The Ted Lasso Power Rankings are a weekly analysis of who and/or what had the strongest performance in each episode. Most of the list will feature individual characters, although the committee does reserve the right to honor anything from animals to inanimate objects to laws of nature to general concepts. There are very few rules here.
Season 2, Episode 3 — Do The Right-est Thing
HONORABLE MENTION: Trent Crimm, The Independent (need one of you to make a supercut of him introducing himself at press conferences while standing up and removing his glasses); Keeley (tough week between the photoshoot causing assorted calamity and the Bantr app not really taking off); Sassy Smurf (straight shooter, seems like a fun hang); Mae (really great little dance she did in the background while the pub was singing the Jamie Tartt song); Higgins (still funny to me to keep him out of the listings proper, so here he stays); Nate (I am suddenly very sad for Nate and need him to find love on the Bantr app at once); Phoebe (no ice cream for dinner, but she understands why)
10. Nora (Last Week: Not ranked)
Big fan of Nora, the sassy child of Rebecca’s friend (and Ted’s one-time lover), Sassy Smurf. I like that she’s a little jerk almost all of the time except when she gets hopelessly starstruck by Sam, because that feels correct and natural for most teens. I like that she dresses kind of like a street urchin from a film adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel, because it reinforces everything I think I know about British people. But mostly I like that she made this awful horsefly/pee joke within about 30 seconds of appearing on-screen for the first time.
Do I think for one second that a deeply sarcastic teen like Nora would ever make a joke this corny on purpose? No. Do I think she would roll her eyes all the way back into her head if an adult around her made this joke? Absolutely. Do I care at all, even for a little, even just long enough to emit a whispered “hmm” as I think about it again right now? Reader, I do not. The lesson here is to just accept a good thing sometimes and not let your brain think you out of it.
9. Ted Lasso (Last Week: 6)
Ted is a fascinating man. Consider:
- He is comfortable enough around a one-time lover to make an “Is she mine?” joke about the woman’s teenage child, in front of his boss
- He is so uncomfortable at the mere mention of the menstrual cycle that he looks like he’s trying to hide his entire body behind his mustache
Dr. Sharon is going to have a field day with him. She’s going to be running around inside his brain like Nicolas Cage in the National Treasure movies, carrying a torch and sliding tiles around until she unlocks the secret room where the jewels are. I can’t wait.
8. Soccer Saturday Host Jeff Stelling (Last Week: Not ranked)
I would, without hyperbole, watch this show — a fake sports commentary show that discusses fictional athletes that play a sport I barely follow in real-life — for an entire half-hour. Maybe even a full hour. It’s perfect. My new favorite guy is the host, Jeff, who is desperately trying to hold things together, to make it a normal show that follows normal rules, as the dudes around him descend into bickering madness. Look at him in that last screencap. It’s beautiful. Add him to the list of minor characters I now want a full episode of backstory about.
(UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that Soccer Saturday is, in fact, a real show, and Roy’s presence is the main fictional element. This somehow makes me enjoy all of it even more.)
Semi-related: I tweeted about how much I love sports pundit Roy and how I want him to have his own show and I got this reply…
Roy Kent and Trent Crimm, the Independent, host a British PTI.
— Sweave (@sweave) August 2, 2021
… which is maybe the best idea I’ve ever heard. I need this at once. Like, in real life. Thirty minutes every weekday. I know this reads like a joke but I assure you it is not.
7. Led Tasso (Last Week: Not ranked)
This is startling. When I watched the trailer for this season, weeks ago, and saw a reference to an evil alter-ego named Led Tasso, I thought it would be my favorite moment of the whole season. Flipping around names like this — spoonerisms, they’re called — is one of my favorite hobbies. Try it yourself sometime. A few of my favorites: Paul Rudd (Raul Pudd), Samuel L. Jackson (Jam Sackson), former NBA all-star Danny Granger (Granny Danger). And so on.
