Irina Shayk and Jason Sudeikis share laughs, hug after dinner in NYC

Entertainment

Page Six 21 July, 2021 - 02:23pm 30 views

Dialect dilemmas for 'Ted Lasso' stars

Associated Press 21 July, 2021 - 04:01pm

Jason Sudeikis Dines with Ted Lasso Costars and Irina Shayk in New York City

PEOPLE 21 July, 2021 - 02:20pm

The Saturday Night Live alum, 45, had dinner Tuesday at the Hunt & Fish Club in the Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan, where he was joined by costars Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein, who later left the dinner together arm-in-arm.

Shayk, meanwhile, was photographed standing beside Sudeikis outside the high-end steakhouse, where the pair were both captured smiling and chatting.

The 35-year-old Russian model wore an all-black outfit, while the Emmy-nominated actor sported a hat and colorful sweater.

The night out comes after Sudeikis' recent appearance at Ted Lasso's season 2 premiere in West Hollywood. Days prior, GQ published a cover profile in which Sudeikis addressed his split from ex-fiancée Olivia Wilde.

Sudeikis and Wilde, 37, called it quits in November after being engaged for seven years. They share daughter Daisy, 4½, and son Otis, 7.

"I'll have a better understanding of why in a year," Sudeikis said of why they broke up. "And an even better one in two, and an even greater one in five. It'll go from being, you know, a book of my life to becoming a chapter to a paragraph to a line to a word to a doodle."

Last month, a source confirmed that Sudeikis and Keeley Hazell have "been dating for a little while now."

As for Shayk — who shares daughter Lea, 4, with ex Bradley Cooper — she has been seeing Kanye West following his split from Kim Kardashian.

Jason Sudeikis has some Ted Lasso-style team spirit for real British footballers coping with racist fans

The A.V. Club 21 July, 2021 - 05:21am

Noting that Ted Lasso is “rooted in despising things like bullying and racism,” Sudeikis said that, since the three footballers surnames were perpetually plastered on their jerseys, he chose to spotlight “the names their parents gave them.” “They’re kids,” stressed Sudeikis, in coach-speak, “They’re young men. They should have the opportunity to succeed and fail—and tie—like everyone.” And, just in case anybody doubted his inspirational, nice guy cred, Sudeikis also decried the exclusion of another Black athlete from the upcoming (assuming they happen at all) Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Agreeing with Colbert that marijuana “isn’t a performance-enhancing drug,” Sudeikis referenced his turn playing coach to a fictional Jesse Owens, Sudeikis obliquely called the suspension of U.S. sprinter and odds-on gold medal favorite Sha’Carri Richardson some bullshit. Okay, he actually said, “I’m bummed we don’t have our full squad, especially on the ladies’ side,” but that’s Ted Lasso/Jason Sudeikis for you.

What Lies Beneath Ted Lasso

The Ringer 21 July, 2021 - 05:00am

Optimism defines TV’s favorite football coach, but so do mood swings, manic reveries, and a deep hunger to win

The first season of Apple TV+’s coach-out-of-water comedy Ted Lasso was justifiably praised as a tonic of humanity and cross-cultural understanding during last year’s tumult. Jason Sudeikis’s title character is an American college football coach from Kansas, who for a variety of barely plausible reasons finds himself coaching AFC Richmond, a struggling Premier League team, without knowing even the basic rudiments of his newly adopted sport. During the season’s 10-episode arc, Lasso overcomes his players’ reasonable skepticism, ownership’s skulduggery, and his own failing marriage to bring the team to the brink of redemption. Lasso’s major gift as a coach is a kind of weaponized optimism, an empathy so hardwired that it wears down even the most cynical of his antagonists. It’s very funny, and very moving, to see him unite his ragtag crew of cast-off players and befuddled assistants into a unified and cohesive whole—he is a Pangloss of the pitch.

But there are times during the season when it’s possible to sense something else to Lasso as well. Facing estrangement from his wife and child back home, he drinks heavily and experiences panic attacks—moments that broadly hint that relentless kindness may be partially in service of holding something back. And then, in the final scene of the first season, we get an authentic glimpse behind the curtain of Ted Lasso’s psyche.

Having lost their last game in heartbreaking fashion, Lasso meets with AFC Richmond’s owner Rebecca Welton, whom he has feuded with and finally won over by sheer force of personality. Nevertheless, he assumes his tenure is over and proffers his resignation, which Welton surprises him by refusing. She then explains the challenge that lies before him: Having been relegated to a lower division, AFC Richmond must first regain its Premiership status and then resume competing against the best clubs in England. Something like anger flashes in his eyes. Then he delivers the following monologue:

“So then, next year we get ourselves a promotion, which looks good on any résumé. Then we come back to this league and … we do something that no one believes we could ever do: win the whole fucking thing.”

It seems like an uncharacteristic moment, but it shouldn’t be all that shocking. All season long the implication has been that, for all of his sweetness, there is something off about Lasso. Now, suddenly, it becomes transparent. Like so many successful coaches, he is utterly obsessed with winning. Driven by a sense of being underestimated and misunderstood—a mindset adjacent to rage—he has maneuvered himself into a position where he has never been considered less likely to succeed. Perhaps Lasso’s kindness-at-all-costs gambit has been entirely tactical, the most efficient way for a hungry competitor to get ahead. It’s a psychological swerve that feels both well-earned and a little bit chilling. As we approach the premiere of Season 2, we remain in Lasso’s goofball thrall, but the series has cleverly seeded the carnival atmosphere with an undercurrent of compulsion, and even sports-addled madness.

Sports fans are well aware of the kindhearted archetype known as the players’ coach. In the ’70s and ’80s, George “Sparky” Anderson won championships with both the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers while speaking almost entirely in aphorisms like “it don’t cost a dime to be nice to someone.” Anderson was considered something of a rube by many of his peers in baseball—endlessly likable, but feckless when it came to strategy. But this was an idea he actively sought to perpetuate: In a fascinating 1993 Sports Illustrated profile by Steve Rushin, toward the end of his long tenure as the Tigers’ manager, Anderson goes to great lengths to promote his hayseed image and perhaps even give the impression of senility, although he was only 59 at the time. Anderson seems to have been a genuinely nice man, but between the lines of Rushin’s profile, there are some odd beats. He enthuses at length when informed of an 18-minute beanball-inspired brawl the previous evening between the Anaheim Angels and Toronto Blue Jays. “They said it was great! And it was Ball Night, and the fans were throwin’ the baseballs at ‘em!” It’s also revealed that he had taken 17 days off during the 1989 season for “personal reasons.” Anderson loved being underestimated as only a grown man who agrees to be called “Sparky” can be. His 2,194 victories as a manager ranks sixth all time, and he remains one of only two skippers to win the World Series with teams from both the American and National leagues. At his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2000, he said the following: “I got good players, stayed out of the way, let ‘em win a lot, and then just hung around for 26 years.” Even as Cooperstown feted his achievements, Anderson remained unwilling to concede that he had been more than a passive observer on a quarter-century-long hot streak.

The aw-shucksing Hall of Fame NFL coach Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls in 10 years with the Washington Football Team during the 1980s and ’90s, all the while exhibiting an unending string of public self-effacement—and also a punishingly self-destructive work ethic. A soft-spoken North Carolina native who apprenticed under Don “Air” Coryell, Gibbs was an offensive visionary whose teams won a championship in his second season and set an NFL record for scoring in his third. He saw the future of football but was utterly determined not to let you know it. In pregame press conferences, Gibbs fell all over himself describing how formidable he perceived his future adversaries to be and what little chance he gave his own team. When, more often than not, his team would demolish their opponents, he’d react with wide-eyed surprise and wonder. Over time, his relentless sandbagging became a kind of meta joke. In the 1992 NFC championship game, Washington was a huge favorite over the Detroit Lions, whom they had beaten 45-0 earlier in the season. Far from being overconfident, Gibbs admitted he was a psychic wreck: “When you get this close, you get so nervous, you can hardly rest or sleep,” he told reporters. “You’re kind of agitated. You’re wanting to work and think. It’s kind of hard to concentrate on things.” The game was never close—Washington won 41-10—but by then Gibbs had gone on to wringing his hands about how great the Buffalo Bills team was that they would crush in the Super Bowl two weeks later.

When Gibbs retired from coaching for the first time, his physical and psychological health was in steep decline; he seemingly hadn’t slept in years. Ted Lasso subtly suggests that its protagonist might be on a similar trajectory. There is formidable competition for the most heartwarming scene in Season 1, but there is a runaway winner as to the most unnerving. Midway through Episode 7, Lasso is drunk to the point of belligerence, poring over the divorce papers his soon-to-be ex-wife insists that he sign. As he stares dolefully into a mirror, you wonder if he’s hit a new low. Then his loyal assistant Nate appears at the door, delivering plays and ideas for the next day’s game as he had been instructed to do. Lasso upbraids him cruelly and needlessly, but in the light of day less than 24 hours later, he apologizes profusely. The psychic whiplash is brutal. Prior to the team’s next match, Lasso asks a still-emotional Nate to deliver the pregame speech, which he proceeds to do with the unvarnished nastiness of a gentle soul experiencing the aftermath of a trauma. As Nate detonates one brutal (and accurate) critique after the next on the shell-shocked locker room, Lasso nods along cheerfully. He’s managed to manipulate his underling into saying all of the terrible things he knows his team needs to hear, but prefers not to say himself. Sparky Anderson and Joe Gibbs would be proud.

Unceasing optimism defines Ted Lasso. But roller-coaster mood storms, manic reveries, and seemingly deliberate head games also define Ted Lasso, the players’ coach, and make him one of the best and most-layered characters of the peak TV era. He’s a man who presents himself as two-dimensional, but who might actually be playing three-dimensional chess. We delight in his antics, marinate in his charm offensive, and celebrate his offbeat approach to winning the whole fucking thing. But at all times, there’s a slight worry, one that crops up in the back of our minds, about what he might be willing to do to make it happen.

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The guys also discuss what the Suns’ loss means for Chris Paul’s legacy and whether this championship will end the small vs. big market debates

‘Ted Lasso’ review: An alternate version of reality where basic human decency is valued above all else. The Jason Sudeikis comedy is back for Season 2.

Chicago Tribune 20 July, 2021 - 09:17pm

There is a gentleness to the show’s overall ethos, and if there was a risk the Emmy-nominated show from Apple TV+ might become too gentle now that Ted’s more obvious professional impediments have fallen away, Season 2 gives lie to that worry. The show may be endearing, anchored by a man who values basic human decency above all else, but life is full of heartbreak and daily bumps and bruises.

“Ted Lasso” understands this on a molecular level and is willing to get real when it comes to complex emotions. As the camera slowly pushes in on Ted fielding questions after a match, he’s in a philosophical mood. Isn’t it funny, he says, how some things make you cry with happiness just knowing they exist, and then make you cry different kinds of tears once they’re gone?

For audiences swept up in the show’s spell, those words might as well apply to “Ted Lasso” itself, which has a way of nudging you to step back and appreciate its remarkable existence in a television landscape that tends to have a bleaker view of the human condition.

A sports comedy with a soul, much of its appeal can be found in the contrast between Ted’s eternal optimism and the jaded wariness of nearly anyone else. If many of us see rain clouds around every corner, Ted only sees potential, so grab an umbrella and let’s find out what this day is made of. The series is so breezy and funny and loaded with actual jokes (one pegged to the short-lived children’s TV series “H.R. Pufnstuf” — a narrow but hilarious reference) while also consistently bringing a lump to my throat. It’s a disarming combination.

It’s also one of the few TV comedies where we see men being vulnerable with one another. Knuckleheaded and ridiculous. But vulnerable.

There are many in Hollywood, Judd Apatow among them, who have built entire careers exposing this soft underbelly in the name of comedy, often with sour results. The creators of “Ted Lasso’' — which include Sudeikis, sitcom veteran Bill Lawrence (”Scrubs”), Joe Kelly (a longtime writer on “Saturday Night Live”) and Chicago native Brendan Hunt (who plays Ted’s right-hand man Coach Beard) — have other things in mind. The show isn’t particularly interested in validating the man-child archetype, and the writers seem to actually like the women who populate the show’s universe. All of which makes space for comedy that’s rooted in recognizable human absurdities.

