'Ted Lasso' & TV's Subtle Humanization Of The Rich

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'Ted Lasso' & TV's Subtle Humanization Of The Rich

Last month, Jason Sudeikis made a triumphant return to Saturday Night Live, hot off the heels of unimaginable success on Apple TV+. And in his monologue, the comedian acknowledged the unlikely success of Ted Lasso, a comedy (appropriately) about underdogs: "The last couple of years ... I’ve been working on this Apple TV+ show called Ted Lasso,” he said in front of Studio 8H. “Which somehow became a hit. It’s truly shocking to me because it’s built around two things Americans hate: soccer and kindness.”

And one more thing: the rich.

If there's any term that lives rent-free in the minds of the internet in 2021, it's: Eat the rich. The phrase, attributed to the 18th century Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, has cemented itself into 21st century culture, appearing in tweets posted every few seconds, in memes shared and liked by the millions, and in countless TikToks directed at the country's most notable and unbearable billionaires. And, in a country where wealth inequality has become as common as McDonald's franchises, the discourse shows no signs of slowing down — except when it comes to some of TV's most beloved characters.

In between messages of empathy and therapy on Ted Lasso, it's easy to forget that the series is about the 1%. Blink and you'll miss the signs of excessive wealth: Jamie Tartt's designer threads, Colin's Lambo, Rebecca's egregiously posh kitchen. No matter how many times AFC Richmond loses, or no matter how many times it is relegated, its players and staff will still be able to afford the ungodly cost of a Richmond flat. (Yes, I looked in a moment of quarantine weakness.) Yet, the show has managed to make the masses who are splurging on an Apple TV+ subscription cheer for a well-to-do rich sports team owner and her very well-paid players. She's just like us, they say about the warm and fuzzy CEO with a wine fridge the size of their master closets and a bank account the size of their anxieties.

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