“Be Curious. Not Judgmental.”
Back in April, when we wrote about our favorite show of the year, Ted Lasso, it was, just like the Richmond Greyhounds, a bit of an underdog. It was the show everyone was being told about, but hadn’t seen yet (because honestly, who has an Apple TV subscription?)
Specifically, we took all 62 characters that appeared in the first season, and ranked them, from worst to best. If you have any doubts about our knowledge on this topic, every single character in the top seven of our list ended up being nominated for an Emmy for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, or Best Supporting Actress. So we basically nailed it.
Since then, it’s won seven Emmys, including best Actor (Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso), Best Supporting Actor (Brent Goldstein as Roy Kent), Best Supporting Actress (Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton) and Best Comedy. It’s also brought on the dreaded discourse. Because nothing gold can stay.
But just because the second season of Ted Lasso was messy and complicated, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a delight, and not something worth revisiting. Until, it turns out, we decided to expand our “ranking the characters in Ted Lasso” article after the first season, which had 62 characters, and realized, holy shit, there are a lot more characters in season two!
This article is over 10,000 words long! And we know you won’t read it, you’ll skim through until you see where Nate is (MUCH lower than season one) and where Roy is (slightly higher than season one) and then will just cherry pick for your favorites. And that’s fine. Anyway, we put way too much time into this silly article. Enjoy!
Every Ted Lasso Character, Ranked (After Season 2)
127: James Tartt (Previous Ranking: 62)
Daddy issues are in the forefront of season two, but they were lurking in season one if we’re being honest about it. Which is why James Tartt, the failfather shithead who sired Jamie, remains the worst character on this show.
Last season, we only got one brief scene and a few anecdotes describing the shittiness that is James Tartt. By the time he shows up openly rooting against his son’s team before eventually getting punched in the face while storming the Richmond locker room, it was pretty much confirmed that this is the one truly, completely irredeemable character in this show mostly filled with delightful or merely flawed characters. And that’s before home slice literally tried to fucking murder Coach Beard.
So, um, congrats to James Tartt? He’s still the fucking worst.
126: George (Previous Ranking: 61)
We got to experience George briefly in season one, where he played the misogynistic, asshole, middling coach of Richmond who got fired by Rebecca in the show’s opening scene. At the time, we were prepared to name him the worst character in the entire show, but then realized that James Tartt was much more deserving of the spot.
While James Tartt managed to get so much worse that he got to hold onto that title, George also appears often in the second season, only this time as a talking head on Gillette Soccer Saturday (and briefly with Roy Kent as one of his cohosts). Pretty much every time he gets a chance to speak, he says something offensive and bullheaded, so he also manages to come off even dumber and worse in the second season.
But still not as bad as James Tartt. No one can manage to sink lower than that fucker.
125: Richard (Previous Ranking: NR)
While he only appears as a disembodied voice on a phone, the CEO of Cerithium Oil is an old friend of Rupert’s, which is not a great start. He also runs a corrupt corporation that has spent years polluting Nigeria, who then demands Sam Obisanya get kicked off the team for his protests. Oh and first thing you hear from him is basically him propositioning Rebecca to sleep with him while his new wife watches. He exists only to be a random evil rich dude. His ranking effectively reflects this.
124/ 123 (Tie): Denmo and Bug (Previous Ranking: NR)
These guys (second to the left, and first to the right) are James Tartt’s shitty friends. Everything we said about James Tartt can be applied to them, minus the whole “being a scumbag father” thing.
122: Danthony (Previous Ranking: NR)
There is literally no reason why Danthony, a 20-something Lust Conquers All contestant who outlasts Jamie Tart in said reality show competition, who has about one line in the entire series, should be this low on this list. Lower than even Rupert, the actual villain of the series. But…his name is Danthony. Jesus. The rankings reflect this.
121: Rupert Mannion (Previous Ranking: 52)
In season one, we talked about how Rupert sucked, but he was charming. And there was some (very little) value in that. The differences between Rupert and James Tartt largely came from the fact that Rupert is rich, is dashing, and isn’t a shitty dad. Well, now he’s a dad, and he has the kind of goatee you grow when you want to present yourself as evil.
He only shows up a few times in the second season, but is primed to be one of primary antagonists of the third and final season (along with Nate) (sigh) (more on that right after this). In that time, he had a kid, continued to be kind of smarmy, “gave away” his shares of Richmond as “a gift” only to turn around and purchase West Ham United (and then steal Nate to be the team’s new head coach) (sigh).
Rupert isn’t nearly as fun in season two as he was in season one, but it’s still Anthony fucking Head, so you do instinctively like him. But even so, he’s a pure villain, and deserves to be this low on the list even more so now than he did a year ago.
120: Nathan Shelley (Previous Ranking: 3)
How the lovely have fallen.
In our write up of the first season, we ended our segment of Nate by saying, “We would fight wars for Nate, and we’ll fight anyone who thinks otherwise.” Guess we have to fight ourselves now.
In season one, Nate was a bright light of awkward energy and a feel-good story of a lowly kit man becoming a Premier League coach. But looking at his ranking now, and his ranking at the end of the first season, you can get an idea of the negative trajectory of his character. Now where he goes from here? That’s the question.
As this is being written immediately after the release of the finale of the second season. And right now, a lot of discourse is about the abrupt heel turn that Nate has taken, especially in the last few episodes of the season. We started season two with a nervous and “aww shucks” Nate and ended with a stoic, bitter, and, um, silver-fox shadow of the man we had come to know and love.
The change didn’t come out of nowhere, as Emmy-nominee Nick Mohammed pointed out on his Twitter feed (for what it’s worth, while Nate the character has had a historic and tragic decline, Mohammed’s performance throughout the entire season has been just as good, if not better, than his work in the first season).
But it’s been tough. It’s been really tough. It’s been “adding to the discourse” tough. He’s gone fully from a hero to a villain, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to redeem himself. Season three can go a lot of different ways with this character, especially how quickly Nate went from being a beloved character to a pariah from the end of season one to the end of season two, and it gives us no great pleasure in taking one of our all-time favorite characters of this show and dropping them all the way in the back here…but we have to be objective here. And objectively? Right now?
Nate’s kind of a dick!
119: Edwin Akufo (Previous Ranking: NR)
This ranking was a true roller coaster. When Akufu showed up in the 11th episode of the second season, it was Sam Richardson (who is awesome) playing a billionaire (careful now) looking to purchase the rights of Sam Obisanya (how dare you!) but for seemingly altruistic means (he wants to create a soccer powerhouse in Africa, which would be anchored by Sam, who also would be closer to home).
