This past weekend, I went to see Ted, the feature-length directorial debut of Family Guy and American Dad creator, Seth MacFarlane. Based on what I’d read previously to seeing the film, I was excited. Critics promised the film was funny, that the trailer didn’t do it justice. I hadn’t thought much of the trailer, so I was relieved to hear that the film would surpass it in terms of funniness.
All I knew of the film before seeing it was a loose plot synopsis, and it’s three main stars, so as a huge Community fan, it was a pleasant surprise to see Joel McHale pop up in the role of a sleazy boss to Mila Kunis’ character, Lori. Cameo appearances continued to be a recurring theme throughout the film, and as the comedy failed to live up to expectations, were probably my favourite thing about it.
As expected from MacFarlane, there are a lot of parallels between Ted and his TV shows. Full of references to American culture, it will be something fans are used to, but the more obscure references will leave non-American fans cold.
As an occasional Family Guy watcher, and an even more occasional American Dad watcher, I feel like I knew what to expect from Ted. Where it could’ve been controversial and edgy, I’d already seen it done before, and better, in MacFarlane’s previous work.
Leaving the cinema, Ted left me with a strange feeling. I laughed at it, sure, but was I laughing at the film, or the girl with the most infectiously amazing laugh who was sat behind me? Usually with comedies, I’ll come out, remembering my favourite jokes for days to come, but this feeling is absent with Ted. I remember the jokes very vaguely, and seem to remember enjoying a particular cameo more than some of them. Even more surprisingly, the things I found wrong with the film haven’t even stuck in my mind. As a strange paradox, this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the film. At no point did I feel like it was dragging, or that I was bored, I just found it to be quite mediocre and entirely forgettable.