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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With season two only a week away, it's probably time to get the new season thread going. Untagged spoilers allowed as per the thread title, but if you are the first to post about the newest weekly episode, please preface your post with a bold spoiler warning, e.g.

*** SPOILERS FOR S02E0X "Episode Title" FROM THIS POINT ***

This will allow viewers who are watching later (you monsters) to participate in the thread as they watch without being spoiled for episodes they've not yet seen. Thanks for your consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I couldn't help it, and read them. For anyone on the fence, I'll say:

  • Apple didn't give out the whole season for review, so there isn't any discussion in ether review about where things head.
  • If you've seen either of the season trailers, you know some plot points that are generally discussed in these reviews.
  • There are a few additional storylines mentioned. Not what happens in them, but what they are.

Overall I didn't feel especially spoiled by either review, so they are safe to read if you want a general overview and opinions on the new season, with some insights into what the characters are up to. But if you don't want to know anything at all, stay away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
With episode two on the way, I just realized I never wrote anything about episode one.

I read a few reviews before the premiere and most of them noted the same reaction I had in watching the first 10-15 minutes of episode one. Fun, pleasant, familiar… but low-risk. Is this going to be a season of resting on laurels? I already knew from those reviews the answer was no, but it was interesting to have that experience even having been reassured I needn’t. Also, I’ve seen season one so many times that even something as minor Roy being shaggier was hard to get used to at first. So I was really excited to get going with the season even as I felt myself resisting to it a little bit.

Got out of my head by about halfway through and really enjoyed the premiere overall. I was interested to see Doc(tor) Sharon is a main character in the main cast and not a guest, so she’ll be a major presence the rest of the way and obviously the foil for Ted. That will be fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard, and co-creator) said that they had assumed Apple was going to release the first three episodes of season two at once, like they did with season one, and so the team wrote the first three assuming they’d be binged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Episode two thoughts:

Still feeling a bit disoriented with the new sets and locations and general glossier appearance of some of the characters. (I don’t know why Mae’s silver hair is throwing me so!) At least Roy got a trim for his TV appearance and looks more like himself.

Ted bringing Jamie back on is definitely a response to Doctor Sharon pointing out that his methods have created a great workplace that is failing in its core purpose of getting wins. At the same time, it’s also completely in character for him; as he points out, not giving up on people is part of what he is about. And he also observes that Sam’s comment about his father, and Jamie’s comment about his terrible father, make him want to help Jamie.

Doesn’t seem like bringing Jamie back is the gaffer’s call. I guess Higgins did vote thumbs-up on it, and he’s director of football operations, so we can let it slide.

There’s bit of revisionist history employed with Jamie. Ted tells him it’s not a good idea to bring him back because he burned a lot of bridges. That’s true, but the very last thing we saw of Jamie on Richmond last season, before Rebecca sent him back to Man City, was with the rest of the team at the curse fire. Rebecca’s rueful observation then: “That is a team united.”

Hannah Waddingham is brilliant. Loved the sly smile she gave right at the end, as the four of them were in her office watching Jamie appear on the pitch.

Got a big chuckle out of Rebecca sending a gift basket of bottled water to Sharon because Sharon doesn’t eat sugar. A dumbfounded Keeley: “There are other things that don’t have sugar!”
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Sassy Smurf returns! Loved her last season, and she was kind of an instrumental character in that one appearance. I'm glad they brought her back. Funny how her daughter Nora took on the instrumental role for Rebecca this time out. She was good with Hannah Waddingham. Nora: "Dear Dick Hole..." Rebecca, typing: "Dear Richard Cole..." :)

That said, it's smart of the series not to just run back the old characters as the old characters. Sam, for example, has grown a lot since last season. He's clearly a team leader and a better player (witness his tackle of Jamie and subsequent taunt). He's a good character around whom to center the sponsorship crisis. (I've seen the episode twice and I can't say I noticed the varying tape jobs either time, and that's with having resolved to keep an eye out for it before the second watch.)

