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.
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.
I didn't care much for the show for the first few episodes, but I kept with it because I love the 90s Tick cartoon. The original cartoon was a work of brilliance - an extremely witty satire, with moments that made you laugh out loud on a consistent basis. The new show feels a lot darker (which is more in line with the original comic), and spends a lot more time building up a world and characters with meaningful histories.
Arthur is more annoying than likeable, and it felt like a chore to keep watching, but I'm glad that I did. The show hits its stride around episode 4 or 5, where witty jokes start to land more accurately and a palpable chemistry between characters develops. I'm eager to see the rest of the season when Amazon releases it.
Something is still lacking though. And that something is Chairface Chippendale, the greatest evil villain of all time. If he shows up in the series, it'll be essentially perfect.
First off, I liked it enough that 4 stars doesn't feel quite enough, but I reserve 5 pretty tightly. If it would help convince Amazon to go ahead with it, I would gladly stretch it to 5. I really hope they will give this a shot at a series.
No, it was not the cartoon or the live action series, and it never could be. I steeled myself, ready to push my nagging comparisons aside, and watched with an open mind. Happily, I don't think they tried to mimic the old (but still PERFECTLY fresh,) live action show. To my surprise, an epiphany: The Tick is another (The) Batman. (Sorry, Batman fans. If you're Tick fans, too, you'll understand that I could not resist making that joke. For anyone who is wondering, "What joke?": his name is NOT "The Batman." He is JUST "Batman," whereas this guy is, The Tick.) But I digress. What I meant before is, the comic, the cartoon, and the L.A. series have made The Tick a classic. His story may be told dozens of times in years to come, and so long as each is its own while staying true to The Tick, that's just skippy. This pilot looked like it will be its own show. Arthur and The Tick were not the fellas I love and miss, but they felt a lot like Arthur and The Tick. Compared to the original L.A., this pilot is kind of dark and violent. However, it is in line with the tradition of comic book heroes (the pilot covers some painful back story), and humor akin to what we are used to is just below the surface, and shows through at times. My guess is that, once the introductions are out of the way the show will lighten up some. (I say "will" because I KNOW that Amazon is not going to leave us hanging. They WILL make this series, as long as we are all agreed that we will cancel our Prime memberships if they don't. Agreed?)
I finally got the chance to watch the episodes of The Tick and am glad I did. I'm loving it! It is laugh out loud funny. The writers on this project know what they are doing, that's for sure, and the actors are brilliant. I can't wait for the next episode! The only thing keeping us from watching it as a family is the level of profanity. The language is rough with a lot of unnecessary F bombs, which is the reason for my 4 star rating. Curb the harsh language and I'll gladly give it 5 stars.
I really enjoyed the Tick cartoon and I didn't expect much from the live action TV show. But after watching the original and the new live-action TV shows it kind of grew on me. Bat Manuel (Hispanic Batman) and Miss Liberty were kinda funny. Hopefully they'll make an appearance in the new series. As for the new series, the writing, costumes, and special effects seem a lot better! At the beginning, I wish there was a little bit more action. But it does pick up in the last two episodes. The character Overkill is pretty cool too. He has a talking computerized boat and he's similar to the Punisher and Deadpool. I also like Miss Lint. She shoots electricity from her hands and she always has lint floating around her lol! She also looks and acts a little like Pam from True Blood. Overall, I think with the better special effects and writing this is a great start to this series.
I really enjoyed the show, but the stupid vitamin water crap was clear product placement. It added nothing to the show, and resulted in awkward gestures and a camera that lingered just a little too long. The Alexa placement I can more understand, but seriously... what a way to tell your fans you don't respect them.
That aside, I thought it was great. The plot for the main character is by far the weakest, in my opinion, and unfortunately it's where most of the screen time lies. Lint is the show stealer for me, and the titular Tick is far to absent. They might as well have called the show "Arthur and His Destiny" AKA Arthur get's knocked out by everyone.
