TV Review: Amazon gives The Tick a taste of the modern day Superhero

Attention Planet Earth: The Wild Blue Yonder has arrived; The front line in the seemingly endless list of franchises that fate and television executives have seen fit to revive. Amazon Prime subscribers, you face … The Tick!

For those who never heard of The Tick, it began in the 80s as a comic book, deliriously spoofing all other major superheroes of the era. It was created by cartoonist (and later writer of the only episodes of Supernatural worth watching) Ben Edlund. Edlund would adapt it for TV once as a Saturday morning cartoon in the mid-90s, and again in live action for a quickly-cancelled 2001 Fox series starring Patrick Warburton in a blue rubber suit.

Sadly, that version of The Tick did not last long at all and we were treated to just 9 episodes before Fox pulled the pin. Fortunately, Amazon have put it on our screens once more, Tick-ing streaming platforms off of the long list of mediums the character been adapted for. As soon as we get The Tick: The Movie and LEGO The Tick: The Video Game, it’ll be on par with Marvel for market saturation.

The Tick, played here by Peter Serafanowicz, is the protector of The City. One they never asked for, but its protector nonetheless. He’s appeared in town with no memory of where he came from or who he actually is (or if he’s always naked or always clothed), and with only destiny to guide him. It doesn’t take destiny long to lead him to Arthur (Griffin Newman), an accountant set on exposing The Terror, the villain responsible for the death of his father.

Each episode seems to follow a very similar structure of The Tick coaxing Arthur into answering the call to heroics, and Arthur doing his best to let the call go through to voicemail. Arthur keeps getting himself into deadly situations, only to be bailed out by pure luck or The Tick himself.

It’s hard not to compare this series to the 2001 incarnation, and while they do get a handful of good laughs in, it does feel like Edlund used up a lot of his best comedy 16 years ago. That’s not to say that Amazon’s The Tick isn’t worth the watch — we don’t get a lot of just silly comedies nowadays, and so The Tick is something we should support — but it perhaps the best sign of the franchise’s age.

Streaming services come with the freedom of no restrictions when it comes to content ratings, and so we get more blood and swearing then we’re used to with The Tick, and what we also get is what seems to be a slightly darker tone to this parody of the superhero genre. Not Super dark, but certainly dark for The Tick. This is what sets the 2017 adaptation apart from the 2001 series, which was a lot more cartoonish in nature. They’ve not made the mistake of trying to replicate what The Tick used to be, all the while maintaining the essence of The Tick.


The first part of The Tick Season 1 is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.


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