|Classic Tick Gag!
The Tick: "Pilot" (-50% Stupid)
Oh, FUCK YES. I've been a fan of The Tick forever. Starting with the original comics. I've enjoyed every iteration of it. Sure, the cartoon was kid-friendly. Sure, the first live-action series was low-budget and sitcommy. But they've all been The Tick, because they've all been, ultimately, by Ben Edlund. And Ben Edlund is creating the Amazon series, and it may be the Tickiest Tick of all.
Sure, it explores issues of mental illness. So did the comic. Sure, it's occasionally violent. And yes, there's a new darkness to Arthur. But all the new stuff feels authentically Tick, in the Tick voice. Classic Tick lines are used for the first time in an adaptation. Others are brought back in new contexts. And yes, there are nods to previous versions, including one that will fill you with pure, utter joy in it's perfection.
And goddamn, Serafinowicz is even more perfect than I could have imagined. It's a different take than either Townsend Coleman or Patrick Warburton. There's actually more variation in tone, it's not always SUPER STENTORIAN, even though that's what you might expect from Serafinowicz. But it clicks into a groove that's just more... TIcky than either the cartoon or the previous series. It swaps out just enough of the silliness for insanity. It's a thing of beauty.
The effects are sparingly used, but look really good, especially considering the presumable budget. It makes Powers, no offense to Powers, look like shit. Amazon had better pick this up, because I need this more than I thought I needed this, and I thought I needed this a LOT.
Powers: "Shaking The Tree" (20% Stupid)
Nothing specifically stood out as bad in this episode per se, it just all clocked in at Moderately Competent Drama full of cop tropes like turning in badges and guns and tracking down leads with surprising ease. Then there are superhero tropes like Zora and Young Triphammer training together, ongoing series tropes like Super Shock Is Not What He Seems, the out of nowhere reveal that Senator Bailey is a perv, the less shocking reveal at the end of the episode that he's a dead perv, and the not at all shocking reveal that Wil Wheaton's character is a creep.
It's a bit tough to care, because with one exception, none of it is exceptional. That exception is Susan Heyward as Deena Pilgrim, who goes through a lot of shit in this episode and acts the ever-loving fuck out of all of it. The rest is just things sort of happening and the cast reacting like they're supposed to to those things, which is fine, but uninspiring.