Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Zach Braff: ‘I almost made the Bears look like a super group’

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Written by Mac Mcguire, CNN

In 2011, a TV game show is set in the football field.

During the course of the program, a rookie quarterback, Tony Lord, who has been selected to represent his college in the NFL, spends a season out there being coached by Kenny Stabler, a legend of the college game.

They both struggle to the NFL and suffer from injuries, and then rumors begin to surface about Stabler’s drinking problem.

The TV show is set almost in the middle of what’s known as “March Madness” — the four month period that ends with the NCAA Final Four. The Trojans play in the Final Four that year, and the sport is deeply engrained in the TV show, now up for a second season.

The spoof, however, focuses on the players during the game and the coaches, Tony and Kenny, in the stands. The gimmicks involve fanciful props — an “athletic director,” a “potentate,” some motley uniforms.

“It’s just full of toys, and the humor is built around what they’re thinking,” said “Scrubs” star Zach Braff, who co-wrote the original script with his brother Adam.

“The ultimate thing in a NFL game is confidence. They’re standing on the edge of the precipice and they have to believe in themselves. Even if they lose, they’ll still go on.”

As the end to the season draws closer, Tony and Kenny begin to sift through the rumors about the playmaker.

At a conference in New York this week to promote the upcoming second season, Braff noted that lots of progress is happening on the fictional show. “The amount of incidents that they got me interested in the first season of these, are even more happening now,” he said.

“Kenny’s drinking is worse, Tony’s worse, the stock market is way worse, global warming is way worse, food is disappearing — the media is corrupt — so anything a football player can possibly be accused of, we’ve either established or will be showing in season two.”

According to Braff, this season of the show might just be the funniest in the series’ run.

By 1984, the Chicago Bears claimed Super Bowl I, and the year after, in a town up the road from Northern California, the San Francisco 49ers took Super Bowl II. It was a dull story, but it ended the whole quarterback-versus-quarterback battle to lead each team to victory in the big game, most often, with an audible touchdown.

The players portrayed in “Bachelors” are real people. One of them is Stabler, and a few more are former NFL players, including Tom Hornsey, who played for the Oakland Raiders, though never in a Super Bowl.

“I had a little fun with it,” said Braff. “We went way further with this script than I think anybody realized, even we as creators. We knew we were getting a little bit tamer with some of these situations, but it was still pretty crazy stuff. My brother and I made a lot of changes.”

“For the most part they guys did that, and they tried to do the audience’s job for us. It was fun to see them become involved. They’d look around and be like, ‘Ah, yeah, that’s the look in my eye and I know I’m looking a little bit goofy out there.’ “

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