I had let go of Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy when it had it’s second return with American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, monopolizing adult cartoons and becoming the highest paid TV writer and merchandise sell-out in Hot Topic and touristy t-shirt shops. All the while using the same crude schtick from his College Thesis, The Life of Larry. Hypocritical I know, since I haven’t done jack shit since my College days except for these same ripping posts, but in my defense – I don’t get paid let alone have any readers to give site stickers to. So when I first saw the trailers for Ted I was a bit apprehensive of another bromance riff movie. But who would have guessed that what would separate this apart from the Hangover bunch or this years 21 Jump Street would be Mark Wahlberg and a Motion Capture CGI Teddy Bear.
Mark seems to have flourished as a comedic actor since talking to plants in The Happening, though perhaps inadvertently with The Other Guys and as a Bostonite Meathead in The Departed as Sargent Dignam or when he was Dirk Diggler and dropped his pants. And perhaps he took Andy Samberg’s SNL mockery of Mark Wahlberg talks to Animals skit to heart a little too far as he signed on to a talking bear movie before ever watching any of Seth MacFarlane’s work. But like his Marky Mark stardom I’m pretty sure most of Wahlberg’s success has for the most part all been an accident…I mean who’d of thought it possible to get through the backdoor to Hollywood by being the younger brother of one of The New Kids on the Block would amount to this? An utterly convincing portrayal of an arrested developed 35 year old stoner who has to question whether to live with Mila Kunis or his talking stuffed Teddy Bear. Now that takes some doing.
Like most MacFarlane works it’s saturated with pop culture references to the point of overkill. I mean if you thought the Flash Gordon bit was getting old the Taylor Lautner joke was already dead. But the longest lasting joke, other than just plain growing up and facing responsibilities, will be the everlasting love of the Stalker, Giovanni Ribisi, who kidnaps Ted for his kid and his obsession with Tiffany.