Ted Lasso scores again with a winning second season that smartly builds on the success of the first. Jason Sudeikis and his hilarious supporting cast reprise their characters with more depth. We delve further into their wacky personalities as the show takes several complex turns. The key is that it never loses that folksy, unbridled optimism of the lead character. This engages the audience further, genuinely increases likeability, and makes AFC Richmond easy to root for.

Ted Lasso's season two begins with "Goodbye Earl". AFC Richmond, having been redelegated to the second tier of the English Premier League, is currently on a streak of draws. Yes, non soccer/football fans, you can have tie games. Star player Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez) has a guaranteed win in his sights; but an unthinkable, and darkly comic, tragedy occurs. Coaches Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) and Beard (Brendan Hunt) must find a way to rally the team back from a bad omen. Dani, who joyously embraced "football is life", becomes an emotional wreck.

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Team owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) and the kind, bespectacled operations manager, Leslie Higgins (Jeremy Swift), decide to hire a renowned sports therapist (Sarah Niles) to help Dani. Coach Lasso begrudgingly agrees, but harbors a distrust of therapy in general. Meanwhile, Keeley (Juno Temple) tries to help Roy (Brett Goldstein) find a career after football. And former AFC Richmond player, Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), wants back on the team after a laughable fame- seeking excursion.

Season two shines brightest when the characters explore their relationships. Keeley becomes integral to helping Rebecca learn to date again, Roy moving on with his life, and Jamie getting over his hideous ego to become a great player. Ted Lasso also faces his own stumbles to righting the team and finding a little romance himself. Nick Mohammed also gets a bit of the spotlight as Nathan. Now promoted to assistant coach, starts exercising authority in a humorous subplot.

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Ted Lasso's first season recently scored a whopping twenty Emmy nominations. This was a record haul for a freshman comedy series. I am pleased to report there is no sophomore slump. The show continues to be delightful, upbeat entertainment. Ted Lasso's second season will be a serious awards contender next year. The characters are just fantastic to see. Ted Lasso is a production of Ruby's Tuna, Doozer, Warner Bros. Television, and Universal Television. Season two will have twelve episodes with a July 23rd global premiere on Apple TV+.

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