Whether you care for his humor or not, there's no denying the fact that Seth MacFarlane pretty much owns television at this point. The man behind 'Family Guy,' 'American Dad' and 'The Cleveland Show' has built a comedy empire on the small screen, but there remain other worlds to conquer. Will, 'Ted,' his live action directorial debut about a man and his raunchy teddy bear, be the weapon he needs to strike forth into a new realm? You can answer that yourself by watching the very NSFW red band trailer below.
It's a high concept to say the very least. Mark Wahlberg plays John Bennett, "a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish...and has refused to leave his side ever since." Since this is a Seth MacFarlane production, the resulting comedy veers toward the bizarre, the sexual and the dirty. Very dirty. Consider this your second NSFW warning before you click play on the video below.
Although the titular Ted is built to be the character everyone will be talking about, MacFarlane's gone and surrounded him with a few very capable thespians. Mark Wahlberg is always at his best when he's playing lovable doofuses (see 'Boogie Nights') and can be a killer comedian when in the right hands. The adorable (and frequently underutilized) Mila Kunis looks like she'll be the "straight-man" to the antics of her co-stars, but she's one of the most effortlessly graceful actresses out there right now. Plus, she has plenty of experience playing the love interest in male-centric comedies ('Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' anyone?). The full cast list includes great character actors like Patrick Warburton and comics like Joel McHale. At the very least, MacFarlane knows how to attract the proper talent.
What about Ted himself (voiced by MacFarlane)? As far as wacky fully CGI characters go, he appears to be in the upper tier -- he looks like he has weight and his fur looks insanely realistic. Many movie fans tend to instantly recoil at animated anthropomorphized animals in movies (and with movies like 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' floating around, can you blame 'em?), but there's something oddly subtle about the special effects here. Of course, those special effects are being used to depict a living teddy bear swearing and humping and groping. Whether or not that's a good thing is entirely up to you!
How you react to this image should immediately inform you if you're in MacFarlane's intended audience for 'Ted.'
This one, too.
There's something oddly comforting about realizing that overgrown manchild behavior isn't limited to human beings. Smoke that bong, little bear. Smoke that bong.
That final joke? The one with all of the names? Bravo, Mr. Wahlberg. Bravo.
What do you think? Does 'Ted' look like something you'd see in the theater? Or should MacFarlane stick to television? His future will be decided when 'Ted' opens on July 13.