A Triumphant Remake For The Tick
Amazon’s live action remake of the popular 90s cartoon does a great job of emulating the blue parodical superhero, even if it is within 6 short episodes. With a more serious tone and a promise of the second half of this season to come in 2018, the material here is an interesting twist on the hero and one that works well overall. Although the jokes are used more sparingly than before; the shifted focus on sidekick Arthur (Griffin Newman) is an interesting twist on the formula and one that definitely works.
When the original Tick aired back in the 90s, the fusion of comedy and the superhero genre was done in hilarious fashion. With Amazon, this live action remake does a great job of building the superhero world with a touch of camp and cheesiness to keep the fantastical elements going. The story follows uninspiring Arthur who finds himself wrapped up within a sinister plot that becomes more complicated as The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) joins the fray. Suffering from short term memory loss and a lovable thirst for the superhero life, The Tick takes a reluctant Arthur under his wing as they set out to uncover the conspiracy.
Peter Serafinowicz, whilst not bulging with muscles and menacing in stature, does a great job nailing the persona of The Tick himself with a good mixture of jokes and action thrown into the script. The comedic timing is on point throughout, with physical humour, sarcasm, puns and everything in between finding its way into this series. Unlike the cartoon, Amazon’s take is a much more serious play on the hero and as such, the jokes are used less frequently. It doesn’t detract from the show though and actually helps to set this remake apart, showing that this style of equal serious and comedic scenes can intertwined together and keep the core of the show intact.
If there’s one disappointment here, its the number of episodes. With six 30 minute episodes and another six on the horizon to be released next year, the short length makes it quick to blitz through the series. The show creators have said this was done deliberately to generate more buzz among fans, I can’t help but feel a couple of months wait rather than potentially a year would have been a better choice. Unlike Game Of Thrones, there aren’t a lot of intricate plots woven through the show, nor are there a number of possible scenarios to stew over making The Tick slightly frustrating to watch. The six episodes that are here though work well, with a solid arc revolving around an origin story for Arthur, cementing the character relationships and close one chapter while effectively opening another ready for next year.
Its not perfect, and the short length does hurt the series’ integrity but The Tick is a successful remake. It’s funny, action packed and every bit as campy as it was back in the 90s. The characters are good too despite The Tick lacking the physical presence that made him such an awe inspiring sight from before. It isn’t perfect, and some of the plot moves along a little too quickly leaving some of the supporting cast with little characterisation. The first six episodes are a joy to watch though and prove that a reboot like this can be given a different feel whilst still keeping the main core of the show intact.