Ted by Seth MacFarlane


Is that a shit?

Is Seth MacFarlane actually funny?  Am I the only person on the face of the planet who just doesn’t get it?  I’ll admit that his hit Fox animated creation Family Guy was mildly entertaining back in its early days, you know, before it got cancelled for a few years, but everything he’s done since its return has been a pile of derivative garbage.

He’s got a formula for success and he’s obviously not afraid to keep reusing it.  Family Guy: talking dog.  American Dad: talking alien.  Ted: talking teddy bear.  He just keeps bringing inanimate objects to life and making them sound like Peter Griffin. What a creative genius!

Perhaps I’m being a bit unfair, but then again I’m also proud to admit that I’m probably not a member of his target audience.  Who is exactly?  I honestly don’t know, but what I do know is that I don’t ever want to meet anyone who is.  Personal gripes aside, he must be doing something right however, as people keep forking over their hard earned cake to view his work.

Ted opens with a short introduction that explains young Johnny’s magical Christmas wish that brought his stuffed teddy bear to life.  From there the movie then immediately flashes forward to the present, where we find a grown up John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) sitting on a couch smoking weed and talking random nonsense.

Hmmm.  Where have we seen this before?   Someone’s obviously been watching a lot of episodes of Wilfred, the hit FX show featuring Elijah Wood as a former lawyer who imagines that his neighbor’s dog is talking to him.  Actually, I take that back, because if MacFarlane had been paying even an ounce of attention to it, he would have seen that the show is actually quite funny, even when it’s being quite crude.  It must just be some happy accident that the two are so similar.  Yeah.

If you like the lowest possible form of humor then Ted is your event of the season.  It relies solely on being offensive in order to get a laugh.  I mean seriously, what’s funnier than a stuffed bear simulating the climax of oral sex by squirting hand lotion all over its furry face? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.  Not your idea of a good time?  Perhaps you’d enjoy Mark Wahlberg punching an adolescent child in the face as hard as he possibly can and knocking him out cold instead?  Freaking hilarious!  Throw in a Susan Boyle joke (so timely) and add in a gay couple (we want to be offensive, but also show that we’re open minded) and it will almost make up for the scene where the teddy bear pretends to be “retarded” (his word, not mine).

Of course the movie isn’t up for oodles of Oscars for its brilliant screenplay, its fine acting performances, or its wonderful special effects.  The only thing it’s nominated for is Music-Original Song, for a piece of music that’s laugh out loud awful.

Did the Academy feel it necessary to throw MacFarlane a bone because he’s hosting this year?  Perhaps.  All I know is that I haven’t heard any of the other four songs this one is up against, but I’m fairly certain that they can’t possibly be as painfully bad.

The one bright ray of sunshine in this otherwise shitstorm is the performance turned in by Black Swan supporting actress Mila Kunis.  I’d love to know how she was talked into taking the part in the first place.  She deserves much better roles.  At least she didn’t have to make out with the bear.  Here’s to hoping she keeps it that way in the forthcoming sequel as well.

Ted ★½☆☆☆
Directed by Seth MacFarlane
Nominated For:
Music-Original Song (Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane)
United States
106 Minutes


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About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.

  • Karen

    I guess will just watch for the Boston landscape – thanks for heads up!