Sunday, September 10, 2017
"TICK" WORTH THE TALK
Based on the 1990s animated series, and the 2001-2002 live-action TV show, this excellent re-boot available on Amazon Prime.
Imagine a sort of opposite Don Quixote, where the windmills really are giants, and Don Quixote tries to enlist a nebbish, Woody Allen-looking office worker in his quest to battle crime as a superhero.
Similar to the 1981-1983 TV show "The Greatest American Hero", the Tick gives office worker Arthur (Newman) a mysterious super-suit which he has a hard time managing and which has seemingly ever-unfolding powers, including flight.
Arthur's sister Dot (Curry) worries about him. The Tick, who isn't all quite there mentally, but is cheerfully benign, mistakenly calls her Spot.
Meanwhile, trying to retrieve the suit (which allows the wearer to look like a superhero who should be called the Moth, or, Moth Boy) are the members of the nefarious Pyramid Gang, ostensibly lead by one Ramses IV (Cerveris), who in turn takes his orders from the Terror (Haley).
The Terror runs the city.
Further meanwhile, a masked "robo-ninja" called Overkill (Speiser) is also trying to get the suit and take down the Terror and the Pyramid Gang. But the Tick disapproves of Overkill's methods, because Overkill stabs people to death and tends to be a bit too murder-y.
And we must not forget Ms. Lint (Martinez), an enforcer for the Terror, whose superpower over electricity also has the unintended side-effect of perpetually attracting dust and lint.
Original Tick creator Ben Edlund contributes to the writing. However, writers and directors of episodes vary.
"Unhand that precious balloon of hope!" Serafinowicz's stentorian delivery, arising from a heady mixture of supreme confidence and blissful ignorance, defines the character and provides the highlights for every episode. (Serafinowicz is also one of the show's producers.) Destiny, according to the Tick's unwavering certainty, handed Arthur the super-suit. The Tick was merely the messenger. Unfortunately, he "can't remember anything beyond a few days ago."
Initially Arthur doubts his sanity and wants nothing to do with the big blue bug of justice. But again, the Tick's certainty wavers not a jot. When Arthur fears that he's hallucinating, the Tick cheerily assures his hapless new chum, "You just went sane in an insane world!"
Featuring weaponized syphilis, the show is also co-produced by the star of the first live-action series, Patrick Warburton, who first found fame as Elaine's mechanic boyfriend on "Seinfeld".
Well worth a watch.
Starring Peter Serafinowicz,
Jackie Earle Haley
Created by Ben Edlund
Runtime 29 minutes
Stewart Kirby writes for
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