With its growing number of award season honors, Apple TV's "Ted Lasso" is breaking records as the most-winning series. The comedy show is not only a critics favorite, but it has also won the hearts of many viewers who have fallen in love with its characters and their stories of kindness, leadership, and growth.
One of the people behind it is Leann Bowen, a Filipino American writer whose credits include "I Love You, America" and "Dear White People." In Ted Lasso's current season two, she wrote the second episode titled "Lavender."
"TV writing is very collaborative. My episode has jokes from everyone on the staff. It has scenes [that] people on the staff have contributed to," Bowen shared. "It takes me about ten days to write, and then it goes through a rewrite process, and then some back and forth until we go to production."
Bowen honed her comedic skills through writing for and performing in sketch comedy and improv in Los Angeles. Her late father was war veteran and Black Panther Party member Bobby Lee Bowen. Her mother is Lilian Tamoria whose family is from Cavite province in the Philippines.
"I was raised in the Valley and my mom was a single mom so I was raised by my lola and lolo a lot. I spent a lot of time with them so I feel very connected to my Filipino background and I'm very proud."
Bowen credits her mother and grandparents for her work ethic. "They were just so hardworking and they made sure that I stayed focused. And I also really attribute my sense of humor to my grandfather. He was such an interesting character -- making funny comments at church and my mother would be like, 'don't say that'," she added.
In a recent episode of Ted Lasso, one of its main characters, Sam Obisanya played by actor Toheeb Jimoh, took a brave stance against the environmental abuses by a big company. Bowen said she's proud to be part of a series that shows characters fighting against injustice.
Her twitter bio even bears the word 'makibaka' -- a Tagalog word meaning to fight , which is a popular battlecry among Filipino activists. It is an action word so important to Bowen that she even had it tattooed on her arm. It was her family, starting with her Filipino grandfather, who instilled in her those values.
"He came to the United States in the 50s. He always believed in racially treating people the same. He always advocated for the poor, and he always said fight for what you believe in. So between my grandfather and my mom, they were very about fighting and standing up for social justice and being strong and those aspects."
While busy receiving awards from all the major critics and TV organizations, Bowen and the rest of the Ted Lasso team are working on their third season. The show streams on Apple TV+.