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Early this morning, Amazon Prime Video released the second half of the first season of The Tick, giving viewers 6 additional fun-filled episodes to enjoy. The Tick is set in “The City,” home to various superheroes and villains that do battle on a daily basis. When Arthur (Griffin Newman, Vinyl) was a young boy, he witnessed his father being crushed by a spaceship that had been brought down by a super-villain named The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). While the government claimed to have proof that The Terror had been killed, Arthur didn’t believe them and has spent his entire life trying to find proof of this. His mother and paramedic sister, Dot (Valorie Curry, House of Lies, The Following), both thought he had gone crazy, and so Arthur spent some time getting psychiatric help.
[Recapping the first half of the season…] One night, while Arthur is investigating some mob activity, he crosses paths with a giant blue superhero named The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz, People of Earth, Spy). At first Arthur thinks he’s seeing things, but the overly-confident but slightly dim-witted superhero encourages Arthur to embrace his destiny and become his sidekick. Arthur reluctantly dons the bulletproof moth costume that he stole from the mob and continues his mission to prove that The Terror is still alive. During this effort, Arthur joins forces with Overkill (Scott Speiser, The Young and the Restless), a viscous masked vigilante who is also looking for The Terror. The Tick and Overkill couldn’t be more different — while The Tick uses his fists to knock out his victims, Overkill murders the bad guys by tearing them to pieces.
The Egyptian-themed supervillain Ramses IV (Michael Cerveris, Fringe, Gotham) is the head of the city’s criminal underworld. Along with his disgruntled, electrically-charged underling Ms. Lint (Yara Martinez, Jane the Virgin), he is trying to get back the stolen moth costume — it is part of an important, secret weapons system. As the first half of the season comes to a close, Ms. Lint finally learns that The Terror is indeed still alive, and so she kills Ramses in order to take his place as The Terror’s number 2. Meanwhile, The Tick, Overkill, and Arthur figure out the purpose of the moth suit/weapon — it has the ability to kill an alien being, and the intended victim is The City’s Superman-like protector Superian (Brendan Hines, Secrets and Lies, Scorpion). However, Ms. Lint manages to capture Arthur and has him stripped of the costume and shackled to a chair with a hood over his head. In the final moments of the mid-season finale, The Terror removes the hood, revealing himself to Arthur, but first he calls out “Alexa, play ominous music” to set the mood and then turns to Arthur/the camera and yells “Cliffhanger!” (Now that’s a way to end a mid-season!)
This is the third time The Tick has been adapted for television — there was an animated series in 1994 and a live-action show in 2001. While I enjoyed both of these prior versions, this new show is easily my favorite one yet. The series feels like a much better version of NBC’s failed superhero workplace comedy Powerless, with even better production value and more action. The series has a comic-book like feel and can be over-the-top and comical at times, but the characters still feel grounded in reality. There is a wonderful mix of humor, action, mystery, and suspense. Each episode flows effortlessly into the next, which is why yesterday I sat down to watch the pilot and two and a half hours later I was already finished with the first half of the season. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the story goes next and seeing what other fun characters get introduced in the second half of the season.
Check out the full season now on Amazon.
I’ll also be watching/recording Thunderbirds Are Go, Celebrity Big Brother, and The Graham Norton Show.