It is almost impossible to write about this pilot without mentioning the FOX animated and short-lived (but very far ahead of its time) live-action series. When I heard Amazon was bringing "Tick" back, I didn't get my hopes up. Superheroes are everywhere now, in both dramas and comedies on pretty much every network. While this superhero comedy was always destined to do better on the internet, surely "Tick" could not bring anything new to the table? While the story wasn't anything unique to the superhero genre of today, the casting, production value, and snappy script upend expectations. Peter Serafinowicz is a master of accents and had the perfect cadence for Tick. The more bleak, yet comical tone of the pilot really worked for me. I am guessing this was designed for a post-DC CW superhero show world. I am glad they didn't make Tick completely absent-minded as he was in the previous series and the humor felt natural instead of self-conscious and artificial, as it did before. The characters also felt more real than they have in previous incarnations. I could go on, but I don't feel I have to. I already have the feeling that this version will last much longer than it ever would've on FOX or broadcast in general.
One request to Amazon: Please consider making a feature film version eventually after a few seasons b/c...well, why not?
6 episodes in as I was watching The Tick I felt a sense of uneasiness and dread and pretty much felt awful...because there are only 6 episodes available of this amazing show. If there were hundreds of episodes I'd be binge watching them all. It's such a shame we only have 6 so far but of course all shows have to start somewhere.
What a fun ride this is. If something this interesting and generally joyful to watch doesn't continue, I will lose what little faith I have left in humanity. I like super hero shows normally but this is more than that. It's genuinely one of the most entertaining shows that is available to watch right now.
Watching this is pure enjoyment on a different level than most shows. I know I'm going to have a happy engrossed 25 minutes where I tune out from the normal everyday issues in real life while watching this.
Although I like the original Tick suit from the Pilot, I guess there were issues with it and they needed one they could put on and take off faster and easier. It's weird seeing it change, but at least Arthur mentions it as well. The Tick is oblivious as ever.
To The Tick: Here's hoping you stay with us for a long time to come, chum!
Finally, I have a reason to actually want to use my Amazon Prime streaming video. Amazon Prime Video needs more stuff like this if it truly wants to compete with Netflix. I've always loved the Tick. The cartoon was fun. The original live action show was cut short. I want this to succeed.
I practically grew up on the animated television series of THE TICK, but was, unfortunately, not able to watch the Patrick Warburton live-action series on a regular basis. Thankfully, Warbuton is at least producing this series, with THE TICK creator, Ben Edlund, on board as well.
This pilot episode is only 30 minutes, and jeez is it ever a breezy, enjoyable half-hour of viewing. We're introduced to Arthur, whose father was killed by a super-villain twenty years ago. Arthur believes this villain, The Terror, is still operating underground running the city's crime syndicates. While spying on them, Arthur meets a new superhero - The Tick, a giant, blue, nigh-invulnerable, overly dramatic, monologuing crimefighter of the night!
Peter Serafinowicz inhabits the blue, antennae-quivering bodysuit of the titular, and clownish, superhero, hitting all the right notes pitch-perfect. As Arthur, Griffin Newman bring some much-needed normalcy to the equation, along with plenty of sympathy for the neurotic and traumatized The Terror conspiracy theorist. We get a real sense of Arthur's desperation to right the wrongs of his past, even though he very well may be clinging onto the sharp edges of false hope, while his EMT sister worries he's gone off his meds. Since this is only the pilot, we don't get a lot in the way of Arthur and Tick's superhero dynamic, but what we do see is very well done and brought an easy smile to my face. Serafinowicz clearly has plenty of fun chewing up the scenery and being so bombastic, and Newman is a natural as the confused straight-man foil of the duo. These actors seem to inhabit their roles so effortlessly it feels like they've both lived as these characters for much longer than the production duration of this one episode.
Taken as a whole, THE TICK has been perfectly re-situated in the modern-day landscape of superheros. There's a definite influence of Marvel's cinematic work, and the post-Batman Begins era of these types of productions. While it's at times dark, it is also very funny, sometimes bleakly and challengingly so. That it's respectful to its source material should be a given with the talent on board here and the creatives at the helm. Obviously Ben Edlund knows this world and its characters well, so you can trust that you're in safe hands.
This pilot episode ends with the intention of becoming a full-fledged series, and with the cliffhanger ending we get I expect plenty of SPOOON!-screaming fans to demand more episodes. I'm right there with them. I want to see this show get greenlit by Amazon and hope we get plenty more seasons ahead of us. Amazon, I encourage you to embrace your destiny and give THE TICK a series pick-up!
The dimwitted comedy of the Tick (the character, not the show) is spot on. It's clever and much of what I liked about the cartoon.
Like so many made-to-binge shows, the single long arc that just keeps going and going gets old and ultimately is very slow moving. Nobody knows how to write a 30-minute show anymore. The 6 episodes out right now could have been boiled down to an hour and a half of fast paced and much better viewing.
Lastly, I could do without the R-rated language. I know... isn't it freeing to use the F word. Aren't we a rebellious little Amazon original. Fine, you used it. Move on to more imaginative writing. Don't devolve into Deadpool. Firefly is some of the best writing ever, and they were funny and creative and menacing and all that without using foul language. It's the mark of a lack of imagination.
