Season Two of the Amazon Prime superhero comedy returns, providing a sophomore season that is equally hilarious as it is strong, utilizing every bit of talent from each of its cast members.
We Reviewed the first four episodes of ‘The Tick’ on TV Talk Episode 6
The Tick is sort of an accidental promotion turned delightful hero of hope. Originally, not a true comic book hero by any traditional standards, the character evolved over time – though was always meant to be a sort of parody on superheroes. Starting as a newsletter mascot for a small New England comics store in the 1980s, the franchise would grow into its own individual comic run, eventual children’s animated series on Fox kids in the 90s, comedy central syndicated reruns for the latter half of the decade, and eventually, had not just one, but two live-adaptions in the 2000s. The latter of which was picked up by Amazon Prime Video.
The first two episodes of the Amazon series were directed by Wally Pfister. You might not recognize Wally’s name, but for over a decade, Pfister served as the primary director of photography for critically acclaimed director: Christopher Nolan. This includes working on Nolan’s greatest classics such as Memento, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Inception – the latter of which even earned Pfister an academy award, so from the get-go, ‘The Tick’ was immediately off to a great start.
Season one was a little slow in pacing, primarily only concerned with Arthur’s story about coming into his own, and was incredibly formulaic in openly utilizing The Heroes Journey to the letter (just think of Tick’s opening episode monologues). But by journey’s end, the product was a series that was cognizant of the tropes within its genre, and so, managed to place the superhero mythos on its own head – often, in hilarious fashion. In this world, the public doesn’t hesitate to embrace superheroes, nor does it ignore the bureaucracies behind them, nor disavow the overt praise of the superhero celebrity: product placement, magazines, and even the Superian (a parody off superman) brand – are all things about this universe the series plays around with.
We get the wholehearted yet dumbfounded Tick: the embodiment of wholesomeness who is ironically rather empty on the inside, the maniacal villain The Terror: whose grand scheme turns out to be the improvised drum solo of a crazy person without an actual plan, got to know the grittiness of Overkill: a borderline Batman cliche with a penchant for murdering bad guys, and embraced Superian: a supermess who is more concerned about how people see him rather than cares about the people itself. Overall, these are flawed superheroes and characters fighting for purpose within a slightly absurd city.
Season Two is a continuation of what we’ve seen from these characters so far, though truly allows each and every individual to come into its own. There isn’t an overarching Villain like ‘The Terror’ bringing it all together this season – rather, this is about every person’s journey, where they are today, and because of what has happened with the Terror being put on ice (quite literally) – what happens now that the secret force running the city for decades has gone away?
And to be frank… the series executes it brilliantly. All beginning with the reinstitution of A.E.G.I.S. (A blatant ripoff of Marvel’s Shield) and their desire to create a new Flag Five superhero team for the city. This excites Arthur, who is more than happy to be in the running, along with his superhero partner: The Tick. Most of this season sees Tick and Arthur work together to try and stop the nefarious Lobsterculues (A Herculean Lobster whos strength rivals the Tick’s) from bank robbing – though the lobster is apparently more than what appears to be. This season also sees Tick and Arthur pull out all the stops, going through different tests to prove themselves along the way. From heroic acts of saving to showcasing features of lobster parenting(I am not joking), we really get to know our protagonists, plus get to meet a bunch of very interesting superpowered folks along the way. Through their journey takes a very different tone by season’s end, it never takes itself too seriously, yet still finds a way to become akin to a sillier version of Captain America’s Winter Soldier.
Meanwhile, Dot realizes she has special powers of her own – which as the season unfolds, proves to be very powerful. She begins to embrace her calling, by taking up a position as a pseudo-sidekick of Overkill’s, who is also trying to tie up his past as a former A.E.G.I.S. agent. As and secrets and backstories for both him and Dangerboat (who is fantastic this season) are revealed.
Look, there are a million funny reasons to watch this season. Lobsters parenthood, bubbles, mind control, super zeroes, puns on words, poetic alliteration, a suitable goth kid, Greek mythology, and dance parties before the coming of the storm. There’s so much fun and funny about this, yet the craziest part: is that it all makes sense given what we know about this superhero genre and world.
With a final nod to Miss Lint, whose journey this season is nothing shy of amazing (she’s switching sides… we think?) as well as Superian’s story, which is oddly humanizing. Not only does our blatant ‘Superman’ knock-off have a social media crises, but also, what’s his deal with fugitive 11-X? I guess we’ll have to wait for season three.
Honestly, not only this was the best season of the series, this is now officially my favorite take on The Tick, definitely worth a binge this weekend.
You can Watch The Tick Season Two On Amazon Video Right Now