TV Review: The Tick (2016) S1E1 Pilot
In a world where superheroes have been real for decades, an accountant with mental health issues and zero powers comes to realize his city is owned by a global super villain long-thought dead. As he struggles to uncover this conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero, who may or may not be a figment of his own imagination…
Debuting as part of Amazon‘s latest Pilot Season and now streaming its first full season, The Tick has been updated in many ways and some of it works, and some of it doesn’t. I’m a big fan of the comic, original animated series, and first live action iteration, and have been looking forward to this debut.
For those who have might not have seen the previous iterations, the series focused a lot on both The Tick and Arthur with The Tick being the one you’re wondering about his mental state. In this version, it’s Arthur who is the one whose grasp on reality is tenuous after trauma earlier in his life. And that trauma and spin had me wondering if The Tick actually existed, or if he’s a figment of his imagination. That’s an interesting twist, and that coupled with some directorial choices, the episode is much darker than I expected.
Peter Serafinowicz steps into the suit of The Tick and Griffin Newman is Arthur Everest in this version and both are entertaining, though Newman really stands out as Arthur. It may be due to the fact that most of the episode revolves around him, but his acting is really entertaining and he feels like the sad sack he’s supposed to be. Serafinowicz is ok as The Tick, though the dialogue doesn’t feel quite as bizarre as past iterations. There’s not enough of him to really judge his version, but so far, it just is ok.
The outfits of the two are ok though I’m not sure I’m a fan of the textured look of The Tick’s. Arthur’s, which we see at the end looks updated and pretty solid, making more sense than what’s come before.
The episode goes a bit darker as I’ve said, but it doesn’t play with that darkness for humor. There’s a bit there, but it doesn’t quite go far enough to be comical, it’s just a darker version of The Tick.
We don’t get a whole lot in this episode and I’m not quite sure it makes the case to continue, but I’ve missed The Tick, and I want to see more. There’s a lot laid out, but it’s just one episode, so the payoff is thin and few (many of the jokes of previous live action versions had jokes playing out over many episodes). Still, the groundwork is there for what looks like it could be an entertaining new take on the classic character.
You can watch The Tick now on Amazon.
Overall Rating: 6.8