Ted Lasso, Season 2, Episode 8: Man City

Way back at the end of 2020, I started hearing about a new TV show on, of all places, Apple TV+. The show was based on a series of TV commercials that, frankly, I never thought were very funny. But people were praising “Ted Lasso” so much, I decided to give it a try.

Needless to say, I binged the entire first season in a little over a week. I deliberately limited myself to one episode per day, though it was hard! And I loved it. It was nearly perfect, inspiring, and just what I needed at the end of very tough year.

Then in early 2021, I also began hearing about this Clubhouse thing. So when I finally got on and experimented with the new medium with my friend Tim Taylor, the first room I organized I titled, on a whim, “Ted Lasso is Awesome.” Miraculously, random strangers started joining, all drawn in because they loved the show. (Funny thing–Tim hadn’t watched the show at the time. I told him that he wouldn’t be able to stop watching once he started. He binged Season 1 in a day, and now is an even bigger fan than me, if that’s possible!)

I’ve now been helping to run a weekly Ted Lasso Clubhouse (Sundays at 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern/9 PM GMT) with an eclectic cast of regulars who are all very different, but all drawn to this amazing show.

Then, inspired by my new friend, the amazing Thea Newcomb‘s suggestion that we organize a meetup, we actually put together LassoCon, the world’s first fan-organized virtual Ted Lasso conference. We even got press coverage! LassoCon 2 will be coming in November, after we finish Season 2.

Each week, I watch Ted Lasso on Friday night, and then write down my notes on the show, organized by principal characters. I realized that rather than just using them during our Clubhouse sessions, I should publish them here. So if you’re a Ted Lasso fan, you can find my notes on “Man City” below:

Man City

  • Ted: Gets closer to Dr. Sharon after her accident. Confesses the truth of his panic attacks to the Diamond Dogs. After the loss and witnessing the confrontation between Jamie and his dad, runs out and tells Dr. Sharon that his father killed himself when he was 16
    • At Dr. Sharon’s corporate apartment, he sees evidence that she is an alcoholic (all she has to drink is water and wine) and depressed (her book on getting through misery in middle age).
    • Ted’s coaching limitations: He tries to pull a Hoosiers, but is defeated because the pitch can be different sizes, and Wembley is different from the Old Wembley where Freddy Mercury performed at Live Aid.  He doesn’t have anything to offer when Richmond is simply outclassed by Man City.
  • Rebecca: Goes to meet LDN152 and discovers that it’s Sam, and that he’s 21. She wants to leave but allows herself to be persuaded to stay for dinner. When he drops her off, she tells him never again, but then kisses him. After the Man City loss, she sees Sam interviewed talking about how it is important to try. She texts him (not through Bantr) and he gives her his address. She goes to run to him, but then discovers that he’s outside her door, and welcomes him in as the kiss again.
    • How differently would we feel about this dynamic if this were Rupert and a 21-year-old woman football player?
  • Roy: Discovers that Phoebe has been swearing (justifiably). Tries to get her to stop swearing.  After witnessing Jamie’s confrontation with his dad, Roy is the only one who knows what to do.  He goes to Jamie and gives him a big and lasting hug.
    • Phoebe’s dad is a living piece of shit
    • Is Phoebe’s mom Dr. Sharon’s ER doc?
    • “Sometimes I’m concerned that I’m infecting you with the worst parts of me.”
  • Keely: Largely secondary this episode. She is with Rebecca when LDN152 asks her to meet and encourages her to go by Facetiming Rebecca in her car when she is too scared to go inside.
  • Jamie: Reluctantly gets his dad and his buddies tickets to the match. Of course Jamie’s dad is a big Man City fan, and goes to the locker room after the game to gloat and get Jamie to help his boys get past security. When he calls Jamie a pussy, Jamie decks him.  When Roy hugs him, he cries, because he is getting something he would never get from his dad.
    • Jamie’s dad and his boys are the old version of the barflies.
  • Beard: After Jamie decks his dad, Beard hustles him out, smashing him against the door along the way. “Oops!”  Clearly frustrated by Ted’s mantra of “It’s going to be okay” when it is clearly not okay.  Seems to be building to something–would he leave Ted?
  • Nate: In a small hope spot, Nate confesses that he thinks up good ideas months in advance, then brings them out at the right time and tries to make them seem spontaneous.  He lashes out at the ref and gets a yellow card (and an approving shoulder punch from Roy).
    • He finally got to run practice, but by default after Ted left to pick up Dr. Sharon from the hospital, Roy left to deal with Phoebe, and Beard told him to do it.
  • Higgins: Has now moved to a janitorial closet. Talks with Jamie about his dad. Confesses that he messed up some time zones, costing Richmond the chance to bring in a midfielder from Brazil.
    • “I try to love my dad for who he is, and forgive him for who he isn’t.”
      • But what if the person is a dick, like Jamie’s dad?
  • Sam: His dad calls to tell him that Cerethium Oil has been ordered to stop all operations in Nigeria. His dad tells him, “I’m so proud of you” and “I love you.”  This is directly in contrast with Jamie’s dad asking for free tickets. Buoyed by this parental love, he asks GirlBoss to meet him for dinner. When he meets Rebecca and they discover what has happened, he persists–he has always been attracted to her, and then makes his move at the end of the episode.
  • Dr. Sharon: We discover that Dr. Sharon has her own therapist, to whom she complains about Ted Lasso and how he wriggles away by telling a joke or referring to something meaningful to a 40-year-old white man. Her therapist tells her that she uses her intelligence to keep people at a distance (analogous to how Ted uses humor to do the same), and needs to open up before Ted will…which she does accidentally by calling Ted 32 times while concussed after her accident, including singing West Side Story (which shows that she has a common love of musical theater).  We also discover that she has no one in her life; she lives in a corporate apartment and can only leave the hospital because Ted (whom the doctor initially thinks is her husband) accompanies her.  Back at her sterile apartment, we see that it is full of empty bottles and wine glasses, and that the only non-alcoholic liquid available is tap water.  She is also reading a book about getting through midlife misery.  She later reveals to Ted that she was scared, because riding her bike makes her happy, and she worries she won’t be able to enjoy it anymore.
  • Callbacks
    • Cerethium Oil
    • Jamie’s Dad
  • Other shoes
    • Money troubles
    • Nate’s bullying
    • Jane
    • Rupert
  • Misc
    • Isaac is a master of haircuts, but will only give you one haircut per season. Danny: “I’m saving it for when I get married.”  Jan, as always, misses the point.

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