Peacock’s Ted Feels Like a Recycled Toy | TV/Streaming

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Utilizing the same setup as the original film (but this time exchanging Patrick Stewart for Ian McKellen to provide recap narration), “Ted” opens in 1985, when a young, lonely John Bennett (Max Burkholder) made a wish that his teddy bear came to life, and it did. Ted became a national sensation but fizzled out like many trends. Now it’s 1993, and Ted (Seth MacFarlane) has moved back home to Framingham, Massachusetts, with his 16-year-old thunder buddy John and his family—abrasive, conservative war vet patriarch Matty (Scott Grimes), his eccentric non-confrontational wife Susan (Alanna Ubach), and their passionate niece Blair (Giorgia Whigham), attending a nearby college.

After an incident at home, Matty forces Ted to attend high school with John instead of wasting time at home watching game shows all the time. In the pilot episode “Just Say Yes,” Ted tries his darndest to get expelled, so he tries buying weed, evidently illustrating the origins of how Ted and John became the stoners as depicted in the film.

That is just one of the many edgy shenanigans the 12-inch party animal gets into. In one episode, John and Ted try to rent a porno VHS; in the other, he tries to become Blair’s designated driver for a college Halloween party but gets faded himself; and in another, he tries to be a marriage counselor for Matty and Susan. 

“Ted’s” concept’s sole fundamental strength remains: Ted and John are thunder buddies for life, and their dynamic is entertaining across ages. Max Burkholder, taking up the mantle of a mini-Wahlberg, evokes the same charisma of the character’s elder counterpart while retaining a childlike innocence and nailing the thick Bostonian accent. Bennett and Ted’s endless brotherly banter is the most charming component of the show. The plots expand their reach outside of ‘Ted Goes to High School,’ but it’s there where some solid jokes and plots are mined, mainly due to their shared Bill-and-Ted-esque idiocy getting them in and out of trouble.  


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