Apple TV Plus’ ‘Ted Lasso’ makes iPhones look terrifying


Sci-fi thriller show “Black Mirror” premiered in 2011, and the name entered our lingo as shorthand for sinister technological intrusions into everyday life. The “Twilight Zone” for the 21st century, “Black Mirror” gets mentions whenever tech goes too far, like when reality TV competitions roll out CGI motion-capture contestants or when Apple unveils a group fitness app.

I have never seen “Black Mirror” because I am a coward with no stomach for horror, but as I understand it, when “Black Mirror” moved to Netflix, it got lazy, leaving a gap in the “technology is bad” TV landscape.

But good news, gentle readers: I have found the successor, the new “Black Mirror” to make us collectively distrust the tech in our homes and our hands. It is streaming exclusively on Apple TV Plus and it revolves around the kindest coach in the history of pro sports.

“Ted Lasso” is a comedy-drama about an American football coach who gets hired to coach a professional English football team (what we call soccer). Throughout the first season, he wins over the hearts of his egotistical players and businesslike boss with his aw-shucks demeanor and a never-ending supply of pop culture punchlines. The show also won over audiences, becoming Apple TV Plus’s flagship show.

Phones play a minor but ever-present role throughout the first season. This being an Apple show, there’s no coy covering up of logos with pears. Every character uses an Apple product, and they’re not hiding it. Ted Lasso, being away from his family in the U.S., FaceTimes with his son and wife. Ted’s boss, Rebecca, starts most scenes by closing her laptop as another character enters her office to talk. One “posh” guy pops up occasionally to ask the main characters for an “us-ie” (a recurring joke about British slang and a play on “selfie”). 

Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh), center, anxiously awaits a message in "Ted Lasso." The press images don't do it justice but you have to believe me, the Apple logo is everywhere.

Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh), center, anxiously awaits a message in “Ted Lasso.” The press images don’t do it justice but you have to believe me, the Apple logo is everywhere.

Courtesy of Apple TV Plus

All of the product placement felt a little weird, a little uncomfortable. I’m used to…

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