Ted, Seth McFarlane’s live-action feature film directorial debut, is shaping up to be a darker, more adult version of McFarlane’s zany animated TV shows (Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show).
The hard R-rated tale revolves around a thirty-something man (Mark Wahlberg) and the walking, talking teddy bear who came to life as a result of a childhood wish – and has since become a lazy, womanizing alcoholic. Now, according to Deadline and Variety, respectively, Joel McHale (Community) and Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar) have been added to the cast.
McHale will play the sleazeball of a boss to Wahlberg’s girlfriend – played by Mila Kunis – a role that he should be comfortable with after playing semi-sleazeball Jeff Winger in Community for two seasons and counting. Meanwhile, Ribisi will be playing Donny, a man obsessed with Ted the teddy bear.
Both Joel McHale and Giovanni Ribisi have a busy year ahead of them. Besides starring in one of the best comedies on television, Community, McHale hosts The Soup, is hosting Saturday night’s Spirit Awards, and is co-starring in The Big Year, What’s Your Number?, and the Spy Kids reboot later this year. Likewise, Ribisi will be co-starring in Contraband with Wahlberg, Waco, and The Rum Diaries with Johnny Depp.
Ted McFarlane’s comedy stylings are, in my opinion, hit or miss. While his Family Guy is occasionally funny, I find myself more often than not becoming annoyed or bored by the random cutaway jokes. And while I enjoy The Cleveland Show more than I do Family Guy, it suffers from some of the same issues from time to time.
That said, American Dad, which was just renewed for its seventh season, is an underrated animated gem and one of my favorite TV shows. When it first came out, everyone – myself included – unfairly labeled it a Family Guy rip-off and nothing more. However, as fellow Screen Ranter Michael Crider noted, there are no stupid cutaway jokes at all, and the humor that exists is organic and character-based, a la early Simpsons episodes.
Hopefully, for Ted’s sake and mine, Seth McFarlane can utilize more of that American Dad brand of humor and less of the “I’m going to make a joke and make a joke and continue making that same freaking joke until your head explodes from frustration” Family Guy brand of humor.
Ted, which will be a combination of live-action and CGI (think Garfield, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Yogi Bear) begins filming next month.
Sources: Deadline and Variety