Opinion: Sitcoms, rom-coms and letting it all work out

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The coaches on the TV show “Ted Lasso” look on during practice. Lasso’s discussion on rom-coms can help us learn it will all work out. (Apple TV+)

Over the last few months, I’ve found myself saying somewhat regularly, “my life is a sitcom.”

Whether it be the unique circumstances of an ongoing pandemic, hilarious coincidences even the best screenwriter couldn’t make up or an unfortunate mishap in my day-to-day life, much like a sitcom, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan.

Some of these events, and those in your own life, may resemble the plot of an episode of Seinfeld or The Office, but there’s another sitcom I’d like to talk about and hopefully learn from.

“Ted Lasso,” an Apple TV+ original, offers the laughs of a traditional sitcom, but with one important difference, the main character actively and constantly tries to do the right thing. In an era and genre of sarcasm, insults and personal interests, Ted Lasso brings an air of authenticity, positivity and selflessness.

In the fifth episode of the recently-concluded second season, Lasso, the main character and coach of an English soccer club, introduces a phrase and idealogy that has stuck with me during this uncertain and comedic time of life.

In a team meeting during a difficult part of their season, Lasso talks to the players about his belief in “rom-communism.” This has nothing to do with the social and political idealogy, but everything to do with romantic comedies.

“Believing in rom-communism is all about believing that everything’s gonna work out in the end,” Lasso tells the group, much like everything works out for the main characters by the end of a rom-com movie, mentioning mainstays of the genre such as Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

I love movies. They entertain me, engage me, teach me, and often times help comfort and heal me. Some, in fact most, of these comfort movies are rom-coms, including “Notting Hill,” “Love Actually,” “The Holiday” and “About Time,” to name a few. They make me laugh, cry and feel something in one cathartic experience.

As much as I’ve tried to make light of the comedic nature of my life and those around me, let’s be honest, it’s not all funny. Sometimes it’s hard, actually a lot of times. As Lasso mentions, we may find ourselves in the “dark forest” at times, but fairytales do not begin, or end, in the dark forest.

“Now it may not work out how you think it will, or how you hope it does, but believe me, it will all work out, exactly as it’s supposed to,” Lasso says.

Because I still don’t know how a lot of things will work out in my life, sometimes I have to just laugh, and appreciate the sitcom moments for what they are, a moment. This struggle or awkward moment is not where my story ends, nor yours.

“Our job is to have zero expectations and just let go,” Lasso says at the conclusion of his speech to the team.

Eventually, the guy gets the girl, the family is reconciled, jobs are saved and everything works out, but not without a fair amount of hilariously horrible hijinks and pitfalls along the way.

If there is one lasting and recognizable symbol from “Ted Lasso,” it is the yellow poster board with the word “Believe” written on it and taped to the wall.

The coaches in “Ted Lasso” stand in front of the “Believe” sign. (Apple TV+)

As Alma teaches in Alma 32:21 of The Book of Mormon, “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”

We don’t know how or when we are going to get out of the dark forest and to our happy ending. We don’t know what it will look like or what song will be playing as the credits roll, but we know it will all work out.

Belief. Faith. Hope. Words that are just as helpful for a struggling soccer team as they are for a lonely college student, a desperate job applicant or a discouraged teacher.

I may just be a boy, standing in front of the world, asking it to all work out, but as some combination of Jason Sudeikis and Renée Zellweger would say, “you had me at believe.”

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