Ted Lasso season 3 reviews say the new episodes are a return to form – but too long

Ted Lasso
(Image credit: Apple)

Ted Lasso season 3 is almost upon us – and reviews are in, with critics praising the new show as a return to the feel-good form we love from the series, while also noting that the new episodes are a little too long and over-stuffed. 

The new season picks up after Nate (Nick Mohammed) defected from AFC Richmond to rivals West Ham, while Richmond are still striving to win the Premier League, but are again risking relegation. Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Hannah Waddingham, and Juno Temple reprise their roles.

It's unclear at the moment if Ted Lasso season 3 will be the end of the show, or if more is potentially on the way; Sudeikis has suggested these episodes are "the end of this story that we wanted to tell," but beyond that, the future is uncertain. 

For an overview of what the critics are saying about the new episodes, check out the below. 

The Hollywood Reporter – Daniel Fienberg

"Still, based on the four episodes sent to critics, Ted Lasso absolutely feels like a show that's treating this run as an end if not the end. It's backward-looking more than forward-looking and the shape of an overall series narrative is becoming increasingly clear. At the same time, the show continues what could either complimentarily be called its expansion or critically deemed its bloat. These four episodes are all between 44 and 50 minutes, without adapting their tone or structural rhythms from back when this was a 30-minute show. The result is unwieldy, like a solid eight-episode season squished together with little regard for flow or repetition.

"Odd dragging moments aside, though, I have so much affection for so many of these characters – too many, if we're being honest – that the comfort from their return is tremendous and the enjoyment frequent."

Collider – A- – Carly Lane

"Ted Lasso's third season feels like a reward for the fans who stuck it out through the high highs and the low lows of season 2. It doesn't immediately promise that the road ahead will be an easy one; as we've learned, sometimes there can be such a thing as too much positivity, or a willingness to pretend the hard times don't exist for the sake of maintaining optimism. But while last season signaled just how heavy things could get for Ted and team, Season 3 is more of a return to form, the small-screen equivalent of a hot cup of tea and a big, soft blanket, as well as a successful hat-trick for Apple TV Plus. To quote one of my favorite fictional journalists, Trent Crimm (James Lance), 'If the Lasso way is wrong, it's hard to imagine being right.'"

Yahoo! – Tilly Pearce

"Whether this is the final season truly remains to be seen. While the creators have long-argued the show was only ever intended as a three-season arc, there's a notable absence of any official "final" announcement. In fact, they've now seemed to double-back on that assessment.

But from the first four episodes, it seems AFC Richmond have a destination in mind. It's just a case of how long it will be to get them there.

Either way, it remains a beautiful story way beyond the pitch points that create The Beautiful Game." 

iNews – Rachael Sigee

"The corniness of Ted Lasso was never the problem; the issue was that once we'd been disarmed by its earnestness, the element of surprise had been lost and it seemed to be trying to do too much to fill the gap. Repeating a trick that no-one expected you to pull off in the first place is a tough ask and the lightning didn't quite strike twice with season two.

"A fresh start was needed to remind us of its charms without overdoing the sentimentality, and even though it can never go back to being a true underdog, there is enough here to have you rooting for Ted's final chapter."

/Film – Josh Spiegel

"While Sudeikis, Hunt, [Bill] Lawrence, and the rest of the writers clearly adore so many of their characters, they aren't willing to keep things short. Of the first four episodes, the premiere is the shortest and clocks in at 42 minutes, while the fourth is 50 minutes long. (At one point, Lasso says that clarity, more than brevity, may be the soul of wit. Brevity is valuable too.) Of the many subplots, the least fully formed features Keeley and her fledgling PR firm; though its presence may become more important throughout the season, dedicating this much time upfront just stretches episode lengths out too much. Keeley seems intrigued by the possibility of re-kindling a friendship, if nothing else, with her ex Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), but Jamie's growth (hinted at as he tries to retrain himself with Roy Kent's assistance) is more compelling if only because it feels more directly related to the matters at hand."

TheWrap – Jesse Hassenger

"Even past that peak, Lasso still has plenty of charm; it's a tribute to the work done by series creators Sudeikis, Hunt, Bill Lawrence, and Joe Kelly that it can survive for long stretches depending so heavily on audience investment in its characters, rather than joke density. Sudeikis remains one of the most purely endearing comic leads on television, and because Ted's persona involves putting on a cheerful face even in dire circumstances, he remains both a consistently funny character and the one best-equipped to handle the heavier material. Hunt, as ever, makes an impeccable sidekick."

Ted Lasso season 3 arrives on Apple TV Plus this March 15, with new episodes following weekly. While you wait, check out our guide to the best Apple TV Plus shows streaming now to fill out your watchlist. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.