Ted Lasso Story Goal

I rewatched Ted Lasso and am curious what to make of the Story Goal.
Obvious warning: lots of spoilers ahead, so I’m hiding it:


Clearly, the Antagonist wants the team to get relegated, and this happens. But it’s not like the Coach is trying to get them to win and not get relegated. He talks about this quite a bit. He wants them to be better people, and this happens too. For example: Roy Kent steps up as captain and matures, Jaime Tartt passes the ball, etc.

Despite the show being about football, I don’t think that it’s in Physics, and I get a strong Stop feeling:


Roy Kent has to stop being an ass—this gets in his way. They have to stop believing in the curse. Jaime Tartt is the author of his own problems. Higgins (the guy who runs the day-to-day) even yells at Rebecca (team owner) to stop.

So… what’s the Story Goal?

I could of course be wrong, but my gut tells me the story is Physics/Learning; the big question is will Ted be able to coach (teach) this team? But also, Rebecca’s entire motivation is to teach her husband a lesson, by making sure it impossible for Ted to coach them.

Is this good? I keep hearing that but had trouble with first episode.

In my opinion, it’s great, but you do have to get past first episode, which suffers from having to set the table and introduce all the characters.

Many people I know had trouble with the first couple episodes. My wife needed until four (I think). But it’s great.

I know where you’re coming from here, and I also get a sense of The Optimist is holding out for others to come around to his philosophy which works with Start.

My only issue with it is that there doesn’t seem to be any problem doing things. It’s not physically hard for them to play soccer, run plays, etc. But it is hard for Nate to believe that people know his name, which feels like a be-er thing.

Yeah, I see what you mean. But I also have trouble seeing an RS of Physics – though maybe that’s not true.

Do bottom right concerns feel right to you? Like maybe it’s a Goal/Concern of Conceiving? Permission, Need, Expediency, Deficiency?

It’s one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen.

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:rofl::rofl::rofl: oh man…ok ok I’ll give it another shot!!

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It has occurred to me (in SAT format) that—

Indiana Jones : snakes :: Ted Lasso : tea

Hahaha. That’s a perfect analogy, and yes.

I watched the first season of Ted Lasso and the first season of Cobra Kai roughly simultaneously, and I thought that they were stellar examples of Failure/Good vs Success/Bad.

I thought that the big-picture concern in Ted Lasso, the one everybody cared about, was the team becoming successful. (But definitions of success vary: winning games is one way to be successful, working as a team is another relevant metric) I think the story goal is to keep the team from relegation, and while trying to do that, the MC’s other, more important goals come to the forefront, and his coaching keeps his team from winning (hence the failure) but helps them all be better people (hence the good). It seems to me that the show is saying that winning isn’t actually a good indicator of success.

Not sure how to translate that all into Dramatica terms, though!

Does Ted ever say this is what he’s going for? Is he even doing this?

I think I’ve come around to thinking that it’s OS>Mind, MC>Psychology, because all of the problems come from people’s terrible attitudes, and that his goal is to get people to “be better” if that makes sense.

Hi @Fern welcome!

I thought this too at first, but @MWollaeger makes a good point – Ted actually explicitly tells the Trent Crim (reporter guy) that he’s not concerned with winning or losing. On the other hand, I think you’re right that the story feels like a Success/Good.

Assuming Rebecca is the IC (or the most representative IC), that would put her in Physics, which doesn’t seem right to me.

Something potentially tricky – I think this is one of those stories where a Steadfast MC “teaches” and the IC perspective is represented by multiple characters who change. So it may be hard to separate various IC scenes from the OS.

Bottom right Concerns still feel right to me. (Present/Learning/Conceiving/Conscious).

I think the fact that Jaime Tartt passes the ball for the goal in the final game points towards Success.

Oh, sorry – I wrote Success but I meant Failure. But, I see your point about it maybe being Success.

FWIW, some of the gists of Conceiving in Subtext:

  • Being Inspired by Something
  • Getting The Idea That Something Is Worth It
  • Inspiring Great Affection For Your Talents
  • Coming Up With A New Way To Live In Peace With Your Enemy
  • Giving Them The Idea You’re Worth It

She’s “gathering experience” about being the woman getting dumped on by her ex-husband. But, granted, I don’t see her doing much about this, and it’s the problem solving that we really want to look at.

Her motivation is to get revenge (OS throughline) for the pain and suffering her husband has caused her (IC throughline). No?

I think Ted is a classic Universe character – American coach who is put in a position there’s no way he can’t succeed at. Rebecca’s problems stem from her obsession with revenge, which comes from the internal pain at being humiliated (Mind).

Isn’t this her OS motivation?

Isn’t this his OS role?

OS is: “An American coach is brought over to England as a ploy by their new owner to make them lose.”
MC is: Ted’s Optimism is challenged by his crumbling marriage
IC is: Rebecca deals with the horrors her ex-husband continues to dump on her.

Rebecca>Universe: He cheated on her in the past, she is now “old” Rebecca, he has bought into the team again
Ted>Be-er: he has a panic attack over the divorce papers, he changes his view on “change” in order to let her go

…by single-mindedly taking out her rage an pain on everyone around her with no consideration of how it will hurt them. I really don’t think the story is presenting her as someone whose problems arise from her situation – even if that is how she thinks of it. She is heartbroken and feels humiliated. She is prickly, intimidating, but also painfully self-conscious (on the red carpet, at the event in the presence of her husband).

From the LA times:

“I wanted people to understand from that very first scene that just because she stands tall and she stands strong, she’s not,” Waddingham remembers. “I wanted people to immediately see the inner turmoil and inner upset and her coping mechanism.

Are you suggesting he’s a change character? If so, who is the Steadfast IC?

I think it’s pretty clear Rebecca is the primary IC, who obviously changes. But Roy and Jamie also represent change ICs – and for the them you could run through the list of Mind gists and about every third one would apply.