The Problem With Ted Lasso

Ah, here I am, the killjoy, here to point out an issue with the thing everyone uncritically loves!

So, at this point, Ted has basically abandoned his son, yeah? I mean, it’s one thing to temporarily take a job in England when his marriage is ostensibly solid, but it’s another to…stay there indefinitely when he’s going through a divorce and presumably a custody negotiation. It’s hard for me to root for this guy playing father figure to a bunch of grown ass men when his actual child is overseas enduring the dissolution of his family and the collapse of his entire world without his father even being there to help him through it.

The thing that’s so annoying about it is that it would have been so easy to fix this structural problem! Ted does not need to have a child! For example: he and his wife always wanted children but they had fertility issues, and they tried to have children for years before moving onto adoption, and they’ve been waiting for a kid for two years now and have gotten close a couple of times, and it’s been absolutely agonizing and endless, and his wife needed space. And then when she visits Ted she tells him that she can’t even look at him anymore without thinking about how much pain she’s gone through and how she is never going to be a mother, and it’s made her fall out of love with him and she wants a divorce. He’s destroyed by it, having lost both the love of his life and his hopes of fatherhood at once.

Boom. Done. Same complexity of character development, does the same thing to move Ted’s story forward, but I don’t have to think all the time about how he’s spending so much time apart from his son when his child is going through something awful, and how he seems to have completely forgotten he has a child at all, which actually makes him a shithead when the whole point of the character is he couldn’t possibly be more decent.

Go back and fix it, writers.

3 Comments

  1. I wonder if the child aspect doesn’t become a storyline either in Season 2 or 3 that makes Ted confront whether he can see this experiment through or whether he needs to move. A couple points that I don’t think invalidate your overall point in the slightest:
    * We don’t know what Ted did in the off season, but presumably, he spent (some of) it with his kid. Obviously that’s not enough time, but it merits being considered.
    * This is actually a systemic problem with coaches. At the beginning of season 1, I was like… “why isn’t his family with him?” And the answer is that this sort of lifestyle is very common for coaches (doesn’t make it ok), and is a top reason for coaches ending up divorced so much. (i.e., temporary housing, living far away since their kids go to school in one place and they don’t want to uproot them, and their spouse/ex doesn’t want to move every 2 or 3 years to follow them to new jobs.)

    I think it’s interesting to see the cracks in Ted, where he’s definitely not perfect. I like seeing how he challenges those things, and whether he makes good decisions around them. He doesn’t always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think what bothers me about it is it seems less like these points you’re making are things the writers also considered and intended, and more like the son piece of the storyline was just there for background and we are to just assume Ted visits his kid regularly or whatever. But you would 100% not BE OUT OF THE COUNTRY during a divorce, because she would absolutely get full custody! So either (a) the character doesn’t really care about getting partial legal custody, which does NOT seem consistent with what we know of Ted and his relationship with his son, or (b) the writers don’t want to deal with that and have been careless about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, you’re not wrong. This is sort of why I wonder if more of this part of Ted’s life gets focused treatment in one of these seasons, because it does seem bizarrely tacked-on otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

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