“The Tick” – Review

“I am the wild blue yonder. The front line in a never-ending battle between good… and not-so good. Together, with my stalwart sidekick Arthur, and the magnanimous help of some other folks I know, we form the yin to villainy’s malevolent yang. Destiny has chosen us. Wicked men! You face… The Tick!”

I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Tick for some time. I unfortunately never got around to seeing it when it originally aired in 2001/02, but thankfully it’s now available on DVD.

I almost bought it quite a few times at Best Buy. Indeed I made a few trips out to my local store in hopes of purchasing it only to find their website’s in-store availability accuracy sorely lacking. Now that I’ve seen it though, I think I owe the site’s glitch a thank you.

Not that The Tick isn’t a lot of fun, it certainly has its share of very funny moments. But in the end something is missing. The problem is I can’t tell you what exactly it is.

Seinfeld’s “Puddy”, Patrick Warburton, pulls off a nicely thick Tick (and the costume is actually quite good), but he can’t seem to find the right balance between the boxer-who’s-been-hit-in-the-head-too-much mentality and his Shatner-tinged superhero speak.

The supporting cast is better with David Burke as a pitch perfect Arthur, Nestor Carbonell as the swarthy Batmanuel, and the absolutely lovely Liz Vassey as Captain Liberty. All put in better than supporting role performances with Vassey’s Liberty being my favorite (although that may be due to her Statue of Liberty inspired costume’s flaunting her huddled masses).

My favorite episode is probably “The Funeral” in which Captain Liberty accidentally kills legendary superhero The Immortal during a tryst. There’s some good slapstick as they try to place the body back in his hotel room to make it look like an accident, and some great eulogizing by the Tick. (The best line of the episode is a military general remarking of the Tick’s tribute “I like the cut of this man’s gibberish.”)

I couldn’t help wanting The Tick to have a stereo’s equivalent of an equalizer. With a little tweaking of the right comedy frequencies the show might have been something extraordinary. Instead it’s just a fairly funny record that skips occasionally.

Although The Tick is definitely worth a rental, save your hard earned cash in case they ever release the animated version I loved in college.

Posted in TV