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  • Writer's picturemarti mcginnis

Post Series Depression - Going Forward Without New Ted Lasso Episodes

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Are You Kidding Me? There's A Name For It?

Turns out Post Series Depression is a thing. That's a bit too close to PTSD for me. After all we're not talking about high level trauma here. I prefer PSS, Post Series Sadness. Apparently a lot of Game of Thrones fans experienced this and caused health professionals to look at it a little more closely when that show finished. Read more here and here. And a take from Ben Guarino of Popular Science.

How PSS Happens

I'm personally aware of the malaise that follows the end of an engaging series from the temporary emotional hole left by the end of This Is Us, The Gilmore Girls, Call My Agent and Friday Night Lights. Notably, I became involved with each of these shows during the Covid lockdowns so there was some angst already threading its way through my sensibilities. The characters in these shows became my stand-in family.

You start forming a relationship with the characters of these shows especially if you can't do a whole lot with the real people in your life due to a global pandemic. You begin to integrate their stories into your own thoughts and pretty soon you find yourself thinking about what these fictional family and friends are up to in your day to day stream of consciousness. Anyway, that's what I do.

I begin to think of these series not as fiction, but as a sort of documentary. I know, crazy, right? But tell that to my heart. I really look forward to each episode that tells a bit more of their story.

The author coping with her PSS by drawing this cartoon

Ted Lasso

The Apple TV+ series called Ted Lasso launched in August 2020 at one of the scariest peaks of Covid fright. Nobody knew where it was going, but suddenly there's this football coach heading over to London to be their next gaffer. Sounds lame when I say it like that, but here's the thing, the show managed to be folksy, smart and funny all at once. It introduced a complex variety of personalities and motivations within an intelligent framework and I was hooked after the first 2 episodes. And I do mean HOOKED.

Maybe you haven't seen the show, so I'm not going to post any spoilers here. Here's the show's first trailer that should give you an idea:

This Show Was Different

I'm not the only one who fell in love with this show. Joel Golby of The Guardian sums it up perfectly:

There’s something happening here, some rare TV magic: it has clicked into a phenomenally composed cruising gear... Everyone knows the exact personality of every character: what they would do, what they wouldn’t do, what would make them sad and what would make them scared. There’s a good-enough one-liner in every scene. This show has a curiously delightful line in characters “knowing” something – everyone’s always starting a conversation with a fun animal fact, or something – and all the relationships make sense.

I agree with all of that and even more. Because during the uncertainty of the past 3 years and the somewhat nasty cultural climate throughout the US these days the people involved with this show actively demonstrated the alternate choices we all have available to us in our relationships and how choosing to use the better aspects of ourselves we can create a wave of positivity around us. Not blind toxic positivity, but the hopeful kind that acknowledges our humanness. Matter of fact, the show runners addressed the concept of toxic positivity.

That's it! That's my eureka moment with this show. That humans don't all suck, that pretty much all of us are working through our own shit and we all deserve kindness: internal and external. I mean it, I struggle with comprehending wave after wave of the human mistreatment of one another I see reported and experience on social media - and deep in my heart I understand most of it is rooted in fear and trauma, and if we can look at little harder at the root causes for our personal and cultural anger we could understand how to fix it. The Lasso Way kind of shows us how to do exactly that.

The Lasso Way

Over the next 3 seasons I learned more and more about "The Lasso Way". Not because it was discussed as such, but demonstrated by the title character, written and played brilliantly by the super talented Jason Sudeikis. Here it is in a nutshell.

  1. Empathy and Understanding: Ted Lasso embodies empathetic leadership, genuinely caring for the well-being of his players, coaches, and staff. His understanding and compassion foster a supportive environment.

  2. Optimism and Positivity: Ted Lasso's unwavering optimism and positive attitude inspire those around him. He faces challenges with a smile, believing in his team's abilities and encouraging them to do their best.

  3. Humility and Vulnerability: Ted Lasso's humility and willingness to be vulnerable create a safe space for open communication. He admits mistakes, fostering a culture where others feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.

  4. Adaptability and Resilience: Despite being an outsider, Ted Lasso showcases remarkable adaptability and resilience. He embraces change, encourages growth, and leads by example in overcoming adversity.

  5. Strong Communication and Active Listening: Ted Lasso excels in communication and actively listens to his team. He values input and ensures everyone has a voice, fostering unity and collaboration.

But the writers of the show exemplified these characteristics using the "show me don't tell me" method so what might have come across as 'preachy' was anything but. Too much talent was involved in this project to let that happen.

Spread from my current sketchbook inspired by the ubiquitous series focal point

The Dart Scene

This scene still slays me. I love it because it shows us Ted can disarm the meanest of antagonists using some very well timed story telling and skilled dart throwing. Take in the economy of the writing, the edits between the people and the way, even if you've seen nothing else from the show, you root for the guy.

It contains one of the most shared quotes from the entire series:

"Be curious, not judgmental"

Some more quotes from the show:

  • "Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn't it? If you're comfortable while you're doing it, you're probably doing it wrong."

  • On whether or not he believes in ghosts: "I do. But more importantly, I think they need to believe in themselves. You know?"

  • "You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It's a goldfish. Y'know why? It's got a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish."

  • "For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It's about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field."

  • "I feel like we fell out of a lucky tree, hit every branch on the way down, ended up in a pool full of cash and Sour Patch Kids."

  • On the Diamond Dogs: "It's just a group of people who care, Roy. Not unlike folks at a hip-hop concert whose hands are not in the air."

  • "You beating yourself up is like Woody Allen playing the clarinet. I don't wanna hear it. All right?"

Jason Sudeikis

You've seen him on Saturday Night Live 2005-2013 and in some movies Horrible Bosses, We're The Millers, The Campaign and a bunch of others. He and his buddy from Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, Brendan Hunt, created the Ted Lasso character for a series of commercials to raise awareness of soccer to the American market. Ted was a bit bombastic in the beginning but apparently as Donald Trump gained in popularity for similar behavior, Jason decided to harken back to his Kansas City roots and soften a lot of Ted's initial abrasive edges. Good call. Because Ted resonates with people - in the show and out here in the real world.

Turns out Ted Lasso and Jason Sudeikis have a lot in common. Here he is in an interview with the super talented podcaster (The TED Radio Hour and others) Guy Raz on his latest pod "The Great Creators".

This is what a good brother will do for you.

Mr. Sudeikis is all about the same things Ted is. The kindness, the listening, the silliness - all spot on same same. This past weekend he and some KC pals raised a shit-ton of money for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. He's been involved in that annual fundraiser for years. Oh and when he won a Golden Globe for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, it was an event on Zoom, and instead of wearing a tux or a suit he wore a tie dyed hoodie from his sister's fitness center, Forward Space, in Manhattan.

I have seen and heard enough of JS’s reactions to the show, the hoopla, the press, his career, choices he’s made, etc to know that the inner gold of Ted Lasso is from his own point of view - his personal philosophies. So if you want to have a little TL in your life - keep up with Jason. SAD FACT: He does almost nothing publicly on social media. But Ted Lasso does. Here's his Twitter account. You might want to follow Coach Beard too, Brendan Hunt. He’s more visible. FunFacts! Mr. Hunt has some thoughts on the show's endings and possible future. See his Q&A on Reddit here. Bonus Content for Jason Sudeikis fans. Somewhere in a Brooklyn kitchen. (Be sure to read the comments, because....LOL)

Processing The End Of Ted Lasso

So here I am, working through the sadness of likely never getting more Ted Lasso episodes. And I understand I'm not alone, and the sadness is real. I mean after about 48 hours of lingering feelings I looked it up. That's when I discovered PSD/PSS. I looked at a wiki about how to cheer up. Turns out I was naturally gravitating to healthy ways to cope.

  • I compiled a Ted Lasso Total Playlist start to finish, soup to nuts, all 3 seasons. On Apple Music listen here. (11 hours, 41 minutes, baby!)

