Even Bill Lawrence found Ted Lasso’s optimism hard to believe at first.

The Ted Lasso showrunner recently sat down with Vanity Fair for an interview about the series ahead of its second season debut. When asked what the team is trying to accomplish with Ted Lasso, Lawrence said that they are trying to write a show with heart and empathy in mind.

“With what we call “optimistic comedy,” I think what we’re really talking about is, on some level, writing with heart and empathy. I always dug doing that in Scrubs. It was a lot easier in that case just because they were characters that were of service and cared about whether or not people lived or died. The medical adviser on that show was the real J.D. [Zach Braff’s character]. He’s actually still a cardiologist here in L.A. and an amazing guy. And his only [stipulation] about that show was, “You can do anything you want, but it can never be at the expense of the patients. These doctors always have to be trying their best.” He was in that same kind of hopeful, optimistic world.”

Some people have compared the character of Ted Lasso to the beloved Mister Rogers. When asked if Rogers was an inspiration for Lasso, Lawrence said it was actually much simpler than that.

“I can tell you that we’re fans, but the biggest influence on this, and it’s something I haven’t talked about a lot, is that Jason and I really connected over the idea of mentors. He made every writer that we met with answer who their mentor was, whether it was someone who got them into further education, or who convinced them they could be a writer. And I think that that was really the true spirit of this.”

Season two of Ted Lasso premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, July 23. If you want to enjoy the new season in the best quality Apple TV+ has to offer, check out our list of the Best TVs for Apple TV 2021.

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