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The SOTO Sun

Is The New Ted TV Show A Nail In The Coffin For Seth Macfarlane?

Last Thursday media giant NBC used their streaming service Peacock to debut Seth Macfarlane’s newest creative endeavor, and the early reviews are in.

Let’s start by getting this out of the way: for those who think that all Hollywood knows how to do now is reboot old movies, you will not be happy with this series. Ted is not a new idea, being based on a series of movies that came out in 2012 and 2015 respectively. 

The show’s premise is fairly simple: in 1985 John Bennet wished upon a star that his best friend (a stuffed teddy bear named Ted) would be brought to life. Over the course of the next eight years Ted becomes a global phenomenon, only to lose it all just like so many other child stars. 

That brings us to the year 1993, the time in which the show takes place. Over the series’ seven episodes, issues arise such as drug use, underage drinking, troubled marriages, and bullying. The thing is, though, the show doesn’t handle any of these topics in a particularly sensitive way. 

In my opinion, however, the biggest problem with the show isn’t the topics it attempts to cover; it is the length of the episodes. There is a reason sitcoms now have been reduced to 21 minutes: because unless an idea is really, really good, chances are it will not be funny for an entire hour. 

Originally, I thought that it must be an issue with the writing, that Seth Macfarlane was just not putting out his best work on the show, which, while true, would be less noticeable in a show that uses half the runtime. 

The writing of the show presents an entirely different problem, however. Where most sitcoms aim for a laugh every 20 seconds, Ted takes its time to carefully set up its jokes. In other shows, this would be no big deal; in fact, it might actually go appreciated by the audience for making jokes more meaningful. Ted doesn’t get that same reaction, though, because the jokes it takes so long to set up often end up falling flat. 

Outside of the writing or the absurd length, though, the show does do some things very well. The entire cast did an absolutely wonderful job with the characters that they were given, particularly the former relatively unknown star, Giorgio Whigham, who plays Blaire, the cousin we’ve all had at some point. Scott Grimes and Alanna Ubach also put in a great performance as John’s parents Susan and Matty Bennet. 

It really is a shame that this show didn’t have a better team of writers. The actors are all doing the very best they can with what they’ve been given, but it’s just not enough. I fear that this show is going to come crashing down just like the other projects Macfarlane has taken on over the past few years, and that when it does he won’t just be able to write a new TV show for his friends to be in. 

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About the Contributor
Deacon Lipsmeyer
Deacon Lipsmeyer, Staff Reporter
Deacon is currently a senior at School of the Osage High School. Even though this is his first semester with the journalism team, Deacon has always been in love with writing. He remembers as a child that he used to design and write stories for comic books that he created. For the longest time, Deacon felt he wanted to be a journalist, and "after a few years of soul searching, [he] realized the dream was still alive and well" and joined the journalism team as a staff reporter and editor. Deacon has been accepted into the journalism program at the University of Missouri-Columbia and cannot wait to continue delivering the best quality journalism as he develops his skills.
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