With his warm demeanor, it was easy to shake off things like, “Oh I hired a group of actors and rented out this museum for us to hang out” as fun and quirky, as opposed to “crazy out-of-touch billionaire shit.” But when Sam rejects Akufu’s proposal in the season finale, Akufu actively loses his shit. He threatens to destroy Sam’s life, make sure he’ll never be on the Nigerian national team, and talks about poop, um…a lot.
It feels like it’s played off for laughs, but we suspect that this storyline is going to cause some hassle in the third season. And besides, if you are a dick to Sam, that automatically drops your ranking by a fair bit. That’s just Ted Lasso science.
118: Ernie Lounds (Previous Ranking: 51)
Listen, we’re not bragging here when we say we really nailed our rankings for Season 1. Just crushed it. But one glaring misstep was putting Ernie Lounds, the crass asshole reporter from The Sun above the people who just…were on screen but we don’t remember. Ernie Lounds is a dick, and his ranking now more accurately reflects said dickery.
117: Bernard (Previous Ranking: NR)
He may have said he’s sorry, but he was still mean to Phoebe. Shame on you, Bernard!
116: Bex (Previous Ranking: 47)
The actress who plays Bex, a.k.a. “new Rebecca” apparently dated Jason Sudeikis for a bit, and now isn’t, but it’s fine, they’re friends, it’s fine. But her character in Ted Lasso has more or less stayed the same. She’s with Rupert. The only difference is she is a mother now.
Not surprisingly, she’s the kind of mom who both eats her own child’s placenta raw, and also brags about it, so yeah, we’re not expecting too much nuance with the treatment of the “trophy wife” character here.
115: Jane (Previous Ranking: 23)
The Jane we briefly met in the first season has very little in common with the Jane we saw in the second season, though they hinted at her proclivity for drama.
Beard and Jane basically do the on-again-off-again-on-again, overly dramatic thing over the course of the second season, and there are times where their reconciliations are played off as romantic or positive, even though the thesis of their relationship is best laid out by Higgins, who asks Beard straight up, “You’re a great man, does she make you greater?”
We know the answer is no (his jealously issues do not help, of course) and no doubt Jane’s role in season three is likely to involve the dissolving of that relationship. But Jane drops sharply between season one and season two, mainly because she’s used as a prop to highlight the insecurities of Coach Beard.
114: Richard (Previous Ranking: NR)
A.K.A. the guy who went on a date with Mae but kept correcting her (but to hear him tell the story, they went on two dates. “Coffee is a date.”)
113: Ellie (Previous Ranking: NR)
She’s a contestant from Lust Conquers all. Her one line on the show is all you need to know. (She’s a makeup counter associate at Grimsby’s too, if that is useful information for you).
112: Jade (Previous Ranking: NR)
Listen, we know people who work in the service industry. It’s a hard gig. Especially now. A lot of you motherfuckers responded to the pandemic by deciding you should stop tipping, or ignore staff shortages. We know people who have served tables, and guess what? Some of you guys need to be nicer to your wait staff!
That said, Jade, the hostess of “A Taste of Athens”, where Nate takes his parents for a lovely anniversary dinner, is a bad hostess! Sorry! She is! She’s rude, dismissive, isn’t willing to even entertain very basic seating requests, even when the table is open. The nicest response she has at any point in the fifth episode of the second season is when she somewhat gently lets down Nate after he asks her out. (“I’m picky” is honestly surprisingly gentle the way she acted the rest of the episode.)
111: Sarah Coombes (Previous Ranking: NR)
Yet another rude service member. At least in this case, she’s working at an unnecessarily elitist and members-only establishment, Bones and Honey. She gets tricked in letting Coach Beard and the Richmond fan trio in, but at least her flat isn’t actually on fire.
110: Vinai Ahuja (Previous Ranking: NR)
Vinai Ahuja is, as the picture clearly states, the Director of Football for Manchester City. Here he is, in a clip being played on This Morning, talking about how he thinks that Jamie and Amy were meant for each other (as we type this out at this very moment we’re only now realizing that the reason everyone talks about Jamie/Amy so much is that their names rhyme and, well, Keeley knows about the power of rhyming in Great Britain).
As a character, he seems affable enough, but we have to drop him because Manchester City in a lot of ways serves as kind of a villain at certain points in the season, so by proxy, Vinai takes a shot to the ranking (if he was head of any other club, he’d be about 20 spots higher on this list).
109: Mr. Mann (Previous Ranking: NR)
Mr. Mann appeared in the first season, but didn’t get entered in the initial character write up, since he had a single line and we couldn’t find his name. He appears two more times in season two, so we figured we should add him now. He basically just calls Ted a wanker whenever he sees him, though he does soften his tone (slightly) in the season two finale.
108: Uri (Previous Ranking: NR)
Uri is Jamie’s unhelpful agent. He’s kind of a dick but at the same time, he had to deal with Jamie as a client before he managed to do a lot of growing during this season, so can you blame him?
107: Tracey (Previous Ranking: NR)
Tracey is the entertainment agent brought in to represent Jamie after Uri drops him. She’s keen on getting him to do a lot of drugs in Ibiza. She has about one line in the show, but gets lumped in with Uri, and eeks him out due to not actively dropping Jamie as a client.
106/105 (tie): Lloyd and Maria Shelly (Previous Ranking: NR)
Nate’s parents shouldn’t really be ranked together, because his mother is clearly a much kinder and less toxic presence than his father, but we’ll put them together here, and pretty low on this list, because it’s clear that this familial dynamic has a lot to do with how Nate turned out by the end of Season 2. That’s likely giving Nate a lot of credit—honestly, no one is more to blame for his actions than himself, but we still have to ding his folks for their role in things.
(And Lloyd Shelly is truly kind of an asshole, so we feel we can stand behind this ranking pretty easily).
104: Paul John Pope (Previous Ranking: 50)
Paul John Pope apparently was given a full name, despite only being a front desk operator at the Everton hotel where Richmond stays for their game. He talks about fax machines with Ted Lasso and absolutely swings and misses with his chance to to get a date with Flo “Sassy” Collins.*
*We didn’t feel any need to change our description from our first season write up of this character, so there you have it.
103: Rosie (Previous Ranking: 49)
Rosie is the girl that slept with Jamie right after he and Keeley broke up in the first season.
102: John (Previous Ranking: NR)
If you go up about 30 more spots, you’ll find Geoff, the hot waiter that Rebecca banged because she could. John gets a lot more screen time and lines, and actually dates Rebecca. So why is he this low on the list? Well, season two delves a lot into Rebecca’s post-divorce life, but her brief dalliance with John basically boiled down to “he’s rich, he’s age appropriate, he’s nice, but oh man you would not want to get stuck talking to him at a party.”
