“Sometimes I think that people, even though they’re meaning to be generous about what the show gave to everyone during this global pandemic, I do believe that whether I was anything to do with it or not, the show as a piece would have had that effect anyway, because the writing is exquisite and was needed,” Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham said about the Jason Sudeikis-led Apple TV+ series.
Having debuted August 14 last year when so many of us were in lockdown during some of the darkest days of the pandemic, the series developed by Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly based on a character used to do promos for NBC’s Premier League coverage was a much-needed ray of sunshine and sport for so many of us.
Just more than a week before the second season of the goldfish-out-of-water tale of the title character — an American college football coach brought to the UK to lead the fictional AFC Richmond to ruin — dropped on the streamer, Ted Lasso landed a historic 20 Emmy nominations, the most ever for a freshman comedy series.
Along with noms for Outstanding Comedy Series, Sudeikis and Juno Temple came ones for Game of Thrones veteran Waddingham, co-creator Hunt (who also snagged a writing nod) and scribe-actor Brett Goldstein. The latter trio all participated in the series’ panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television: The Nominees awards-season event.
Waddingham’s scheming team owner Rebecca Welton may eventually come around to the positivity of Sudeikis’ Ted, but for Hunt, who plays fellow American transplant Coach Beard in front of the camera, that shine is only one step in the show’s journey.
“We want all the characters to be more than what they appear, have something going on inside them,” Hunt said as Welton and Goldstein (aka angry Roy Kent) looked on virtually. “This narrative has risen up of how the show is positive and inspirational and that’s really great that people are finding it that way, but that was never our intention,” he added in an insight that may surprise fans. “The show isn’t blindly positive all the way; people go through stuff, and it’s positive because of where people end up after what they’ve gone through and their ability to keep their hearts open afterwards.”
Of course, even with the odd panic attack, team relegation and a divorce or two, the positivity of Ted Lasso has many outlets, especially in Goldstein’s blunt and aging star player.
“I think it may be that Roy says what we all wish we could say,” Goldstein said of his character. “I think it’s that Roy doesn’t have the gene that most of us have, which is slightly worried about what people think of us, when Roy doesn’t really have that. And so whenever he speaks it’s like, I guess, the people that really connect with it think, ‘I f*ckin’ think that all the time’ – so maybe that’s it,” the WGA Award winner addes with a laugh.
“He’s got no filter — it’s fabulous,” Waddingham said, laughing in agreement.
More of the 10-episode second season of the Warner Bros Television-produced Ted Lasso are available weekly on Apple TV+, with a third season expected in 2022.
Check out the panel video above.
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