THE TICK live action TV pilot on Amazon right now!

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Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:42 pm
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:03 am
So Amazon Prime is having its most recent "Pilot Season," and for the first time, there are some shows there that I'm interested in, most notably a new live action take on The Tick starring British actor Peter Serafinowicz (whom you may remember as "Pete" from Shawn of the Dead or the voice of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace). I watched the pilot, and I thought it had a lot of potential! It's not the sitcom take that the original live action show was but instead, it's kind of a "dramedy."

There's plenty of humor, and the Tick himself is wacky (as are the other "super" characters and the situations surrounding them), but they exist in a world that's mostly played straight. In fact, it's actually pretty dark at points. Serafinowicz is a fairly different Tick than Patrick Warburton was (both of the actors are producers on the show, interestingly) with a slight hint of menace to his good-natured madness. He's still the Tick, but the pilot manages not only to play up both the humor but, to a lesser extent, the horror of a possibly crazy guy with that much power to great effect. There's some violence, and people definitely die in this. The darker edge feels a bit more like the comics (and creator Ben Edlund wrote the thing himself), but it lacks some of the surrealistic absurdity of either the comics or the cartoon series (or even the original live action series, for that matter). One really unique change is that we get a history of the universe here (including when supers started showing up in this world), which is something I'm not used to with the Tick. Maybe later comics got into that. I don't know. But the show still took a few beats from both the early comics and the cartoon series directly, even as it changed a few elements (like Arthur's origin) pretty considerably.

The costumes are more contemporary than what we've seen previously, and there are pluses and minuses to this. It works for Arthur's suit better than I was expecting but not so much for the Tick. His costume looked mostly like it stepped right of the page of the comics in the original live action show. This time it looks like it stepped right out of a movie costume shop. It's got all this weird, kinder of Gigeresque detail, but it looks kinda cheap, because the color is still solid baby blue. If they were intent on going with a more detailed look for the Tick, they probably should have gone the whole nine yards and give him some other tones. Also the mask doesn't seem to fit quite right. You can tell the spirit gum is only just barely holding it to Serafinowicz's jaw, and the overly round eye holes are somewhat off-putting. I got used to the design by the end of the episode, and it's a minor complaint, but I kind of hope the suit gets refined a bit if/when this goes to series (based on the comparative customer reviews of the pilots this year, I strongly suspect this will be the one to get picked up.

If you've got Amazon Prime, you can check it out as part of the service. It's worth a look, and hopefully the Tick will soon be yelling "SPOOOOON!!!*" across the rooftops of The City again.

*Sadly no, he does not say it in the pilot. Yet another reason to hope the show gets picked up.

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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:01 pm
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:12 am
I had seen a picture of him in the costume and thought it looked pretty odd, but I haven't checked out the show yet. I'll probably give it a look.

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