He’s not a bad guy, and he treats Rebecca right, but, as Roy Kent so righteously says, “he’s fine.”
101/100/99 (tie): Harry Gill (and his Oxford Friends) (Previous Ranking: NR)
We’re going to count these three Oxford bros from the rogue Coach Beard episode as a “Harry Gill and friends” and place them here. On one hand, they end up being alright, yet on the other hand, they start off extremely pretentious. They’re not worth any more thought than that.
98: Francis (Previous Ranking: NR)
He works for an asshole (he’s the designated handshake guy for Edwin Akufo. As in, he gives handshakes so Edwin doesn’t have to) but apparently he is REAL good at what he does (which is giving handshakes, and also doing the “too slow” move when requested).
97/96/95/94: Kip/Ray/Alex/Robbie (Previous Rankings: 54-57)
We lumped these random fans that appear on the Ted Lasso wiki page together, and they are the truly neutral characters in the show. Everyone below these guys are, at least, a little annoying somehow, and everyone higher than them are at best “fine.”
93: Sam (Previous Ranking: 60)
There were a string of characters who were perfectly bland. They just had names and appeared briefly. But we put them behind some characters that were more impactful, but more annoying or otherwise negative. So we’ve jumped that group of “basically extras” higher up on the list this time around.
92: Trevor (Previous Ranking: 59)
For example: Trevor is a bus driver. Moving on.
91: Sarah (Previous Ranking: 58)
And Sarah is a reporter who occasionally shows up. NEXT!
90/89/88/87/86/85 (tie): Kyle McCracken/Jack Dawkins/Martin De Maat/ Arlo Dixon/Tyler Shannon/ Jeff Goodman (Previous Ranking: NR)
Presumably all bench players, these characters feels like they might be a prank played by the Ted Lasso wiki page? They straight up do not not exist on IMDB, so we have to just assume they’re Richmond players who doesn’t get any speaking parts. (Or that we have paid about 98% of attention to this show and in the 2% that remains we managed to miss these characters a line or two here or there.) Either way, they’re Richmond till they dies, even if we don’t know anything about them.
84: Stevie (Previous Ranking: 53)
Stevie is a bellhop at the Everton game hotel in season one, which we took as a sign that we were including too many characters in this list.
83: Headmaster (Previous Ranking: 48)
The headmaster doesn’t show up in the second season, just briefly in the first season. He’s in charge of Phoebe’s school, and he is happy that Ted and Roy spent as much time as they did with the kids. He seems like a nice enough guy, for a headmaster. He just doesn’t know Ted’s name.
82: Jaylah Vivienne (Previous Ranking: NR)
She’s the host of Love Conquers All, the spoof British reality TV show from the first few episodes of the season which is pretty spot on in terms of popular British reality TV shows, but as far as her character goes, she’s mostly a device for Jamie’s story arc, and that’s about it.
81: O’Brien (Previous Ranking: 37)
The first goalkeeper for AFC Richmond doesn’t even warrant a first name, but he is a good sport about being the butt (ugh we’re so sorry) of a lot of “he tore his butt” jokes. He’s not with the team in season two, which is why we’ve dropped him down a tad.
80: Cheryl Barnaby (Previous Ranking: 36)
We love her “woo-hoo” from winning a date with Roy Kent, but honestly she’s a three-line character from a single episode. Her two main traits are that she’s rich, and horny.
79: Ben (Previous Ranking: NR)
Haha, this is just the taxi driver that is responsible for part of the trek that brings Roy Kent to coach Richmond after leaving the TV booth, and we only included him because a random extra says his name. There are so many more characters in season two than there were in season one, why did we decide to write this article?
78: Suzi Campbell (Previous Ranking: NR)
Suzi Campbell is the premier all-female dog breeder in London. She also thinks Keeley is very hot. That is an admirable profession and a universally acceptable mindset.
77: Mina (the Maid) (Previous Ranking: NR)
Hey, here is Rebecca’s very competent maid who does not do much, but gets to see the penis of one of Rebecca’s paramours and responds with impressive professionalism.
76/75 (tie): Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (Previous Ranking: NR)
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are the hosts of ITV’s This Morning, and they play themselves interviewing Jamie Tart after he gets voted out of Lust Conquers All. Once again our commitment to pure completionism when it comes to these lists is a lot more work than the payoff provides, but anyway, here are two more characters for the list.
74/73(tie): Seema Jaswal and Ian Wright (Previous Ranking: NR)
These are also real-life Premier League commentators just, doing their thing, but they don’t get to have as much fun as some of their counterpoints. They’re just here to say, “Oh Roy Kent as a coach has been good for Richmond!”
72: Renee (Previous Ranking: NR)
Renee is the mysterious gateway keeper of the secret entrance to the Richmond pitch, who lets Baz, Jeremy, and Paul have a deliriously joyful time on the field of their favorite football club (with Beard’s permission, of course).
71: Cam Cole (Previous Ranking: 40)
We actually dropped Cam Cole down a few slots, mostly because he has a fun few moments as the busker who turns Rebecca’s “For the Children” event into a success, but in retrospect we feel like we slightly overrated him to begin with. He’s lovely wallpaper for a lovely show, but isn’t a top 40 character with two seasons and oh, oh so many characters to deal with.
70: Geoff (Previous Ranking: 46)
Enter random hot himbo that Rebecca sleeps with to embrace her singledom. He’s only in the first season. We gave him a bit of a bump up because it’s clear that he helped set up a lot of Rebecca’s arc in the second season.
69: Luca (Previous Ranking: NR) (….nice)
This is another hot guy that Rebecca sleeps with, only he’s explicitly shown to be dumb, and Rebecca’s mom gets to see his dick. This is reflected in the rankings (maybe?)
68: Banksy (Previous Ranking: NR)
When Akufo tries to win over Sam in the penultimate episode of the season, he congratulates Sam and Banksy for “meeting a cool person” (calling back to Ted’s introduction of Trent Crimm and Ollie in the first season). But the joke here is that Banksy is just a kind of frumpy looking middle-aged white guy.
67: Red (Previous Ranking: NR)
The femme fatale that sort of flirted with Coach Beard in his strange night out, we don’t know where to place her? She seems to put Coach Beard’s life in danger by trying to make her boyfriend jealous, which is not the most healthy thing, but it all works out in the end. Anyway we’ll stick her around here. This article is 10,000 words long, we don’t think this particular entry is going to be the reason why you give up on it.
