The ‘Ted’ Reviews Are Mixed For Seth MacFarlane’s New Series That Feels Like A ‘Family Guy’ Retread

When Ted the movie arrived in 2012, it did surprisingly well at the box office and earned an almost cult status thanks to Seth MacFarlane‘s blend of screwball humor. The sequel, however, did not do as well and made it clear that Ted was a one-hit wonder albeit, a solid one. After that, the franchise quietly went away — until now.

Streaming on Peacock, Ted is an all-new prequel series that centers on the foul-mouthed teddy bear while his best John Bennett (Max Burkholder) is not the strapping Mark Wahlberg, but a 16-year-old high school student trying to navigate life in the ’90s. As for how well this premise works is debatable.

While some critics eventually warmed to the Ted series, the overwhelming consensus is that retreads a lot of the same ground as Family Guy, for better or worse. There’s also an “anti-woke” air about Ted that MacFarlane is definitely aware of and tries to thread a very delicate needle in the process. Whether he pulls it off marks a divide amongst critics.

You can see what the Ted reviews are saying below:

Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter:

The bad news about Peacock‘s Ted prequel, also called Ted, is that all of its worst instincts are apparent from the jump. For one thing, its premiere clocks in at 50 minutes — not inherently an unreasonable run time, but a baffling one for a TV outing that otherwise unfolds like a half-hour sitcom. For another, that near-hour is front-loaded with the show’s most self-consciously “offensive” material: hoary jokes about derogatory terms and racist stereotypes, all delivered with a smirk that’s daring you, just daring you, to get outraged by any of it. But if you can push past the initial tedium, the good (or at least less bad) news about Ted is that the episodes that follow represent a marked improvement.

Nick Schager, The Daily Beast:

MacFarlane and company rattle off non-stop one-liners, and if a lot of them miss their marks, those that hit their targets elicit genuine belly laughs—and are all the more cathartic for feeling more than a tad wrong. In particular, MacFarlane repeatedly has John extend his jokes with Ted by taking them into bizarro terrain, and it’s there—when logic flies totally out the window, leaving behind only stream-of-consciousness lunacy—that the material is most amusing.

Jarrod Jones, The A.V. Club:

Ted takes us back to the age of Sega Genesis, Married… With Children, the Jerky Boys (ask your uncle), and casual racism. But before you take to social media to itemize all of the series’ offensive malfeasances, don’t bother: The series has installed a failsafe for whenever John’s “Boston racist” father Matty (Scott Grimes) flies off the handle (which is often) or when John’s dear-hearted mother Susan (Alanna Ubach) gently dismisses his tirades, in the form of John’s live-in cousin Blaire (Giorgia Whigham), who’s here to set things politically correct.

Ryan Leston, IGN:

The jokes in Ted are much of what we’ve seen and heard before – outrage is the name of the game, and a lot of the humor is derived from the worn-out gag of a cute, cuddly teddy bear saying some truly awful stuff. There are punchlines about Jewish people, cannibalism, John Belushi, and even one joke you’ve definitely heard before in the Paul Rudd-Seann William Scott vehicle Role Models. Again, if you’ve watched Family Guy, you know what to expect, and that’s the biggest problem.

Nate Richard, Collider:

Even with only seven episodes, the Ted series does start to wear out its welcome, with the storytelling becoming repetitive and predictable. While it is never boring by any means, one season may have been enough. There’s only so much you can do with a franchise about a cursing, pot-smoking teddy bear who lives in Boston before it becomes tired. The Ted movies aren’t classics by any means, they’re the perfect kind of guilty pleasure comedies that you can just throw on the TV, laugh, and relax. That’s exactly what the series feels like as well.

Ben Travers, IndieWire:

I’m not sure why “Ted” is seven episodes long, instead of six, eight, or 12. I’m not sure why each of the first five episodes is shorter than the last, dropping from 51 minutes to 33, before ballooning back up to the low 40s for its final two entries. I’m not sure why this part of Ted’s (or John’s) story needed to be told, aside from Peacock needing programming and MacFarlane needing to produce something bigger than “The Orville” to justify his $200 million overall deal at Universal. But I am pretty sure that any life wished into Ted a decade ago is all but gone now. And no one seems to give a shit.

Ted Season 1 is available for streaming on Peacock.