By now, many of you will have heard of Ted Lasso, the Emmy-winning series available exclusively on Apple’s streaming service. The program is the creative vision of Jason Sudeikis with a host of clever writers. I am a member of the ranks of grateful viewers. The show soothes and calms my worried soul and feeds my laughter. The cast have been publicly effusive with their thanks for having the opportunity to be a part of a series the likes of which we seldom see. Sudeikis expressed his surprise over the show’s wide success due to the two things about the show that Sudeikis says American’s hold with disdain – “kindness and soccer”.
I have watched the two available seasons (the third season will be available August 2022) three times. Why? Because it is that good and I can count on its well-intentioned script and storylines. It is a bit like taking an Advil for a headache, and the relief is immediate. We are inundated with horrific news almost every minute of every day from the scores of devices that sit at our disposal. The headlines the media use is meant to grab our attention and ignite our fear. I am told that we don’t “tune in” to good news, but rather we form a collective of ambulance chasers. I hope that isn’t true.
The cast of characters on Ted Lasso are deliciously human, with flaws and weaknesses and wounds, which makes them believable, and we can’t help root for them, to cheer them on. Amid their foibles is kindness, and kindness wins the day in any struggle. We have all had days that were dark and heavy, and finding the light switch seemed impossible. If we think back to what led us out of the darkness, I am willing to bet that it was kindness, kindness given or kindness received. I am well aware not everything is so simple, and there is darkness that requires far more intervention than someone lending a hand or offering a smile. But it seems to me, kindness is the place to start.
There is no shortage of world concerns to fret about, be it the climate, China’s aggression toward Taiwan, Russia up to no good. At home the rest of the country watches anxiously as British Columbia battles the weather, all while the world continues to wrestle with Covid, and it isn’t clear at this point which side is winning. Taking time to find inner calm, moments of peace, a reason to smile, all help restore our coping mechanisms. We know that many good and positive events are happening around the world, but we seldom have access to that information, or perhaps we don’t share it with the same urgency. I listen to chatter in the line-up at the grocery store and the post office and I don’t often hear happy tales. I think we are in desperate need of such good news stories. It seems much easier to fan the flames of doom and gloom, than speak of school children coming up with ideas on how to feed the homeless, of farmers returning land to pasture ground and reforestation to create a carbon sink (anything that absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases), of neighbours helping neighbours, and scores of other examples.
Ted Lasso for me is a happy reprieve from bad news. The writing is thoughtful, the characters believable. I just may tune in again for another round of happiness while I search for good news. It’s curling season. Maybe that’s all the good news I need.