Ted Lasso, a new original series on Apple TV+, manages to pull off a near-impossible feat. It is a laugh-out-loud funny comedy imbued with silliness, genuine warmth, moments of poignant pathos, and a special something extra wrapping the show in fascination.
The story begins as the indomitable title character arrives in London to coach a premier football club. Embodied as a sheer force of goodness by the brilliant Jason Sudeikis, also one of the series’ creators and writers, Lasso is an upbeat Division 2 football coach from Kansas City with homespun wisdom. He knows nothing about European football (soccer), but is willing to leap into the unknown and guide the team.
Lasso’s presence begins to seep into the culture, like a homeopathic drop of decency.
Thrust into a potentially intimidating foreign environment, Lasso’s presence begins to seep into the culture, like a homeopathic drop of decency. The ten sharply-paced episodes are refreshing, without becoming too camp or cloying. I noticed they stayed with me for days after watching. What was it about this surprising little show that utterly captivated me?
And then it struck me: Ted Lasso is a show about enchantment.
For over twenty years, I’ve been studying and leading workshops on the subject of enchantment. I’m not talking about the world of fairy tales, but about a spiritual state of being where illusion is stripped away and the oneness of Life is irrefutably felt. This type of enchantment is both a belief in the innate goodness and divinity of consciousness, and an emotional experience of sacred belonging.
Invitations to enchantment abound in the natural world, patiently waiting for our willingness to be moved.
Invitations to enchantment abound in the natural world, patiently waiting for our willingness to be moved. When we are open and available, these “charms” of enchantment draw us in, as if under a spell, and remind us of our deep interconnectedness.
It’s the pull of a fiery sky at sunset, or the breathtaking color dance of the aurora borealis, or the childlike glee of watching dolphins leap in tandem. Moments of human achievement and artistry can also spark enchantment. If you’ve stood in awe in the presence of Michelangelo’s David, or remember what if felt like watching Neil Armstrong step on the moon, you’ve felt its pull.
Enchantment feeds the soul and causes the spirit to soar.
So many of us are longing for beacons of goodness. We’ve become disenchanted and wary, wading through endless distortions of truth.
So, the fact that a sunny comedy about an American football coach recruited to manage a British soccer league routinely charmed me into a state of oneness is a marvel, and a particularly timely gift. So many of us are longing for beacons of goodness. We’ve become disenchanted and wary, wading through endless distortions of truth.
Ted Lasso is the perfect balm for our weary souls. It reminds us that human goodness is our natural state of grace, that we are all flawed and wounded and magnificent, that forgiveness is not only possible, but deeply healing. It shows us that one man living true to his nature can entrain the world around him into irresistible, loving connection.
If you haven’t yet seen it, consider making this series the centerpiece of your Pandemic Thanksgiving Weekend. If you let him, Ted Lasso will fill you with gratitude and the pure joy of being alive.
I wish a very happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. Stay safe, savor the pleasures of the season, and tune your perception to enchantment. It’s all around us.