‘Ted Lasso’ Never Stopped Being a Commercial
This week sees the return of the world’s most good-hearted TV comedy with the most annoying theme song: Ted Lasso is back for its third and final season. As many of you know, the hit show starring Jason Sudeikis’ mustache, and to a lesser extent Jason Sudeikis, began as a commercial for NBC Sports, which lasted for only a few minutes and never even bothered to address Ted’s marital status or tragic family history.
In retrospect, it seems kind of weird that this acclaimed series began as an advertisement; it’s not like that GEICO Caveman show went on to win a bunch of Emmys or, for that matter, stay on television at all. But one could argue that Ted Lasso never stopped being a commercial – it just became a commercial for a whole other product.
It’s no secret that Apple TV+ crams an ungodly amount of Apple products into their shows. One report found that in the Jennifer Aniston-starring The Morning Show, which is presumably set in an alternate universe where owning an Android phone is punishable by death, “Apple products are visible in an average of 32 camera shots per episode.” Similarly, the M. Night Shyamalan-produced Servant is basically Facetime: The Series.
But Ted Lasso is even more manipulative when it comes to hawking Apple merch, playing audiences like a fiddle (or at least some kind of iOS fiddle app). Apple products are constantly employed on the show, often in moments of profound emotional weight. How does Ted stay in contact with his son in America? Why with his Facetime-enabled Macbook, of course.
Similarly, when Ted signs his divorce papers, the whole process is made slightly less painful by the ease and simplicity of Apple’s document-sharing technology. And Ted’s big emotionally-cathartic breakthrough with Sharon the therapist comes, not in person but via their iPhones.
Ted Lasso makes Apple products seem not just useful but comforting. Clearly, Apple is making the most out of this arrangement, hence why Nate the (not so) Great is their newest spokesman.
Of course, most shows contain product placement of some sort — but it does seem especially odd when they’re all in service of the company producing the show. Like, at least Stranger Things doesn’t stream on Eggo TV+.
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