The Tick (tv) (season 1)

  • The Tick and his related universe of absurdity is something that I’ve enjoyed for over 20 years in different forms. My first exposure was via a Saturday-morning animated series on Fox (which was based on a late-80’s comic of the same name). After that came a truly horrible video game based on that cartoon BUT there was a fun live-action version back on Fox in the early 2000’s and here we are today with a new live-action update on Amazon Prime.
  • The Prime version is supposed to be a send-up of all those gritty comic book movies that are really popular today, however that tone doesn’t fit the universe they’ve previously created. The original pilot feels so off-tone and out-of-touch with said universe (even though it was written by creator Ben Edlund) that it comes off as just bleak and drab. When we finally meet the Tick (and his weak costume design [more on that later]), it feels like somebody has suddenly substituted a baseball with a football DURING the middle of the baseball game. It’s ok to break your own rules but don’t break them SO MUCH that you’ve lost your original voice.
  • “But, Jose” you ask: “I thought you liked when silly things are played seriously?” YES, I LOVE THAT. However, it just doesn’t work here until around episode 5 of 6. That’s when the show seems to balance itself out, embraces it’s silliness, and gets the main story moving. The characters start to get comfortable in their roles and it all begins to flow.
  • There was one highlight within the pilot: sidekick Arthur’s PTSD. It did bring a realistic touch but then his dealing with that kind of disappears in the remaining episodes. Is that character growth, or just forgetfulness?
  • The cinematography in this series is awkward. The camera is constantly looking up at people. And with Tick, it’s always trying to incorporate his antennae into the shot but it’s not needed. We get it, he’s got antennae. Don’t forget your film school lessons.
  • In the pilot, the Tick’s suit was a mocking of modern super hero film trends of trying to make everything realistic, but it was just ugly (which was maybe intended?). However, the suit for the rest of the series is actually worse, maybe for budgetary reasons. However HOWEVER…it ends up working better in some bizarre way. Arthur’s moth suit is actually pretty cool.
  • There are some pretty good laughs in it, and this was my favorite.
  • The series starts out slow, but shows promise at the end.
  • Final Letter Grade: B-/C+
  • Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on Twitter and Instagram.

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