"I look like Ned Flanders doing a cosplay of Ned Flanders!" - Ted Lasso
"Ted Lasso" is a series that has been praised for its witty writing, simple premise and memorable characters. I've gawked about my love for the series and why it should be experienced by everyone who has an Apple TV account. Almost a month after season three was announced, its first episode is everything I hoped for and more. Spoilers for this episode lie ahead.
Smells Like Mean Spirit opens instantly to tie up loose ends and answer fans' questions following the season two finale. Henry, Ted's son, is leaving to head back to Kansas, and after he gets on the plane, Ted is talking to Dr. Sharon (introduced in season two), about his feelings about AFC Richmond's upcoming season.
In the first scene, the writers have conveyed how important the theme of mental health will be throughout this season. This entire episode is themed around mindset and the importance of maintaining a positive and open mindset about the world around you. We see both sides, mainly between Ted, Rebecca and Nate. In just one episode, we see them each struggle to keep a positive mindset in their situations, but then they all influence one another to try a different outlook.
In the episode's big press scene, we see the two sides of the same coin come together for a brief moment. Now in business with Rupert, Nate is the head manager for the team West Ham, who's predicted to be first for the season. AFC Richmond, spearheaded by Ted, is predicted to finish last. These predictions are the conflict of the episode, as we see Nate handle the pressure of keeping everyone's expectations of him high while Ted works on improving his team's view on their predicted season.
In an act of true, silly Ted wisdom, he takes his team to the sewer system under London. They learn about the Great Stink of 1858 from a tour guide Ted is friends with. He tells his team that everything in here is just poopy, so they need to breathe fresh air and keep all their negative thoughts down in the sewer where it belongs— another life lesson in classic Ted fashion.
However, he doesn't tell Rebecca, which lands him in some hot water with her when it comes up in his press meeting after someone managed to capture a video of the event and spread it online. Nate even mentions it in his press conference, throwing sly insults at Ted to feel like the bigger man between them.
Ted turns the conversation around, poking fun at himself and his insecurities. He even laughs about how he's a live-action clone of Ned Flanders from the Simpsons. He has learned to keep an open mindset in light of trouble, and it clearly rubs off on everyone in the room, including Rebecca, who moments before was mad at him for not taking the situation seriously.
Nate was expecting Ted to be upset or feel lesser to him, but instead, Ted felt more confident since he could laugh at himself and continue to smile. We don't directly see Nate's response to this, but it'll be interesting to see how it plays out later on in the season.
Just in episode one, "Ted Lasso" has proved it has not lost its charm. The first episode is already setting audiences up for an emotional ride, and we are all here to experience just how the tides will turn, hopefully in AFC Richmond's and Ted's favor.
Mia Ashby is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Mia by emailing her at email@example.com.