The first six episodes of Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures The Tick are a marvel of cinematic storytelling. So join me as I break down and analyze the first half of Season 1 in this episode of Secret Screening!
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THE TICK Trailer SEASON 1 (2017) Amazon Superhero Series
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The Tick Season 1 Review
The Tick (2016) – Season 1 Review (Part 1 of the Amazon Original Series)
At its heart, The Tick is a genre parody that, in its earliest days, dabbled in direct satire of comics of the late eighties and early nineties, but eventually grew and developed its own mythos that relied far less on direct reference and more on absurdity and genre subversion. And that’s really where much of The Tick’s enduring popularity stems from. Despite being designed as a simple tool to poke fun at the all too serious tropes of the time, The Tick is highly original, and is packed with lovable characters and memorable moments because the stories told and the dangers inherent to them are real to the characters within them.
A throughline in all of these versions of The Tick has been the Tick’s propensity to bombastically self narrate balanced with his self righteous desire to not just do good, but fulfill his purpose. His superheroic destiny.
No better representation cuts to the heart of this better than a page straight from the final issue of Edlund’s original run on The Tick comic. After defeating Barry Hubris, another superhero who called himself The Tick, the real Tick and Arthur are awarded all of Barry’s superhero stuff. His his themed vehicles, weapons, technology, and massive Bat Cave-like headquarters.
As the duo move into their new digs, they have a conversation in the car ride over. Arthur is genuinely amazed by the situation. He can’t believe the lucky adventure packed life Tick seems to lead, and the Tick takes a moment to expound on his personal philosophy.
The Tick sees the world as a karma tornado. A myriad of intertwining personal destinies that people are powerless to fulfill. In the moment, steeped in privilege from a recent victory, he hubristically sees himself as having Cary Grant karma because things always turn out his way in the end.
For the Tick, the famous roles of Cary Grant are actually a rather apt analogy. While each role Grant plays has its own unique aspects, he carries a very Tick-like swagger – and similarly his characters seem to have a supernatural knack for having things turn out in their favor in the end. Film critic Bosley Crowther of The New York Times famously said in her review of the Alfred Hitchcock film, Suspicion, that Grant was “provokingly irresponsible, boyishly gay and also oddly mysterious, as the role properly demands”. I personally can’t think of a better way to define the Tick in a single sentence.
The page continues with Arthur asking what kind of karma he has, and the Tick sizing him up with Charlie Brown karma. A character defined by his constant suffering and bad luck. And as a result, he is usually depicted as nervous, wishy-washy, and lacking self-confidence. Charlie is a contradiction. Both pessimistic and optimistic at the same time. On some days, he is reluctant to go out because he’s convinced a tree is going to eat his kite, but on others, he hopes for the best despite his bad luck always getting in the way. Again, this is perfect distillation of Arthur’s character.