Ted Lasso Season 3 First Reviews: 'Heartwarming' and 'Hilarious,' 'Remains a Winner,' Critics Say

Check out what critics are saying about the new season of Apple TV+'s Emmy-winning comedy series.

by | March 10, 2023 | Comments

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Ted Lasso is back for its third season, and though some of the actor-producers have called it the end of the story, there’s still no official confirmation that it’s the final season. The Emmy-winning comedy series, created by Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt (who also star), along with Bill Lawrence and Joe Kelly, will bring to a close the tumultuous journey of underdog soccer team AFC Richmond and its quirky American football coach — mustache and all.

The drama will continue, both on and off the field, as Nate’s (Nick Mohammed) move to work for Rupert (Anthony Head) at West Ham United will surely offer much conflict. Thankfully, Lasso (Sudeikis) has Coach Beard (Hunt), Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), and a loyal support system on his side. And he’s going to need it.

Hannah Waddingham, Juno Temple, Jeremy Swift, and the rest of the gang are back for one last go-round. Will they find glory in the Premier League once again? Here’s hoping.

The buzz is high for the new season of the Apple TV+ hit series. But does it deliver? Here’s what critics are saying about season 3 of Ted Lasso.

How does it hold up to previous seasons?

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Season three looks set to walk that same line – of goofball quips, genuine laugh-out-loud moments but also with serious soul-searching and messages of hope. –Nick Clark, London Evening Standard

Ted Lasso Season 3 is still funny. Quite funny, often. It feels like, perhaps, the show is choosing its shots a bit more carefully. As a result, the highs, so far, are perhaps not as high. However, there’s a stronger sense of consistency. –Tim Stevens, The Spool

It’s a strong opening, generally speaking; while Series 3 doesn’t reinvent itself the way Series 2 did, it does feel like there’s been a conscious effort to address some of the flaws that cropped up previously. –Alex Moreland, National World

Ted Lasso’s third season feels like a reward for the fans who stuck it out through the high highs and the low lows of Season 2. –Carly Lane, Collider

How is Jason Sudeikis?

(Photo by Apple TV+)

​​He’s a raw nerve, as tender as he can get. While Ted’s existential quandary doesn’t keep him from spreading joy — his curious, beaming smile is so omnipresent you might think his mustache would fall off if the corners of his mouth weren’t there to prop it up — but underneath, he’s wrestling with big questions: how to feel about what’s happened with Nate, how to feel about his family situation (which is sure to make this year’s discourse unbearable), and how to feel about his responsibilities in general. –Ben Travers, IndieWire

Sudeikis has won an Emmy for his performance in each of the previous series and he remains the heart and soul of the show. Somehow his stream of hokey dad jokes, puns and silly rhymes never grates. –Nick Clark, London Evening Standard

What about the rest of the cast?

(Photo by Apple TV+)

That gently funny, quirky sense of humour remains as strong as ever, bolstered by now richly defined characters: Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) and Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) remain the friends you wish you had. –John Nugent, Empire Magazine

One of the more interesting elements of the new season is what the series is doing with the character of Rebecca. No, it’s not a bad thing, rather the series is letting her cut loose a bit more, relax into her relationships with the other characters, and allow Hannah Waddingham to embrace a more manic, funny version of the character (this isn’t to say she’s a mess, but she’s much more open with her worries, fears, and wants than she was in the past). –Jean Henegan, Pop Culture Maniacs

But series three is saved by Nick Mohammed as Nate, once a lowly kitman at AFC Richmond and now newly installed as the “Wonder Kid” coach of West Ham United. Nate has established himself as the show’s villain but with enough vulnerability to make his character genuinely interesting. –Anita Singh, Daily Telegraph (UK)

We also pick up with Keeley (Juno Temple) running her own PR firm now, where we see the impact that change has on her relationship with Roy and how she deals with being her own “boss bitch.” It’ll certainly be a different dynamic, but the writers also know that alongside that, the friendship between Rebecca and Keeley is a thing that really works, and they don’t seem to be messing with it. –Trent Moore, Paste Magazine

Does the writing deliver?

