Attention good citizens, the most interesting half hour of entertainment may be passing you by. For deep In the murky mires of broadcast television, "The Tick" triumphantly returns to the small screen in an all new live-action series shown on Thursday nights on your local FOX channel.
And just who is this big blue bug of Justice? Where did he come from? "The Tick" is a silly superhero parody created by Ben Edlund. And what started as filler for the back of a newsletter from my local comics shop in Quincy Mass, became a comic book phenomenon that was turned into a Saturday morning cartoon which got canceled after a few short seasons. But as "The Tick" says, "death is just nature's way of saying try again" and this proves true for "The Tick" who returns to a new life in his second televised show.
"The Tick" is anchored by former Seinfeld celebrity Patrick Warburton whose wacky persona is wrapped up in the muscle bound blue plastic costume. "The Tick", lampoons the melodrama of normal superheroes as he narrates nigh-invulnerable nonsense to himself while he patrols the rooftops of the City he's sworn to protect. There he is joined by fellow crime fighters and wanna-be heroes. David Burke's noble whining fills the wings of Arthur The Tick's neurotic sidekick. And Nestor Carbonell's is a scene stealer as the smooth talking super lover Bat Manuel.
But unlike traditional superhero fare these bumbling crusaders have to live in the real world, and worry about things like paying parking tickets and cashing out 401k plans after the Boss fires one for showing up to work in his spandex bunny suit. It's this element about The Tick's universe that connects and makes the show.
Fans of movies like "Mystery Men" will be delighted, and the overall campy look and feel of "The Tick" will remind viewers of the groovy "Batman" series with Adam West and will likely inspire a new cult of geeky Tick fans.
"The Tick's" absurd costume designs matches the comedy, but be forewarned, "The Tick's" unique flavor of humor is not for everyone and it's definitely not for kids. Whereas "The Tick" cartoon skirted around the biting edge of the original comic books, this live action show digs in deep and comes up with storytelling paced for an older and off center crowd.
For instance, in the second episode, "The Tick" confronts his own mortality when its discovered the City's most popular superhero, the Immortal, has died while having a quickie with one of their co-heroines Captain Liberty. It makes for great goofy innuendo, but it's definitely an acquired taste.
So as long as Fox keeps airing it, I will be vigilant in taping each of the nine episodes completed so far. For "The Tick" is a series that seems destined to be taken off the air. Scheduled in the suicide seat of primetime broadcasting "The Tick" must compete for middle American mind share and ratings against the "must see" Thursday night lineup on one network and the latest scab-picking safari that passes as reality TV on another.
Despite such great odds, this live-action pass of "The Tick" will be revered by those who tune it and "get it". The pace and writing found in those treasured black and white comics worked magic for "The Tick" before, and with creator Ben Edlund scripting and producing the new Fox series there's hope for true blue fans everywhere. SPOON!
For Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2002 - Purple - Air Date: 11/21/01
USA - 2001