Ted Lasso had great timing. The Apple TV show dropped in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic, when people were scared, angry, and cooped up inside with little to do. Here was not only a show but a show about an aw-shucks American football coach hired to coach an English soccer (which is to say, football) team. Bad things happened to him — a lot of bad things — but his pep was relentless, even inspiring. Would people have reacted so strongly to it had it not dropped in the middle of an out-of-control global public health crisis? Its co-creator thinks so.
In a new interview with The Wrap, Bill Lawrence — who created Scrubs as well as co-created the likes of Cougar Town and Spin City, and teamed up with star Jason Sudeikis for his latest — was asked, point blank, if the show would have had the same impact if released in, say, 2019?
“I’ll tell you why I think so, and hopefully it won’t sound self-aggrandizing,” he replied. “When we started coming up with what we were going to do with the show creatively, we were not in a quarantine and not dealing with a pandemic. But we had reached a point in time, the discourse on social media, when you overhear your kids talk — it was so pervasively cynical and edgy and negative and hopeless.”
And really, in an era where people were seeming to actively take glee in not forgiving mistakes and in the downfall of others, I would be lying if I told you we were sure it would work. We weren’t. But what we did think was that it was going to be a positive and therapeutic gig for all of us. So I don’t think this is tied to the pandemic, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say it was definitely tied to the times, with your kids being as pessimistic as anybody in the world. It was a bummer.
Lawrence also discussed how some people glom onto Ted’s unerring positivity, which he says he gets but which doesn’t do justice to the full breadth of the show:
But I will tell you, in a fascinating way, we get many positive interactions from people who go, “I checked this show out because I was told people would be vomiting sunshine on me and making me feel better. And Ted’s in love with a woman that doesn’t want to be with him anymore. And she’s left him and is with his kid. And the other lead has been left alone in her 40s and thinks she’s going to be alone her whole life. And the other star guy is realizing that he can no longer do the one thing, playing soccer, that he’s always been good at. Where’s all the cheerful stuff?”
Will Season 2, which was greenlit mere days after the show’s premiere, be so chipper? You’ll see when it drops on July 23.
(Via The Wrap)