Phil Dunster was the only regular not to get an Emmy nod, but he played Jamie perfectly this episode. Jamie is still Jamie, genuinely believing he's special, but he also genuinely (maybe excepting the moment before Sam tackled him) isn't trying to make anyone else believe it. He just can't help being Jamie in the process -- witness his willingness to let Ted put him on second team, even as he's showing off his ridiculous warmup routine. Of course, not being the brightest bulb, his ideas about fitting in are very Jamie at first -- buying everyone PS5's -- but taping up his jersey in support of Sam was sincere and powerful. Opportunistic too, of course, but Dunster makes us believe that Jamie truly did that out of solidarity. "We're a team; we wear the same kit." Nice.

I liked Alan Sepinwall's opinion of Led Tasso:

Let's start with Led Tasso, which is both the dumbest and funniest thing this show has done to date... It is completely, utterly stupid. But it works a little as a motivational approach, since Jamie is the one to call Ted out for behaving that way, which wins the team villain a few brownie points from the guys. And it works very well as comedy, because Ted is just so inept at being a jerk. Led Tasso is like a little kid's caricature of how a mean coach would behave, flipping over tables, demanding absurd exercises (the players have to bend down and touch each other's toes), making the players run lap after lap, etc. Jason Sudeikis has really toned down the character's sketch-comedy leanings from the original NBC Sports promos, and it's been to the Apple series' benefit. But Led Tasso was Sudeikis going back into full SNL mode, and it's an idiotic joy to behold for a few minutes.

We certainly don't need to see Led Tasso again, but as Sepinwall says, the bit was so dumb it was kind of brilliant just this once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
*** SPOILERS FOR S02E04 "Carol of the Bells" FROM HERE ***

I always watch episodes of this show a couple of times before wanting to post any thoughts, but following my first viewing of this one, I have to say -

That was absolutely as featherweight as gossamer, and I might need an insulin shot after watching it. And I loved every second of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
The backstory here is that Apple requested two extra episodes this season (twelve instead of ten). The main season storylines had already been broken so Sudeikis & Co decided to make one of the extras a Christmas episode. As such, it is fairly standalone and probably could have gone almost anywhere after episode three (since the Dubai Air protest was mentioned here). My guess is they decided to move it up in the order from the original plan to help pace the season. Last episode the team had eight draws and a loss, and this one they had three more losses and also three wins. Also, last episode Coach Beard and Jane had just decided to share an iCloud account, and this one they have broken up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
I always watch episodes of this show a couple of times before wanting to post any thoughts, but following my first viewing of this one, I have to say -

That was absolutely as featherweight as gossamer, and I might need an insulin shot after watching it. And I loved every second of it.
I've watched it a few times already. :) Some other thoughts:

A couple of fun callbacks to season one here, in Keeley's disgust with the pimentos in green olives and the "can I get an ussie?" guy popping up as the dentist's son. (Apparently that guy is her son is real life, too.)

I hope they keep finding excuses for Hannah Waddingham to sing each season. She's a professional singer but doesn't want to come across that way on the show, so we are getting her amateur renditions of things. :eek:

Loved the tracking shot down the dinner table/surfboard/snooker table at the Higgins house. That looked like a fun party. I want to go to the Higginses for Christmas.

Dani: "Tell my extremely beautiful wife I love her!" Ha ha.

Funny running (well, now it's running) about Jan (the Dutch player) having no sense of humor.
Jan: "I brought fried chicken."
Higgins: "Oh, is that a tradition back home?"
Jan: "No."
Or...
Richard: "The French believe having a beautiful woman around is a good thing."
Jan: "Didn't work out in the Helter Skelter murders."

Back in season one, I thought Sudeikis occasionally had trouble modulating Ted. Like, he was 100% Ted when maybe a scene could have used a 50%-level Ted, that sort of thing. Just occasionally. He's got command now. All his patter as he was walking out with Rebecca was dialed-down and a bit muted. Hands in pockets, smaller steps. The very picture of a guy feeling blue. Nicely performed.

Roy's reaction to Phoebe's breath was amazing. "I think you may be dying." Awesome. And of course his immediate alpha reaction, "Who the f is Bernard?" when Phoebe tells her story. Great character.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Is this the first time we see Jane? I was kind of hoping she would be like Norm's wife...
We saw Jane at least twice in season one. She was Beard's date at the gala, and then in a later episode he left the bar with her after he exploded at Ted that winning matters, and she (who was there with someone else) told him that was hot.
 
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