I still maintain that the first 3-4 seasons of Family Guy are pretty damn great- fairly inspired genius in an irreverent sitcom format. Of course, as the show grew, it delved into a one-trick pony status, but I still had no doubt that its creator, writer, and co-star Seth Macfarlane had and has a lot of comedic talent to his name, and just needs a new outlet for it. This may very well be it- a bit of development, clearly, but still maintaining his comedic voice without resorting to his standard weapon of choice, being the cutaway punchlines.
It’s not that I don’t like cutaways or anything, but to a point, Family Guy stopped focusing humor of any kind into any other way than that, and it got REALLY annoying. With TED, his voice and attitude are totally alive and amplified, but in a more refreshing setting, even in the voice is a bit too familiar… literally. I maybe would have preferred if he, Macfarlane, the voice of the teddy bear (and writer/director), went with his normal voice. Ted’s voice is borderline Peter Griffin. While Macfarlane’s normal voice is quite literally the voice for Brian, I think with a more eccentric attitude, it could have made for an interesting attitude. Yet his bombastic, loudmouthed demeanor still comes through well with the voice he went with.
Wahlberg is a slowly but greatly improving comedic actor that I think really show’s what he’s got here. His performance in the Other Guys stretched him to a strangely complex role, and he kicked the shit out of it. In TED, it seems like he’s having more of a laid back time, but still leaning toward the goofy, which is starting to be able to get into with ease. He seems quite comfortable and hilarious, especially in chemistry with Macfarlane, which seems to be the real draw of the flick. As for the love interest, Mila Kunis is always reliable at ALL fronts, and proves such in here. She’ll be a great straight-presence to the madness that is our protagonists’ buddy relationship, but I also feel like that will make for some great humor in her clashing of their idiocies and absurdities.
I think we got a good idea of how obnoxious the character of Ted will be, and perhaps it may stray upon grating, but that also has to do with the use of the song “How You Like Me Now”, which has been used in Goddamn near everything since The Fighter was a film. Maybe take that aspect out, and I’d be cool with the violently assholish but fun nature of Ted, especially when put up against the other leads. I feel like Macfarlane’s got a good comedy screenplay here (loud, fast, chummy, and dumb, maybe with a fair degree of cleverness), and possibly has some heart to be found within there, knowing him and the general context of the tale. I’d be impressed, but not surprised if he went either way. What I do know is that he seems to have fallen into live-action comedy direction with no qualms whatsoever, and am interested to see how this and any other features of his will turn out in the future.
Will Watch It: No doubt, just to see what Marky Mark and Macfarlane can do on their own terms, and together.