You’ve got a chum in ‘The Tick’

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‘The Tick’ is one of the most satisfying attempts a show has made at poking holes in superhero tropes in recent memory.

We follow the day-to-day issues of Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman), an awkward man with a heart of gold and an obsession with The Terror.

The Terror being the biggest, baddest supervillain ever to show up on Earth. As far as every other hero is concerned, he died during an epic battle following the day when he killed a famous superhero team (by giving them all syphilis so they went blind while flying their ship, crashing it into Arthur’s father).

Oh, and he totally stole Arthur’s ice cream.

Arthur is on the verge of giving up on his obsession with The Terror when a giant blue idiot jumps into his life: The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz). Equal parts passionate for justice, invulnerable to damage and dumb as a bag of hammers, Tick follows Arthur around constantly trying to convince his chum of his innate hero-ness.

The two bounce around a generic New York-esque metropolis, running afoul of several big bads after Tick gives Arthur a mysterious super-suit. One such villain demonstrates the thought-out nature of the show in general.

Miss Lint has the ability to channel electricity through her hands, Emperor Palpatine-style. An unfortunate real-life side-effect of being able to generate static electricity is the fact that any piece of dust or lint in the air is attracted to her. Every time Lint uses her powers or damages the grounding bracelets she uses to keep lint away, the actress is slowly covered in more and more fuzz, hair and general fluff as a long-running visual gag.

With such a light-hearted overall tone to the show, each piece of biting commentary grabs a laugh. Unlike a fast-paced network comedy trying its damnedest to get as many jokes in before a commercial break, ‘The Tick’ isn’t afraid to let a joke simmer for a few minutes while the actual plot of the episode develops.

Later in the first half of the season, Tick single-handedly holds a bus from falling off an overpass while Arthur realizes his hero potential by helping people off the bus, going back inside at the last second because a woman begs him to save her baby.

The payoff of the joke being the “baby” in the car seat was a dog the entire time. A quick jab at people who refer to pets as fur babies, it simply happens, Arthur sighs and never mentions it again.

Oh, and if you do give the show a chance, watch at least two episodes. The Pilot is a good episode, but it was filmed as a true pilot with no idea if the show would be produced or not, and as a result, the Tick has a markedly different (and less cool) outfit. They change to his current outfit in the second episode with a fun meta-joke to accompany it. With the first half of season one now available on Amazon Prime, I cannot wait for the next episode drop in 2018.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
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