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Monday, September 11, 2017


I didn’t really know what to make of the new Amazon Prime exclusive series The Tick. I have vague memories of the cartoon that aired on Fox Kids and didn’t even know there was a live action series until this new one was announced. So I dove into the first two episodes to see what was up. Here are my first impressions.

So far, I like the show a lot. But it sure is not at all what I expected. It’s rated TV-14 which feels a bit low. There are blood and guts and people’s heads getting popped open. I thought this was going to be a campy goofball series, which it still is, but I was expecting a bit more 60s Batman and less Chris Nolan Batman. It’s a weird blend of the two that caught me off guard. Every time the show went campy I smiled, and when it straddled the TV-MA rating I smiled even more.

The show actually follows Arthur, The Tick’s sidekick, and focuses on his origin story. Arthur’s a cool kinda hero with a tragic backstory… a hilariously tragic backstory. The show actually teases a Fight Club scenario where Arthur, who has some PTSD induced schizophrenia, begins to believe that The Tick is a figment of his imagination. This is weirdly sophisticated and well done for a show that I am pretty sure could easily involve a boxing carrot at some point.

The Tick himself, who is, in fact, a real person, seems to be setting up a universe where everyone is the straight man in his comedic performance. He keeps showing up at the worst times to do stupid stuff and everyone looks at him like, “WTF?”

So not only does this show feature a successful balance of mood whiplash, it’s actually a pretty good superhero show. There are people in colorful suits flyin’ around and shooting lightning at each other and there are plenty of campy G.I. Joe style villains chewing up the scenery all around them.

I watched the first two episodes expecting them to be a two part story setting up a procedural superhero gag fest, but there seems to be a serialized plot going on. This explains why we spend a lot of time developing our villains and even Arthur’s sister. This isn’t just a goofy show with the occasional decapitation, it’s actually telling a story. And I can’t wait to see where it goes.

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