Applied Schtick: Two TV comedy maestros brought their sit-com shtick to something more long form. The results were mixed. Ted from Family Guy’s Seth McFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg, who I increasingly like, and Mila Kunis gets an “A”. It’s a stupid rom-com candy coating wrapped around what is transparently just Family Guy material. Even the voice of Ted, the intelligent and foul-minded teddy bear, is Seth McFarlane’s Peter Griffin voice. I’m mean exactly that voice. He didn't even try to come up with a different one. But it’s top notch Family Guy material, which means it’s funny as all hell. Worth a free viewing, and maybe even a rental.
Clean History is Larry David’s project and it is essentially a long form version of a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. The gimmick here is that Larry managed to get himself dumped by a company that went on to tremendous success effectively losing out on a billion dollar payoff. Now living a much smaller life incognito on the other side of the country his past catches up with him and he decides to take revenge on it. The setting in Nantucket but it might was well be the L.A. of Curb…. Same characters, and in some cases same actors. Larry David plays Larry David. At it’s best Curb… can be very funny, but this is not Curb… at its best. When Curb… is not at it’s best it barely funny at all. Remember: it’s a show about George Castanza, with Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine removed. Its only going to score big about a third of the time at most, and Clear History isn’t one of those times. It’s not bad. I’ll give it a B/B-. But not worth going out of your way to watch.