Peacock’s new prequel series, “Ted,” based on the popular film franchise, has sparked controversy with its offensive and crude humor. The show, which follows a 16-year-old version of Ted’s best friend John Bennett, is said to suffer from its worst instincts right from the start.
Critics have argued that the premiere episode, which lasts a hefty 50 minutes, feels out of place for a sitcom-style TV show. Moreover, the offensive content is front-loaded, with derogatory terms and racist stereotypes being used for the sake of shock value.
Despite its initial struggles, subsequent episodes show improvement, with moments of absurdity and goofiness that reveal a potentially decent comedy buried underneath. However, the show’s creator and star, Seth MacFarlane, is partially to blame for preventing the show from reaching its full potential.
The jokes in “Ted” are not far off from the source material, where a teddy bear named Ted comes to life. The central gag revolves around the contrast between Ted’s cute appearance and his rude personality. Set in 1993, the prequel takes inspiration from sitcoms of the ’80s and ’90s, with references to iconic shows like “Roseanne,” “The Simpsons,” and “Married… With Children.”
Being a streaming title, the show’s lack of decency standards and time restrictions allows for more explicit content and longer run times. While the crassness is a signature element of the show, it also becomes a mixed blessing, resulting in weak punchlines and excessive repetition.
There are moments of hope in “Ted,” thanks to the chemistry between Max Burkholder, who portrays young John Bennett, and MacFarlane. Standout performances from Giorgia Whigham and Alanna Ubach also add to the show’s potential. Despite these elements, the self-indulgent nature of the show often becomes more of a drag than charming.
In conclusion, “Ted” on Peacock falls victim to its worst instincts, starting with offensive content and struggling to find its footing as a sitcom-style TV show. While there are glimpses of a brighter and tighter series underneath, the excessive crassness and weak punchlines prevent it from fully realizing its potential.