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 8 — “Beard After Hours”
HONORABLE MENTION: Jane (completely unfair to leave her out of the top ten considering she was the one who gave him the hula hoop that made my entire week, but still); the snooty hotel clerk (do not steal his crypto, not that he has any); the Oxford Bros (I’m glad they got hustled at pool); Thierry Henry (SHUT UP, THIERRY HENRY); various British people on various forms of public transportation (I feel like they have stories); Roy, Nate, Ted, etc. (not this week, boys); Martin Scorsese (this whole episode was an homage to After Hours and I think it’s only fair to mention that); keys (it is 2021, every door should open with an eye scanner now, come on); hula hoop discos located in church basements (please find or start one and put me on the guest list, I am not joking)
10. Mae (Last week: Unranked)
Assorted Mae thoughts:
- I love that she runs her pub with an iron fist and her word carries so much weight that she does not appear to need a bouncer or other staff at all
- I laughed out loud at this joke and then again at the reveal that the stuffy loser was sitting at the bar, still correcting her
- If we ever do another one-off episode where we follow a character around for an entire episode, I sincerely hope it is her
9. Coach Beard (Last week: 1)
I know we just got a full 45-minute episode where we followed Beard all over England, and I know it featured him sneaking into exclusive establishments under false pretenses and getting in fights and revealing himself to be a freaking hula hoop god, and I know I really shouldn’t be taunting fate by demanding more of the universe moments after it gave me everything I’ve been asking for over the course of almost two full seasons, up to and including the thing where he leaped off of a building while wearing sparky pants given to him by a mysterious women in red with a large jealous boyfriend but…
I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say that I would watch a full one-hour TED talk where Beard lays out his opinions on the simulation.
8. Sarah Coombes, Hostess at Bones & Honey (Last week: Unranked)
Please do, just for a moment, picture her face upon realizing that her home was not on fire and it was all a ruse for some rascals to sneak into the club she works at. I know Beard said that would be a wondrous moment of her, and I would never question Beard on matters of human emotion, but picture her, like, two seconds after that passes.
Not a happy woman.
7. Coach Beard (Last week: 1)
I love these pants. I love that they were given to him by a mysterious woman and I love that he put them on without a question and I love that he rocked them right into work the next day without a word of explanation. I also love the look Ted gave him upon noticing the pants, like a little double-take and acknowledgement, kind of a “Are those… well, I guess they are. Moving on.”
Part of me thinks this is not the first time Beard has shown up to work with a bruise on his face and sparkly pants covering his legs. Part of me wonders if it’s not even the second. Think about it for a second and try to tell me I’m wrong. Or don’t. I can’t have you wasting your time when we have so much else to get to.
6. The Richmond Soccer Hooligans (Last week: Unranked)
So happy for these dudes. What a night they had. Started it in a pub watching their beloved football club get slaughtered and ended it by running around their beloved football club’s home field like kings after chugging champagne in a limousine and hustling a group of Oxford bros at pool in a club they’d never be invited into in a zillion years.
They’re going to remember this for the rest of their lives. Someone will say, “Ugh, remember that awful Richmond loss,” and they’ll get to jump right into this story. A solid chunk of people won’t believe them until they show off the pictures they took. They will love doing this so much. For as long as they live. They’ll be doing it into their 80s. It might be the best night of their entire lives. Good for them.
5. Professor Declan Patrick Aloysius McManus (Last week: Unranked)
The fact that this was the alias he pulled in the moment and the fact that he had the full backstory ready to go with zero notice is somehow the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen and the most obvious. Like, of course, Beard would have this ready to go. I bet he has at least seven or eight more, depending on the situation. I bet one of them is a loose cannon American detective named Wally Toledo and I bet he has used it to get out of multiple speeding tickets.
4. Mysterious Women in Red and Their Large Jealous Lovers (Last week: Unranked)
This whole situation is fascinating to me. The woman brings strange men home for the purpose of collecting and mending and distributing pants, and she has a monstrous boyfriend who flies into jealous rages on account of his own history of infidelity, and she appears to get great joy from both parts of this. There was a lot of weird stuff in this episode, some of which we’ve discussed and some of which we will discuss shortly, but the weirdest thing of all might be another character coming out of it as more of an enigma than Beard.
I have no choice but to respect it.
3. Coach Beard (Last week: 1)
The hula hoop has been around for centuries in one form or another, but it became a certified piece of pop culture in the 1950s when Wham-O Toys mastermind Arthur “Spud” Melin took something he saw Australian children doing with bamboo hoops and recreated it with cheap colorful plastic. Wham-O Toys had a history with this kind of thing. The company also ended up patenting everything from the Frisbee to the Slip ‘N Slide to Silly String, most of which good old Spud saw in some original form and recreated for American teens to injure themselves with and/or drive their parents crazy.
But that’s not the point. The point is that it all led to this moment.
I do not think you understand how many GIFs I have of Coach Beard doing hula hoop things. I had to narrow it down to two. I’m kind of worried my computer will crash under the weight of many many large files I am now in possession of while I’m typing this paragraph. Look at him go. I know I’ve said many times that nothing he does could surprise me at this point, and yet, there I was, mouth agape as he did a masterwork of moving art with his hips and body. It was thrilling to me when it happened and it remains thrilling to me now. And it gets better because the actor who plays Beard, Brendan Hunt, has a deep history of hula hooping.
If you were impressed by Brendan Hunt's hula hooping skills on this week's TED LASSO, just know he once did an entire 90+ minute show where he never stopped hula hooping…he was Pigpen grown up and the hula hoop was his dirt cloud. https://t.co/6xzU0nBklK
— Jenelle Riley (@jenelleriley) September 17, 2021
There is nothing bad happening in any part of this and if any of you attempts to find something bad and show it to me, so help me God, I will hunt to down in the street like Jamie Tartt’s crappy dad.
2. Renee (Last week: Unranked)
A few Renee notes:
- I love that he apparently lives at the stadium and guards the door at all hours of the night like some sort of mischievous magical troll
- If any man with that face ever looks at me with that face, even for one second, I suspect I will turn into a medium-sized pile of dust on the sidewalk
- I kind of want him and Mae to go on a date now?
This is something I will continue to monitor.
1. Coach Beard (Last week: 1)
Some people were a little put off by this episode because it hit pause on a lot of the larger arcs and took us on a detour that did almost nothing to advance any ongoing matters the show has dealt with or will deal with, but, and I must stress this in the strongest terms possible, I do not care.
It was fun.
You cannot take it away from me.
I love him.
The king stays the king.