TV

‘Ted Lasso’ Power Rankings: All Dogs Go To Heaven, Some People Go Through Hell

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 1 — Goodbye, Earl

Honorable Mention: Higgins (need him to bring back the goatee); Keeley (not much to do, replaced in girl talk a little too easily); Nate (I do not like this new cutthroat Nate); Martin Short (you would get upset if you lost your wallet, too); Trent Crimm, The Independent (I respect that he asks the tough questions and sticks with that particular haircut); Earl the Dog (I wish Earl the best of luck at that farm upstate); Jan Maas (not mean, just Dutch); the Yoga mums (seem like a good hang); taking a long bath instead of a shower (maybe not every day, but a true delight once in a while)

10. John Wingsnight

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I knew John Wingsnight was a goner the second I heard him tell that story about almost getting in a fight with Martin Short. You simply cannot survive as a love interest for a main character if you are dropping names during long dinner stories in your first on-screen appearance. I hated him instantly, which is saying something considering the man’s name is “John Wingsnight.” Let me repeat that last part: I, a person who loves silly names more than he loves some of his dearest friends, hated a guy whose name was “John Wingsnight.” The odds on this kind of thing happening are so preposterously long that no casino would have even listed them prior to the episode. And yet!

That said, I did end up feeling bad for him. Getting dumped during a brief monologue about how the other person misses fun and adventure and being brave has got to be tough, especially if you both think you’re just going out for a little cup of coffee beforehand. Tough break for ol’ Johnny Wingsnight right there. But now I just realized that he’ll probably turn it into an insufferable story at some party years from now about how the owner of Richmond dumped him over coffee. My sympathy is gone. Good riddance.

9. Ted

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To recap:

  • His team was just relegated to the lower league
  • They have tied every game so far in the season
  • Their best player killed a dog with a penalty kick
  • He not could solve the player’s ensuing yips
  • The sports psychologist he brought in was able to fix the problem but now he’s jealous of her
  • He’s still not doing great about the whole divorce thing

Could be better!

8. Roy

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Pretty intense Good News, Bad News kind of week for Roy. The good news is that he’s happier than ever with Keeley and giving terrific dating advice to Rebecca and coaching his niece’s soccer team, which is freaking adorable.

The bad news is that he’s still not quite right with his retirement and struggling with his next step and he hates the idea of becoming a talking head on sports television even though he’d be freaking incredible at it and he clearly has some sort of unresolved issue with Jamie that is eating at him and ruining his wine nights with the Yoga Mums.

That speech was great, though. I hope, by episode four at the latest, Roy backs into a daytime talk show where he becomes like the male and British version of Oprah.

7. Jamie Tartt

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Jamie seems incredibly happy on that dating show, just hooking up with pretty ladies who are tanned within an inch of their lives and talking about it into a camera that is pointed directly at his face. Whether we all realized it or not last season, this was always the logical next step for him. He’s doing great.

6. Rebecca

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It is good that Rebecca decided not to settle for John Wingsnight and it is good that she has supportive people in her life who will help her through what is clearly a weird time for her. It’s not great that she ended up with him in the first place and it’s less great that the only person who will be blunt and honest with her is Roy, a person whose default setting in every situation is “blunt and honest,” often to a fault.

Also, and this has nothing to do with anything at all, it is really funny to me that she appears to have an open-door policy in her office that extends to any team employee at any hour of the day. It makes for delightful television but it can’t be an efficient way to run a sports franchise.

5. The bird that got away

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Be honest, you thought we were about to have a Randy Johnson situation on our hands. You thought my sweet boy Dani Rojas was going to kick that soccer ball right into that mid-flight bird and kill it on the spot. I know I thought that as soon as I saw a bird just chilling in the corner of the screen. “Hmm,” I said to myself, maybe a little out loud, “it sure is weird that there’s a bird on the field. Especially because this is a television show and that means they put it there on purpose. It’s almost like th-… ahhhhhhh.”

But nope! Dani killed the dog instead, which was a wild twist for a show with a track record of being full of good vibes. They really killed a dog in the first episode. Before the opening credits! That is something, folks. It is definitely something. Solid break for the bird, though, because in addition to avoiding death via soccer ball, it also avoided death via dog thanks to the soccer ball that didn’t kill it. Probably doesn’t even realize it either. Just flying around all carefree with no knowledge of the absolute chaos it left in its wake. It’s not unreasonable to assume that everything that happens this season will be a direct or indirect result of that bird’s decision to land on the pitch. This kind of ignorance must be so liberating. It seems to work for Jamie.

4. Dani Rojas

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What a journey for young Dani Rojas. Killed a dog, got the yips, damn near fell into a bottomless pit of depression, had an existential crisis that featured a nightmare about a cartoon dog goalie that he woke up from in a cold sweat next to two models, solved all of these problems after what appeared to be a single session with a therapist, and bent in a corner kick for a goal.

I love him very much. If anything else bad happens to him this season, I might also park myself in front of the shower fully-clothed in an attempt to wash the despair off of me.

3. Phoebe

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Getting one pound from your uncle for every cuss he says is a solid grift for any child, which I say as someone who swore in front of a family friend’s 10-year-old child three times in the last week alone. It’s an especially good grift when your uncle is Roy Kent, a man who probably starts swearing every morning as soon as his alarm clock goes off. According to her calculations, she’s already owed 1,236 pounds, and according to my — read: Google’s — calculations, that works out to something like $1,700 American. She’ll be able to pay for college and put a down-payment on a nice little house at this rate. Hell, she might be financially independent by the beginning of season three.

Roy might have to take that job as a sports pundit after all. With no new money coming in, his potty mouth is going to put him in the poor house.

2. Dr. Sharon

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Dr. “Don’t Call Me Doc” Sharon is a fascinating addition to the team — and the show, in general — because she is the polar opposite of Ted in so many ways. He’s a white man, she’s a Black woman. He uses a slew of folksy sayings and jokes to get his points across, she prefers attacking problems head-on. He is skeptical of therapy as a solution to problems, she has built an entire life around it. Best of all, she instantly becomes a great foil for him because she steals his thunder. His whole deal is helping people maximize their potential to become the best version of themselves they can be. And I do mean “his whole deal.” He very openly does not know how to coach the technical aspects of the game. Someone coming in and taking that from him could send him into a wicked spiral, especially because he can’t even get mad at her because, like, she’s out there helping people, too. She’s just better at it.

My strong suspicion here is that this all ends with Ted on her couch breaking down that anti-therapy wall he has and breaking down in general as he works through the aspects of his divorce that he pretty clearly has not yet worked through. My only hope here is that she opens this dialogue by sitting him down and explaining that the two of them are not so different, really. That would be a nice little treat for me.

1. Coach Beard

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The best.

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