I practically grew up on the animated television series of THE TICK, but was, unfortunately, not able to watch the Patrick Warburton live-action series on a regular basis. Thankfully, Warbuton is at least producing this series, with THE TICK creator, Ben Edlund, on board as well.
This pilot episode is only 30 minutes, and jeez is it ever a breezy, enjoyable half-hour of viewing. We're introduced to Arthur, whose father was killed by a super-villain twenty years ago. Arthur believes this villain, The Terror, is still operating underground running the city's crime syndicates. While spying on them, Arthur meets a new superhero - The Tick, a giant, blue, nigh-invulnerable, overly dramatic, monologuing crimefighter of the night!
Peter Serafinowicz inhabits the blue, antennae-quivering bodysuit of the titular, and clownish, superhero, hitting all the right notes pitch-perfect. As Arthur, Griffin Newman bring some much-needed normalcy to the equation, along with plenty of sympathy for the neurotic and traumatized The Terror conspiracy theorist. We get a real sense of Arthur's desperation to right the wrongs of his past, even though he very well may be clinging onto the sharp edges of false hope, while his EMT sister worries he's gone off his meds. Since this is only the pilot, we don't get a lot in the way of Arthur and Tick's superhero dynamic, but what we do see is very well done and brought an easy smile to my face. Serafinowicz clearly has plenty of fun chewing up the scenery and being so bombastic, and Newman is a natural as the confused straight-man foil of the duo. These actors seem to inhabit their roles so effortlessly it feels like they've both lived as these characters for much longer than the production duration of this one episode.
Taken as a whole, THE TICK has been perfectly re-situated in the modern-day landscape of superheros. There's a definite influence of Marvel's cinematic work, and the post-Batman Begins era of these types of productions. While it's at times dark, it is also very funny, sometimes bleakly and challengingly so. That it's respectful to its source material should be a given with the talent on board here and the creatives at the helm. Obviously Ben Edlund knows this world and its characters well, so you can trust that you're in safe hands.
This pilot episode ends with the intention of becoming a full-fledged series, and with the cliffhanger ending we get I expect plenty of SPOOON!-screaming fans to demand more episodes. I'm right there with them. I want to see this show get greenlit by Amazon and hope we get plenty more seasons ahead of us. Amazon, I encourage you to embrace your destiny and give THE TICK a series pick-up!