Ted, created by Seth MacFarlane, takes us ‘back to where it all went wrong'.All seven episodes of the Ted series are available to stream now on JioCinema
Ted, the prequel series to the 2012 hit film of the same name, follows the talking teddy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and his 16-year-old friend John Bennett (Max Burkholder) as they navigate school life, deal with bullies, and find ways and reasons to get high.
Ted, created by Seth MacFarlane, takes us ‘back to where it all went wrong’ as the tagline of the miniseries’ promised us. We are back in the 90s as Ted, a Peacock original, begins to unravel the life of the teenager and his unlikely yet endearing friendship with his sentient teddy bear. After the montage that shows how the teddy bear became a kid’s companion, we jump right into the teenage life of John. Both friends stay at John’s home, along with his parents Susan Bennett (Alanna Ubach) and Matty Bennett (Scott Grimes), and smart cousin Blaire Bennett (Giorgia Whigham).
A stint of ‘home alone’ goes wrong for Ted, who is shunted off to school with John. Episode one, Just Say Yes, has Ted coming up with ingenious ideas to get expelled before John utters the one thing that would get him kicked out of school. This sets off a series of events and brings us the first shocker that marks the cliffhanger ending of episode 1.
The fun banter between the lead characters keeps the goings smooth for the most part as the seven-episode series explores the wants and woes of being a teenager. The year is 1993, so we get a whole lot of 90s nostalgia around video games and VCR tapes, and a hat tip to Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.
Not just the unlikely friendship, but the third installment in the Ted franchise also takes a deep look at the Bennett family too. There are a lot of conversations at the dinner table and on the living room couch, that give us an insight into each of the characters.
But the episodes seem to jump from the theme of school to family bonds and back to school life in a haphazard manner, leaving a lot to be desired. Some of the attempts at jokes do not exactly land, especially the scene, involving Blaire’s professor in Episode 4 - Subways, Bicycles and Automobiles, seems stretched even for a comedy series. Though attempts are made to explore issues of racism and homophobia, these could have been better executed.
The smart and sensible Blaire Bennett gets the far more meatier role in the series, as she deals with her own messy family, while watching out for her kid cousin and his furry companion. Giorgia Whigham brings gravitas to her character, and hers is easily the best performance in the series. Max Burkholder as the teenage John does justice to his role, especially in his scenes with Ted. Seth MacFarlane, who reprised his role in the series as the titular character, brings alive the teddy bear with the right dose of wittiness and a dash of sarcasm. Though Alanna Ubach’s performance adds grace to Susan, the quivering voice makes her feel far more aged than the character is supposed to be.
Fans of 2012 Ted would definitely want to watch the series and revisit this popular franchise. But for the newer generation and those who haven’t watched the film, this series may not be as enticing a prospect to watch this festive weekend.
All seven episodes of the Ted series are available to stream now on JioCinema in India