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Ted Lasso Season 2 Described as The Empire Strikes Back, Says Hannah Waddingham

Before we get into the meat of this article, you’ve watched Ted Lasso on Apple TV+, right? If you haven’t, you’re welcome, because you’ll undoubtedly be grateful for the recommendation. The award winning show stars Jason Sudeikis as the title character, an American college football coach who takes a job coaching a professional soccer team in England even though he knows nothing about the sport.

The show’s been cleaning up on the awards circuit and most certainly deserves it. Not only is Ted Lasso often a delightful riot, but it’s also one of the most heartening shows out there. I’ve become quite convinced that stopping to think, what would Ted do, could truly make the world a better place. On top of that, Ted Lasso features an A+ ensemble, in addition to Sudeikis. What the team behind the show manages to accomplish with a number of major character arcs in just ten 30-minute episodes is nothing short of astonishing, especially when it comes to Hannah Waddingham’s Rebecca.


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Image via Apple TV+

Rebecca is the owner of AFC Richmond and the individual who hired Ted. The thing is though, she didn’t hire him because she thought he was the best coach for the team. She made that choice to ruin it in an effort to get back at her ex-husband. I’ll leave it at that in an effort to keep well clear of spoilers, but do know that Waddingham’s journey as Rebecca in Season 1 is significant and a standout. Now go indulge in that infectious Ted Lasso positivity and then return to this article after you’ve finished Season 1 for a Season 2 tease.

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Ted Lasso, “The Hope that Kills You.”]Again, Ted Lasso Season 1 is a true gem and while that is wonderful and well worth celebrating, that puts a whole lot of pressure on delivering big in Season 2. With anticipation sky high for the new season’s July 23 release, we had to ask Waddingham what she could tease while on an episode of Collider Ladies Night. She began by emphasizing a description Sudeikis used:

“Well, universally, I think Jason put it brilliantly … Jason has described Season 2 as The Empire Strikes Back, and I’m inclined to agree with him.”

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Image via Apple TV+

She also emphasized that the Ted Lasso team is well aware of the anticipation for the new season and that they feel that pressure to keep the bar high themselves. But according to Waddingham, the writing team here has us all covered:


“We are so precious about this show that, I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous to see how – for everyone, not just my character – I was thinking, ‘Oh god, we’ve created such a honey. How do we not let the fans down, or where they think it’ll go or whatever?’ And the brilliant thing is, the writers are on their own journey and have done us all such a service, such a great service.”

RELATED: Watch ‘Ted Lasso’ Cast Unrecognized by Reporter During Soccer Match

As for Rebecca specifically, the writers do have their work cut out for them just because of how far they took the character in Season 1. Rebecca began the show a conniving individual hellbent on getting back at her ex-husband (Anthony Head) no matter who she took down in the process. As the season progressed, however, it delicately peeled back the layers of Rebecca’s situation, beautifully revealing the hurt fueling actions, all while bolstering her connection with Ted every step of the way. Ultimately, Rebecca does a seemingly simple thing that can be especially tough to do – she apologizes. It’s a significant transformation with a wildly satisfying Season 1 conclusion. That could make one wonder, what’s next for Rebecca? Is she completely absolved and now solely on the path of good? Not entirely. Here’s how Waddingham described it:

“I was worried that Rebecca would suddenly be this brand new person, that she has strength and happiness in her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be like that, she’s been forgiven, she’s suddenly this perky person. And I’m so glad that we find her with some moments of strength but then the whole two steps forward, one step back, one step forward, two steps back. And I was really relieved that we see everyone’s flaws and good things as well, because that is the human condition, isn’t it? You’re not suddenly better.”

Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso

Image via Apple TV+

Yes, it’s only a tease and doesn’t give us any specifics on what Rebecca will experience in the new season, but even that vague description highlights something that’s made Ted Lasso a standout since day one; it’s a highly entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny show, but it’s also one that’s loaded with depth and qualities that very much reflect the real human condition.

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