• Mike Douglas

Ted Lasso - Panic

I believe we subscribed to Apple TV around October November 2019, when I updated my phone and got 3 months free. Since then I have been both amazed and slightly disappointed with Apple’s TV subscription service. However, that disappointment is only that there is not more content; because the programs and movies that are there are just awesome.


Ted Lasso is one of these amazing programs. While The Morning Show, Schmigadoon, Defending Jacob and so many more are great shows. Ted Lasso is a standout show, to me.


This post includes references to panic attacks and symptoms.


*Image from AppleTV


I enjoyed season one of Ted Lasso; having never seen the sketches or advert appearances of Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso this was a completely new character to me. Instantly I enjoyed the humour, characters and storylines. This isn’t one of those programs where you have to get through the first 5 episodes before it gets good, it’s great from the start.


In season one I liked how the football was a constant background, but rarely felt like the focus. The characters, their lives, their relationships, their struggles and successes were the focus.


Reflecting on season two (the nine episodes I’ve seen so far), it feels like not only is the football in the background now, but so is the comedy to some extent. It’s always there as part of the environment; weaving in and out scenes and conversations. But… this season even more than the first focuses on hard ‘real life’ situations.


I am definitely speaking from a personal point of view, as it’s my personal experience that has meant I have loved this season so much more. In fact it was one scene and one shot that really got me. That one shot lasted only about half a second, and a scene that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about.

That scene was part of Ted’s panic attack where his hands began cramping. The program shows Ted hide his hands in his pockets and leave the dugout. Hurrying away from his friends and colleagues.


This moment resonated with me so much, in part because I have experienced this myself. I had a very visceral reaction to seeing the scene and remembering on one occasion experiencing this while trying to pick an item up unsuccessfully with my uncontrollable fingers and hands. Realising your hands just are not responding to you, that you are not in control is a super scary thing. I have come to understand this can be part of your body shutting down and like a overused laptop needing a switch off reset, it’s you needing a break. But at the time I didn’t know why, what, how and that was scary too.

The way small signs had been shown in earlier episodes that Ted was experiencing anxiety and panic seemingly climaxed here with this public and traumatic panic attack.

I am not sure how clear or obvious the hand cramping or those signs were if you are someone without this experience. But for me that half a second or so was so powerful and impactful. The signs beforehand showed that journey that I think is very common, particularly in in men, where you just carry on. Not paying attention or responding to your minds need for a break or some care.


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In a program that has amazing stories and comedy, from a variety of characters I suspect there are many viewers that will have seen something over these two seasons that they connect with. While I don’t connect with the characters in the same way I adore Roy and Keeley and their journeys.


For me seeing and enjoying the comedy, character journeys and serious storylines all in one program is amazing.


While there’s a lot of different potential points that could (and did) draw my attention. There’s been a stand out storyline in each season for me personally. In season one it was Ted’s divorce, and season two is definitely the panic attack.


More popular and eloquent writers have written recently about the accuracy with which the show approaches therapy and males in particular accessing therapy. While that’s true, I think the whole journey to this point has been very well told in a safe accessible and relatable way. From Ted’s success and excitement of new job and moving, to the challenges of his changing relationships with his ex/wife and his son and the pressure of elite sport. A beautiful and careful story has been/ is being told; both across the whole season and in individual moments.


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There are still a very limited number of programs and films on Apple TV. But the quality of the shows there are very high.

Ted Lasso in particular has in both seasons really struck a cord with me. Within a show, that from the outside may look like a football comedy with bright colours; delves into real, serious, life moments in an approachable accessible and safe way. For that I am very grateful and a big fan.

As season two comes to a close I am, more than anything, grateful to have seen something I have experienced on screen told in a way that I could connect with in a personal and emotional way.

I am really pleased to see mental health difficulties represented on a major show that, from the outside, appears to be a comedy program about football.

The season has progressed to Ted talking to Sharon the the club Therapist; seeking therapy is something I would massively recommend. If you have been or are affected by any of the topics raised I would encourage you to seek support, it helps and you are worthy of the support.


You can find out more about panic attacks and the support available by visiting mind.org or a number of other local and national services and support.


*Image from Apple TV