Monday, March 12, 2018

TV Show Review: The Tick

The spoof superhero returns to the small screen after an animated series and another short-lived live action series. The new series comes at a different time both for superheroes and television as the streaming service Amazon Prime is able to release six short episodes at once and allow viewers to take in the content at their leisure. The show begins with an investigation led by Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman). He is on the trail of the vicious supervillain The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) who killed his father when he was young. Everyone believes The Terror was killed by the iconic hero Superian (Brendan Hines) but they only found his teeth. His sister Dot (Valorie Curry) wants her brother to stay out of trouble but Arthur is convinced he has found something. His trail leads him to a weapons depot run by the criminal Ms. Lint (Yara Martinez). 

The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) enters the depot and takes out the criminals with his super strength his skin that is impervious to bullets. He retrieves a mysterious package from the depot and brings it to Arthur who he met before he went in. Inside the package is a new super suit that fits itself to Arthur when he tries it on. Ramses IV (Michael Cerveris) sends his henchmen with Ms. Lint to retrieve the suit and the Tick fights them off. Arthur escapes but is attacked again when Overkill (Scott Speiser) brutally murders all the criminals and tries to take the suit from Arthur. Overkill leaves when the cops arrive and arrest Arthur. He manages to get out due to claiming he has a secret identity and Dot comes to pick him up. She warns him against hanging around superheroes but Ms. Lint invades his apartment and takes the suit. Overkill attacks Arthur at his work and has to settle for his research on the Terror since the suit is missing.

The Tick fights Overkill but loses. Arthur is pulled from the chaos into his stepfather's birthday party but his brief peace doesn't last long as Tick crashes the party and then Ms. Lint after she realizes Arthur is the only one who can fit in the suit. Arthur fights Ms. Lint and his suit takes him flying. Dot and the Tick have to work together to catch Arthur. Overkill also shows up as does Ramses IV with his crew, the Pyramid gang. An impressive firefight breaks out and Overkill and the Tick take down the bad guys. In the midseason finale, Arthur and the Tick become celebrities as they save a bus full of people in a fight with the Pyramid gang and Arthur ends up captured by the Terror.

With the help of the Tick and Overkill, Dot searches for her brother. Arthur is freed from the cell where the Terror is keeping him by Ms. Lint and he runs into Dr. Karamazov (John Pirkis) who has shrunk down but has Arthur's suit. Just as they are escaping, Overkill, the Tick, and Dot invade the underground lair only to find explosives. The Terror launches his new plan which involves a giant man who has crystals that hurt Superian while he takes back control of a cola company. Arthur and the Tick follow the clues by Midnight and other superhero secrets. A plan comes together and with the help of Dr. Karamazov, Arthur takes down the Very Large Man, VLM. The Tick helps destroy the Terrors ship but Superian comes in to save the day. 

The Tick is an enjoyable enough show with very short episodes making it easy for a few nights of bingeing. Splitting it into smaller segments threw me off as it suddenly ended for a few months and I had mostly forgotten the first half by the time the second came around. There are some good jokes and Jackie Earle Haley is great as the raspy-voiced villain. The Tick is a silly character and the show embraces their absurd premise while also taking on the tropes of superheroes. Amazon has yet to really hit it with original series with their best comedies getting canceled while their dramas have been mostly boring. The Tick is one of their best properties so I'm curious where it will go if it gets a few more seasons. 

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