  • Search out auxiliary info to the show, its creators and other fans like I did in this post Stay away from gossip though. That's just unhelpful.

  • Listen to podcasts My favorites: The Tedcast - A Ted Lasso Deep Dive Podcast - a trio of TL enthusiasts talk about every aspect of the show in lengthy dialogues. Peanut Butter and Biscuits - these are a pair of fans from Illinois Public Radio who do about an hour wrap up of every episode. Here's their Facebook Group. They’re Soulmates A Ted Lasso Podcast with Tori and Kevin - this is a husband and wife team absolutely convinced Ted-becca is going to be a thing. They closely document every Ted and Rebecca exchange. Coach Beard’s Book Club - these folks read and discuss the books referenced throughout the series. How cool is that! A show so smart it has a podcast about the books it mentions!

  • This site is chock-full of everything Lasso.

  • Maybe join a show wiki Here's the one for Ted Lasso

  • Maybe read some fanfiction Here's where Ted Lasso fans are writing their own continuations and concepts for the series

  • Here's a Facebook Group called Ted Lasso Talk

  • Make a list of ways you feel the show has influenced you

  • Write a blog post!

Personal Takeaways

  1. I love Ted Lasso - He is Everything. The Lasso Way is kind, funny, smart and sneaks up on you.

  2. I absolutely wish Ted Lasso was a real person and could help turn the ship around in the US zeitgeist. But he has left all of us the tools and inspiration we need to go forward using the lessons embedded in “The Lasso Way” or as he prefers it, “The Richmond Way”

  3. I need to print out the 4 main points of TLW/TRW and refer to them often - alternatively, I can hang my own “BELIEVE” sign

  4. Ted influenced everyone at AFC Richmond, and many of us who watched the show. We’re as sad as the characters on the show are about him leaving. Sadder even, maybe, because they at least can have continued imaginary contact. But he’s left us with all the tools we need to feel that Lasso Joy in our lives.

  5. We can institute practicing the four main tenants of TLW in our own lives.

Going Forward

The big buzz surrounding the show is "Why is Apple identifying the last episode as a season finale, rather than a show finale?" I mean it, there's a ton of talk on the Lasso channels trying to guess what, if anything, is next in the Lasso universe. Speculation is running rampant! Apple TV Plus doesn't help anything by making a post like this yesterday....the implication being there might be a spinoff featuring the 3 non-Lasso coaches of AFC Richmond.

All the actors from the show are hot commodities these days, so we can look forward to seeing them in a whole bunch of new projects.

Ted - Jason Sudeikis: Dunno

Coach Beard - Brendan Hunt: Dunno, but see above photo

Rebecca - Hannah Waddingham: dunno but she has said she is KEEN to to play Rebecca until the day she dies.

Roy - Brett Goldstein: see above, but also listen to his podcast "Films To Be Buried With" and he's maybe going to join Marvels super hero lineup as Hercules! But for sure he's co-writing another Apple TV plus gem called "Shrinking" with Bill Lawrence who also wrote a lot of Ted Lasso.

Nate - Nick Mohammod: see above

Jamie, Keeley, Dani and everyone else - see their profiles on IMDd - linked here.

Me + The Lasso Way

Writing this post was very helpful in treating my case of PSS. I'm over the malaise part. Seriously, I would get teary talking about the show for a few days there as though I was grieving the death of a friend. But that's pretty common.

But I really, really love the message of The Lasso Way. And I really, really am concerned with the normalizing of animosity between many groups throughout the US these days. I think we could ALL use some more understanding and compassion. So I want to take my love of this show and run it through my creative filters to see how I might amplify the messaging. Right now I'm thinking picture book. I'll keep you posted.

For now, I'm noodling with ideas in my #PaintedSketchbook. Like why DID Rebecca need to go buy a horse? I bet she was super equestrian whilst growing up. Almost all horse girls from a certain social strata have fathers riddled with guilt who want to make it up to them. And what about the spirits they set free from the locker room? I think they might be playing with Earl the Greyhound. I can see it! I have so many thoughts.

Letting the series percolate.....



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