And yet! This sunglasses-wearing demon was ineffectual when it came to results. He made no substantial progress in opening up the team to Jamie’s return. All he did was yell and kick some soccer balls and wear sunglasses. I still love him very much and would like to see video of whatever exactly happened inside that Chuck E. Cheese, but I cannot in good conscience rank him any higher than this.
6. Dr. Sharon (Last Week: 4)
Took her one session to fix soccer vagabond and reality show loser Jamie Tartt, apparently. That’s kind of impressive. Part of me wants to see what she can do with my mysterious king Coach Beard. Another part of me is terrified of what would happen. I will need weeks to consider this.
5. Roy (Last Week: 2)
I must, once again, for the third consecutive week, insist that Roy Kent get a daytime talk show, one where he gives blunt but shockingly helpful life advice to an audience of housewives. Maybe like The View but with him and the Yoga Mums in the comfy chair with cups of tea and/or whiskey. Look at what he’s done for Rebecca already this season. He’s given her accurate advice for both her love life and for relating to children. He’s wise and profane like an NC-17 Oprah. Air this every day at noon and the show with Trent Crimm every day at dinner time. Roy is a star. Point a camera at him as often as possible.
4. Rebecca (Last Week: Not ranked)
Good for Rebecca. I’m glad she stuck up for Sam and I’m glad she got to do it in a way that let her be a competent, assertive authority figure. She is that, to be sure, but a lot of the show has focused on the various ways her personal life is a disaster, and even when she’s gotten a win it’s been with the assistance of someone around her, with Ted in the darts scene being the most notable example.
But here, all her, sticking up for a good person and a good cause even though it could make things sticky and weird going forward. She probably needs to reconsider her office open-door policy — not sure how she gets anything done with various employees barging in all day long — but otherwise quite solid.
3. Jamie Tartt (Last Week: 10)
Nice little emotional journey and awakening for Jamie this week, all of which you are welcome to discuss on your own time. I want to talk about crying. Specifically, I want to talk about the thing where I watched the screener for this episode over lunch last week (“Oh, I have a free 30 minutes, lemme quick watch Ted Lasso”), expecting a fun little diversion, and ended up legitimately crying when Jamie taped over the Dubai Air logo on his jersey.
While this is fine, generally, both because I support shows doing cool emotional stuff and because I cry all the time when they do, it did make it tough to just go back to work after that emotional journey. I was over here in pieces trying to, like, edit blog posts while sniffling. It was a weird day. Happy for Jamie, though. I don’t think it will stick long-term, or at least that he won’t slip up and go all diva again, but it was still nice.
2. Sam (Last Week: 8)
Sam has been having a tough go of it this season. He’s the team’s star but they’re stuck playing to ties every match. Ted brought back Jamie against his stated wishes. He landed a big star-making advertising campaign and then learned from his disappointed father that the company he’s endorsing is responsible for destroying his homeland. The hits kept coming for a dude who is either the first or second nicest guy on the team, depending on how much you believe there is darkness hidden inside my sweet prince Dani Rojas.
So this was a cool moment to see, across the board, but especially at the press conference. I like that he shot down Trent’s soccer question. I think Trent liked it, too. It was great how all the other reporters started clamoring and Trent went full alpha when he realized he could finally ask a serious journalism question. This is why we need that Trent-Roy PTI show.
1. Coach Beard (Last Week: 1)
- Last week, we learned Coach Beard is sleeping in the clubhouse because he got into an argument with Jane and she threw his phone into the river
- This week, we learned he could not download Keeley’s new dating app because he shares an iCloud account with Jane and he worries she’ll destroy his phone with pliers and a blowtorch
This is now my favorite running subplot on the show. I need to know how many phones he goes through. I need a running tally. I want him to walk into an Apple Store — yes, I am endorsing shameless product placement for Apple on the Apple TV show, but only for jokes — and have the employees react to him like he’s Norm from Cheers. Like, they just have phones ready for him. He walks in and some employee hands him a new phone all casually, without even looking away from another customer, like they do it every morning. Maybe Coach Beard brings him a coffee the way he likes it, like they’re buddies now.
I don’t know. I’m just spitballing. But I’m also serious.