66: Darren (Previous Ranking: NR)
Darren is the muscle-bound, jealous lover of Red (and future father to her child). On one hand, he chases after Coach Beard and makes him jump off a building. On the other, he likely saves Beard’s life. And his sincere apology and explanation of his insecurities is honestly endearing.
65/64: Lloyd/Marcus (Previous Rankings: 38-39)
Two of the journalists who are commonly seen in press pool, Lloyd got a brief moment to shine in the first episode of the second season, but mostly they had a few instances of asking Ted questions in the show, and were generally forgettable.
63: Isabella (Previous Ranking: NR)
Isabella works at AMC Richmond. She seems to appreciate Ted.
62: Liza (Previous Ranking: NR)
We know Ted knows LIza’s name, she works at Richmond, and she supports ALS research through “keeping the ice bucket challenge alive.” We’re rapid-firing through the one-scene Richmond staffers here.
61: Derek (Previous Ranking: NR)
Derek runs the lawnmower for Richmond! Ted loves that fucking thing! Is he the same dude that let him drive on the back of it in the first episode of season two? We’re assuming yes, which is why he is ranked slightly above Liza! We’re talking about so many named characters that we’re starting to get delirious!
60: Laughing Liam (Previous Ranking: NR)
Laughing Liam is seen in one episode, but referenced previously. He’s known for his kind, generous disposition, and also a kind of annoying laugh. The fact that Ted Lasso still tries to make him laugh tells us a lot about how we should place him at the top of the “one-off-Richmond-staffers” tier of characters.
59: Gail (Previous Ranking: 45)
Gail is a season one “one-off” member of the Richmond staff, where she’s the distracted physical therapist who enjoys true crime podcasts.
58: Scott Van Pelt (Previous Ranking: 43)
The ESPN personality plays himself to introduce the audience to Ted Lasso’s backstory, and hiring by Richmond. He does not appear outside of one of the first scenes of the first season. But it’s also Scott Van Pelt, and we do love Scott Van Pelt. We recognize that he’s probably higher in the rankings by a few than needed, but listen, there are like, a hundred twenty something characters here, if you’re reading closely enough that THIS one bothers you, that seems like a you problem, not an us problem.
57: Amy (Previous Ranking: NR)
Amy and Jamie (THE POWER OF RHYME) are the “power couple” in Lust Conquer’s All. Now, no actress has an IMDB credit for playing Amy. But considering that they cut to this woman crying when Jamie is voted off, we’ll assume that she is Amy.
So why is she so high? A character with no entry even in the Ted Lasso wiki page? Who had no lines? Well everyone seemed to love Amy, and when enough people are mad at Jamie Tartt for breaking Amy’s…goddamn it, you Brits with your rhyming….fine we’ll say it….heart, well, we assume a lot of people must have liked her, so she gets shot way the hell up on this list.
56: Janice (Previous Ranking: NR)
Janice is the one girl in the yoga group that is given a name, and is also a sign that maybe we didn’t need to include EVERY character in this list. That said, she’s a member of the yoga group that Roy Kent cares about, and she’s here to top off is rosé, so she’s definitely doing something right.
55: Tommy (Previous Ranking: 34)
Appearing in the pilot asking for an “ussie”, this character, who is basically just a sort of clueless but well-intentioned fan, most recently appeared in the Christmas episode of season 2, where he talks about how he likes Keeley more than Roy Kent in a way that’s on brand (or rather, it would be creepy, but it’s delivered with such naivety that it somehow isn’t?)
54: Jacob (Previous Ranking: 32)
We guessed that this was the name of the kid who got a signed soccer ball dripped with Ted Lasso’s blood in the third episode of the first season the first time around. He does not make another appearance in the second season.
53: Hus (Previous Ranking: NR)
Hus runs Roy Kent’s favorite kebab shop. He was going to be a doctor, but he went where his passion truly was, and honestly, you have to respect him for it. He’s damn good at what he does. And who doesn’t love a good kebab?
52: Gary Lineker (Previous Ranking: NR)
“Coach Beard After Hours” proved to be a divisive episode of the show’s second season (though it should be noted this was one of the two extra episodes added to the season, along with the Christmas Episode, when Apple TV decided to expand the season after the first ten episodes had been confirmed). Our staff loved it, but it works more as a standalone short film as opposed to a cohesive partner to the rest of the season’s storylines.
That said, one of the more enjoyable aspects of the unraveling of Coach Beard’s wounded psyche we encounter in this episode comes from the all-time great striker Gary Lineker, along with the internationally renowned (to the point that even Americans know his name) Thierry Henry give commentary to the disastrous Richmond/Manchester City game to just bully and belittle Coach Beard. It makes for some great comedy.
51/50 (tie): Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara (Previous Ranking: NR)
Stelling and Kamara are British football broadcasters playing themselves, but if we were to look into their careers any further than that we’d be doing ourselves a disservice as sarcastic purveyors of American supremacy. That said, they clearly have fun in their time on the show, and serve as effective tools for exposition dumps.
49/48/48 (tie): The Christmas Buskers (Previous Ranking: NR)
We’re grouping these three buskers together because honestly, we don’t have the energy to figure out each and every busker’s name and separate them. They played pretty songs for the Christmas episode. We like them fine!
46: Thierry Henry
Garey Lineker clearly has fun with his Coach Beard hallucinogens scenes, but it’s Thierry Henry that sparks the borderline iconic, “Shut up, Thierry Henry” from Coach Beard, which remains some of the best moments of his standalone weird-but-we’re-here-for-it episode.
45: Nigel (Previous Ranking: NR)
Listen, you can knock Nigel for the fact that it’s entirely his fault for letting go of Earl during Dani Rojas’ penalty kick, or that he apparently has an issue with defecation in public spaces, he’s still a sweet old man who loves dogs, and that is good for middle of the pack at least in our book.
44: Ola Obisanya (Previous Ranking: NR)
Season two of Ted Lasso is largely about two large themes—mental health (in general, but also specifically in the hyper-competitive and often dismissive realm of sports) and fathers (and the positive, and negative, impact they can have).
Ted’s journey in the season is largely fueled by the suicide of his father. Nate’s heel-turn comes from a combination of a lack of respect from his own father, and a perceived lack of attention from Ted, his adoptive father figure (but still, fuck you, Nate). And Jamie Tartt’s entire redemptive arc has been further driven by the notion that a lot of his bad actions come from his piece-of-shit father, who went from being the worst character in the show based on only one quick scene, to being the worst character on this show based on several episodes worth of evidence.
