hardboiled goes to the movies! Part 1: Ted

Last weekend I saw Ted with some bros back home at the mall. Let’s start with a facepalm.


Seth MacFarlane. What can I say? I kind of expected this from the creator of Family Guy. He does try to brand himself as an equal opportunity offender, but sometimes you wonder if he’s a douchebag himself. I mean, it’s fine for me to have one your characters, even a sympathetic one, to be a misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic asshole. Some of the greatest characters in American film and literature are racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic assholes (Jason Compson, I’m lookin’ at you). These are commentary on human characteristics, not a commentary on reality. But sometimes, you question artistic license and ask “Is he just being a cock?”

Huzzah! Seth MacFarlane, you have pulled a Breakfast at Tiffany’s . You know, when an stereotypical Asian neighbor bursts out of no where to complain in broken English about the noise next door? Yeah, some Chinese guys enters the scene with a butcher knife and a goose. And Flash Gordon mistakes him to be Emperor Ming the Merciless and wrestles him to the ground. Classy, Seth, classy. But does he really need to have a portrait of Mao Zedong in the background?! Seriously? I’ve searched for a portrait of Mao in my house, but I couldn’t find one. Maybe I used it to wipe my ass. Look on the bright side: at least it wasn’t a portrait of Ho Chi Minh. 

I’ve got a good tolerance for this kind of stuff, but in the words of Slate Magazine:

Also typical: the sour mean-spiritedness at the heart of so much of [Seth’s] humor. The Jewish jokes cited above work because they’re really jokes about anti-Semitism. But when an Asian man bursts through the wall at a party brandishing a duck and a meat cleaver and says things like “This is my home long time” and “I try to make duck dinner,” it’s not a joke about racism. It’s just racism.