Show: The Tick (2016).
Directed by: Wally Pfister.
Season/Ep: E1 “Pilot.”
Ah yes, The Tick, that glorious blue behemoth of melodramatic verbosity packaged in the meaty vacuum seal of clueless brawnality.
He bounded into our hearts out of his first appearance as a humble newsletter mascot for the New England Comics chain created by Ben Edlund in 1986. He leaped into a comic book series of his own only a couple of years later, and he smashed walls in his own animated series in 1994 picked up by Fox, which lead to merchandise and a video game, then in 2001 a short lived single season live action series. Since then, he was only remembered only in re-run epitaphs. Tick had been ingloriously shelved, the public’s hunger for the absurdist blue fists of justice into limbo.
Then from the flavorless mothballs The Tick emerges again to cause copious property damage as Amazon, looking to take a bite out of the fiscal delights of fictional superjustice, announced that a new live-action The Tick series, directed by Wally Pfister and starring Peter Serafinowicz, would air, and released a Pilot to indice th eaudience to choose continuation for Big Blue. Tick fans, including yours truly, excitedly gathered around there computer screens to see what new version of this creature had emerged.
What came out of the pupa of prolongation was…well…an amalgamation of opinion of whether this show does justice to all that has come before it.
First of all, the warm yeasty praise for the first episode to come out of the oven lies in the rich harvest grain of Arthur’s backstory, whom is being played by the appropriately built Griffin Newman, and Arthur’s added butter of possible mental disorder.
The fuller development as a character, other then the unwitting leaf stuck to the blued buns of spoofery, was very needed for Arthur fans, and was one of the things that the previous incarnations lacked. Admittedly though, seeing an Arthur without his suit at first, give you that uncomfortable scraped-kneee naked feeling on behalf of the character, but the serious yet you-can’t-help-laugh-stock child tragedy intriguingly provided both a motive and challenge for Arthur’s reasons behind becoming a superhero, and added weight behind when he is confronted with putting the suit on for the first time.
The crispy golden crust of Tick provided a Darkwing Duckian wordplay around the soft bread of the episode, so it was difficult to get a proper flavor for the main chewey focus that is Tick, but from what was seen of Serafinowicz so far, he is doing a decent job of filling his predecessors antennae with his excellent narration and monologue filling.
Despite the positive aspects of the episode, the show itself as a whole was an awkward dancing macarana between the full on saddle blazing humour of the previous shows and all they parodied, and the serious superdramas that were being made fun of in the previous incarnations. No matter which side it gyrates it’s still an all-around awkward first dance for the series, lacking the precise amount of the particular humour that was entirity of hte previous incarnations.
The Aue du Netflix/CW scent possibly enticing Amazon to drink the koolaid is the big worry here for many fans and newcomers looking for something more, but only later episodes will tell if The Tick will bare the cloying scent of production hegemony, or will be a breath of fresh air.
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