Sam’s father, on the other hand, is loving, supportive, and serves as the North Star for Sam, who grows up this season and really comes into his own. From pushing Sam to boycott Dubai Air, to expressing pride to his son early and often, to stepping out of the way and letting Sam make his own decisions when it came down to picking between Richmond and Raja Casablanca, Ola Obisanya only appears in the show as a series of texts and a few off-camera phone calls, but he also happens to be the best father (not named Ted Lasso) in the entire show (in fact, his separation but support of Sam in several ways colors Ted’s internal struggle about being able to keep being a good father to his son from another continent).
43: Shannon (Previous Ranking: 33)
Credited as “Soccer Girl” still on IMDB, Shannon is introduced in season one as a spunky young soccer player and Richmond fan. She briefly shows up again in season two, giving Ted Lasso some good-natured tough love. She remains, as she was in the first season, a well-above-average incidental character.
42: Earl Greyhound (Previous Ranking: NR)
We don’t include animal characters in this list, but here we’ll make an exception. RIP Earl. You were a good boy.
41: Ollie (Previous Ranking: 21)
We’re a little bummed Ollie didn’t come back in the second season. Ted’s driver in the first episode of the series, he and Trent Crimm were responsible for the first “congratulations, you just met a cool person” interaction of the show.
40: Michelle Lasso (Previous Ranking: 20)
Ted Lasso’s ex-wife doesn’t make much of an appearance in the second season, outside of a zoom call and a sincere text message exchange. One of the nice things about this show is that it doesn’t go the lazy route of making Ted’s ex-wife a villain. In fact, all things considered, their divorce is pretty healthy and well-mannered. She doesn’t really jump ahead of many people here, but she doesn’t get dinged either.
39: Tommy Winchester (Previous Ranking: NR)
Tommy Winchester plays center for Richmond, and he’s one of the footballers who shows up to Higgins’ home for Christmas. He has a few lines, but he is more like some of the other team members from last season who were there for a line or two, before they got larger arcs this season. He also got an own goal in the Manchester City, which isn’t a good look. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised if he takes on more of a role for season 3.
38: Henry Lasso (Previous Ranking: 19)
Yes, Henry is still cute. And he gave Ted his green Army men that Ted uses so effectively. Henry also abandons Ted on Christmas because Ted got him a drone. We’ll call that a draw.
37: Kokoruda (Previous Ranking: NR)
Kokoruda, one of the girls on the Phoebe’s soccer team that Roy coaches, is “a fucking beast on defense” and is definitely the bright spot of the second-place finishing under-9 squad.
36: Moe Bumbercatch (Previous Ranking: NR)
We know he likes knitting, and he is one of the core teammates that gets to appear in the team building exercises where only six or so Richmond players are on screen. So he’s at the point where we kind of know him, but we don’t really know much about him. But he’s clearly a trusted member of the squad, and gets a handful of solid lines throughout the season.
35: Richard Montlaur (Previous Ranking: 31)
He was a largely dismissible character in season one (the main schtick being “he’s a Frenchman”) and they continue to lead into his Frenchman schtick in season two. That said, he does have a bit more of a spotlight on him, and his casual decision to bring a date (her name is Emmanuel, but we’re too tired to add her to this list) to the Higgins’ Christmas dinner because “the French believe it’s good to have a beautiful woman around” was by far the best comedic contribution he’s contributed to the show to this point (outside of his tearful dumping of a vial of sand from a beach where he first slept with a supermodel).
34/33/32/31/30/29: Terry/Chris/Dana/Stevie/Lindsay Higgins (Previous Rankings: 24-29)
While it looks like this entry stayed static, considering the competition, the Higgins…ses actually leaped past many characters who outranked them in the first season, thanks to the Christmas episode. A few of the Higgens children stand out in that episode, but listen, look how long this article is! It’s irresponsibly long! We cannot stress this enough, this is not something we get paid to do! Our staff has been threatening to go on strike for nine years! Why else do you think we’ve only written two articles since April?
Anyway, we’re not going to do the effort to separate out the Higgins that have a larger part to play in the Christmas Episode (it’s three of the five children that show up there prominently, and we know for a fact one of them is a “cool priest” who does not appear in that episode). So we’ll keep them bunched up, but we’ll move them up as they now have more identity than just “signs that Higgins is a great dad” (which he is).
28: Ms. Bowen (Previous Ranking: NR)
Ms. Bowen is Phoebe’s teacher who is introduced to have a lot of chemistry with Roy Kent as an artificial excuse for us to try to see cracks in the Keeley/Roy relationship, which was going perfectly until artificial excuses were put into place during the season to make it seem like it was going less than perfectly.
Ms. Bowen is a delightful character, but one that doesn’t seem exactly necessary about half the time she’s on screen. That said, she’s an awesome teacher, and considering the questionable status of Roy and Keeley at the end of the second season, she might have a larger, impactful role in season three.
27/26: Arlo White/Chris Powell (Previous Ranking: 42/41)
After season 1, we said, “They’re the announcers of the matches on the show, and they are football announcers in real life. They play themselves. We don’t need to put much more thought into this entry.” But in Season 2, they provide about 60% of the exposition for how the season is going, and they also get exponentially more screen time, and get to make exponentially more jokes, and we think they’re fantastic.
25: Will Kitman(Previous Ranking: 44)
Will was introduced at the end of season one, where he had just a single name, taking over Nate’s job. They’ve given him a last name since, which is Kitman, which, considering that he’s the kit man, makes it feel like the someone has to be fucking with us to try to discredit this article somehow?
Anyway, he’s a sweet, eager young man who unfortunately has to deal with all the worst aspects of Nate’s toxic personality shift. There’s a depressing “circle of life” aspect in play, where Will faces the same level of abuse as Nate did, only now it’s from Nate, who tortures the young kit man for things as arbitrary as using lavender fabric softer, or making pineapple flavored sports drink.
Interestingly enough, he faces no such abuse from the actual players on the team. While the most realistic reason for this is that Ted Lasso has created a locker room environment that doesn’t permit such harassment, but there’s a non-zero chance that Will is just much more likable than Nate, and less likely to attract that negative attention.
24: Thierry Zoreaux (Previous Ranking: 17)
When we did our rankings for the first season, we ended Thierry’s entry by saying, “Zoreaux is going to be a legend in the last two seasons of the show, you heard it here first.” We’re not sure if that’s exactly the case, but he definitely plays a much bigger role, and gets a lot more comedic beats in the second season (in the first season, all the humor around the character basically comes from the pronunciation of his name).
But he’s not really given any emotional arc. He definitely does more in the second season, and makes a bigger impact, but he gets lapped by a few of his teammates in this list.
