Tom Hoffarth / FartherOffTheWall.com
The Emmy Awards scoreboard from last Monday night shows that “Ted Lasso” kicked the crap out of the competition with a four-goal victory over at the big fancy theater in L.A. Live.
The Outstanding Comedy Series. The Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Outstanding Comedy Director. The Hollywood Reporter reports it, and we honestly believe it to true.
You likely know this whole thing, an expanded NBC soccer promo somehow morphed into a script, goes on about an American college football coach who lands in England to coach up a bunch of real football players just to miff the owner’s ex-husband. Somehow, infectious optimism abounds. It’s the old goldfish-out-of-water plot, just across the pond.
Reviews of the show in quick-blurb form:
“Wickedly Funny” – New York Times.
“Laugh-Out Loud Funny” – Entertainment Weekly.
Funny thing: We still haven’t watched one bloody minute of it.
It’s been around now, what, 14 years? It could still be airing in extra time for all we know. Forgive us, but we’re still in a COVID fog since our 2020 vision went blurry.
We remember glossing over a series of L.A. Times stories about this from its esteemed soccer writer, why it happened, how it was a “tonic for our trying times,” and how it had lasso’d the football world to rally around it.
Not watching “Ted Lasso” — and to this point, any of its reported 22 episodes — doesn’t make us an a**so.
A friend with swell intentions — and a family member with a SAG-AFTRA card — slipped us one of those “For Your Consideration” screeners. Yes, we all have one of these pals with media contraband.
The other day, we went searching for the DVD out of curiosity and found it in the office desk-top organizer between a menu for Gus’s Fried Chicken and a Readers Digest renewal form. It was tempting to throw it into the old-time Blue Ray machine just to see if the thing still works.
Nope, didn’t happen.
Why this aversion to “Ted Lasso”? Without the aid of a Zoom therapy session, we tend to believe it has to do with:
= It airs on Apple TV+.
Sorry, that’s where it streams — a concept our 3-year-old grandson is still trying to figure out when he sprints to the bathroom after another gallon of apple-plus juice.
On our household spreadsheet, Apple TV+ is a net minus. In downsize mode, we’re not apt to add more apps and passwords and all other sorts of nonsense. We understand that our iPhone has an ApplePay thing to make charging everything extremely easy. It also tracks our every move and randomly adds fees to the monthly statement that have something to do with Apple.com Storage and stuff we can’t control.
Taking a bite out of Apple TV+ seems like some biblical bad karma right now. We’ve already gone down the gopher hole with Netflix, Disney+, HGTV+ … stuff that at this point would require us to take a customer service rep out for an expensive lunch just to pry us loose from this commitment.
We’ve already resisted being dazzled by Dazn, ESPN+, HBO Max, Peacock or Paramount+, let alone Fubo, YouTube, Hulu, Sling or DirecTV Stream, where all average programming goes to have a price tag pinned on it. We like linear, or whatever you want call it, just dandy.
Apple TV+ isn’t about to make our core lives any measurably better. Need proof? Go try finding Friday’s Dodgers-Giants game. It’ll be on Apple TV+, called by three broadcasters who sound like AV Club middle-schoolers trying to steal extra credit. You’ve been warned. Again.
= Why trust Emmy Awards voters to validate anything we’re watching?
There was no great restraint to tune out that awards show stupidly going head-to-head against ESPN’s first “Monday Night Football” game of the year. The reunion of Joe Buck with Troy Aikman, who Fox execs went brain-dead and allowed they both to walk in a year the network was ramping up to the Super Bowl, was in toggle mode with the Manning Brothers doing their Smothers Brothers routine on ESPN2.
The Emmy show on NBC was something we checked in infrequently just to see if Vin Scully might be mentioned in the “In Memoriam” segment. He was.
The ratings, for what they’re worth, said the NFL drew about 20 million viewers on ABC and the two ESPN channels. The Emmys sunk to less than six million, an all-time low. No wonder Jimmy Kimmel just laid on the floor, disinterested.
By the way, NBC could have aired the Emmys in its usual Sunday night time slot, but it pushed it back a day so it wouldn’t conflict with its Sunday Night Football opener – which drew 25 million for the Tom Brady-vs.-America’s Team matchup.
Is this “Ted Lasso” thing more compelling comedy than “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Barry” or “Abbot Elementary”? That what this voting base decided in 2022. Larry David finds it all pretty, pretty strange. That, and we have a new appreciation for Bill Hader.
= The Jason Sudeikis factor.
His last name is a disservice to vowels and goes against every rule of the English language that Mrs. Zerbel taught us in fifth grade. It’s no where near what we learned when spelling the name of the late Dodgers catcher Bill Sudakis.
Then there’s that whole mess where the whip-smart former “SNL” cast member is having child custody issues with Olivia Wilde, then got Olivia Munn pregnant, and then there was that whole Olivia Newton John tragedy. Whatever really happened, not cool.
= We’re tired of being told what to watch.
That includes not even being casually curious about the guy from “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the Green Hornet wrecking their wreputations with some ninth-tier, washed-up Wales soccer team just so they could wrustle up a scripted wreality show about it.
Sudeikis has said “Ted Lasso” is neither a comedy nor a drama, but more what he calls a “com-ma.” He also said when getting his trophy the other night: The show is about “good and evil, the truth and lies, but it’s mostly about our response to those things.”
Our response to “Ted Lasso,” at the moment, and likely any time soon, is stuck between two commas.
For now, we’re out, standing on principle.
Now, if you don’t mind: The Atlantic has a story in our cue titled: “15 Underseen TV Shows That You Should Watch Now: A Lot of Great Television Slips Through The Cracks.” We need to delete it.