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Ted Lasso has always had extremely smart writing and that continues through Season 3 so far. There are multiple hilarious conversations that go off the rails just the right amount of time but then wrap up before they are getting old. –Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Nate (Nick Mohammed) makes the full crossover to villain duties this year — though, given Lasso is still TV’s most emotionally literate show, thoughtful writing takes care to show that antagonism is clearly coming from a place of insecurity and neglect. –John Nugent, Empire Magazine

Thankfully the show, on the whole, dispenses with the general ‘oh look, Americans call it soccer’ style jokes but every now and again the dialogue betrays how squarely it’s aimed at a US audience with English characters awkwardly talking about needing to “update our roster” (no one involved in English football has ever said this about buying new players), shooting “commercials” and kicking “butts”. Slightly jarring though only a minor quibble. –Nick Clark, London Evening Standard

The writers know what they are working with when it comes to their talent and characters and they are able to use it to the fullest extent. The characters feel more crisply formed. The performances are calibrated perfectly. And the writing appears to be more on track than it was throughout last season’s uneven outing. –Jean Henegan, Pop Culture Maniacs

How does the longer running time impact the series?

(Photo by Apple TV+)

It does, however, feel like a more certain piece of television, confident in itself and what it is, and what it is now is a 50-minute drama rather than the 35-minute comedy it started as. –Alex Moreland, National World

The show continues what could either complimentarily be called its expansion or critically deemed its bloat. These four episodes are all between 44 and 50 minutes, without adapting their tone or structural rhythms from back when this was a 30-minute show. The result is unwieldy, like a solid eight-episode season squished together with little regard for flow or repetition. –Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

The early episodes of Ted Lasso Season Three all clock in at 44 minutes or more, which is rarely an ideal comedy length. Rhythms get disrupted, jokes get overplayed, etc. (See most of the super-sized episodes of The Office, for instance.) –Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone

The first four episodes range from 44-50 minutes, a length that bogs down the comedy’s crisp pacing while hamstringing a few character turns. Some scenes could be excised to save time, others just need a little trimming, but even if you’re on board with the super-sized entries — the second season’s last four episodes are all 42-49 minutes each — Season 3 isn’t as dialed into each of its personal arcs as past editions. –Ben Travers, IndieWire

With all those characters kicking around, the episodes feel bloated, as the formerly half-hour series expands to almost 50 minutes an episode in the four made available for review. –Kelly Lawler, USA Today

Any final thoughts?

Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt and Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso

(Photo by Colin Hutton/Apple TV+)

I’m happy to report that Ted Lasso is in fine form for what might be its final lap around the pitch. –Jean Henegan, Pop Culture Maniacs

Season 3 is more of a return to form, the small-screen equivalent of a hot cup of tea and a big, soft blanket, as well as a successful hat-trick for Apple TV+. To quote one of my favorite fictional journalists, Trent Crimm (James Lance), “If the Lasso way is wrong, it’s hard to imagine being right.” –Carly Lane, Collider

It remains reliably the same: funny, heartwarming, occasionally deep and full of romantic comedy references. –Kelly Lawler, USA Today

At a time of a cost-of-living crisis, escalating culture wars and politics being dragged through the gutter, thank goodness for the return of the warm, wholesome embrace of Ted Lasso. –Nick Clark, London Evening Standard

A much less tight series than it was back in that first season, but more of it still works than doesn’t. –Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone

It’s a sunshine-y series that will make you smile if you have a high tolerance for schmaltz. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s a show about football. –Anita Singh, Daily Telegraph (UK)

Season 3 continues to be pure perfection with its hilarious moments, brilliant writing, and relatable and lovable characters. This is a solid entry into the Ted Lasso world.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

The need for comfort and escapist cheer didn’t end after the peak of the pandemic. For anyone feeling down, Ted Lasso remains a winner. –Dan Einav, Financial Times

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