Review: “Ted Lasso” and the Goldfish Mentality

AppleTV+ hit show Ted Lasso exemplifies the importance of humanity


Trusted Reviews

The “Ted Lasso” main characters, featuring Ted in the center and his best friend, boss, girlfriend-of-player-turned-brand-manager, and player-turned-coach (from left to right).

by Rosalie Johnson, Reporter, Editor-in-Chief

“Be a goldfish!” constantly rings through my mind on a particularly stressful or bad day – a reminder that the happiest creature in the world is one that forgets everything, who lives in the moment, for the moment. In the slight Southern drawl of Ted Lasso’s voice, the thought stays with me: I am living to be my best self for myself and for the people I love in the present. The true rawness and humanity that this show demonstrates and radiates is stunning and entirely necessary in the world in which we all live.

“Ted Lasso” has consistently proven itself time and time again to act as not only an embrace of kindness, but an example of what can happen when love and belief is everything. Through exemplifying trying your best, forgiveness and redemption, the stark realities of mental health, and true acceptance, “Ted Lasso” is genuine and right.

“Ted Lasso” emphasizes the importance of trial and error, attempting and failing and falling and rising in the journey towards becoming a better version of ourselves.

The first season revolves around someone seeking material revenge against a cheating ex-husband. Though I have always been in favor of women’s revenge, at the time this action came at the expense of an entire community – yet it was also somehow a call for empathy; as the ineffectiveness and cruelty of this revenge campaign was realized, it became such a clear indication of a true human mistake born out of the heartbreak and rage of a toxic relationship coming to a close. 

As a collective audience, we were reminded of how hard being a human – especially a hurt human – can be, and all that truly matters is the work we put into healing and becoming better.

We were also reminded of the importance of treating ourselves and each other with openness and kindness, to practice self-compassion and self-understanding to live as well as we can, even when it proves to be wildly difficult.

“Ted Lasso” reflects on self-compassion and successfully reflects on the difficulties of living with mental disorders like anxiety and depression.

Throughout the second season, the audience becomes more and more familiar with Ted and becomes more acquainted with his mind. In a carefully-constructed and sensitively-produced manner, “Ted Lasso” demonstrates the difficulties and sadnesses of anxiety and panic disorders, as well as the process of working through fear.

“Ted Lasso” handles mental disorders in a true and real way, accurately reflecting common causes of panic attacks, what it feels like to experience one, and the stigma associated with enduring an anxiety disorder. It effectively helps to reduce and eliminate the self-inflicted shame of not being okay and requiring help to heal and become better. Additionally, it truthfully reflects on the deep trauma that some characters have experienced; from family loss to heartbreak, “Ted Lasso” kindly addresses mental strife to explain people’s complexities and complications.

Whether characters come with baggage and trauma or not, “Ted Lasso” demonstrates the importance of inward acceptance and outward openness for true healing and recovery.

 With this lack of judgment, there is an immediate allowance for true acceptance and love within our communities.

“Ted Lasso” first began investigating and debriefing mental health struggles and mental disorders, demonstrating how community knowledge and acceptance aided in reducing shame as well as paving the way for healing.

However, it also did something rare for acceptance within our communities: it introduced two main storylines of queer characters that were newly out. While one storyline followed a more open character, another delved into the difficulties of being a gay man in professional athleticism; the fear of intense homophobia in a sphere plagued with extreme toxic masculinity in addition to the bigotry of the outside world compounded on character Colin Hughes. 

Feeling connected to others in the community who opened up about their own stories, Hughes was allowed to experience the love that felt right by him in the best and safest way possible. This true acceptance and support aided them in feeling welcome, completely wanted, and valued for their truth.

The drive of “Ted Lasso” to be accepting and welcoming creates an atmosphere that feels like home – maybe not literally, but at least a sense of compassion and wholeness.

Reflecting on the warm embrace of “Ted Lasso” is healing and good, and I am always seeking mindfulness and presence in kindness, acceptance, love, and the practice of “being a goldfish.”