The second season of Apple TV+’s hit series “Ted Lasso” could not have come at a better time. Not only are viewers in need of some of the show’s signature feel-good comedy as the pandemic surges once more, but the fact that the show is airing during the second phase of Emmy voting (Aug. 19-30) — meaning it is in front of voters at the most opportune time — could spell good news for the people involved in the show as well. And this could be especially good for Brett Goldstein, who is both a writer on “Ted Lasso” and the actor who portrays fan-favorite character and resident grump Roy Kent, because it could give him a serious advantage over his competition.
Surprising absolutely no one, the first season of “Ted Lasso” was well represented across the comedy field when Emmy nominations were announced in July. It received nominations in every above-the-line category except Best Comedy Actress, where it didn’t submit a contender. But the show’s best turnout was in supporting actor, as four members of the cast were nominated in the category. In addition to Goldstein, Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), Nick Mohammed (Nathan Shelley) and Jeremy Swift (Higgins) all received bids. It’s an impressive showing for a freshman comedy — Emmy voters are often very slow to catch on — but having four of the eight nominees be from the same show threatens to become a nightmare during voting as it could lead to vote-splitting.
Currently, Goldstein has the highest odds to win of the “Ted Lasso” supporting actors; he sits in third place in Gold Derby’s combined odds behind “Saturday Night Live” stars Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang. Hunt and Mohammed are in fourth and fifth place, respectively, while Swift is sitting in seventh in between Paul Reiser (“The Kominsky Method”) and Carl Clemons-Hopkins (“Hacks”). Fans have really taken to the curmudgeonly Roy Kent, an aging soccer player who retired from the sport between Seasons 1 and 2 and tried his hand at being a pundit earlier this season before accepting an offer to join Ted (Jason Sudeikis) as a coach for AFC Richmond. Goldstein has the makings of a winner here, but with three other “Ted Lasso” actors also on the ballot, it’s possible that they end up splitting the “Ted Lasso” vote, resulting in none of the four winning come Sept. 19. Think “Game of Thrones” and those times when multiple women from the show were nominated in supporting actress and none of them won.
This is where Season 2 comes in. Even though the Emmys being handed out next month are for the show’s first season, we can’t discount what’s happening at this moment. And right now “Ted Lasso” is everywhere and Goldstein’s Roy is front and center at every turn. The writers have been working diligently since the middle of last season to thaw the iceberg around the character and reveal his hidden emotional depths. Not only has his sweet relationship with Keeley (Juno Temple) allowed another side of the character to appear (well, sort of), but he offered surprisingly astute relationship advice to Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) early in Season 2. He was also at the center of a humorous homage to “Love Actually” in the series’ Christmas outing and was given the romantic comedy treatment in the fifth episode, titled “Rainbow,” as Roy ran through the streets (OK, he took a cab and then a pedicab because his knee is busted) to make it to the team’s match in time to accept Ted’s offer of being a coach for AFC Richmond. Goldstein has played every single beat perfectly, never losing sight of who Roy is while still allowing him to evolve. So, if there is one “Ted Lasso” actor who stands above the rest of the ensemble in Season 2, it’s Goldstein as Roy Kent. And this could be the key to him overcoming the possibility of vote-splitting.
Now, it’s not to say the other nominated actors aren’t also deserving of praise — they all had their moments in the spotlight in Season 1 — but unfortunately they have not been as consistently memorable as Goldstein has been as Roy nor have they had the same amount of material as he has gotten. So, if anyone from the show is going to succeed in the race for comedy supporting actor, it’s almost certainly going to be him. It just depends on whether Emmy voters are paying attention to “Ted Lasso” (and based on the number of nominations the show received, it appears they are) and taking the second season into account, and whether or not they’re becoming burnt out on its near overexposure in the media. Obviously only time will tell, but when it comes to Goldstein, he’s here, he’s there, he’s every-f–ing-where as Roy Kent. And that should really work in his favor.
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