Heavy is the head that wears the visor. That would be Ted, the Preppiest Man Alive, who is managing a team that can’t seem to win or lose, it’s a draw every time. But the focus isn’t on the team’s record but its individual components, and one of the brilliant things about “Ted Lasso” is that it is deeply curious about the dysfunctions and neuroses that take root in childhood and follow us into adulthood. We all want validation. We’re all a little bit lonely. We all need a best friend.

To the show’s enormous credit, it treats its characters (even its minor characters) as three-dimensional humans who are neither all good nor all bad. The vaguely insufferable journalist Trent Crimm (James Lance) may be too snobby for anyone’s taste, but you’d never say his questions aren’t fair. Coach Nate (Nick Mohammed) is more than just the cuddly nerd who finally comes into his own; his storyline takes a darker turn this season, and it’s a subtle look at the way social media can amplify our insecurities. And even the petulant goal scorer Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) can be influenced by positive peer pressure in ways that his blowhard exterior might not suggest.

Then there’s the front office, which is made up of team owner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham, combining sophistication with screwball comedy instincts), branding wiz Keeley (Juno Temple, finding real softness and intelligence behind her blunt delivery) and operations manager Higgins (Jeremy Swift as a man who would be more beaten down if he didn’t have the quiet self-confidence of someone who has his personal life figured out). They’re all legitimately friends now, and if “Ted Lasso” has evolved from a fish-out-of-water story into a hangout comedy, you’ll hear no complaints from me.

Waddingham in particular has been a revelation, as a woman who is both a powerhouse in stiletto heels, but also riddled with uncertainties when it comes to making a real romantic connection post-divorce. (Waddingham is a musical theater veteran, and she’s given an opportunity to show off her vocal chops yet again this season.)

But even in the kinder, gentler world of “Ted Lasso,” bullies exist. They aren’t born but made — and the show wants us to believe they can be unmade, as well. A key to appreciating “Ted Lasso” is understanding that it exists in an alternate universe where racism — like that experienced by Black British footballers after losing the recent Euro Cup final — is a nonfactor. That’s not a criticism of the show so much as an unavoidable fact. So was the show’s failure last season to flesh out the lives of its Black players.

But this year, they have storylines of their own, including Sam Obisanya (the endlessly charming Toheeb Jimoh) who takes a stand against the team’s biggest sponsor. “Doing the right thing is never the wrong thing,” Ted observes. What’s left unsaid is the more complicated reality: That a single person can rarely bring about meaningful change, let alone speak truth to power, without suffering repercussions.

But wish fulfillment can be a powerful driver in fiction, and the show is modeling how things could be if they were only slightly better. Consider Bantr, the show’s fictional dating app (premised on the exchange of witty repartee rather than photos) or Ted’s reaction when he runs into a one-night-stand: Instead of awkward suspicion, he greets her with an easy smile. That’s because women are not some unfathomable presence to be tolerated on “Ted Lasso,” and maybe that’s also why, despite the locker room setting, the show is not a comedic investigation of toxic masculinity either. As Ted might say: There’s no place for that here, thank you very much.

That’s true even when the show is poking fun at Roy Kent, the former star athlete who growls his words, 99% of which are profanities. Ironically, Roy (played by the perfectly deadpan Brett Goldstein) might be the man who’s most in touch with his feelings, combustible as they are. His relationship with Keeley is fascinatingly healthy, and as a character, he is far more interesting now that he’s retired and in need of an outlet for all his pent-up energy.

His former teammates have issues of their own, which necessitates the addition of a sports psychologist in the form of Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles, terribly serious in all the right ways). The players take to her immediately. But Ted? Not so much.

His upbeat facade has been hiding some deep-seated issues. He’s rightly concerned that she can see right through his sunny disposition.

To be a thoughtful person is not to be a perfect person. We all have baggage. We all lose our cool from time to time. And Ted is as susceptible to that as anyone.

“Ted Lasso” — Three-and-a-half stars (out of four)

Where to watch: Apple TV+

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