The Gospel According To Ted Lasso

If you read the description for the AppleTV+ show Ted Lasso you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a typical television show.

Ted Lasso (Jason Sudekis) and his sidekick Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) are successful American football coaches who now find themselves leading a once-great-but-now-mediocre English soccer team. They're fish out of water up against impossible odds all while an antagonist (Hannah Waddingham) is pulling the strings behind the curtain.

It's... well, it's the recipe that Disney and Marvel and Star Wars and literally every other storyteller has used since the days of Beowulf.

Which is why it took me so long to sit down and start it.

I have never been so wrong.

The writing is smart. The dialogue is funny. The characters are endearing. The storylines are heartwarming.

And Ted Lasso is the kindest man on American television.

In fact, he's so kind that other characters who wanted to hate him from the moment he set foot in England (and did!) find themselves unable to continue doing so. Whether it's cynical journalists or longtime fans or neighborhood kids... they are almost immediately disarmed by Ted's genuine compassion and kindness.

Notice I said genuine. Ted has one of the strongest moral compasses I've ever seen on television. He reminds me of Ned Flanders (who deserves his own blog-a-rino) in that he is the same person no matter who he's with and what is going on around him.

But whereas Flanders straddled the line between being the butt of jokes and commanding respect from characters on The Simpsons, Ted's integrity and honesty endears himself to almost everyone who enters his life.

I think that's the lesson. My fascination with Ted Lasso says more about me than anything else. I am shocked when someone is kind for the sake of kindness. The magic of the show... the reason it's so engaging... is that Ted represents what we're capable of as human beings. He is the best of us. And the thing that absolutely floors me is that Ted proves it's possible.

Because Ted comes up against professional hardships. And personal challenges. And people who hate him. And others who spit on him. Or insult him. Or call him names. Or threaten his livelihood. But he walks through it all with a humility and a kindness that is so rarely seen in our lives, much less on our television screens.

You and I have a choice every day to be good and decent people. To treat others the way we want to be treated. To love our neighbor. To love our enemies. To give the benefit of the doubt. To be kind and compassionate. To forgive each other.

Ted Lasso is not a "Christian" show. Or a "religious" show. Or a "whatever term you want to put into quotations" show.

But it's the television show that best portrays Christian humility, kindness, and compassion.

My recommendation? Find Ted Lasso. Watch the first episode. Sit back. Relax. And in the words of Ted: "Be curious, not judgmental."