Ep. 1-6 Review
Based off the 1986 comic of the same name, The Tick is a spoof on American superheroes, often poking fun at certain tropes in the genre. The character rose to popularity in the 90’s with his animated series of the same name, which still holds up to this day. Years later, in 2001, FOX aired a live-action series starring Patrick Warburton in the titular role and while the series had its fans, it was short lived, offering only one season. The series eventually developed a cult following, with some fans demanding another go at the character. Eventually, Amazon answered their calls and have given us a new Tick, Peter Serafinowicz, worthy of the character.
Instead of the fantastical, quirky aesthetic the original animated and 2001 series had, Amazon has created a more “grounded aesthetic” that actually pushes the humor and dynamic between Tick and his “sidekick” Arthur (Griffin Newman) to new heights. Though the background and scenery may seem ordinary, the series gives us a nice contrast, offering a cast of colorful, quirky characters that sometimes feel out of place in this seemingly normal world, which makes for some great comedy. The series still has the same parody humor from its predecessors, but with a grounded aesthetic, we get to see a more mature take that in no way hinders the character. In fact, it makes for some funnier interactions.
We start the series with a new take on the character Arthur, the “sidekick.” Traumatic experiences of his past have made Arthur an awkward accountant who can’t seem to handle everyday life, without his sister Dot (Valorie Curry) and his medication. Although he tries to live a simple mannered life, Arthur is on his own personal mission to prove that the supervillain The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) is still alive. While out trying to connect the dots, he meets everyone’s favorite blue bug, The Tick!
The Tick seemingly knows who Arthur is and tells him to follow his destiny to become the superhero he wants to be, but Arthur wants none of that. In fact, Arthur begins to question, whether or not the Tick is actually real. The dynamic between the two is easily the best part of the series. Tick has this childlike wonder with the world and a pure heart to do good, however, he isn’t the smartest person. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure how Peter Serafinowicz would be. He didn’t seem like the ideal actor for the role, but from the first moment you see him, you’re sold on him. Griffin Newman’s portrayal of Arthur gives us more of a deadpan comedy, offering a nice contrast with Ticks over the top humor. Aside from looking the part, Newman gives us an unbalanced Arthur, questioning his ability and self-worth; whether he’s truly meant for something greater.
There are some supporting characters that are stronger than others. Dot is a paramedic and medical student, who’s very protective of Arthur and tries to force him to live a normal life. It’s not that the character is a bad one, but she isn’t particularly interesting. Nothing about the character seems to be very entertaining, as of now. We also have an anti-hero known as Overkill (Scott Speiser), a parody of The Punisher. Overtly violent and constantly brooding, Overkill makes for some great dialogue and interactions with the Tick, who is against his method. Almost like Captain America meeting The Punisher.
Another antagonist outside of The Terror, is Ms. Lint (Yara Martinez), the right-hand woman. She plays a villain who seems to be rather bored of her work. Almost like she has nothing to be evil for, there seems to be a sadness in the character that is quite compelling, but then we get to see her go off. She gives the right amount of over the top that is funny, but not too campy, which something I can’t say for another villain. Ramses IV (Michael Cerveris) is a villain who runs the “Pyramid Gang” and his whole thing is Egyptian symbolism. He causes some trouble here and there, but he never seems to pose a big threat and oddly enough not a good fit in the series so far.
The series, as of now, isn’t without its faults. It’s a slow build. While the interactions between Arthur and Tick are great, everything else fell rather flat in the first three episodes. Nothing outside the two main characters felt particularly interesting. What the first three episodes do is set up the world for what’s to come and once we hit the fourth episode, it’s actually loads of fun.
So far, Amazon’s The Tick is a worthy series for the character, offering enough action and humor for everyone to enjoy!