This was an entertaining little series. I like how Arthur is kind of a "real person reacting to all this super hero craziness happening around him." The Tick is a satirical super hero, so don't expect Nolan Batman here. I do question the rating though (TV-MA). Maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention, but what I saw was at most a TV-14. There wasn't any sex, very little serious violence (mainly cartoony with a couple of medical scenes), and very little swearing. This isn't Big Mouth, Nurse Jackie, The Sopranos, South Park, or even Alpha House (a rather "light MA" if you ask me). You see worse in TV-14 Family Guy. Don't be afraid of the "TV-MA" if you ask me, maybe watch episode 1 if you're concerned about content for minors.
The Tick is a Super Slick campy spin on super villains and super heroes. But it's more than just campy. It's profound in a way that's so unexpected, it fits. It's the kind of non preachy sermon that's needed in a world where folks will imagine themselves as helpless victims... bystanders who can do nothing but get out of the way... even when they should take their oppression personally. But better than that, it's well written... well casted... well paced, and... WELL... just a freaking hoot fest. I love it. Please don't cancel it. PLEASE.
First of all, I am a fan of The Tick, both the cartoon, and the live action version. So I would watch it if it was stick figures drawn on the corners of a book and I had to riffle through it and do the voices myself.
Patrick Warburton's hand in this version makes it even more appealing.
This is more than a good effort, its a good show with many of the critical aspects that made The Tick what it was and yet sufficiently original that it doesn't run into the problem of being compared to either of the previous incarnations.
In some ways this is the best version yet.
The not so good:
It seems to be one continuous and often slow moving plot line, with no stand alone shows. I also miss the other heroes like Bat Manuel, or Sewer Urchin, as well as the other arch villains like El Seed (based on a Spanish genuine super-hero who Spain could really use again just about now) or Apocalypse Cow.
The focus is on one villain. The Terror, except without the running gag that he is so old he is no longer a threat to anyone. For fans like myself who have come to see The Tick and its host of characters as sort of comfort viewing, this is more than just satisfying, its really very good. And they have only done 6 episodes so far, so lots of time to hit its stride.
Remember, the Beatles sucked pretty bad when they were still jamming it out in Berlin with an Elvis impersonator and before they met their producer.
Arthur is a bit too Arthurish. But that hopefully will wear off as the season progresses. All in all, its worth it if you are not familiar with The Tick and if you are, you won't be disappointed.
THE TICK has long entertained me (with the glaring exception of the grueling SNES game), so when I heard that Amazon was giving it a shot at a new series, I was excited. That's saying something for me these days, because I've been suffering from superhero fatigue for the last couple of years. Which, really, is precisely why viewers like me almost need The Tick today. He's simultaneously a childlike celebration of the things that are appealing about the genre while also a satisfying satire of the self-indulgent pomposity that sometimes runs amok, as it has for too many big and small screen incarnations of late.
Overall, this pilot nails the spirit of The Tick. Peter Serafinowicz doesn't have the character's traditional giant physique, but he's nailed the earnestness of the big blue one. In particular, his monologues are almost dizzying in their absurdity. I rarely find myself laughing aloud when I watch something by myself, but I did laugh a few times throughout this episode and most of those times were because of Serafinowicz.
Though The Tick is the titular titan of the franchise, it's Arthur as his Shanghaied sidekick who serves as our point of view character. Griffin Newman anchors the story to a recognizable reality, and it's against his performance that everyone else gets to play. In particular, Newman has terrific chemistry with Valorie Curry, who plays his sister Dot. There's a touching tenderness between them that rings true to me as someone who has had the support of loving people as I've dealt with my own mental health issues. The Tick hasn't always been entirely sensitive to mental health issues, and I found its handling of Arthur here surprisingly thoughtful.
The potential for this series is high, if the pilot is a reliable indicator, and I certainly hope that Amazon elects to develop it further. My only caveat is that, while I'm not at all put off by mature language as a rule, I found it inorganic here. Maybe it's a bias I have from having originally been introduced to The Tick by way of the Saturday morning cartoon, but I think it's more something that I'm conscious of as a critically minded viewer. The line deliveries don't feel casual enough, which they shouldn't because the conceit of The Tick is that everything in this universe is surrealistically heightened, including the speech of even ordinary people. I'm not saying they should lose the language, but they should work on making it feel more a part of this specific milieu.
This was an amazing series, and WAY to short. Most likely you've seen one of the other Tick series, and this has many of those same hallmarks, Dialog written from a slightly skewed perspective, interestingly cast characters, and world building just as skewed as the dialog, if not more.
The center of this is Arthur, and his evolution into a "hero", albeit with a slightly ill-fitting "hero suit" that leaves him very vulnerable to mayhem, but still very well protected, and with an instruction manual written in a foreign language, and a VERY non-intuitive UI. His enemies he finds are soon to be his allies, and his obvious allies? Wait, are they that obvious?
Anyway, I loved it, and at 30 minutes an episode, you can easily binge it in one night, which we did (and still had time for an episode of something else), and then regret rushing through it. It was amazingly good.
So - here's MY advice - Don't watch it all at once, you'll regret it! Space it out, linger over it. Savor the Tick and Arthur, it's a great show.