Ted Lasso Season 2 is quickly approaching, and we are not complaining in the slightest. The time between seasons gives us plenty of time to watch the first season (a million times) and think about the aspects of the show we love the most. Season 1 has so much greatness tucked into every scene. Keeley and Rebecca’s friendship is easily one of our favorite parts of Season 1, and so is Keeley’s relationship with Roy Kent. Brett Goldstein and Juno Temple’s chemistry is incredible. Roy and Keeley are the culmination of so many things that make ships unforgettable.
As we wait to see where these two go in Season 2, we wanted to take the chance to share what we think makes this duo so epic.
For starters, Keeley and Roy are the epitome of the grumpy + sunshine trope. Even before they interact, it’s easy to imagine a world in which they could be together simply based on that trope. If their personalities aren’t a giveaway, then look no further than the clothes they wear. Keeley loves pink and wears bright colors all of the time. Roy, on the other hand, sticks with his standard black. He’ll put on some grey if he wants to shake it up. This difference is no more obvious than when Roy’s in Keeley’s apartment. There are frilly, pink things everywhere that lend themselves to her bubbly personality. Roy standing in the middle of all of that is quite comical.
In fact, their very first interaction is one that spotlights that exact trope. It becomes a long-running joke that Keeley makes to point out professional footballers’ privilege, but at first, it’s a way for Keeley to point out Roy’s seriousness. She pokes holes in his facade right away. Ted Lasso goes on to take that juxtaposition beyond the surface by showing how Keeley’s demeanor affects Roy and vice versa. Though, the first season does focus on the former more than the latter. Regardless, the moments that we get to see how Keeley has gotten under Roy’s skin but in the best way possible are some of the sweetest moments from Season 1. A smile isn’t usually a big deal, but Ted Lasso rightfully makes it that way every time Roy smiles at Keeley.
Alternatively, Keeley sees the way Roy’s seriousness can be used to do the good she so obviously admires. This good being people doing the right thing because being a good person matters. It’s never the case that Keeley overtly believes the opposite to be true of Roy, but she sees him as a stand-up guy when he confronts Jamie (and Colin and Issac) about the way they treat Nate. Roy admits that he can’t see the best at night anymore, but, of course, he can tell the difference between the rest of the guys and Keeley. Keeley, on the other hand, is stunned by the way she sees Roy at that moment. If that is the first time Keeley sees Roy, Roy sees Keeley for the first time at the gala.
That nod is one that says everything without a word ever needing to be shared between Keeley and Roy. That nod is the turning tides for this ship. It’s when they establish mutual respect on the basis of a shared appreciation for accountability. That sentiment alone sets Keeley and Roy apart from Keeley and Jamie, and they aren’t even dating at that point. These two people who couldn’t be more different suddenly and all at once have a lot more in common than they likely ever imagined.
Refreshing the Love Triangle
Speaking of Jamie Tartt, Ted Lasso does this cool thing where it handles the love triangle in a mature way. By doing so, the dynamic between Jamie, Keeley, and Roy is one we don’t often see on TV. It’s not Keeley’s feelings that complicate her relationship with Roy. It’s Roy’s feelings about Jamie that do. This tension is handled beautifully in a meeting with the Diamond Dogs when a group of men catches Roy on his bias. Roy is upset that Keeley slept with Jamie, despite the defining fact that Keeley and Roy were not a couple at the time. The Diamond Dogs point out that Roy has a sexual history that predates his relationship with Keeley. So who is Roy to fault Keeley for having one of her own?
The bar is so low that it’s refreshing to watch men call other men out on things like this. Additionally, the bar is so low that it’s refreshing to watch men genuinely apologize for their mistakes and then prove it with their actions. In a great scene when Keeley establishes herself as ‘Keeley Jones with The Independent Woman’ (amongst other things), Roy tells her that he likes her more than he hates Jamie. That’s obvious, but sometimes even the most obvious things need to be said out loud. That statement allows Roy to put some real distance between Keeley and Jamie in his mind, which makes the next scene with the trio so much greater.
Jamie shows up at Keeley’s house for advice, like he often does, only to find Roy right at home there. They’re both shocked to see the other, but that’s sort of where it ends. They bicker as they would anywhere, but it’s not really about Keeley. It could be, but Ted Lasso dodges that by having Keeley pour the coffee that Jamie brings her into the cup of coffee that Roy made her. It’s a hilarious bit, but it’s also a giant metaphor. Both Jamie and Roy are in Keeley’s life, and there’s nothing either of them can do about it. Keeley is so confident in her feelings for Roy and their relationship that Jamie being around isn’t a threat. If anyone’s threatened, it’s Jamie.
It could easily go any other way if Ted Lasso wanted to fall into the classic trappings of a love triangle. But that’s not what this show does. It always goes beyond the archetypes, established patterns, and tropes. This was a love triangle, but it wasn’t one that shamed a woman for her sexual history without criticizing the one doing the shaming. It didn’t undermine the stability of an established relationship to tease the possibility of a ship that is in a character’s past. Keeley knows her feelings, and Roy knows Keeley. And vice versa. It’s comforting to know Roy and Keeley dodged what could’ve been a toxic love triangle for a much healthier relationship built on accountability, respect, and trust.
People Need People
It’s very fortunate that Roy’s relationship with Keeley, something so good and so positive, overlaps with the end of another phase of his life. If you watch Roy throughout the season, he consistently ices his knee after anything strenuous. That’s a more subtle way that Ted Lasso shows that Roy is heading towards retirement. But, Roy knows as good as anyone that this season is his last on the pitch in the capacity that he’s well-known for in the sport. That’s a hard truth for anyone to grapple with; let alone Roy who believes that football is all he has and all he is. Enter Keeley. Roy has Keeley now, and she isn’t even all he has. Enter Phoebe. Those are two people Roy will have with or without football.
When Roy is on the pitch, Keeley, sporting a jersey with Roy’s name and number on it, will be the first one to leap out of her seat to support him. When he’s in the locker room and at his lowest, Keeley is still there to support him. Roy isn’t alone, and that can mean everything in the darkest times. Love can mean everything in the darkest times. All of this brings to mind what Juno Temple said at Ted Lasso‘s panel at PaleyFest 2021: “But I think that’s such a truth: that you can’t save anyone. You can only love them. Do you know what I mean? And then they have to save themselves. As a human, you need to be loved. If you hate yourself and you need saving, being loved is going to be what makes you feel like saving yourself.”
Love can be healing; it can do magic on the deepest of wounds. It can make the grumpiest of men crack a smile. It can make a woman appreciate a sport her heart was never in before. It can make two polar opposites randomly meet in an empty parking lot, and, as Ted says, have “No way to know it was gonna be the start of something.” Love can surprise you like that, but our love for Keeley and Roy didn’t surprise us. Ted Lasso did all the work to ensure we fell head over heels in love with this ship. There is still so much to see when it comes to Roy and Keeley. That’s part of what makes the anticipation for Season 2 so unbearable. How many more days until it premieres again?
What do you love about Keeley and Roy? Let us know in the comments below!
Ted Lasso Season 2 premieres Friday, July 23, 2021, exclusively on Apple TV+.