We all love a romantic love story, but it's just as fulfilling to witness these platonic love stories play out.
"Ted Lasso" has wrapped up its third and final season, leaving people analyzing and debating and feeling all kinds of feelings about the series and its characters.
Since watching the final episode, I've been thinking about what I've loved most about the show, because seriously, there's a lot to love. Ted himself, of course. The quirky cast of characters. The humor. The triumph and redemption. Roy Kent's grumbles. Sam Obisanya's everything.
Then there are the relationships, which is where the show really shines. Not so much the romantic relationships—those were somewhat meh in the end—but the way the show portrayed genuine platonic love in its various hues. Considering how many shows (over)utilize romance and sex for dramatic effect, it was refreshing to see multiple relationships develop and deepen over three seasons without any romance involved.
Here are (in my humble opinion) the six best platonic relationships on "Ted Lasso."
6. Trent Crimm and Colin (The Older Mentor Relationship)
One of the most touching scenes of the series was when Richmond player Colin and journalist Trent Crimm (Independent) sat in front of a memorial in Amsterdam that honors the LGBTQ+ people who were persecuted, imprisoned and killed during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and talked through Colin's feelings about his double life. He was afraid to come out to his teammates, and Trent Crimm had the personal experience and wisdom Colin needed in a mentor.
Crimm offered that mentorship humbly, without being pushy or preachy. The love he showed Colin was a love born of understanding and empathy, which was exactly what Colin needed. And the love Colin had for Crimm was born of gratitude and appreciation. Some of our most valuable relationships in life are the ones we have with a mentor who helps us find the courage to bloom into our truest and best selves.
5. Ted and Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (The Mutually Therapeutic Relationship)
This relationship began with Ted's disdain for psychologists and Dr. Fieldstone's expert response to his ire. As she patiently let him process his anger, the two developed a healthy therapist-client relationship.
But what was lovely about this storyline was how, despite her attempts to keep a professional distance, Sharon also let Ted into her world, which turned out to be beneficial to both of them. They formed a genuine human relationship in which they each become vulnerable in order to break through their own barriers. The love they shared was based on a reciprocal sharing of pain and fear and a mutual honoring of those feelings, which allowed them both to find healing.
4. Rebecca and Keely (The Classic Girly Friendship)
At first blush, Rebecca and Keely don't seem like likely friends. Rebecca is a refined, polished, high-powered businesswoman going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, and Keely is a young start-up who wears pigtails and miniskirts and appears flighty despite actually being quite whipsmart. It's a Jaguar-meets-Volkswagon bug friendship, but somehow it works.
The love they share is based on their shared identity as women in the sports business as well as the qualities they bring out in each other. Rebecca helps give Keely the confidence she needs to find success in her PR business, and Keely gives Rebecca the dose of fun and girlish silliness she needs to stay sane in a male-dominated world. Every woman needs a "girl talk" confidant, and these two provide that for each other.
3. Ted and Coach Beard (The Ride or Die Besties)
Ted and Coach Beard have been through a lot together, and the final season gave us a little insight into how their relationship came about. It should come as no surprise that Ted's unconditional love and acceptance won Beard's undying loyalty, but the love these two share is recognizable to anyone with a bestie. They read each other's thoughts. They aren't afraid to be real with each other. They know when to give each other space. The fact that the other is always beside them and behind them is just a given.
Even though Beard stays in England in the end, we know that their love for one another will remain forever strong. If either one needs something, the other will be there in a blink, no questions asked. This is rock-solid, reliable, forever friendship.
2. Jamie and Roy (The Unlikely Brotherhood)
Bitter-rivals-to-best-friends is always a winning storyline, but the relationship between these two is particularly enjoyable to witness. In reality, they share a lot in common—a good heart buried beneath a big ego, an intense work ethic and similar taste in women—which is why they butt heads so much. The love they end up sharing has been hard-won through uncomfortable moments of reaching out and letting their compassion and vulnerability trump their pride.
They understand each other more than most. They've both been living on emotional islands, largely of their own making, and they're probably the only ones who could truly reach one another. And ultimately, they both become better people because of their friendship, which is exactly what friendship should do.
1. Ted and Rebecca (The Proof that Men and Women Can Be Close Friends)
Over the three years that they built the Richmond team together, Ted and Rebecca became good friends. That's it. Good, close friends who love one another very much. They're both attractive and were both available much of the time, but they remained just friends. Yes, she was technically his boss, but that didn't stop her from getting involved with Sam, so it's not like it would have been completely out of bounds for the show makers to put Ted and Rebecca together. They teased us with it a few times, but I'm so glad they didn't do it.
We've really shot ourselves in the foot as a society by making it seem like women and men can never truly be friends. (Thanks a bunch, "When Harry Met Sally!") Rebecca was the last one to say goodbye to Ted at the airport, and it was an emotionally intimate moment that portrayed how pure the love between them was without romance or sex getting in the way. And it was absolutely beautiful.
One of the words people use to describe "Ted Lasso" is "wholesome," which is a bit ironic considering how many f-bombs got dropped in each episode. But much of the show's wholesomeness hinged on these platonic relationships that grew deeper and stronger without crossing the line into romantic involvement. Advertisers and executives think people want sex, when what we really want to see is genuine human connection and a full spectrum of relationships that evolve without always ending up in bed.
We all love a romantic love story, but it's just as fulfilling to witness platonic love stories play out. Thank you, "Ted Lasso," for showing us how it's done.
Watch the cast talk about the real friendships they developed on set while filming the show: