During a 2021 interview with Flickering Myth celebrating a quarter century of “Superman: The Animated Series,” Tim Daly shared why he thought the Kryptonian hero carried so much staying power, why his version remains beloved even after all these years, and why “Ted Lasso” is proof that audiences are exhausted with gritty reboots of kind characters. Daly said that:
“[Superman is] just good. He doesn’t have a grudge. He’s not vengeful … he’s just trying to help the human race be better … even though [he] definitely [has] some childhood trauma … he is not embittered the way Batman can seem to be … it’s interesting because I think we went through a period in entertainment that we’re just trying to come out of where everything is dark and dystopian and edgy and brutal. There’ve been some shows that have kind of broken through like ‘Ted Lasso’ where I think audiences are ready for something that is more … a positive light in the universe as opposed to someone who’s dark with superpowers or has been abused or has a grudge. I really appreciate that about Superman.”
So, is Daly right? is “Ted Lasso” an indicator that modern audiences are ready for the return of earnestly good heroes? Well, considering how Zack Snyder’s gritty version of the DC live action universe never found its feet, and how Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” saw the caped crusader literally step into the light, and how James Gunn, the new Co-CEO of DC Studios, seems to be distancing his version of Superman from the previous iteration, signs seemingly point to yes. “Ted Lasso” may not be the reason, but the Apple TV+ series’ success is almost certainly a symptom.