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Review: The Tick – Episode 1 “It’s good, it’s warm…Like the inside of bread!”

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The Tick

“I broke a few eggs, but the omelette is huge.”

The Tick is the wonderful comic book creation by Ben Edlund. I have loved the big, blue suited hero in all of his incarnations – the comic book, animated show and the short lived live action show from 2001.

Polish your spoons as The Tick is back. Amazon have released the pilot episode, which you can watch here. It does mean we have to wait and see what we all feel about it before it gets a full season.

After watching the first episode I can see that happening as it was all kinds of crazy fun, but did have a darker side to it. Don’t worry, they’re not going super dark and gritty in a Nolanesque kind of way. The silliness is, for the moment, mainly with The Tick. It is darker in that you see the terrible consequences of living in a world with super heroes and villains. People get hurt in the crossfire and the results of weaponised syphilis unleashed on a super team can prove devastating. Now there is a sentence I never thought I would write.

Okay, Ben Edlund wrote the new show so we know it is going to be faithful to the character. That also means there are already many more Tick quotes we can start using. Wally Pfister (cinematographer on the films of Christopher Nolan amongst many others) directed it, which means we get some lovely looking shots. More than you would expect for a show such as this. It stars Peter Serafinowicz, Griffin Newman, Valorie Curry, and Jackie Earle Haley and they all do amazing work.

Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Phantom Menace) plays The Tick. When I saw an image of him in the new suit I was a bit worried, as it did look a bit off. However, it works fine when you see the show. Plus it is all about his voice and how he carries himself. As Serafinowicz is a fine comedian, actor and impressionist he absolutely nails it. If you know the character you will know he is prone to loud, convoluted monologues about destiny, freedom, evil and more. Serafinowicz delivers them all with suitable aplomb, and at times sounds like a demented Adam West. You feel the crazy passion The Tick has to fight crime wherever it rears it’s ugly head. When he does finally cut loose we see just wait it means to be nigh-invulnerable and he just keeps on talking.

What I am trying to say is that Serafinowicz is brilliant. Every scene he is in is a wonder to watch and demands repeat viewing just so you can listen to the twisted logic and metaphors of The Tick.

However, the main focus of the pilot episode is not on The Tick. Instead we follow Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) and get more of a back story for him than in previous incarnations. He lost his father who was killed while The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) battled some superheroes. I must just take a moment to say that Jackie Earle Haley is only in the show briefly, but he is great to see and makes a memorable impression. Since then Arthur has been a troubled soul who suffered from visions and hearing voices. That means, for this half hour, we are not quite sure whether The Tick is real or just an aspect of Arthur’s tortured psyche. I cannot see them going that way for the full show, but it is a great way to introduce the character for new viewers. Sort of hurdles the whole, what the hell is going on aspect.

We also see how he gets the moth suit, which was a nice touch.

At just half an hour, they packed a lot in. I would have liked to see more of The Tick, but I totally understand why they set it up the way they did. It was a great job of setting up this new universe, it introduced us to Arthur and his sister Dot (Valorie Curry) and gave us some back story on the characters and eased us in to the particular madness of The Tick.

All in all, it is a great start for The Tick and I want to see more. Do me a favour, head on over to Amazon, give it a watch and a decent rating so we get a fell season. Many thanks.

4-out-of-5

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