On the surface, Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso and Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet are very different shows.
Ted Lasso is about the title character coaching a British football team.
Mythic Quest dives into the lives of the people producing a popular Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game.
Once you move past the differences and start analyzing the similarities, it becomes fascinating how much these two shows have in common.
The central relationship in both shows is between an employee and his or her boss: Ted Lasso's Coach Ted and team owner Rebecca and Mythic Quest's Head Engineer Poppy and Creative Director Ian.
The conflict between those pairs is what drives their respective shows.
Ted Lasso kicked off with Rebecca hiring Ted because she wants to run her ex-husband's beloved football team to the ground.
Ted then unknowingly frustrates her revenge because, as seen on Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 3, he's winning over some of his toughest critics like team captain Roy Kent and journalist Trent Crimm.
Meanwhile, Poppy endures Ian's antics to the detriment of her sanity. He noodled with the shovel, her favorite design feature, and nearly delayed the expansion pack launch on Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Season 1 Episode 1.
He's self-absorbed and constantly takes Poppy for granted, like dragging her on a road trip without telling her why on Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Season 1 Episode 8.
Although Rebecca and Ian treat Ted and Poppy terribly, they're not card-carrying villains. Both of them are extremely messed up because of past, abusive relationships -- Rebecca with her ex-husband and Ian with his dad.
The scars of the past deeply inform their present behavior. What makes Rebecca and Ian's respective relationships with Ted and Poppy compelling is seeing the former change for the better because of their interactions with the latter.
Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 4 saw Ted helping Rebecca regain her confidence so she could make it through a charity fundraising event.
Ted also showed support for her when he became one of the few people who could see past her ex-husband's charm and peg him as a deplorable human being.
On Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Season 1 Episode 9, Poppy called Ian out on the harm his selfishness caused the people around him.
It inspired him to set things right: getting David his job back, raises for his employees, and naming Poppy Co-Creative Director.
Now on most shows, when a pair of characters have this type of dynamic, it seems inevitable the characters will become romantically involved. It doesn't seem so inevitable or necessary on either Ted Lasso or Mythic Quest.
There have been moments on Ted Lasso where it could look like the show is building up to a Ted and Rebecca romance -- like when they reacted to each other wearing formal wear on Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 4.
Their interactions together don't come off as romantic, especially in contrast with Roy and Keeley, where the acting and editing make the growing attraction between the two obvious.
Interpreting Ted and Rebecca's scenes together as having a romantic subtext does a disservice to both characters, especially Ted's. Ted's honest to goodness superpowers are his abilities to see everyone's value and to bring out the best in people.
To say Rebecca is thawing because of subconscious romantic feelings undermines those superpowers and makes Ted a sleaze when he's the opposite of a sleaze.
Arguably Mythic Quest has been more overt about suggesting the possibility of Poppy and Ian becoming romantically involved.
Poppy was already mistaken as Ian's girlfriend on Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Season 1 Episode 8.
Later Ian directly compared him and Poppy to Doc and Beans, a former married couple who developed games together, on Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Season 1 Episode 9.
Like Ted and Rebecca, Poppy and Ian's interactions don't come across as romantic.
Viewing Poppy and Ian through a romantic lens detracts from the message of the Doc and Beans story (told in detail on the excellent Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Season 1 Episode 5) and the theme Mythic Quest wants to explore, which is the working relationship between artists.
Another reason to not want romance between Ted and Rebecca and Poppy and Ian is that most of them aren't ready for any type of romantic relationship.
Ted and Rebecca are grappling with failed marriages. Plus, it would be gross and irredeemable of Rebecca to get involved with Ted romantically while using him as a patsy in her revenge plan.
Ian showed personal growth when he named Poppy Co-Creative Director, but his control and ego issues aren't resolved.
There's also another personal relationship -- the one between himself and his estranged son -- Ian should work on fixing before he even considers jumping into a new romantic relationship.
Ted Lasso and Mythic Quest have a great understanding of their characters and are too smart to convert their central relationships into romances for the sake of cheap laughs or hollow drama.
Is it possible there will be a Ted and Rebecca and/or Poppy and Ian romance in the future? It is since both shows were renewed for a second season.
Are such romances necessary?
No. The relationships are already compelling without a romantic component. Adding romance risks undoing a lot of great character work, and it's not something the characters currently need.
As for Ted and Rebecca and Poppy and Ian's working relationships, I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.
Over to you, TV Fanatics!
Should Ted Lasso's Ted and Rebecca and Mythic Quest's Poppy and Ian stay platonic or upgrade to romantic?
How excited are you about both shows being renewed for second seasons?
Hit the comments below.
Becca Newton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.