Does anyone remember the ‘90’s sitcom, “Unhappily Ever After?”
The weekly series essentially revolved around a depressed and schizophrenic salesman (Jack) who briefly separated from his wife and kids, only to later move back into their basement. There Jack would balance out his woes by fraternizing with Mr. Floppy, a bawdy stuffed bunny who only Jack could hear and with whom he frequently shared drinks and smokes.
Flash forward 13 years and you have “TED,” Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut about a Boston laggard who as a child, magically wished his teddy bear to life, and now has trouble balancing adulthood with the antics of his lewd teddy bear. Ironically its Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), who after falling from celebrity stardom, later keeps John (Mark Wahlberg) in a childlike state. By encouraging John to ditch work and smoke weed – much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis) – John develops a lack of enthusiasm for the outside world. Therefore, much like Mr. Floppy, Ted becomes to John what Mr. Floppy was to Jack: a means of shucking responsibility to enjoy the perks of teenaged unaccountability and male camaraderie. The only difference between Ted and Mr. Floppy is that other people can actually hear Ted.
Furthermore, much like MacFarlane’s show, “Family Guy,” the world of Ted and John shares the same insulting brand of humor and lack of realistic relationships. Lori, like “Lois” – the attractive wife of dim-witted “Peter Griffin” – is dating a man who’s not quite on her “level”. Lori doesn’t seem to mind that at 35, John is still afraid of thunder, but she does mind when Ted invites prostitutes over and excrement ends up on the living room floor.
The high-brow humor keeps MacFarlane’s fans chuckling throughout most of the movie, but there are times when the jokes fall into tender territory. On the other hand, what can one expect from a guy who refers to himself as an “equal opportunity offender?”
Overall, “TED” doesn’t stray far from the proven methods that have made “Family Guy” popular and its loaded with quotes sure to become a part of everyone’s friendly banter. Coincidentally, the “Unhappily Ever After” fans who’ve been unhappily missing Mr. Floppy may find a new friend in Ted. Granted, Ted’s a bit cruder than Mr. Floppy, but reincarnated nonetheless.