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Settle into the warm embrace of ‘Ted Lasso’

Jason Sudeikis, star and co-creator of "Ted Lasso."
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

I’m enjoying a Manhattan popsicle, which is a little hard to do while banging this newsletter out, but I’m dedicated to the cause. I probably should have gone with the coffee tonic cocktail, though I’m saving that for later in the day when I need a little kick to power me through that last deadline.

Also: Final Emmy voting has begun. “WandaVision” sent over a TV dinner this morning ... because who doesn’t want a random, mysteriously sourced meal delivered to their doorstep? I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter, and the guy who’s always asking if there’s a vegetarian option.

Jason Sudeikis vibes on ‘Ted Lasso’

“It’s tough to hug someone when you’ve got your arms crossed.”

This sounds like one of those earnest nuggets of wisdom that Ted Lasso might say, kind of like, oh, I don’t know, “takin’ on a challenge is a lot like ridin’ a horse ... if you’re comfortable while you’re doin’ it, you’re probably doin’ it wrong” or maybe “I believe in hope. I believe in Believe.” Only Ted Lasso hasn’t said this line — yet. Jason Sudeikis, the man who created and plays the folksy, optimistic soccer coach on the hit Apple TV+ series, reserves the right to impart that piece of wisdom at some point in the show’s third season, which he and the show’s writers are beginning to map out now. He has been keeping it in his back pocket, waiting for the perfect moment.

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The line came up ... well, how did it come up? A conversation with Sudeikis is a journey full of detours, beginning at, say, the healing powers of psychedelic mushrooms and eventually alighting on the many reasons why Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley is a superhero in “Beverly Hills Cop,” a movie Sudeikis fondly remembers seeing with his father when he was 9. “It forged my sense of right and wrong, good and evil, friendship and the power of wanting to do the right thing for the right reason and sticking to your guns,” Sudeikis says.

You can read that “Ted” talk in full, which includes plenty more digressions and much discussion about Sudeikis’ passion for creating ensemble art, a desire that has led him to his career-best work on “Ted Lasso.”

Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin in "The Crown."
(Des Willie / Netflix)

Emmy voters prepare to bow to ‘The Crown’

Emmy voters can never have enough reminders that a nominated show A) exists and B) that they liked it ... they really, really liked it! On the comedy side this year, new episodes of “Ted Lasso” are dropping weekly just as Television Academy members are filling out their ballots. Some people never stopped watching the show’s first season, replaying it repeatedly in hopes that the title character’s relentless optimism would blunt the never-ending parade of bad news looping through this last year and a half. To them, the fresh episodes felt like manna from heaven. (Too dramatic? How about fresh-baked biscuits?)

On the drama side, the latest season of “The Crown” premiered Nov. 15, which feels like a couple of lifetimes ago. But it too will have a refresher of sorts with the arrival of the new movie “Spencer,” Pablo Larraín’s look at Princess Diana’s decision to split from Prince Charles, starring Kristen Stewart in the title role. “Spencer” will premiere in a couple of weeks at the Venice Film Festival. Yes, that’s after Emmy voting ends, but there’s already a healthy debate, based on the trailer alone (which is always a good idea) about who plays Di better — Stewart or “The Crown’s” Emma Corrin. And look at that ... we’re thinking about “The Crown” again!

But, really, with this year’s emaciated Emmy drama series field, “The Crown” won’t need much in the way of reminders or heated arguments to prevail, as you’ll see when I run down the drama categories, forecasting wins for the Netflix series and two of its stars, Corrin and Gillian Anderson.

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Carl Clemons-Hopkins of ‘Hacks’ ready for the spotlight

Prior to the HBO Max comedy “Hacks,” I hadn’t had the pleasure of watching stage veteran Carl Clemons-Hopkins. But they made quite the impression on me and just about everyone, earning a surprise Emmy nomination for playing Marcus, the workaholic chief operating officer of Vegas comic Deborah Vance’s (Jean Smart) business empire (such that it is).

My colleague Michael Ordoña recently spoke with Clemons-Hopkins, who uses they/them pronouns, about their work and the moment they meshed their Black identity with their queer identity and how that profoundly changed their life. And, of course, Marcus, a character very different in some ways, but one with whom they share a “soft, squishy self.”

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, an Emmy nominee for "Hacks."
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Feedback?

I’d love to hear from you. Email me at glenn.whipp@latimes.com.

Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.


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