Reel Geek Review: The Tick

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As a teenager/geek in the 90’s I was a huge fan of the Fox Animated series, The Tick, based on the comic by Ben Edlund.  It was a brightly colored, hilarious parody of the superhero genre, with loads of smart humor, and crazy action.    The Tick returned to TV a few years later, as a live action sitcom, also on Fox, wherein the titular superhero was played by Patrick Warburton, who perfectly embodied the live action version of the character, though the costume never looked right to me, so I never really gave that version of the show a chance, and it was quickly cancelled soon anyway, so, I never really had a chance to watch it, really.

Cut to now, or 2016, as people of the future may be reading these words, and there were rumblings of a new version of the series being made for Amazon Prime, and Peter Serafinowicz (Spaced, Parks and Rec, Guardians of the Galaxy) was going to play the titular Tick based terror of crime.  I was admittedly iffy on this casting, but I’m a fan of the man’s work, and I’d heard that Ben Edlund himself, known moreso these days for being a writer on Supernatural was involved in the project, I awaited for hearing more.

This was all not that long ago, so imagine my surprise when I see on Facebook yesterday that the pilot episode is streaming on Amazon in their “Pilot Season” er…season, where you have a few pilots to choose from, and the higher rated one gets a full season order.  So, I of course dropped everything i was doing in order to check out the show.

 

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Arthur (Griffin Newman) meets The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz)

This episode is basically a further detailed origin of The Tick and Arthur (Griffin Newman-Draft Day) than we’ve gotten in previous versions of the series (maybe even the comic as well, but I’m not too familiar with the comic,as they were hard to find back in the 90s.)  We get this world established, that superheroes have existed here since the 20’s, and that the top superhero, Superian (Brendan Hines-Lie To Me) has been fighting The Terror (Jackie Earl Hayley-Preacher, Watchmen) for just as long, but The Terror is now dead.

Arthur doesn’t believe that this villain is gone for good, as he has a personal investment in this, as he was highly traumatized by the villain as a child, and goes to look for proof at the docks, where The Terror’s thugs have a new stolen weapons suit that has the appearance of a moth.

Not too long after, The Tick makes his grand appearance, and the two meet, and get set up for their future roles of superhero and sidekick.

I really loved this episode, it, as I mentioned was a more fleshed out version of these character’s backstories than other tv shows in previous eras could have given us.  Thank God for this new era of great episodic television we live in now, where things don’t have to be wrapped up in 30 minutes or less.    I knew I would like Peter Serafinowicz, but I wasn’t sure, how, as a British man, he was going to do The Tick, and as it turns out, he nails it by giving The Tick a part Adam West meets the narrator of the Superfriends voice which really works for bringing the character to life.   Griffin Newman nails Arthur as well, really the casting is all just spot on, and I liked the appearance of Jackie Earl Hayley, who’s career seems to be 90% comic book based stuff these days, and he’s killing it every time out.

The writing is also top notch, Ben Edlund I don’t think hasn’t written these characters for years, but he knows this world better than anyone, as he created it, so that would explain it.   Also, extra points for writing the line, “Mano y Monomyth”  that’s just some clever wordplay right there, and I’m a huge fan of wordplay.   In a world of superhero movies and shows like we have now, it’s the perfect time for The Tick to make a comeback once more, and tell the world, SPOOOOOONNN!

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