It seems to me that we are meant to see the Ted of the new-run era not as the reasonably-handsome young man who simply wanted to enjoy himself after plugging away at medical school, residency, internship and so on and so forth but as the fifty-five year old rakehell who embarrassed himself by hitting on a younger woman who’d said he reminded her of her father. This, of course, is because Lynn has the unhappy habit of making the people from 198X behave and be treated like those of 2007. It would have been better if she’d had him behave like the man he used to be because he’d be a more believable foil for Elly. He, you see, had no real patience with women’s libbers and made no secret of it, thought romance-and-or-sex was more important than the bland sort of stability that the Pattersons regard as the one true path to the Good Life and enjoyed his career; since he was supposed to join Elly in paying lip service to the ideals of Friedan, love boredom and yearn for an era where he could get paid for breathing, he was pretty much Elly’s antithesis. It’s also fairly clear that John found him useful because he was proof that there were worse, less appetizing fish in the sea; whenever the issue of his own cloddishness came up, all John had to do was invoke Ted’s name and Elly would admit that he wasn’t as bad as his pal the doctor.