TV Review – “The Tick” live action complete series

The yin to evil’s malevolant yang had a shot at live-action
primetime, but the forces of goodness just didn’t have
enough friends left to stand up to the encroachment of the
asinine not-so-goodness that dominates the Thursday
night viewing options. Fear not citizen! A healthy dose of
steaming hot justice is now available on those magic shiny
disks men call “DVDs,” which you can now view on your
very own talking box.


Patrick Warburton is the Tick.
Burke plays
Arthur, Liz Vassey plays Captain Liberty, and Nestor
Carbonell plays
Batmanuel. Guest stars include Christopher Lloyd, Armin
Dave Foley, Ron Perlman, and Kurt Fuller. The primary
influence on this series was Tick creator Ben Edlund.
Complete details
can be found at this
IMDB page

Original Airdate

8 of these nine episodes were aired in the fall of 2001.
The ninth,
starring Armin Shimerman as the Terror, never made it to


From the Tick’s monologue in the opening credits:
am the wild
blue yonder, the front line in a never-ending battle between
Good and
Not-So-Good. Together with my stalwart sidekick Arthur
and the
magnanimous help of some other folks I know, we form the
yin to
villany’s malevolent yang. Destiny has chosen us. Wicked
men, you face
the Tick!

The series revolves around the activities of four
superheroes during
their off hours.

High Point

“He doesn’t fold up so good anymore.”

Low Point

The glasses-on, glasses-off gag was somewhat

The Review

In the third incarnation of The Tick, (after the comic and
series), we see a different take on the character and his
pals. Where
else does a show about superheroes deliberately avoid
the combat
sequences in favour of scenes where their costume is lost
at the
dry-cleaners? Add to that the distinctiveness of heroes
and you’ve got a mighty original product. Had
it not been
for the two previous incarnations, this would have received
more than
5 out of 6.

The effects were generally good, due in part
to the selection
of stories that avoid effect-intensive moments. The pilot
hadn’t reached that point yet, though, and it has some
grating moments
(such as the CGI antennae during the elevator’s decent.) I
give it 4
out of 6.

The stories told are always amusing, and
generally have above
average complexity for a situation comedy. The
placement of The
as the second episode in the DVD set is a bit
awkward, as
dialogue places it six months after the end of the last
episode in the
set. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting from Patrick Warburton and Nestor
Carbonell is
very impressive, with both of them nailing their respective
from the outset. David Burke and Liz Vassey, on the other
hand, took
all of two or three episodes to get things completely right.
people had these characters down pat very, very quickly.
Many of the
guest actors, including Armin Shimerman and Christopher
Lloyd in
particular, did spectacular work as well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was as it should be
for a comedy;
interest and laughter. The Big Leagues was
the only episode
that got a bit heavy-handed; I really think it should have
been placed
earlier in the collection with The Terror as the
episode. The series ends on a down note that doesn’t
need to be
there. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is usually well done. There’s
some excellent
editing, sound design, and lighting here, but there are just
as many
examples of a 4:3 picture stuck in the middle of a 16:9
There are just too many chunks of wasted space at the
edges of the
screen. (I believe cinematographers should stick to soft
until the HDTV standard finally gets pushed
through.) I give
it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a great collection for any fan of
superheroes, monologues (“I believe in you. I always
have! Destiny
dressed you this morning, my friend, and now fear is trying
to pull
off your pants!”), or infantile attention-seekers. I give it 5
out of

In total, the complete live-action series of The

receives 31 out of 42.

3 replies on “TV Review – “The Tick” live action complete series”

  1. Extra episodes
    FYI, there’s at least one episode that wasn’t shown (The Terror). And, naturally, The Tick vs. The Terror is probably the best episode of the lot. If you enjoyed the show at all, at least rent it for that episode. I didn’t see – what were the extras? Or was that a rhetorical question?

    • Re: Extra episodes

      I didn’t see – what were the extras? Or was that a rhetorical question?

      There are three episode commentaries (at least; I used the “play all”
      option on disk two, so they wouldn’t have been marked if there were
      more.) There were also trailers for other Columbia/Tristar stuff.

  2. While it was fun, it still can’t compare
    to the animated series. The comic books were fun, but the story quality tapered off. The animated series was incredibly inventive and original. As best as they tried (including really good casting), I still preferred the animated episodes more.

    I love this: in the IMDB listing, they say:

    If you like this title, we also recommend…

    “Charmed” (1998)

    What are they smoking?

    Any word on the whole series being released? Apparently there are two episodes on VHS, but that’s it.

Comments are closed.