I have a joke for you:
The Dalai Lama walks up to a hot dog stand and says: “Make me one with everything”.
Pretty funny, right? OK, here’s another one:
The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza place and says: “Make me one with everything”.
Haha! Oh my sides! Man, OK – one more:
The Dalai Lama walks into a sandwich shop and says: “Make me one with everything”.
Man alive, I’m cranking them out like Tim Vine on amphetamines! Once you’ve wiped the tears from your eyes, let’s return to the matter at hand: Ted.
What you may have noticed, if you’ve a mind as sharp as the late Oscar Wilde’s, is that those jokes were all completely identical, save for their context. And this is essentially the formula for writing the soon-to-be Oscar-winning Ted, in which the key joke is “here is a talking teddy bear that is as crude as any Seth McFarlane character”. Is a talking teddy bear that smokes pot, swears like a trooper and bangs pneumatic blondes funny? Yes. For about a minute. But you’ve got to have something else up your sleeve or you’re like the shitty uncle that keeps pulling pennies out from behind your ear all fucking night long. Alright, Uncle Rupert, we fucking get it! Don’t you have meds to take?
What Seth McFarlane – who wrote and directed Ted, as well as voicing the title character – did to shake things up from one scene to the next is change the crude act involved. First Ted’s smoking a bong, then he’s driving drunk, then he’s fucking a woman with a parsnip, then he’s using hand cream to pretend he’s the subject of a bukake, etc, etc. But… these are all jokes we were bored of when we were 14 and seeing as this film has a 15-rating, I wonder who Seth McFarlane was aiming this film at. Probably Seth McFarlane fans, I guess. I mean, Family Guy, American Dad and whatever that other one is with Cleveland in are all the same show so maybe ol’ McFarlane thinks originality doesn’t count for anything these days. Maybe no one’s told him. Maybe he’s like Lindsay Lohan and has a hundred people whispering in his ear how amazing he is while he gets fucked off his face on coke and drives his Mercedes right over Angelina Jolie’s adopted babies.
Another problem I had was the context of the movie. Mark Wahlberg, the guy who’s owned talking Ted from childhood, is in his mid-thirties and deep into a relationship with Mila Kunis. The story arc follows the two struggling to take their relationship to the next level as Ted holds Walhberg back in his juvenile frat-boy state. BORING.
Here’s what I would have done: Essentially, this is gross out comedy that didn’t commit. Commit, damn it. Instead of having the main guy as a 35 year old in a successful relationship with a hot woman, set him as an 18 year old in his first year of college, having never had a girlfriend because he’s still buddies with a teddy bear. Let him, his crude teddy and their zany new college buddies figure out how to be with the ladies and how he and Ted can learn to grow up and find their own independent lives. Zing! Then you can market it to the teenage douchbags you know will want to watch it, you can have tits all over the place and Ted being the douchey frat boy you were born to love and everyone would be happy. But do I give a shit if Mark Walhberg and Mula Kunis get to stay together? Do I fuck.