I love the Tick's dialogue, and hope he is showcased more in the second half. Lint has a great character, so hopefully she isn't ruined by becoming a character with depth that ends at merciless killing. Dot reminds me of the human heros in the Avengers - they spend the final battle rescuing a dozen people on a bus while the real heros are destroying entire buildings. Her character is good, but her story just seems to exist for the sake of a plot device; it's awful convenient that she - essentially - works for Pyramid. Can we get a meaningful backstory that makes it not so contrived? I didn't like Overkill at all but I can't really describe why. His purpose is clearly to be an anti-Tick, so to speak - which he does well - but there's just something about him that I don't like.
Overall, watch it. Enjoy it. There are plenty of shows that have a "decent" first season that go on to be fantastic. People who give it one star and call it stupid are clearly missing the whole point of the hero. It's satire, people (and hopefully the producers remember that as the show continues.)
Campy, in a Batman ('66-'68) kind of way. I like it because of that. I am sure that the, creators, writers, producers of "THE TICK" planned the show just that way. I commend them for having the foresight to create a show that is there to entertain. One that takes being campy and silly seriously. The actors are not being silly but serious. They have taken to a role that is just as important to them as a drama on Broadway. My only reservation and the reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is the use of crude language. It is possible to create a success that does not resort to using the cheap, unnecessary, vulgar, and foul exclamations, curses, expressions of anger and/or frustration. Pirates of the Caribbean made three full length, block buster movies without even once resorting to the base, crass street language that permeates nay plagues our communications, entertainment, family lives. It has become so common that our little children learn these cancerous words when they are learning to talk. This show could return us to a time when entertainment rose above our lowest level of communication and rose to an example that one can communicate without using foul words. By removing and replacing the vulgarities with more intelligent ways of expressing our selves it is possible that everyone may find themselves sounding intelligent, educated not like some street thug that has the IQ of a potato. The personality of a Slug, The manners of a Pig. Let us be the best we can be, starting with the way we express ourselves and the way entertainment speaks to us.
I watched the free pilot episode, worried it was going to be another superhero movie/tv show ruined by the trend of "gritty reboot." I'm not completely sold on it, but The Tick is always refreshing to me. I grew up watching the cartoon series and was stoked then disappointed about the Patrick Warburton live-action series and it's premature demise. Seeing the same guy that Guitar Hero battled Vince Vaughn in Couples Retreat made me wary because I didn't know if he was big enough stature guy (surprised he's 6'5"; Warburton is 6'3" but I think probably outweighs him by at least 20lbs) or he had the right kind of humor to play a very slapstick character. Peter Serafinowicz delivers a believably endearingly naive and ignorant Tick in this pilot. Griffin Newman provides a not so relatable Arthur as in he's standoffish and not completely on board with being "accountant by day, moth man by night." I hope the following episodes develop the characters more and gives longtime Tick fans the comedy they expect out of The Tick, but captivate new audiences with the gritty reboot safety net with anything superhero-related.
Taken individually, each episode is wonderful and amazing, and exactly what I'd hope for from any superhero show. This is the kind of content Amazon needs if they want to compete with Netflix.
Taken as a whole, well...
One early thought I had was, "Gosh, this is building up awfully slowly for a 12-episode arc ... or 13 episodes, or however long this is..."
My next thought after that was, "Huh, Netflix's superhero shows are like an hour long, and these are only half an hour, but the pacing is the same. I wonder how many episodes there are, to make up for this fact..."
And then, I had to leave right as episode 6 was ending, and my only thought was how quickly I could get back and watch episode 7, because that must be where the actual plot begins!
And ... I guess there is no episode 7 ... yet?
Do I need to wait for a second season renewal before I can see Arthur stop being a coward and fight Ms. Lint for real? And then also learn the most basic facts about what every character's deal is?
Come to think of it, what is up with shows now, where you can't introduce a problem and then solve it in the same episode anymore?
I don't like the questions this is making me answer, so I'm bringing the star review down to ... four stars.