Graphic by Anabelle Coker. Ted Character Owned by Universal Pictures. | THE ALL STATE

For the first time in nearly a decade, Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Ted’ franchise has returned. Now on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, the buddy comedy film series has spawned a prequel in the form of a sitcom set in the 1990s.

The main characters, Max Burkholder’s John Bennett (originally played by Mark Wahlberg) and MacFarlane’s titular teddy bear, Ted, are dealing with ups and downs of high school while exploring the R-rated world of the films, filled with sex, drugs, and jazz. (Not to be confused with The Blockheads’ similarly-titled song.)

It’s a fun seven episode event series that doesn’t quite know who it wants to rope in. It has plenty of nostalgia and references from the previous ‘Ted’ entries and the 1990s that have more potential than they probably should.

At parts, it frames itself as the newest establishment in the ‘Ted’ franchise with a backstory that is definitely not the ‘Ted 3’ that fans might be looking for. At other times, it focuses on the sitcom aspect, occasionally trying to give flat life lessons with a completely different Bennett family than was shown in the movies.

Then again, MacFarlene is not known for world-building or consistency. He’s known for crude humor and f-bombs that are enjoyable to enough to keep watching, ask yourself what you’re even watching, and enjoy yourself even when there is no real depth to the content. It’s fun, but not much more than that.

‘Ted (2024)’ is no different. It’s fun but it fails to do much else. It is, after all, a talking teddy bear in an R-rated buddy comedy. If you want something with depth, watch a drama. If you want to watch something to fill the time, laugh, and not feel too sucked in to waste your day, ‘Ted (2024)’ might be the show for you.