Ted Lasso at a press conference in the season 3 premiere

‘Ted Lasso’s Season Opener Really Hit as a Child of Divorce

With season 3 of Ted Lasso underway, we’re remembering how the show can make us laugh and cry at the same time. The hit comedy from Apple TV+ stars Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, the football coach for AFC Richmond and a man from Kansas City living in the United Kingdom to do his job. It means that he has left his family behind and, at a time when his wife wants a divorce and there is upheaval in his home, we see the toll that it all takes on Ted.

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But the season 3 premiere, “Smells Like Mean Spirit,” gave us a look into how Ted is really coping by bringing his son Henry to London for the summer. We start the season as Henry is getting ready to go back home to America while Ted has to stay to start the season with the Greyhounds.

While Henry seems okay with going home, Ted is not. So, we know that this is something that’s going to weigh heavily on him, especially since we know how Ted already struggles with being so far away from his son. But the reason it really hit, for me, was because I know the pain that divorce can inflict on a kid and what saying goodbye to your parent feels like—especially now that I can look back on it and realize just how much time I lost with my dad because of it all.

Saying goodbye to your parents

I was lucky in that my mother and father lived not far from each other, had a decent relationship still for the sake of their children, and let us still all talk to each other and know one another like we would if they had stayed married. Still, there were those times when I had to watch my dad leave to head home from family events because he didn’t live there anymore, or know that he couldn’t afford to come see me but my mom did.

It was something I thought about a lot as I got older, because my mom would come visit me where I live and my dad just couldn’t afford to do it. And if they had still been married, he could have come with her. My life would have been a lot different, and part of me thinks that he wouldn’t have gotten as sick as he did—only because my mom made sure he went to the doctor and took care of himself.

All this to say that watching as Ted said goodbye to Henry really hurt, because I know what it is like for Henry. And yes, we are relating to Ted because we know his pain and his anxiety and how saying goodbye to his son who he loves very much isn’t easy, but I know what Henry is also feeling, and it’s a lot to unpack.

As always, Ted Lasso makes me think about a lot of my own feelings and past, and I love the show for it. This one really just was that punch to the gut that Lasso loves to bring us.

(featured image: Apple TV+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.