Amazon Studios gave the cult classic The Tick a second chance at a live action TV show, and fans voted for it after airing a pilot I found rather fun. Jimmy, not so much, but I liked it.
Now the first season has, well, mostly dropped, giving the show a total of six episodes so far with more on the way. Let’s take a quick look at them…
Jimmy will be pleased to know that what he phrased a “nightmare suit” is gone for a smoother-looking Tick costume. And considering the Tick changed appearances in seconds for the show’s timeframe, there is a moment when Arthur asks the Tick why he looks different. The Tick doesn’t worry about such things and says as much.
And that, in essence, is the nature of the Tick. He doesn’t think much of anything is worth worrying about. As played by English actor Peter Serafinowicz, the Tick is big, strong, dumb, and doesn’t care. He’s a weird mix of oblivious and optimistic. While Arthur (Griffin Newman) may not be overly enthused with the idea of being a hero or a sidekick at this time, it’s not even a question for the Tick.
And for what it is worth, though the pilot heavily suggested the Tick might be a figment of Arthur’s imagination, that doesn’t last as it becomes very clear that other people, such as Arthur’s sister Dot (Valorie Curry) and the City’s criminal underworld, can see and interact with the Tick.
Dot, as is generally the case, disapproves of the Tick and superheroing in general, though she has something of a dark secret of her own that isn’t her involvement in a roller derby league.
That’s the real difference between this incarnation of The Tick. While the Tick himself is essentially the same character, a fellow with no known origin who doesn’t even worry about the fact he can’t remember anything from before he met Arthur and isn’t even sure if he’s naked or wearing a blue bodysuit of some kind, this is a world where people can die as seen in Arthur’s tragic (and funny) backstory. Maybe the Tick is immune to deeper introspection both for himself and the audience, but Arthur certainly isn’t, and as the straight-man to Arthur, the audience can see how a normal person might react to the Tick. That seems to be a running theme for this series, though it is worth noting Arthur’s family (save Dot) actually adored the Tick if for no other reason than Arthur actually made a friend somewhere.
So, there is a lot of mystery surrounding the Big Blue Man. Even if he is real, he does seem to appear out of nowhere with an uncanny ability to track Arthur down. He’s still prone to weird monologues that don’t quite make sense, and there is a surreal sense of weirdness hanging over everything, with Tick creator Ben Edlund on-hand to make sure it stays distinctly the Tick as he and Arthur try to come to some kind of living arrangement while at least half the duo fights crime while the other half is trying to find proof the supervillain the Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) is still very much alive.
There are supposed to be more episodes, but Amazon hasn’t dropped them yet, but the show is off to a good start with some good laughs for fans of The Tick in general. Eight and a half inspirational books written by dogs out of ten.