I am not a huge Seth Macfarlane fan. I enjoyed Family Guy when it first came out, but then every show had no point and just seemed like an excuse to make a weird pop culture reference. I tried American Dad for about two episodes, but pretty much had the same complaints about it. Which meant that I didn’t even give The Cleveland show a chance.
The reason that I am telling you this is that it surprised no one more than me that I actually enjoyed Ted. I laughed through the entire movie. I felt like I cared about the characters. And I totally bought an animated teddy bear as a character. Allow me to explain.
First off, I laughed. Consistently and constantly throughout Ted, I was laughing. I have been very disappointed with comedies in 2012 as very few of them have actually made me laugh. I was beginning to be concerned because I love comedy. Ted has the non sequiturs of Family Guy, but they make sense within the context of the story. One in particular, the first meeting dance scene, probably made me laugh the hardest. Within the story itself, though, there are a metric butt-ton of laughs. From how every 90’s singer sounds to fucking-thunder theme songs to creepy dances, (I just realized how much music and dance there is in this movie!) I laughed.
With that said, I never felt like any of the characters were obligatory. Sure there are some randoms thrown in (and very random cameos, which are great!), but even they are hilarious. Patrick Warburton dead-panning “I wrote a text at 3:45am asking someone to come beat me up. Then another one at 4:30 saying thank you.” is absolutely hilarious. There are no villains in Ted. Mark Wallberg is just a guy who doesn’t know how to grow up. Ted is just trying to keep his best friend happy. Mila Kunis is trying to have a real relationship with a man who acts like a child. Any of these characters could have been the one dimensional foil, but is instead fully developed and has clear motivations for why they do what they do.
Speaking of Ted, he was fantastic. An animated talking teddy bear who sounds like Peter Griffin seems like a difficult character to buy. From the moment he started swearing and taking bong rips, I was bought in. I think this is a huge testament to Wallberg and Kunis in that they made me believe they were really interacting with someone. The Wallberg/Ted brawl was even believable and brutal.
I will admit that this movie was probably tailor made for me, or other 30-something males. It is about someone our age needing to grow up. So you get all of the tropes of our childhood. Hootie and the Blowfish, Nintendo, Flash Gordon, Star Wars and more are all of the things that Ted and Wallberg geek out about. So it was simple for me to geek out about as well. I will say that my wife enjoyed it as well. So ladies, don’t count this one out. We were in a pretty packed theater and everyone else was laughing just as loud as us.
I expected Ted to be juvenile and stupid. And it was. But it also made me care about the characters and laugh. For that, I cannot recommend it enough.
Have you seen Ted? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.