I’ll admit it. When I heard Amazon wasI wasn’t exactly thrilled. I started watching the first six episodes mostly opposed to the idea, arms crossed, mumbling things like “this isn’t my ‘Tick.'”
You know what? I was wrong. Completely wrong. Please accept my apologies for being such an obstinate fool.
Warning: We won’t spoil the newest six episodes of the show, but there might be a few spoilers for the first half of the season below.
Now that I’ve seen a full season of “Tick” creator Ben Edlund’s and Executive Producer Barry Josephson’s vision for rebooting the franchise, I’m convinced this might be the best iteration yet. We still get to enjoy the goofball antics of Tick and Arthur, complete with hilarious sight gags, puns and awkward moments, but by making Arthur (Griffin Newman) the focus this time around, there’s an added thread that offers better opportunities for characters to evolve and grow.
If the original live-action series offered nonstop laughs in an insane asylum, this “Tick” provides a laugh a minute, but they’re far more satisfying. Don’t worry though, hard-core fans: classics like “SPOON!” still work comfortably within the show’s framework. Peter Serafinowicz’s version of the Tick is the same one we’ve known and loved for over 30 years: a superpowered, super joyful, big blue something or other with a head full of cotton balls.
After six episodes, Arthur finally came to some acceptance of his role as a kind-of-hero in this world where supers and villains are the norm. The back half of the season deals with the return of diabolical evildoer The Terror (perfectly depicted by psychopath-playing expert Jackie Earle Haley) and his plot to kill beloved superhero Superian (Brendan Hines).
In those second six eps, the show sets up some decent stakes, pays off nearly every storyline it opens up, and still manages to leave a couple of juicy morsels for the next round.
The Tick still seeks answers as to who (or what) he is, and Arthur continues to grapple with what it means to be a hero and whether he’s accepting that answer. Edlund and Josephson are clearly dedicated to world-building beyond their two main characters, and the show absolutely benefits from a three-dimensional secondary cast. Even characters like hard-core vigilante Overkill (Scott Speiser) and Arthur’s sister Dot (Valorie Curry) experience good growth throughout the season.
In a world where superheroes rule, watching “The Tick” is a refreshing roast of all the ridiculous tropes and cliches we’re so used to seeing in just about every other genre show out there. Now that Amazon Video is available on Apple TV (and most other streaming platforms and devices), there’s no excuse for you to miss out. Each episode is only 25 minutes long, so binging all 12 shouldn’t take you more than six hours, but you’ll definitely know if you’re on board for “The Tick” or not after the first half dozen.
Amazon already gave the green light to a second season, which should bow sometime in early 2019. The entire season 1 is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“The Tick” reboot also stars Yara Martinez as saucy villain Ms. Lint, Townsend Coleman as superdog Midnight, Devin Ratray as Tinfoil Kevin and Alan Tudyk voices a lovelorn sea vessel called Dangerboat.
Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech.
Technically Literate: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET.