this is my favorite scene. Rebecca, the team owner, was recently divorced and took over the team franchise from her manipulative and vindictive husband. The lesson here, in this scene, is beautiful. Actually there are many lessons.

I hope that Ted and Rebecca can eventually get together. I am enjoying the ride.

The show has won numerous awards – look at their Emmy nominations at the 73rd Emmies. They had 20 nominations that year, and dominated it.

Here, some members of the cast are describing their favorite moments.

It’s worth watching.

04-25-22 I just saw this interview on YouTube with actor Jason Sudeikis on the origins of the show, which go back 10 years. And surprise of surprises, hardly any studio but AppleTV+ was interested in it. Goes back to my premise, quoting screenwriter William Goldman, that “Nobody Knows Nothin'”

He summarized the show better than I did – saying that it is a show about kindness and optimism overcoming obstacles.

05-06-22 – What I find mildly irritating about this show is that for so many scenes they rely on the characters using their Apple iPhones texting each other. The viewer is left trying to decipher this text in .02 font.

Which is fine if you’re holding the iPhone but if you’re sitting 10 feet away from your 40 inch TV a bit difficult

So, what to do?

Well fortunately my iPhone 13 Pro has three lenses: wide angle, normal and telephoto

So from the comfort of my couch I put it on three times telephoto and then digitally expand it so I can read the stupid text

I don’t know what was in the writers minds doing this unless they think everybody has 150 inch TVs.

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