The much anticipated season three finale of Ted Lasso is now upon us – so is this the end for the American football coach and his time in the UK managing AFC Richmond?
The series finale is expected to conclude storylines that audiences have been following since the feelgood hit Apple TV+ series launched in 2020, including the future of Jason Sudeikis‘ Ted Lasso and whether or not his fictional London club could go all the way and win the Premier League.
Speaking about the series coming to an end, co-creator Brendan Hunt, who also plays Coach Beard in the show, describes it as a “wonderful and all-consuming ride”, and says the intention was always to tell the story over three seasons.
“We’ve always seen it as a three-part thing and we’re coming up to the end of that,” he told Sky News. “So, we definitely treated it like the end of that story. Whether or not people will be happy with that – the people are very unpredictable.”
Based on a character originally seen in advertisements for the Premier League on NBC in 2013, Ted Lasso has become one of the top comedy series of the last three years.
The show has won 11 Primetime Emmy awards – including for outstanding comedy series, outstanding directing for a comedy series, and outstanding lead actor in a comedy for Sudeikis.
‘Trent Crimm’ on the show’s gay footballer storyline
Season three introduced the storyline of Richmond’s first gay footballer, Colin Hughes, played by Billy Harris.
James Lance, who plays newspaper journalist Trent Crimm, who is also gay, says it is great to see an LGBTQ+ football story “being represented on the main stage” and that he is “thrilled” to be part of it.
“I understand it’s had quite an impact out there and a lot of gay people have said that they really wish they’d seen something like this on TV back when they were younger and that kind of thing. So, it’s just great.”
The actor explained that he and his wife, who have a four-year-old boy, have been watching another show called Heartstopper – an LGBTQ+ drama about teen friendship and a young romance, based on the novel by Alice Oseman.
“Isn’t it amazing that TV has so many stories now?” he says. “And as our boy grows up, this is just as it is – easy. It’s just people loving each other and it’s as straightforward as that.”
The evolution of Jamie Tartt
This is not the first time Ted Lasso has represented relationships not often depicted in comedy shows.
Season one saw “arrogant” Jamie Tartt, played by Phil Dunster, reveal a strained relationship with his father and the reasons behind why he strived to be a great footballer.
“There is such depth there that I think other people can relate to [it] as well in whatever way that might be,” says Dunster.
“It felt like all of a sudden there are reasons for why Jamie is the way he is, and that is something that you as an actor like.”
Speaking about his love-hate story arc with Brett Goldstein’s character Roy Kent, Phil continues: “It’s great for Jamie to have a sort of paternal figure who kind of loves him, I think, but is willing to spend the time to teach him.”
Could we see spin-offs for football stars?
After three seasons, it seems unlikely we’ll get a fourth season of Ted Lasso – but according to Hunt, that doesn’t rule out the universe expanding.
“I think there’s 20 spin-offs that we could do, but maybe we won’t do any of them. I don’t know,” he says, adding jokingly: “I only hope that if we do them, they are animated musicals.”
Nick Mohammed, who plays former Richmond kit man turned West Ham manager Nathan Shelley, adds: “I genuinely don’t know whether there’ll be a fourth season.
“I feel like the writers were really honest about saying they had a three-season arc mapped out for, not just Nate, but for all the characters.
“I get nervous about the idea of a spin-off, especially because Ted Lasso has been such a hit, and everyone is so grateful for that. There’s always a danger with spin-offs, right? Not quite hitting the right note, but I don’t know. Let’s see.”
While Mohammed isn’t sure that Nate would be the ideal character for a standalone series, he says he would watch one featuring Roy Kent, Jamie Tartt or Danny Rojas.
“I’m in,” says Dunster. “And if Nick can be in it as well, then I’ll definitely do it.”
The season finale of Ted Lasso is available to stream on Apple TV+ from 31 May