SPOILERS for Season 1: Part 1 of The Tick.
The Tick released the first half of its inaugural season and it was a smile-inducing shot in the arm for superhero television. But, with only six episodes to consume, it like an appetizer instead of a full course meal. Now, with the second half of the season hitting Amazon on February 23, we finally have a better look at how the first season of The Tick shakes out.
And to no surprise, it’s still a delight.
The best weapon in The Tick‘s arsenal is how knowingly dopey it is. Yes, there are some bits of meta-humor that are a little too wink-wink, but it never devolves into such self-awareness that it pulls you out of the story and the characters. The show remains light and accessible enough that both casual viewers and hardcore fans will find things to enjoy.
Probably the thing that sets The Tick apart from its peers is its balance of adult content and cartoon elements. This is a show aimed at adults but doesn’t feel the need to be overly adulty. That’s a problem that the Netflix/Marvel shows like The Punisher often falls into. The Tick isn’t afraid to deliver jokes and plotlines for mature audiences, but it also never draws attention to these moments in a shock value way. They feel as natural to the world of the show as the overtly
The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy
As we learned at the end of Season 1 Part 1, The Terror is alive and planning some big supervillainy. Jackie Earle Haley really gets to shine in this second half of the season. His performance makes The Terror as bonkers and enjoyable as Peter Serafinowicz’s Tick. In fact, everyone in the cast nails their characters. Granted, these are fairly light characters so there isn’t a huge amount of psychological depth to them, but they still make the best use of their time.
While the show might not reach the heights of lunacy that previous incarnations of The Tick have achieved, it still offers that ludicrous tone that personifies the character and his world. The overarching story isn’t a fantastic one but it gets the job done and sets up the characters for some entertaining scenarios.
Probably the biggest knock against The Tick is its budgetary restraints. This show is definitely a case where its reach exceeds its grasp, but it’s endearing to see it reaching for such lofty goals. It wants to be on par with other television superhero fare but provide something a little breezier and dorky. It mostly succeeds at that, but the seams are a little too apparent to ignore during certain climactic showdowns. In fact, the show isn’t too focused on big action. That’s okay when it’s working on pure comedy, but fans of superhero action might find the show to be a tad lacking.
Is The Tick Good?
It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. There is such a clear love of the inherent absurdity of superhero stories, and a lot of comic book adaptations try to approach these things with the straightest of faces. The Tick has no such interest in that. Yes, it does treat its characters with respect but never at the cost of a hearty laugh.
The Tick is probably the best live-action version of a Saturday morning cartoon that’s available. That comes with ingrained flaws but they aren’t so detrimental that it stops you from having a good time.
The Tick Season 1: Part 2 debuts Friday, February 23rd on Amazon Prime Video.