Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review Tuesday: THE TICK (2016)

Amazon is calling this PILOT season. They introduced some new shows including a reboot of THE TICK.

When Arthur, a mild mannered accountant, believes that The City is secretly controlled by The Terror, an ancient super-villain responsible for the death of his father, destiny teams him up with some strange, blue, new superhero in town by the name of  THE TICK to foil the evil threat. 
As a long-time fan of The Tick, I didn't know what to expect from this. Early reports stated that Patrick Warburton would be involved, but his version of The Tick was goofy, had no crime-fighting, and had little to do with the cartoon or the comic-book source material. Would this be another silly cartoonish effort? I didn't know what to expect. Recently I saw a trailer for Amazon's Pilot Season that featured the new comedies, THE TICK being one of them. My interest was piqued! 

No one likes reboots, especially in the realm of comic-book shows and movies. I think The Tick should be an exception. The cartoon ran three seasons from 1994 through 1996 and the ill-fated live action television show ran nine episodes from 2001-2002. Both shows were the victims of poor planning. The original animated series ran as a Saturday morning children's show. While it got good ratings for males 18-35 in that time slot, it didn't do very well with the target audience of children. Back then it was already felt that the subject matter would be better suited for evening programming, maybe part of a block of animated shows on FOX. That concept was too far ahead of its time, as FOX didn't institute that concept for years to come. So that early incarnation of The Tick went away. 

Five years later The Tick came back as a live-action show. I can't even remember what network carried it. Patrick Warburton took the lead role as an impressive looking THE TICK. He was big and had the mannerisms down pat. David Burke brought the animated Arthur to the small screen perfectly. The was when all sorts of issues popped up. Due to licensing issues, they were not able to bring back any of the cast of supporting heroes to the show. Add that to the fact that they pretty much did NOTHING in every episode and the show lost interest and was cancelled after nine episodes. 

After fading from memory the rumor-mill brought back hope. Word had it that a new series based on THE TICK was back in the works with Patrick Warburton being involved in the project. Okay, this could work. With better writing this could be a great thing. Warburton looked very much like The TIck, actually have him crack some skulls to go along with the banter and it should be a homerun! But it was even better. Amazon picked up the series and the pilot episode is available NOW. 

Set in modern day "The City" Arthur is an accountant obsessed with a super villain known as The Terror who was responsible for the death of his father when he was a small child. After a lifetime of research and obsession be believes he has stumbled across a massive conspiracy that The Terror is behind. The only problem is that it is believed that The Terror was killed years earlier by the superhero SUPERIAN. 

While on recon Arthur comes across a strange man in a blue costume calling himself The Tick. Apparently The Tick is some new superhero in The City and destiny has placed these two in the same place at the same time. 

The show has a darker and grittier feel to it which is much less like the previous televised incarnations of The Tick and much more like the source material. The Tick might have goofy dialog at times, he was still a rough and tough bruiser willing to punch evil square in the middle of the face. While this pilot episode was only thirty minutes it showed me more than enough to make me very excited for this series. It looks like they have finally captured the essence of the comics and put it on film. Peter Serafinowics and Griffin Newman as The Tick and Arthur are cast well and do justice to their characters. The production and special effects are all very well done and polished. The rest of the cast do their jobs well. Since Ben Edlund, who created The Tick (and far as I know New England Comics as well) did all the writing for this, we won't be let down especially since it's for Amazon instead of the empty-headed networks. I am hopeful that The Tick gets beyond the pilot phase and gets a full season, at least.

The Tick on AMAZON