Photo by: Peacock
Ted Review
In recent years there’s been a wave of popular film franchises coming to the small screen to either move the story along by fleshing out plot lines or characters more, or they can serve as a precursor to already established material. The Peacock event series Ted is the latter. Created by Seth MacFarlane, the 7-episode series premiered on the streaming service on Thursday, January 11.

If the name Seth MacFarlane sounds familiar it’s because he’s the creative mind behind some of the most infamous animated adult comedies of the 21st century like Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show. MacFarlane’s unique brand of comedy has been translated to films as well in his first live-action project Ted (2012), which was originally planned to be an animated TV series along the lines of his previous work. In the film MacFarlane voices Ted, the lewd teddy bear that came to life from a childhood wish by his best friend John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg. Three years later a sequel to the film was released in Ted 2 (2015) and now the TV series goes back to 1993 showcasing Ted and John during his adolescence.

(L-R): Max Burkholder as John and Seth MacFarlane (voice work) as Ted in Ted. Photo by: Peacock

Max Burkholder plays 16-year-old John living in Framingham, Massachusetts with his father Matty (Scott Grimes), mother Susan (Alanna Ubach), and his cousin Blaire (Giorgia Whigham). MacFarlane also reprises the role of Ted. Charly Jordan, Ian McKellen, Marissa Shankar, Penny Johnson Jerald, Charlotte Fountain-Jardim, Ara Hollyday, Liz Richman and Jack Seavor McDonald also are featured in Ted as key characters.

Ted is a twisted coming-of-age series that only Seth MacFarlane could bring. This show deals with John navigating bullies in high school, trying drugs for the first time, viewing his first adult film, and trying to lose his virginity. While each episode features recurring characters, they are standalone episodes that follow the traditional sitcom format with a running time under an hour mixed with MacFarlane’s crude sense of humor.

(L-R): Seth MacFarlane (voice work) as Ted, Max Burkholder as John, Scott Grimes as Matty, Alanna Ubach as Susan, and Giorgia Whigham as Blaire in Ted. Photo by: Peacock

The show took a few episodes to find its stride for me. In the premiere episode, viewers are briefly reminded of how Ted came to be and how his once profound fame quickly halted. The dynamic of John and Ted is laid out as the pair try to play a video game that needs to get blown on first for it to work. Within the first minutes of the show an “F” bomb is dropped, sexual innuendo takes place, and a joke about little people is introduced. The obscene nature of the show doesn’t stop there and is sprinkled throughout the series. If you’re familiar with Seth MacFarlane’s work, then nothing in this show will shock or offend you. By the third episode I finally found myself laughing out loud and getting into the plot of the show.

(L-R): Max Burkholder as John and Seth MacFarlane (voice work) as Ted in Ted. Photo by: Peacock

Working alongside a character like Ted that isn’t physically there proved to be an easy feat for the actors. The dialogue was seamless with every scene that included him with the live action actors. The ensemble cast is what makes Ted work as a prequel. Scott Grimes (American Dad!, The Orville), Alanna Ubach (Euphoria, Guilty Party), and Giorgia Whigham (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, The Punisher) have all worked on a Seth MacFarlane project in the past so they blended effortlessly with this type of comedy. Each added a subtle hilarity to their characters that made me want more screen time of them although it’s a show that centers on the relationship between John and Ted.

Ted has the potential to be a continuous series that could lead up to the events that happen in the 2012 feature film because there’s plenty more to explore and hijinks that can occur between the beloved thunder buddies.

All episodes of Ted are available to stream now on Peacock.


Amber Dover is a multimedia journalist with over a decade writing about pop culture. Cat mom with a deep love of horror, you can follow Amber at @Glambergirlblog on Instagram and X.

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