I know how I feel about the comedy of Seth MacFarlane. Even without watching Family Guy in over a decade, his foulmouthed teddy-bear movie Ted pretty much got me up to speed, and it was only my indifference to that movie that allowed me to like his follow-up perhaps just a tiny bit more than some people (though still not very much). So: MacFarlane and me, we’re pretty much sorted, far as the likelihood of me getting more than a few laughs out of his feature films. What I found myself wondering during Ted 2, which opens today, was how MacFarlane feels about that same work.
Just last year, I would’ve said he must feel great; smugness radiates from the MacFarlane oeuvre (not least when he’s casting himself as an on-screen romantic lead, even when he’s kinda-sorta making himself the butt of a joke). But two things happen during the opening minutes of Ted 2: first, the opening sequence drops us into the wedding of Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) and his beloved Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), which includes a reception, which includes a velvet-voiced wedding singer… who is somehow not played by MacFarlane himself, which must have taken near superhuman strength considering that the man has fashioned a side career for himself as a crooner (and, due credit: despite the recycled Boston accent he provides for Ted, the man has an impressive vocal range as a voiceover artist). Second, the opening leads into an opening-credits musical number, which not only doesn’t feature MacFarlane either (Ted is silent and uncharacteristically merry-looking through the whole thing), but doesn’t feature any jokes at all.