23: Jeremy (Previous Ranking: 35)
Jeremy was, and remains, the most forgettable of the three “Richmond diehards” despite his extended role in the stand-alone Coach Beard episode, and his general exposure in season two as a whole. We have more of an opinion of him as a character, but he’s still the least-memorable of the trio. There’s nothing wrong with that!
22: Nora (Previous Ranking: NA)
Of the new additions to the semi-regular cast in season two, Flo “Sassy” Collins’ daughter, Nora, was one of the better ones. She helped Rebecca make amends for failing to previously fulfill her Godmother duties, and also enjoyed seeing that Rebecca had grown into a “boss bitch.” She also has a teenage crush on Sam Obisanya, which, like, fair.
She mainly makes an impact in the third episode of the second season, but makes later appearances as well. In her relatively limited time on screen, she definitely establishes herself as a Ted Lasso-worthy character.
21: Deborah (Previous Ranking: NR)
Rebecca’s mother, Dorothy, is a character where you could make a strong case to put her both higher and lower on this list. She was introduced as a somewhat “flighty” mother figure, one who would get fed up with Rebecca’s father, go off on her own while spouting various lessons from dubious inspirational speakers, before reversing course and getting back with her husband, who who was anything but the ideal partner.
But after the death of her husband, she reveals a soft, supportive, and self-aware side of herself to Rebecca that paints her as anything but flighty. She’s flawed, and trusting to a fault, and lives and dies by her ideal that, once she loves something, she loves it forever, no matter what. It’s typical of the show, where even the minor and newly introduced characters are allowed to have a multi-faceted character arc that is, if not empowering, emotionally resonant.
20: Jan Maas (Previous Ranking: NR)
Jan Maas is one of the new players added to the Richmond squad, and essentially exists for a one-note joke of “Dutch people are brutally honest” (likely spawned by several of the creators of the show spending time performing improv in The Netherlands in the past).
Though that bit is played to good effect, and is eventually employed as part of the “inspirational speech” at the end of the second season that likely helped Richmond move back up to the Premier League. For that alone, he earns the highest ranking of the new season two players.
19: Colin Hughes (Previous Ranking: 30)
Colin definitely has a completely different vibe about him in season two, compared to season one. Season one has him as one of Jamie’s mindless (both in terms of intelligence and in terms of following instructions) lackeys. Season two sees him grappling with deep insecurities, only fueled by Nate-the-formerly-great’s truly shitty behavior towards him. Or, as Coach Beard would put it, Nate is rude to him. And it’s personal, and it’s weird.
Colin is both a more sympathetic figure in season two, as well as a butt-of-the-joke in a way that makes him a much more interesting character compared to after the end of the first season.
18: Julie Higgins (Previous Ranking: 22)
Thanks to the Christmas episode (which was amazing, fuck the haters) we got to spend a lot more time with Julie Higgins this season. That Christmas episode wasn’t originally planned for the show, but was added (along with Coach Beard’s strange night after the Man City game).
And thank God it did. Not only did it give us more time with Leslie Higgins, but it gave us more time with the Higgins family, who are truly adorable.
Oh, and if you want to learn something that will melt your cold, cold heart? The actor who plays Leslie, and the actress who plays Julie, are married in real life.
17: Trent Crimm (Previous Ranking: 11)
Trent Crimm is just as good of a character as he was in the first season. Maybe even a better one. But so many other characters had larger arcs applied to them that he was the person to take the hit in dropping down, every so slightly, in the rankings here.
“Trent Crimm: The Independent” is one of the best episodes of the first season of the show (or at least, it’s the first episode that fully lets you know that a juggernaut of a show has arrived) but his role in the second season was mostly winking at his austere demeanor. He regained relevance by publishing the article about Ted’s panic attack, then revealed his source to Ted, admitted doing so to get himself fired, and prepared himself to delve into “deeper” areas of writing and journalism with a poignant scene at the end of season two.
Trent Crimm is still one of the best characters on this show. It’s just that there has been a lot of time for other characters to tell their stories.
16: Baz (Previous Ranking: 16)
Baz was the defacto leader of the main trio of Richmond supporters, along with Jeremy and Paul. But he gets a lot more work to do in the second season, as do the rest of his crew. He has a lot more to do in the second season, and watching his response when he gets to play with his mates on Nelson Road is truly endearing and enjoyable.
15: Paul (Previous Ranking: 14)
But we still love Paul more. He’s the most fun, and funny, contributor to this little Three Stooges set of Richmond fans. He’s the most likely to surprise you, and the most likely to delight you, and with more screen time, he continues to not disappoint. We love Paul.
14: Flo “Sassy” Collins (Previous Ranking: 12)
In the first season, Sassy reminds Rebecca of what she lost when she was with Rupert (and how she can regain it). She also reminds Ted Lasso of what he lost (sex with his ex-wife) and how he can regain it (sex with her). She earns the adoration of Keeley, and as we discover, raised a quirky, independent, mostly amazing daughter (the occasional “smoking in the bathroom” incidents aside).
We get to see more of Sassy Smurf in the second season, and her character doesn’t suffer from it. She remains as charming as ever, and watching her rip into Rupert at Rebecca’s father’s funeral is a true delight. We’re excited for what season three might bring (and yes, are are fully shipping her and Ted ending up together).
13: Mae (Previous Ranking: 13)
While Nate goes grey, and ends up with silver-white hair as he becomes, well, just a piece of shit this season, Mae also sees her hair go from grey to white. but unlike Nate, she remains unflappable and delightful.
She’s the matriarch of the Richmond fanbase, but also is endearingly protective of Ted and all the members of the Richmond club that are regulars at her pub. And she does so with a well-earned authority, while, deep-down, being one of the strongest and most earnest supporters of Richmond. Mae was great, and thankfully remained great in season two.
12: Phoebe (Previous Ranking: 18)
In season one, Phoebe was a “cute kid” character similar to Henry Lasso, with the benefit of being able to show off Roy Kent’s softer side. She gets a much larger role in the second season, serving as an avatar to show how Roy and Keeley would be as parents (the answer is: great), a plot device to toss in potential obstacles in Roy and Keeley’s relationship (hi Ms. Bowen), and adding interesting layers to the whole “Roy as a good uncle” narrative (he’s amazing, but at the same time he is responsible for her getting into trouble for swearing at students, even though it’s for the right reason).
Phoebe went from an “aww shucks” one-off character to a core character of the Ted Lasso universe, with a handful of great line deliveries that are just straight up hilarious (her responding to being told “fuck no” to ice cream with “thank you for helping me set boundaries” remains hilarious).
11: Dani Rojas (Previous Ranking: 8)
Say it again, just like the last time. Football is life.
