Back in 2020, “Ted Lasso” surprised everyone with its quirky charm and do-good optimism. The Apple TV+ show went on to become a major hit, with audiences praising its blend of heartwarming story and laugh-out-loud humour. The show emphasises community, friendship, and a sense of belonging, something that was much needed in such an uncertain time. Jason Sudeikis wins hearts with his optimism and goofiness, along with the rest of the ensemble cast. If you are a fan of the show and are yearning for something similar, then look no further. Here are seven shows similar to “Ted Lasso.”
The League (2009-2015)
Originally airing on F.X., “The League” is about a bunch of friends who are really into fantasy football. The show has the same quirky energy we’ve come to love from “Ted Lasso,” along with some eccentric but extremely likeable characters. The core of the show hangs on the relationship between these guys, and the group dynamics here is delightful. With numerous football references and occasional cameos from premier athletes, “The League” is a love letter for American football fans as well as fantasy football enthusiasts.
Welcome To Wrexham (2022-)
This documentary sees Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney (from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) as they become the new owners of a struggling English football club, Wrexham A.F.C. The show follows the duo’s attempt at rejuvenating the team. Just like Ted Lasso, these two actors also don’t have any clues about handling a professional football club. But they seem to be deeply invested in the mission. Surprisingly heartfelt in its intentions, the show dives deep into the small town of Wrexham. Once a flourishing mining town, Wrexham is well past its golden days after the closure of its mines. The show tries to show the deep bond between the club and the working-class locals while also capturing the initial reaction of fans to the buyout by these American actors. The show also gives insider glimpses into the psyches of Ryan, Rob, and the Wrexham A.F.C. players.
Eastbound And Down (2009–2013)
After getting dumped from major league baseball, Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) returns to his estranged hometown to teach physical education at his former middle school. The show is unique in the fact that we, as an audience, follow a generally unlikable guy, Kenny, who is a racist and a piece of white trash who is seldom respected by the people of his hometown. But Kenny’s enormous ego and overconfidence, do provide plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. But we still feel some sympathy for the character as he falls to rock bottom time and again. Danny McBride shines as the egotistical ex-baseballer and is supported by some great characters such as ex-lover Katy Mixon (April Buchanon), principal Terrence Cutler (Andy Daly), and Kenny’s brother Dustin Powers (John Hawkes), among others.
“Ballers” sees Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore, a retired American footballer who embarks on a new career as the financial manager of current N.F.L. players. The show has an “Entourage” sort of vibe here as we follow Spencer as he forms new clients and friendships while navigating through the business side of the popular league. Dwayne’ The Rock’ Johnson carries an otherwise unremarkable show with his intense charisma and acting prowess. “Ballers” provides a nuanced take on top-level businesses, along with the drugs, parties, and other shenanigans that come with sports stardom.
“Coach” follows the university football team’s head coach, Hayden Fox (Craig T. Nelson). Fox lives and breathes the game and is willing to go above and beyond to make his team successful. The bulk of the show, however, is about his relationships with his family and colleagues. “Coach” is an old-school sitcom with great writing and a heartwarming story. Fox starts out as a gruff man but turns softer in the later seasons and is backed by a host of endearing characters, such as assistant coaches Luther Van Dam (Jerry Van Dyke) and Bill Fagerbakke (Dauber Dybsinski), along with his daughter Kelly Fox (Clare Carey) and wife Christine (Shelly Fabares). “Coach” ran for nine seasons before it was wrapped up in 1997.
21 Thunder (2017)
This Canadian television show chronicles the lives of the under-21 players and coaching staff of the fictional football team, the Montreal Thunder. “21 Thunder” follows an ensemble cast of diverse characters as they navigate through the highly competitive world of club soccer. The show is dubbed to be more than just a show about soccer and is filled with behind-the-scenes drama, conflicts, romances, and much more.
Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)
Inspired by H.G. Bissinger’s non-fiction book, “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream,” the show follows members of the local football club, the Dillon Panthers, of the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor, head coach of the Panthers, along with his wife Tami Taylor (Connie Britton), Taylor Kitsch, and Zach Gilford, among many others. Praised for its heartfelt and sincere portrayal of small-town America, along with its nuanced handling of issues related to racism, substance abuse, and unemployment, among many others, “Friday Night Lights” managed to garner critical acclaim soon after its release. The cinematography is exquisite, with showrunner Peter Berg making sure that the cameras follow the actors as they move around unrestricted in their space, making for authentic and close-to-real-life filmmaking that lets the actors immerse themselves inside the world of the show. The show uses its small-town setting to tell a poignant story of football and small-town American communities, adding sprinkles of existential crisis to deliver a deeply profound and endearing show.