Tuesday, April 16, 2019

An Old Nerd Encourages You All To Watch The Damn Tick Already

Season 2 of The Tick is quite simply the definitive version of The Tick that we’ve all dreamed of since we first encountered The Tick.

It starts by being what The Tick has always been - a good-natured, non-snarky, fun satire of superheroes. That’s always been the core concept, and Season 2 embraces that fully, superimposing the sort of day to day problems (as seen through a late-90’s/early 2000’s lens, admittedly) of everyday life in a world with superheroes in it. So family drama, government bureaucracy, celebrity, workplace stuff, that kind of thing. It’s a bit nostalgic in the current era, and that’s part of the charm.

In a lot of ways, The Tick is the anti-Deadpool. Or the other half of whatever superhero got caught in a transporter accident and split into two superheroes, the other being Deadpool. They’re both metatextual commentary on the superhero genre, but unlike Deadpool, The Tick doesn’t know he’s doing it. Deadpool lives in no small part outside his own world - the Tick IS his own world. The world is built around him so he can exist in it. He’s the anchor point, which frees him up from most of your traditional protagonist duties and lets that burden be shifted to the other characters.

With that as a base, the show continues by expanding it’s cast of characters and expanding the characters it’s already introduced to its world in Season 1. With The Tick and Arthur essentially established and developed by the end of the first episode, there’s ample time to learn more about Overkill, Danger Boat, Walter, Superion, and Dot, and be introduced to Flexon, Bronze Star, Sage The Supernumerary, the staff of AEGIS, and of course, Lobstercules.

I’m not going to talk about the plot, or the main villain, because that’s part of the fun. I’m only going to tangentially mention the hints dropped intentionally for longtime Tick fans, because whether or not those hints pay off would be a spoiler. What I will say is that I enjoyed it immensely.

And I haven’t even talked about Ms. Lint / Joan Of Arc yet. It’s a big part of the season, but doesn’t really fit into anything I’ve talked about so far. It’s super smart and super interesting and really unique and plays beautifully off The Tick’s completely un-self-aware breaking of the fourth wall.

It’s just... good. In all the ways a show can be good. It never makes you mad at its choices. It never pulls you out by being dumb. It very carefully manages its’ aesthetic and scope in a way Season 1 didn’t always manage, and almost never attempts a special effect that it can’t pull off without looking distractingly weird or bad.

And it’s good in the sense of good and evil. The show has a distinct, clear secular morality to it that’s also a refreshing balm in Trump’s America.

And there is dancing. And it is glorious.

Watch the damn Tick already.

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