Except for when it is death. The start of the season led us to believe that Dani would be a major player in the show, and while he does play an important role (including making the redeeming penalty kick to get Richmond promoted in the season finale) he largely fades into a background player after the first episode.
That said, his general enthusiasm and joy remains, and just about every line he delivers in the season is a delight. But he doesn’t necessarily grow as much as some other characters of the show (not that he needed to). That’s partly why he was leapfrogged by…
10: Jamie Tartt (Previous Ranking: 10)
Jamie Tartt was a damaged, egotistical, talented prick in the first season. And he leaned into the damaged and egotistical part of that at the immediate start of the second season, eventually leading to his dismissal from the Manchester City squad.
Considering he started the season having jacuzzi sex on a trashy British reality TV show, Tartt made remarkable leaps and bounds in the second season. (Now, you can make the argument that he matured and grew at an almost unbelievable rate, but we’re not here to talk about if the writing staff made the journey feel earned, we’re here to talk about the end of that journey.)
He had to earn his spot back on the Richmond squad (where he made great inroads by supporting Sam’s social protest), and he sipped the Ted Lasso Kool-Aid almost too much, to the point that Roy Kent had to remind him to be a prick on the pitch. And speaking of Roy Kent, he somehow managed to earn, if not respect, a lack of loathing from the former-teammate-turned-coach, and that’s even after he expressed his unresolved feelings Keeley.
In between there are unresolved father issues, a deep-seated desire to belong, and a not-always-present desire to become a better, more mature player and person. While he still has his bad impulses, he ends the second season noticeably wiser (if not necessarily smarter) than he began it. It’s not enough to make him the highest ranking Richmond player, but it does bode well for his larger journey as we go into the third season.
9: Isaac McAdoo (Previous Ranking: 15)
It can’t be stated enough—as shocking of an arc from hero to villain as we saw with Nate, Isaac McAdoo had almost an equally impressive turn from villain to hero. Not just hero. Leader. Champion. Fucking style icon. McAdoo does it all.
It’s easy to forget that he started off his time on Richmond as one of the players following Jamie Tartt’s whims and bullying Nate for laughs. He eventually worked his way up to being a team player, with Roy hand-picking him to serve as captain.
But his role has grown exponentially in the second season. When he was struggling, the team struggled. When he sorted himself out, the team turned things around. He’s a master barber, a motivator, and a thoughtful teammate. The fact that he’s ahead of such top characters as Jamie Tartt and Dani Rojas just shows how important he is to the team, and the show.
8: Leslie Higgins (Previous Ranking: 7)
Leslie Higgins spends essentially the entire season without a permanent office, working as the head of football operations from the locker room (and occasionally the janitor’s closet) but he continues his streak of being an enthusiastic contributor, a devoted family man, and an overall positive presence in the Richmond front office.
As you can tell by the oppressive length of this article, Ted Lasso is an ensemble show, with easily 25 characters who would be a top-five character on any other TV show. On the plus side, it means that you have dozens of amazing, fleshed out characters who you learn to love. But that also means it’s hard to slot out enough story for each character to shine to their potential. As a result, a trend appeared in the second season where certain episodes clearly are carved out to focus on a specific non-Ted character.
There’s of course the Coach Beard episode, but it’s usually a little less obvious (that episode, for example, was added after the rest of the season was written, when Apple decided to extend season 2 from 10 episodes to 12). Looking back, the first episode is clearly the Dani Rojas episode and the third episode is a Sam episode (but really, Sam gets a lot of episodes this season. That is not a complaint).
The fifth episode is a Nate episode, which at the time was played off as a good thing, but which we now know is a bad thing. “Man City”, the eighth episode is more or less a Sharon episode (along with the second episode, which is also a Jamie episode), and episode 10 is a Rebecca episode.
Higgins episode, of course, is the other episode that was added to the docket after the fact—the Christmas episode. Yes, there’s a story arc for Ted and Rebecca, as well as one for Roy, Keeley and Phoebe, but the heart of that episode lies with the man who, in many ways, is the heart of the team. Higgins.
Getting to watch Higgins and his family as they welcome all the Richmond players with no place to spend the holidays is lovely, and watching his annual event balloon from the normal one or two players to just about the entire team is a pure injection of holiday cheer.
Now, there are some people who did not care for this episode, calling it too “cheerful” and implying it highlights a lack of conflict in the first half of the season. Now, they’re wrong, they can fuck off, this episode is lovely, but one thing that cannot be argued is that Higgins really gets to shine here, and it shows just how important he is to the team.
He has his other moments in the season of course, not least of which was his thoughtful entreaty to Coach Beard regarding Jane (see our entry for Jane waaaaay down at the bottom of this list). But we’re thankful that the Christmas episode gave him his time to shine, because we love Higgins. *clears throat* The rankings reflect this fact.
7: Sharon Fieldstone (Previous Ranking: NR)
It feels like Sharon (we feel we too, like Ted, have earned the right to call her that) should be higher up on this list, but the there are so many strong, trustworthy, good characters on this show, and it speaks to the strength of this character that she is able to get this high on the list just from her season two performance alone.
Sharon is really fucking good at her job, and is the perfect foil to Ted Lasso in a truly Ted Lasso way. She’s not a villain, or even a negative presence. She’s just someone who is not immediately smitten by Ted’s charms, because she knows exactly what he’s doing. In a lot of ways, it’s because she’s a lot like Ted. They’re both great at what they do. They both know how to talk to people, and get the best out of them. While Ted uses humor, and Sharon uses intelligence, they know how to use their strongest assets with almost laser precision.
One of the reasons why Sharon makes it so high on this list is how her character was utilized in the second season. A lot has been made about the role therapy plays throughout the season (and how the topic is handled in a considerate, accurate, and important way) but the relationship with Ted and Sharon evolves in a way that shares a similar care and nuance.
It would have been easy to set up a story arc of Ted Lasso kind of annoying Sharon, and her being hammered into appreciating his specific charm just like everyone else he ran into during the first season. And while she does warm to Ted, it’s not a one-way relationship. As much as she moves towards Ted, she causes Ted to move towards her.
She comes to appreciate his sense of humor because she forces him to be more emotionally honest to himself and others, and over the course of the year they both change for the better. And for that reason, and so many others, that she’s the best addition from season two.
6: Coach Beard (Previous Ranking: 6)
We loved Coach Beard last year, and still love Coach Beard. While the more time we spend with Beard peels away more layers of his mystery, which is by far one of his most enjoyable qualities, he still ends the season as a mysterious figure, as well as a man who knows when to listen and when to speak the hard truths.
His stand alone episode was divisive (our official take—we liked it! It just didn’t really have anything to do with the rest of the season. As a stand-alone mini-movie, it’s fun though). And his relationship with Jane definitely proved to be unhealthy and almost distracting at times.
