I watched 'Ted 2' with my teddy bear and realized the world is evil
Artist Molly Soda and her stuffed animal "boyfriend" see the new Seth MacFarlane flick. She talks about bubbles, trolls and why she's been happily oblivious to this kind of entertainment for years.
Up to this point, I’ve lived my life completely unaware of the Ted movies. This isn’t totally weird for me considering that I don’t keep up with new movies and sort of just spend my time re-watching movies that I already love.
I like “bad” movies; movies that will never be considered for an Oscar, movies that star Freddie Prinze Jr. I wish it could be 1999 forever just so I could keep watching new movies with the same actors, music, and plot-lines.
So, when I was asked to review Ted 2, I thought, “Cool! A crappy movie about a talking bear, this sounds pretty sweet.”
Honestly. This movie made me feel like shit.
I have a bear of my own. He’s five feet tall and he sleeps in my bed with me. Bear makes an appearance in many of my videos and selfies. He’s sort of become like this fake boyfriend for me, a safety blanket for my loneliness. So, who better to bring to a movie about a talking bear than my bear BF?
I went into this blind. When I told other people in passing that I was going to go see it, I found out that the creator of Family Guy had directed it (red flag #1), which I've never been fond of, but I was still hopeful. Because, even if it’s shitty, I can still find entertainment!
It’s the middle of the day on Saturday and I get out of my truck with my friend Natalie and am walking with bear through the parking lot. He’s literally just as large as me and pretty heavy for a stuffed animal. A couple walks past us and says, “Let me guess, you’re going to see Ted!” We smile and yell, “Yep!” This couple probably assumes we are huge Ted fans. The show is sold out. I think, “Whoa, people must be really into this Ted thing." We buy tickets for a different screening and wait. An hour and some underwhelming Steak and Shake later we are ready to do this thing!!! Yeah!!! Ted!!!
My spirit was crushed five minutes in.
There was nothing cute or funny about it. The jokes were so offensive that I was shocked and upset that people were laughing; they were transphobic, homophobic, racist, objectified women (the one woman who was not treated as an object was compared to Gollum), made fun of sex workers, glorified bullying… it goes on. There’s a scene where Ted and Mark Wahlberg’s character are in a sperm bank in this donation room full of little jars of sperm and they are fucking around and one thing leads to another and Mark ends up under a shelf full of sperm that he tipped over, covered in sperm. The nurse comes back in and says, “Those are the rejected sickle cell samples.” And Ted goes, “Did you hear that? You're covered in rejected black guy sperm." I legit gasped. I could not believe people thought any of this was funny. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH EVERYONE?
I got up to go to the bathroom and I was furious. I wasn’t even halfway through the movie and I already felt this way.
Everyone I walked past to get to the bathroom just seemed so evil.
I felt betrayed and hurt by my fellow movie-goers.
Bears, trolls and internet bubbles
Bear was just sort of something I purchased for myself out of loneliness, like a really awesome body pillow. I think most people are afraid of being alone and maybe the movie touched on that somewhere but honestly, I don't want to give it that much credit. I don't think anyone left the movie thinking “Wow, maybe we are just afraid of being alone.” The connection was sort of still there, but the plot-line was just so weird and offensive.
I’m not sure what the heck he was going for re: the civil rights thing. I don't think he was trolling. Trolling takes more awareness. Trolls are special because you never know if you're being "trolled" or not. It really wasn’t that thoughtful. Seth MacFarlane is too famous to troll people. I think he's genuinely being an asshole. Ted 2 was just like literally insufferable. I hope this form of dude comedy is dying.
I don't know, because I’ve apparently been shielding myself from it all these years and sometimes, I forget about the bubbles I create for myself.
I just wonder how many more Ted-type movies are out there that I am oblivious to. I actually don’t understand the scope of it or if this was just a fluke. I was angry, the entire movie. I was so upset that everyone was laughing, it just really bummed out. I don’t think I consume as much mainstream entertainment, especially in terms of movies. Nothing coming out now satisfies me.
I’m more interested in things on a smaller scale, on a less Hollywood scale.
The people I care about are not actors. Actors are put on this pedestal. I care about other bloggers, artists, YouTubers, because they are relatable. My online experience is custom made for me. I’ll download all of Daria and listen to someone’s Bandcamp and watch this beauty vlogger talk about lipstick.
I usually feel pretty good about my connections to the world via online, but maybe it is because I have curated this experience for myself, or created a bubble. So when I go out into IRL, I feel like I’m in high school again. I feel like an angsty teen who no one understands. And I feel angry, because I am “othered.” For carrying a bear, sure, but also for just being out in public, in the suburbs of Detroit. And for not laughing. And for not playing along.
To be honest, I would have left the theater at that moment if I hadn’t been asked to go see this stupid movie in the first place. But, I stuck it out and watched the remainder of the movie, which felt like hours.
After the movie was over I felt defeated. I was exhausted and upset and I just couldn’t understand what had just happened to me. I know this seems a little dramatic, but it was really bad. I mean, the fact that the actual content of the movie was fucked was just made worse by the fact that everyone was laughing. I don’t know, it just really sucked, it sucked to realize that no one else was offended, that people were actually enjoying themselves and not questioning any of the shit that was being thrown at them.
I came home and felt awful. I tried to go out and just couldn’t snap out of the funk that Ted 2 had left me in. And I’m sure the most negative thing that will be said about Ted 2 is that it’s “dumb.” But it’s so so so much more than that. I would have been fine with a “dumb” movie.
I feel better now, a day later, but I won’t forget.
Molly Soda is an artist working across a variety of digital platforms such as videos, GIFS, zines, and tweets. Her work invokes insight on contemporary feminism, perversion, culture, and identity. She is currently based out of Detroit, but you can always find her on the internet.