I would not call myself Seth Macfarlane’s biggest fan.
I’m not going to waste time beating up on “Family Guy,” because at this point, either you like its scattershot approach to pop culture comedy, or you don’t, and there’s not really much of a chance someone’s going to convince you to laugh or convince you not to laugh. I think the show has settled into its own weird, icky groove, and I think it’s a little funnier now than it was in the early days. Part of that is that Seth Macfarlane has become more and more comfortable with the voice of the show, and at this point, it’s carved out its own weird corner of the comedy world.
My favorite moment of his so far is his work in “Hellboy: The Golden Army,” where I think he gives a genuinely great vocal performance. His choices there make me laugh out loud, and I think he also finds some great strange notes to play in the film that are unexpected and wonderful. That was the moment that convinced me not to underestimate Macfarlane, and over time, I think he’s proven himself to be a very sharp wit when he’s appearing as himself.
Also, he could buy and sell me a zillion times over. So he’s got that going for him.
I’ve been curious about his feature debut “Ted” since the premise was announced, and based on this first trailer, I’m going to say I’m still curious. I want to see if there’s more to the film than just a teddy bear who talks dirty, because this red-band trailer works so hard to sell that idea that it almost comes across as overkill. I think I only need to hear someone say “motherf**ker” 42 times in a trailer to get the point.
I like Mark Wahlberg in comedy. I think he is at his best when he’s given genuinely strange material to play. Mila Kunis? Gold, and she’s got a long working relationship with Macfarlane that I’m sure helped him, considering this was a new skill set he was establishing here.
But is there more to this movie, or does this pretty much give away the whole joke? And if this is the whole joke, is it enough for you to be excited about it?
We’ll know for sure when “Ted” arrives in theaters on July 13, 2012.