“Even Woody and Buzz got under each other’s plastic.” ~ Ted Lasso
Hello and welcome to Peace, Love, and Robots, a podcast about anything and everything, and all that's in between. I am your host Jeremy, and this is Season 2, Episode 8, for October 27, 2021.
It's getting cold outside. It's been raining here for days. I'm considering running to Home Depot to see if they have any gopher wood left, and if they have any tape measures that use cubits as one of the units of measurement.
Should I be worried that I had two alpacas show up at my door last night? I guess I can just do something about that later.
Anyway . . .
This podcast is brought to you by the ads you hear at the beginning and end of the show, so if you stay around to the end, I'll forever be in your debt.
I started this podcast as an accountability tool, and I haven't given you all a word count update for the past few weeks. This doesn't mean that I have fallen off of the wagon, that I gave up the writing bug and just stopped altogether. I've been writing. A lot.
Well, it's less writing and more re-writing and editing. But that still counts, right? I've been working on the penultimate draft of my book, My Life's Work, which was the inspiration for my November 2020 Podcast Project, Working Class Hero. The podcast originally started as a book, and now the podcast is a book once again. So this past week alone, I've edited or rewrote over 17,000 words.
The goal will be to publish this book on Amazon in early November. Once it's available, I'll be posting the link to purchase over at my substack - Zehr.Substack.com If you subscribe there, you'll be among the first to know, because it can be sent right to your e-mail!
Enough about that, on to my healthy meal of crow.
It takes a big man to admit when he was wrong. So I must be huge. For the most part, I'm rather quick to admit when I was wrong, so here I am, two weeks after my Ted Lasso rant, to admit that yes, I was wrong.
I decided on a whim to give Ted Lasso just one more shot. And this time, it got me. I got it. I finally understood the appeal.
There's a lot about the show that I love, there's some things that I don't like, but overall, Ted Lasso is an excellent example of when art can do something that transcends the subject matter and speak to things about the culture, without being preachy about it.
I was only able to binge season one, even though the second season is also available on Apple TV+. So, for all I know, the show goes completely off the rails. But at this point, my view has been untainted by anything that happens after the end of the first season.
I'm not going to give it a full review, because there are some things that show touches on that I just don't think I have the right point of view to truly expound on. But, I will touch on the things that I think it says about culture that affect me.
If you haven't seen Ted Lasso, I'll do what I can NOT to spoil it (one of the wonders of this current age is that I was not spoiled about much so far), so I will keep things vague. Maybe this will serve as a selling point to people like me, who are not quick to embrace what is currently en vogue.
First - a summary. Ted Lasso is the story of a college football coach from the United States, who, after a video of him celebrating after a big win goes viral, gets hired to coach a soccer team in England. The reason for his hiring is simple - the new owner of the team inherited it from her philandering ex husband in the divorce. She wants the team to fail miserably and hurt her husband, who loves the team more than anything.
So that's the premise, but through the show you meet an eclectic cast of characters with their own quirks and flaws. But Ted is endlessly kind and optimistic. Think of him as Mr. Rogers with a coach's whistle and a southern drawl.
You would think that a character like Ted is one dimensional, but far from it. Ted has his own stuff that he is dealing with, and it is slowly revealed throughout the season.
The larger part of the story is how Ted is an example of a truly good man. Post-Modern prestige television like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and the Shield, among others, have sort of prepared us to expect our heroes to be extremely flawed, broken, or to at least have a dark edge to them. But despite Ted having issues, none of them seem to be criminal or immoral.
Ted Lasso gives hope for the average man, that maybe men are not getting the short end of the stick on television. For years sitcom dads have been portrayed as selfish buffoons. However, in the few scenes we see Ted being a dad to his young son, he's kind, generous, and loving.
Not only that, he takes on a fatherly role with every one of his players, no matter their deep personality flaws. At one point, a player has to deal with a father angry at him for not playing selfishly, and Ted gives him kudos for being a team player. Ted throws a birthday party for another player who is underperforming but seems to be missing home.
Ted is a gold standard dad that we can all aspire to be.
I'm not saying that he is completely perfect - he has some moments of terrible weakness, but he is quick to apologize to anyone that might have been effected by it. But Ted is a fully realized, nuanced character that we can truly root for.
The underlying wonderful thing about Ted Lasso is that he presents a lofty goal for all guys to strive for. The old adage goes something like "nice guys finish last", but that's not the case. Ted Lasso connects with the audience because he's someone that we would like to hang out with. He also helps battle against the oft cited "incels" who complain about how they are so nice but stuck in the friend zone. Ted is proof that there may be something else wrong with those guys stuck in their parent's basements in their twenties.
Ted is driven but not at the expense of others. He cares about everyone, and forgives when slighted. Ted Lasso is the antidote to toxic masculinity, because he's not out for himself, just like real men are able to be gentle, kind, and supportive, and sacrificial even to their own detriment.
For a long time, I have not seen anyone that seems to be a reflection of me, or the idolized version of me. But now I have. And he has a mustache that rivals Magnum PI's.
I was wrong about Ted Lasso, and I apologize for how wrong I was. If anything, I know that he will forgive me, and maybe even give me a biscuit in the process.
What do you think? Feel free to let me know by sending me an e-mail at email@example.com or leave me a voicemail at 585-371-8986. I would love to hear from you.
And if you want to see more content from me, check out my substack at zehr.substack.com - I post a new column every Monday and Friday - that's three times the content from me every single week! I'd love to have you subscribe over there - you can even get it sent to your e-mail! It's that easy, guys and gals.
Peace, Love, and Robots: It's the hope that kills ya.