But he is still the glue on the coaching staff. While Ted clearly had some blindspots that had major repercussions (*cough* how did he not realize Nate was turning into such an asshole *cough*) nothing gets by Beard. He was the one to try to correct Nate’s behavior, and he was the one to instinctively know Nate was behind the betrayal of leaking Ted’s panic attack to the press.
He’s not in it for the glory, he just wants the team, and Ted, to succeed. Just like in season one, Coach Beard is Ted’s confidante, but also he’s often the final decision maker. Lest we forget, at the end of the season, while Roy is the one to suggest Ted ask the team if they want to stick with the false-nine, it’s the ever-so-subtle nod from Coach Beard that convinces Ted to go through with that advice. He doesn’t have to be a flashy coach. He just has to be Coach.
5: Sam Obisanya (Previous Ranking: 9)
Let’s first address the 26-six-year-age-gap-elephant in the room. The decision to include Sam as a primary narrative thrust in several storylines over the season was a great one. Sam is amazing, and he only continues to grow and delight in the second season. But one of those storylines being a romantic narrative with his boss, Rebecca, is one that we didn’t particularly care for.
Between their chemistry, the power dynamic, and the sudden shift that, over the course of an episode, saw Sam go from polite but cautious to suave and assertive enough to successfully make a pass at the owner of his own football club didn’t exactly ring true, and it felt like the writers wanted it to carry more emotional weight than it really could carry.
That said, Sam emerges as a true leader of the team. While his social activism against Dubai Air had a surprising lack of any real fallout (a lot has been written along the lines of “how can a dating app provide as much finances to the team as a billion-dollar airline) it did show Sam taking a stand for something he believes in, and his teammates respecting him enough to join.
Sam takes a leap in the second season, which is evident by Akufo’s desire to build an all-African super team around him, as well as his appearance in so many storylines in the second season. While he definitely is more confident than he was in the first season (maybe because he’s the only person in this entire show who has a healthy relationship with his father) he still remains at his heart kind, caring and, well, as Rebecca would say, he’s “wonderful.” The rankings reflect this.
4: Rebecca Welton (Previous Ranking: 5)
Rebecca was a top-five character last year, and that’s before Hannah Waddingham won an Emmy for her portrayal of the Richmond owner. This year, she’s no longer trying to torpedo Richmond, or Ted for that matter, and instead is focusing on moving on from her divorce. This involves some online dating, a few flings, and of course her dalliance with Sam (which, while we weren’t a fan of it as far as storylines go, was healthy, consensual, and generally positive for both parties).
She still has some insecurities to work through, but while last season largely centered on a scorned woman looking for vengeance, Rebecca in season two gets to spend more time as Keeley’s best friend and mentor while generally being a boss ass bitch.
She faces some difficult decisions, but always sides with her team and her players, and she is committed to Richmond’s success. And her relationship with Ted, Keeley, Sassy, and the other important figures of her life are a bright spot in a second season filled with bright spots (fuck the discourse).
Rebecca remains as complex and nuanced as she was in the first season, but now she’s solely on the side of good, which is more than enough to bump her up slightly from her already high ranking. She was almost able to jump over the two characters tied for second, but we’re happy giving her the fourth spot on this list.
2: (tie) Keeley Jones (Previous Ranking: 2)
Fairly or unfairly, Keeley’s ranking this year is tied to Roy Kent, because we can’t find a way to separate these two (even though the last few episodes of the season seemed hellbent on doing just that). Roy and Keeley’s almost-always-perfect relationship (that then has some random roadblocks set up later in the season) was a huge focus this year.
Now, that said, it’s important to stress that Keeley and Roy made a lot of progress in their own right completely independent of their own relationship. This was not a Reeley or Koy situation. We can talk about Roy’s arc soon (since, surprise, he’s tied with Keeley on this list) but for now, let’s focus on Keeley.
Keeley already was one of the more fun and self-assured characters on the show, and her friendship with Rebecca serves as the ultimate platonic relationship goal. Season two sees her shift away from a “famous for being famous” tabloid starlet to a savvy businesswoman and PR specialist who eventually is given the reins to her own PR firm.
She also is wonderful with Phoebe, which serves as just another positive. So we loved Keeley last year, and she did nothing to jeopardize that affection. Basically she made a point to not pull a Nate, and we are thankful for that.
2 (tie): Roy Kent (Previous Ranking: 4)
Roy Kent (portrayed by Ted Lasso writer and Emmy Award winner/possible CGI person Brent Goldstein) was fantastic in the first season, and continues to be fantastic in the second. He’s basically the perfect boyfriend, the perfect uncle, and the perfect foul-mouthed television pundit.
Since the first season, Kent retired from football (in a tearful speech that he not surprisingly is embarrassed by) and eventually gets rom-com-ed into joining the Richmond coaching staff. And considering that the team managed to get promoted in their first try, the Roy Kent effect is real.
Again, he relationship with Keeley was a major storyline, and even as it appears there will likely be some space and a potential end to the Keeley/Roy relationship when the third season rolls around, both characters have treated each other, and their partnership, with honesty and mutual respect.
Plus, no one knows how to swear like Roy Kent. (Even if he should not do it so much around Phoebe).
1: Ted Lasso (Previous Ranking: 1)
Yes, it’s Ted Lasso on top again. Of course he is.
Ted Lasso found coaching success in the second season. After a historic run of ties, he navigated the team to a historic run to finish second in the Champions League, bringing Richmond back to the Premier League on his first attempt.
(Of course, if you asked Nate, maybe Ted wasn’t responsible for that turnaround. But also, fuck Nate).
Ted’s main contribution to the second season came from his initial reluctance to therapy, and his growth to finally accept that he needs help, which ends with him making himself an ambassador for revising the narrative of mental health around sports. While that topic on its own is very timely, it also allows Ted to grow and become a better man throughout the season.
It would have been easy to just lean into making Ted Lasso an “aw shucks” perfect mentor for the whole season but by delving into his past with his father’s suicide, and showing him fail Nate as a father figure, while stepping outside of his comfort zone in order to improve himself, Ted remains a rich, multi-dimensional character (and provides Emmy-winner Jason Sudeikis with some incredible material to work with).
While Ted Lasso might have pushed Nate away inadvertently (which, honestly, is more about Nate’s insecurities than anything Ted did or didn’t do), he grew emotionally and helped his team succeed professionally, with the full support of both his team and his front office.
There is no Ted Lasso without Ted Lasso, and in season two, Ted might show a few warts, but continues to be the kind of person we all aspire to be.