Apple TV’s hit show Ted Lasso can be a source of hope and faith for many Christians, according to Audry Goertzen from Transpositions. Goertzen recalls being introduced to the show by a former boyfriend and jokes that while the boyfriend is no longer in her life, Ted Lasso is. The general concept of the shows revolves around an American College Football Coach being hired to take over a British Premier League Football Club. The irony that Ted Lasso knows nothing about Football (soccer) is not lost in the show or on the audience. The hook? Ted Lasso is an over the top optimist, witty, and genuine.
As far as why Ted Lasso might be inspirational for Christians, Goertzen clarifies:
As mentioned, in my own life, this show has had an especially strong draw for my Christian
friends. I have been trying to put my finger on why that is. Perhaps it is that Ted rarely
swears, despite the salty and typically-British language of all the other characters. Perhaps it
is the emotional depth of the show, despite the at times surface-level nature of Ted’s
optimism. Having watched it through several times, and discussed it with many people, I
think it might be the infectiousness of the belief and hope that Ted preaches.
Goertzen draws connections between the energy drain of our never ending pandemic, and that hope for the sake of hope may be a path forward for many of us. In her life, she mentions that the optimism Ted Lasso brings helps her own mindset. One character in the show, a journalist named Trent Crimm, after spending a day with Ted Lasso writes that ‘you can’t help but root for him’. And while Ted Lasso faces self-doubt and criticism and failure in more abundance in Season 2, his positive demeanor and staying true to himself helps to see him through. With our challenges today, we can all use a little more hope in our lives.
Audry Goertzen of Transpositions writes:
Still, I am not entirely convinced that such a faith–in things simply eventually working out
well for good–is completely misguided. It brings to mind Mere Christianity’s popular quote,
‘If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable
explanation is that we were made for another world.’ The desires this world cannot satisfy
point us toward God, just as the desire to believe in something does. Rare is the person who
believes in absolutely nothing, who hates to hope or have faith. Certainly, we can each think
of examples of people who tout such concepts, but do they enjoy hating hope? No. Hating
hope, avoiding faith and belief in something more than the controllable is miserable. This is
where Ted Lasso’s practice is so interesting, for even though his belief is not placed in God,
his religion is arguably hope itself. He honours the part of himself that sees the good in belief
and encourages others to do the same. He seeks to liberate hope, and the part of oneself that
is made for another world.
Arguably, this is precisely why audience affection for Ted and the show have been so
contagious. World events have been crushing hope, making it more and more difficult to
believe things will end up alright. Though the hope displayed in Ted Lasso does not go far
enough, for it does not ground hope in Christ and God’s redemptive work of everything which
we are invited to join, it liberates and celebrates our human instinct to hope. To have faith.
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