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(Welcome to The Weekly Watchlist, a feature where we program everything you need to stream this week. In this edition: “Ted Lasso” takes center stage, along with other wholesome dramas about self-improvement that would undoubtedly receive the Lasso stamp of approval.)
The Series: “Ted Lasso”
Where You Can Stream It: Apple TV+
The Pitch: Three seasons in, this extremely hyped-up series is still everything you’ve been promised! The feel-good comedy-drama follows American football coach Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) across the ocean to London, where he’s been hired to coach an English football (aka soccer) team. Instead of harsh words and a demanding training regimen, Ted goes in with an open heart, folksy charm, and so much earnest energy, that it seeps through even the thickest skin. But making the Greyhounds into a team is only one challenge — can these underdogs actually find a way to win the whole damn thing?
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Though charming and funny as ever, the latest season of “Ted Lasso” is undeniably different. It leans harder into drama, especially when it comes to the titular coach himself. But different doesn’t mean bad. “Ted Lasso” is in its final form. The show has shattered the illusion that it was built upon: the idea that Ted is a mythic force, here to save the day and inject positivity into every person and situation that he touches. By all means, the “Ted Lasso” effect is still evident — the Greyhounds have come together as a team and folks like Roy Kent, Jamie Tartt, and even Trent Crimm have made huge strides thanks to Ted — but the time has come for the coach to work through his own issues. And it’ll take a little bit more than his usual positivity to pull it off.
While Ted’s mental health and emotional turmoil play a massive role in the upcoming season, the whimsy that makes “Ted Lasso” so beloved remains the same. This is always, at its core, a show about people trying to become their best selves. Expect plenty of laughter, heartwarming moments, and the occasional sob along the way. The series returns to Apple TV+ on Wednesday, March 15, with one new episode airing every week.
The Series: “Extraordinary”
Where You Can Stream It: Hulu
The Pitch: In a world where everyone gets a superpower around their 18th birthday, 25-year-old Jen (Máiréad Tyers) is an anomaly. Powerless, directionless, romantically frustrated, and treading water at her dead-end retail gig, Jen is determined to discover her power — sure that it will unlock the key to her future. And as she narrowly avoids drowning in her own self-pity, so do her 20-something roommates, Carrie (Sofia Oxenham) and Kash (Bilal Hasna) whose relationship is suffering some serious growing pains.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: “Extraordinary” is about aggressively imperfect people. Almost like “Fleabag” with superpowers, Jen is deeply flawed and often selfish. She isn’t the greatest friend, sister, or even a reliable employee, but largely because she struggles to be the odd one out amidst powerful people. Because of that, she puts a lot of stock into finding her power, sure that it will fix her quarter-life crisis. But as you can probably guess, no superpower will magically cure Jen’s insecurities.
With superpowers ranging from flight to a human 3D printer, this hilarious comedy comes with lots of fertile ground for sci-fi hijinks. But all of that comes second to the characters, who share witty banter, endearing relationships and so much room for personal growth. “Extraordinary” is above all, a genuinely heartfelt series that’s more interested in what it takes to be a good friend and a happy person, than the specifics of a world with superpowered people. But also, it’s incredibly creative when it comes to the wide world of useless, inconvenient, or simply bats*** crazy powers.
All Creatures Great And Small
The Series: “All Creatures Great and Small”
Where You Can Stream It: Prime Video Masterpiece, PBS Passport
The Pitch: Based on James Herriot’s autobiographical novels, “All Creatures Great and Small” follows daily life at Skeldale House, a veterinary practice run by the hard-to-please but secretly kindhearted Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West). Having fired every other assistant he’s ever had, Siegfried considers one more potential employee — James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph), a young city boy straight out of graduate school and new to life in the countryside. As a new vet in the Yorkshire Dales, James is a fish-out-of-water who must prove himself to both Siegfried and all the skeptical local farmers.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: A cow having a difficult birth; a horse with an injured hoof; a dog struggling to keep down food — these are the daily worries of James, which are guaranteed to take over your life once the immersive series takes hold. On all fronts, “All Creatures Great and Small ” is bursting with empathy. When all else fails and every bit of veterinary expertise is exhausted, one person being there for another makes all the difference. This tender slice of life wears its wholesome heart on its sleeve, never saccharine and just skirting past the line of fluff — it’s packed with real, genuine emotion for every single creature that graces the screen.
Boiled down to its basics, this is the story of people who comes together to look after their community, with plenty of banter to spare. “All Creatures Great and Small” is the coziest show you could ever have the pleasure of watching. If you long for the simplest days of “Ted Lasso,” when the wholesome series bought only unrelenting joy (with the occasional tinge of sadness), then James’ escapades in the countryside will more than satiate your need.
The Series: “Haikyu!!”
Where You Can Stream It: Crunchyroll
The Pitch: Shoyo Hinata is a passionate first-year high schooler who dreams of becoming a star volleyball player. But at only 5’4″, he doesn’t have the typical stature of a world-class player or any experience playing on a team. None of that is enough to stop Shoyo though, whose strengths exist elsewhere — in raw talent, endless reserves of energy, a concerning level of dedication, and a blaze of passion that always keeps him going.
When he joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball club, he gets the only other element required to make his dream come true: teammates. The problem? Among them is his middle school rival, Tobio Kageyama, a prodigy player with an allergy to teamwork. Luckily, their shared desire for greatness is strong and the only thing capable of curbing that rivalry — for the most part. “Haikyu!” is a classic slice-of-life sports anime about the strivings of a high school volleyball team as they compete in a series of tournaments with the hope of winning the whole damn thing.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: I have long maintained that “Ted Lasso” is an honorary sports anime, so if you enjoy the relentless positivity of the Greyhounds and the joy of watching good people succeed at the things they love, then you’ll fall head-over-heels for “Haikyu!” Karasuno is the ideal underdog team to root for: a group of unpolished gems who all bring their own baggage and potential to the team, with specialties and plenty of room for growth.
One minute, Shoyo and Tobio are butting heads — to the chagrin of every other teammate — but the next, they’re a fearsome duo blowing the minds of all their opponents. And that’s just one example of what happens when the team comes together. Like any good sports-oriented show, seeing the team fall into synch is the highest source of joy, and “Haikyu!” certainly doesn’t disappoint. Plus, the anime series expertly balances moments of high intensity with absolute absurdity. The matches themselves are high-octane and gorgeously animated, but there’s also plenty to love about what happens outside of tournaments when Karasuno’s crows are learning, training, and preparing for what comes next.
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The post The Weekly Watchlist: Ted Lasso Returns To Warm Our Hearts With Season 3 appeared first on /Film.