Is the New Season of ‘Ted Lasso’ Actually *Too* Nice?

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Apple+
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Apple+
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There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

See: Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso settles in for more of the same in its third and final season. That may irk those who are looking for this walking mustache to do a little more than bake biscuits, but the show slowly soothing us all the way to the finish line still feels like a treat anyway.

Here’s Kevin Fallon’s take:

“Season 3 of the Emmy-winning Apple TV+ sensation begins Mar. 15, and, if the episodes we’ve screened are an indication, that’s exactly what the show now is: a pop-culture equivalent of a hug. That’s both high praise and, I suppose, fair criticism. Whichever side of the spectrum you might fall on when it comes to your relationship to Ted Lasso, it’s also what makes the new season quite refreshing.

A third season of a show this confident in its signature tone, cadence, and characters doesn’t have the burden of winning over new fans, defending itself against its detractors, or solidifying its reputation by avoiding a sophomore slump. It is what it is, and it does what it does.

The New ‘Ted Lasso’ Season Gives Fans Exactly What They Want—For Better and Worse

If you’re a person for whom Ted Lasso and its intrinsic loveliness hits a sweet spot you crave, as if the show itself is the anomaly and antidote to the jadedness and cynicism in the world that the character Ted Lasso is in the world of the series, then the return will be gratifying. It’s a comfort for those seeking that out. It’s a hug. You know if you’re a hugger or not, and you know, at this point, if you’re a Ted Lasso person or not.”

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Skip: 65

<div class="inline-image__credit">Sony Pictures</div>
Sony Pictures

65 takes a genius concept—make Adam Driver fight dinosaurs—and somehow bungles it all with CGI so haphazardly that it’s impossible to ignore and a flimsy narrative. God, it’s so hard to find good hot-guy-battling-dinosaurs-in-the-future content these days!

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“The new film 65 is set millions of years in the prehistoric past—and its ideas are only slightly younger. A mishmash of Predator, Aliens, and Jurassic Park that strands Adam Driver in the middle of a generic forest populated by third-rate CGI dinosaurs that are less authentic-looking than Spielberg’s 1993 T-Rexes and velociraptors, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ thriller is chintzy, lame-brained, and absurd. Which isn’t to say that it’s devoid of pulpy pleasures.

It Turns Out Even Adam Driver Can Star in a Movie Flop

At a hasty 92 minutes, 65 never crawls, and its set pieces are suitably loud and frantic. Their economy and cacophony, however, are not matched by their creativity. Mills’ scuffle with a dinosaur in a dark cave, Koa’s use of a hollow tree trunk to evade a pursuing beast, and a final showdown with multiple T-Rexes are all painfully rote. Worse, the ferocious creatures appear to have been based not on scientific models but on fantasy fiction.

It’s inexplicable that a film with this premise would imagine dinosaurs in unrealistic ways, and yet here we are, with Mills and Koa battling giant salamander-like quadrupeds and dodging flocks of squawking avian monsters that would be far more at home in Avatar.”

Read more.

Skip: UnPrisoned

<div class="inline-image__credit">Hulu</div>
Hulu

UnPrisoned is generally well-executed, but for a comedy about a father-daughter relationship after the latter is released from prison, this half-hour feels detained by its own ambition. Kerry Washington, luckily, remains endlessly watchable.

Here’s Kyndall Cunningham’s take:

Netflix’s Emmy-winning hit series Orange Is The New Black proved the limits of depicting the brutality of incarcerated life on-screen. Initially nuanced and compelling in its first three seasons, the show eventually descended into trauma-porn territory. By Season 3, the show had lost all of its laughs. (Legitimately, as it started competing in the Emmys as a drama). And the writers began integrating ripped-from-the-headlines storylines that were portrayed in a less than sensitive manner. (RIP Poussey!)

Almost four years out from OITNB’s final episode, a new Hulu series called UnPrisoned feels like a refreshing antidote to what that Netflix series ultimately became. The half-hour sitcom, a part of Hulu’s Onyx Collective, is more comparable to OITNB’s final season that saw Piper Chapman finally released from prison and struggling to adapt to her old life. UnPrisoned is ultimately more concerned with emotional violence caused by the criminal justice system and rifts it can create in families, a topic that deserves as much light as the more lurid aspects.

‘UnPrisoned’ Proves the Limit of Kerry Washington’s Charisma

That said, everything about UnPrisoned admittedly feels a bit off. The series lacks the sort of refined, concerted aesthetic (aside from a lot of earth tones) that one would expect from a streaming program in 2023. The odd music cues are also a bit distracting. Additionally, gags and risque dialogue feel a bit out of place for the show’s sweet tone. And yet, something about the energy between Washington and Lindo kept my eyeballs glued to the screen (and not just because it’s my job).”

Read more.

See: Next in Fashion

<div class="inline-image__credit">Netflix</div>
Netflix

Next in Fashion Season 2 swaps out Alexa Chung for Gigi Hadid as co-host, but even a supermodel doesn’t overshadow or intimidate in this exciting fashion competition series, which lends itself to some surprisingly genuine moments. Who knew Gigi Had-id in her?!

Here’s Barry Levitt’s take:

“I am not a particularly fashionable person. During football season, most of my outfits are coordinated around the merch of my favorite team (Sköl, Vikings!). That’s a longstanding theme throughout my youth; I was lucky that my school colors were purple and yellow, so I basically just wore Minnesota Vikings stuff all the time. Look at a picture from my childhood—or today, let’s be real—and you’ll likely see me in football stuff. I’ve tried to expand as I’ve gotten older and more comfortable in my body, playing with patterns and bold colors, but I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Still, that desire to be wearing cutting-edge, fashion-forward stuff always lingers in the back of my brain.

All that is why shows like Netflix’s Next in Fashion have a particular appeal to me. I barely even know what a sewing machine looks like, so watching people whip up outfits I couldn’t begin to conceive of is incredibly entertaining. As someone whose fashion vocabulary doesn’t go much further than ‘T-shirt’ and ‘jeans,’ watching shows like this feels like voyaging into a whole new world.

Reality Shows Have a Lot to Learn From Gorgeously Queer ‘Next in Fashion’

Co-hosted by Queer Eye’s Tan France and nepo baby/supermodel Gigi Hadid, Next in Fashion is a show without filler—every single one of these competing designers makes impressive stuff. Choosing someone to eliminate each episode seem like a nearly impossible task, one that only the most discerning stylists’ eyes could make. There’s a particularly special episode of Next in Fashion Season 2, which premiered last Friday, that establishes it as one of the best reality competition shows. Most of all, it highlights the queer experience, focusing on the actual competitors far beyond surface-level.”

Read more.

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