Ted is now streaming on Peacock.
Comedy has changed a lot since Dead debuted in cinemas 12 years ago. Beyond the changing tides of culture and taste, the once-dominant genre's dramatic fortunes have reversed, with only a handful of celebrity-led projects making the cut each year. With big names like Adam Sandler, Melissa McCarthy, and Kevin Hart all backing into streaming, it's easy to see how a pioneer might be. The biggest comedy hit of all time Ending on a peacock. But that may be the only sign of Ted's ability to change over time. This throwback to the school days of John Bennett (Max Burkholder, reprising the role originated by Mark Wahlberg) and his stuffed BFF (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) leans heavily on a tired backdrop: yes, the cute teddy bear still says rude things.
A slick opening theme reminiscent of Family Guy is an early sign: Dead is a well-crafted live-action riff on some of MacFarlane's popular animated sitcoms, with slightly different characters. Burkholder channels Wahlberg's over-the-top performance (and his Saudi accent) from Dead and Dead 2, while the rest of the cast can be equally disappointing/hilarious depending on your tolerance level. John's parents are renamed Matty (Scott Grimes) and Susan (Alana Ubach) for some reason, and much of the show focuses on the friction between them. Throw a random cousin (Georgia Wickham) into the mix
This new season of Family Guy Ted is off to a solid enough start.
Unfortunately not making the jump from movie to series: Patrick Stewart. Fortunately, the Star Trek legend has entrusted his friend and X-Men nemesis Ian McKellen with the role of telling the story on the Apache-helicopters. McKellen is very underutilized, only appearing in a handful of episodes — but when he's around, he delivers some real zingers.
The jokes in Ted are more of what we've seen and heard before – outrage is the name of the game, and humor derives from the well-worn joke of a cute, little bear saying some truly mean things. . The Paul Rudd-Sean William Scott vehicle has punchlines about Jewish people, cannibalism, John Belushi and a joke you've probably heard before. As an example. Again, if you've seen Family Guy you know what to expect, and that's the biggest problem.
The show improves as it goes on, hitting its stride halfway through. The introduction of a new character puts a quirky spin on the formula, and Ted's pop culture presence only gets stronger as the series progresses. Whether you stick around long or give Ted a chance first depends on your interest in the movies and MacFarlane's other work.
There is no overarching narrative or reason for the seven episodes of Ted to exist together. A traditional sitcom without a 100-episode backlog every episode. It's a shame, because Ted sits as a comfortable watch worth tuning in to every new episode of the Bennett family's life. Seven episodes doesn't give Dead enough room to pick up the pace, and then it collapses lifelessly at the finish line before it gets to the good stuff. Perhaps a second season will take things further – the laughs may not be quite as original, but it's still a welcome addition to the MacFarlane stable.
One of the main reasons to return to Ted is John and Ted's one-two punch – their rapport is great, and Burkholder takes Wahlberg's reign with ease. Throw in some nostalgic thrills and some hilarious callbacks to the movies, and you've got a complete comedy that captures the fun in its cinematic source material.