Ted Lasso’s cuteness is not what you think it is


For some people Ted lasso Viewers, the relentless cuteness of the main character has always been suspect.

They wonder if the football has turned soccer the trainer does the bare minimum as a human while being lavished with praise because we expect our male protagonists to be cruel or manipulative anti-heroes. Is Ted’s kindness proof of his emotional immaturity? Perhaps he is in an unruffled good mood because he has never struggled with his inner darkness, which finally makes his thoughtful gestures hollow.

When Ted (played by Jason Sudeikis) finally shared the secret that has haunted him for decades – his father committed suicide when Ted was 16 – one reviewer said the revelation put the show on the verge of becoming “just one another televised shot “.

The latest episode of the hit Apple TV + series has a surprising response for viewers who doubted the origins of Ted’s cuteness – and a poignant breakthrough for his devoted fans.

“No Marriage and Funeral,” the 10th episode of Season 2, focuses on AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), whose father apparently dies of natural causes within the opening minutes of the movie. ‘episode. As Ted dresses for the funeral, jumps on Phil Collins Falls in love easily of all the songs, a persistent look in the mirror and a glimpse of her own son’s photo leads to a panic attack and a call to the team’s therapist, Dr Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), to whom he recently revealed his father’s suicide.

Soon they are sitting together in Ted’s apartment. He tells the story of the only gunshot that cost his father his life, how he opened the bedroom door to find his body. What Ted confesses will sound familiar to some suicide survivors. He hated his father to “quit” but felt deeply guilty for not saying more often that he was a good father. He now knows that his father lived with the feeling of having failed in one way or another. This bewildering mix of anger, regret, longing and grief is the reason Ted lives on kindness, empathy, and generosity. He never wants to miss someone struggling quietly.

“I knew then that no one was ever going to pass me by without realizing that they might have pain inside,” Ted told Sharon.

Kindness is also sacred to other suicide survivors. When Ronnie Walker lost her 21-year-old stepson to suicide, a few months had passed when she returned home late on a cold evening to find an aluminum foil pot on her porch. A neighbor walked past with the dish and left a note: “Ronnie, I wasn’t in town when [Channing] dead, but I think about you all the time. I made these brownies today and just wanted to give them to you and tell you that I love you. ”

“Just trying to keep going and going through life hour by hour is an accomplishment at first.”

Twenty-six years later, Walker still remembers the gesture. (Fans of Ted’s cookie-making, although under very different circumstances, may see echoes of this good deed in his own actions.)

When Walker, a Certified Clinical Mental Health Advisor, founded a nonprofit organization for suicide survivors called the Alliance of Hope, she made the first two words of her mission “Kindness Matters.”

“For suicide survivors, it matters a lot,” she says. They not only accept the devastation of their loss, but also the stigma they may encounter from others.

“Just trying to keep going and going through life hour by hour is an accomplishment at first.”

Walker, who had not seen Ted lasso before speaking to Mashable, says support from friends and relatives typically peaks around three weeks after a death by suicide, but then begins to wane.

For survivors of a loss, invisible wounds don’t heal so quickly: “It’s the long term, it’s years – longer than anyone around will remember.”

Grieving people know how vital kindness is to someone struggling with suicidal feelings. They also know that receiving when someone you love dies is asserting your life. While Ted focuses on intuiting the suffering of others rather than explicitly paying for any kindness shown to him in the wake of his father’s death (he never mentions how others reacted), empathy in both cases are branches of the same tree.

Dr Stacey Freedenthal, Ph.D., associate professor of social work at the University of Denver and a licensed clinical social worker who treats survivors of suicide, says channeling energy into kindness by being more mindful of pain and the circumstances of others can happen after a loss.

“This gives meaning to their loss,” says Freedenthal, who has not seen Ted lasso. “I think it’s post-traumatic growth because it changed them in a way that now they’re trying to help other people, because of what happened to them.”

While the episode convincingly demonstrates that Ted’s compassion isn’t fabricated or is emotional avoidance, he’s also not shy about conflicting feelings.

SEE ALSO:

Why I refuse to give up season 2 of ‘Ted Lasso’

When Ted admits he hates his father for committing suicide, because he “left our family,” Sharon fails to correct his otherwise stigmatizing language. Freedenthal says that if a client uses similar phrasing with her, she gives him space to express her anger.

Over time, she may try to redirect the client’s idea of ​​suicide away from a selfish act and toward the idea that it’s like being carried away by a tornado. Thoughts of suicide, as well as the circumstances and conditions that cause them, happen to a person; they did not choose this pain or this disease.

Then the client can direct their anger to the forces that created or contributed to the person’s suicidal thoughts. These factors can include persistent or untreated mental illness, oppression and discrimination, and hopelessness born of financial pressure.

Freedenthal says anger is part of grieving any loss, but it can become especially complicated for survivors of the loss. The way a person’s life ended often overshadows the many different ways they lived, and some survivors get stuck when their loved one dies. This is why Freedenthal tries to help clients reconnect with precious memories of their time together, even if it is still painful.

Sharon tries a similar technique when she invites Ted to remember something he loved about his father. Resistant at first, Ted remembers a story full of humor and gentleness that testifies to his father’s dedication.

But “No Marriage and Funeral” isn’t limited to Ted’s experience. He ambitiously revisits the childhood traumas that hurt him, Rebecca and Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) to varying degrees. It’s about fathers and father figures leaving, physically or emotionally, and the damage that abandonment leaves in its wake.

In a twist that viewers may or may not believe, Ted and Rebecca experienced their trauma on the same day, September 13, 1991. The connection, unknown to the two characters despite sharing an unexpected mutual understanding, is a reminder of how secrets weigh on those who hold them and how people are unwittingly brought together as a result. In the Ted lasso universe, no one is ever truly alone even if two friends do not fully understand what is afflicting the other person. Of course, once Ted arrives at the funeral and sees Rebecca in distress, he invokes the grace she needs to carry her through the moment.

An Apple spokesperson did not answer questions about whether the show consulted with suicide loss experts or incorporated the first-hand knowledge of writers or producers, but Ted lasso Creator Bill Lawrence recently said on Twitter that his mental health stories are informed by “a lot of personal experience”.

While there may be criticism of how the show handles Ted’s revelations – there are still two episodes this season for the writing to falter – it did something remarkable in portraying the loss by suicide with such complexity and sensitivity.

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2019. Chances are, viewers have lost a loved one or know someone who has lost someone. For a fish-out of the water comedy allegedly about a professional football team, Ted lasso made visible the grief survivors of loss bear and the empathy that gives them a reason to keep moving forward. Perhaps the many rickrolling references in the episode are how the writers wink at their audiences about the Bait and the Switch.

For Ronnie Walker, solace can be found in the Alliance of Hope digital support group, a forum available to survivors of the loss 24/7. She describes it as a sacred place of connection for an extraordinarily diverse community guided by kindness. There, she says, participants and moderators maintain a culture of healing, provide information about suicide loss, bear witness to people’s stories without judging or backing down, and offering hope beyond mere survival.

“They need to be loved,” Walker says of suicide survivors. “They need to know that there are people out there, that they are not alone.”

Ted Lasso would probably agree.

If you want to talk to someone or if you have suicidal thoughts, Crisis text line provides free and confidential 24/7 support. Text CRISIS to 741741 to be put in touch with a crisis counselor. Contact the NAMI Hotline at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, or by email [email protected]. You can also call the National lifeline for suicide prevention at 1-800-273-8255. here is a listing of international resources.



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