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‘Scrubs’ creator Bill Lawrence has made the best show on Apple TV+

Updated Aug 23rd, 2020 8:18PM EDT
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Image: Apple

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  • The new Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso just been renewed by Apple for a 10-episode second season that will debut in 2021.
  • It’s one of the best-reviewed Apple TV+ shows to-date.
  • Apple is planning to introduce bundled subscription products soon to build more excitement and garner more subscribers for its offerings like Apple TV+.

There’s a simple formula behind what might just be not only the best show on Apple TV+ right now but one of the best things on TV at the moment, period. When it comes to Ted Lasso, the just-renewed comedy from Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence that has quickly found an audience of ardent fans and given the streamer a bona fide hit, the whole thing is built around a kind of feel-good variant of the mantra from Friday Night Lights: Clear eyes, full hearts (and lots of relentless optimism) can’t lose.

If you’d already dived into the first three episodes of the show’s 10-episode first season, which were made available right away while those that remain will roll out weekly, it likely didn’t surprise you that Apple announced a Season 2 pickup a few days ago.

The story: Starring Jason Sudeikis, and built around his Ted Lasso character that featured in previous NBC Sports Premier League coverage, the show introduces us to a small-time college football coach from Kansas. He’s hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer. As of the time of this writing, the show currently boasts an impressive 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and one of the actors — Stephen Manas, a French footballer on the team that Lasso coaches who humorously has a hard time understanding the American’s distinctive accent — told BGR why he thinks the show is resonating with so many people.

“First,” Manas said, “the story is great. The dialogue is hilarious, the cast has such great chemistry, and the scenes are shot beautifully. The production team put a lot of work into it … This is a comedy series starring Jason Sudeikis, who can make anyone laugh. Personally, I miss sports, and I’m sure the rest of the world does too! So, it’s (also) a good way for the viewers to reconnect to a sport with team spirit.”

“I also loved the concept about a football team, shooting in London, (and) my character being a football player who was part of a Premier League team. I am personally a big fan of football and remember the 2018 world cup winner: Allez Les Bleus!”

Episode four of the series just debuted on Friday on Apple TV+. In it, the character of Rebecca — played with considerable gusto and charm by Hannah Waddingham — hosts the team’s annual charity benefit, where Ted stages a reconciliation between his players Roy and Jamie. In Apple’s announcement of the Season 2 renewal, meanwhile, the iPhone maker promised that the show is getting another 10 episodes which will debut sometime in 2021.

Lawrence told BGR

that the hopefulness and optimism of the show was one of the things that was especially rewarding about bringing it to fruition. The character of Lasso himself is like one of those corny, dad-joke-deploying coaches some of us remember from high school — and it’s absolutely perfect for the weariness of the coronavirus era. “Taking on a challenge is like riding a horse,” Lasso deadpans to his assistant coach at one point, ahead of arriving in England for the new job that he refuses to let worry him. “If you’re comfortable doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

“I’m a comedy writer, man,” Lawrence told me. “I love cynical, edgy comedy. Veep is one of my favorite shows.

“But in this particular era and time, one of the things Jason and I set out to do was write a hopeful and optimistic show. In a time that I think that people could use one. Which is not to say there’s not some pathos and dark subtext here and there. But, man, it was nice to work on a feel-good show about somebody at their core who reminds of you of that great teacher and coach who set you on your way.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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