The Tick has ‘the talk’ with an assassin, in this brand new clip from Amazon’s superhero satire. Following on from a well-received pilot episode that aired last year, Peter Serafinowicz will star for the streaming service as the title character of The Tick, which was created by Ben Edlund as a parody of comic book heroes. Griffin Newman co-stars as Arthur, the highly relatable sidekick character.
Serafinowicz takes over in the lead role from Patrick Warburton, who played The Tick in live action form - for one season on FOX - back in 2001. Edlund has described Amazon’s new Serafinowicz-starring series as “darker and more grounded,” with “a real hero’s myth” alongside the laughs. The pilot episode went down well with reviewers, and a full season is arriving later this month.
This clip provides further evidence of how the comedy, the grit and the heroics will blend together in The Tick. It starts with a serious hero-versus-villain verbal confrontation that the likes of Arrow would be proud of, before enacting a punch-up that wouldn’t look out of place in Daredevil. However, it all comes undone when the comedy kicks in: The Tick’s sensitive antennae serve as an over-the-top parody of the ‘hero’s one weakness’ cliché, which has comical results here.
This mixture of tones is an interesting one. Although superhero TV shows tend to have their fair share of quips, faces generally stay straight during serious fight sequences and face-offs. The laughs are usually reserved for the downtime, but The Tick is clearly committed to interspersing humor at every opportunity. This clip is the ultimate proof of that, since it takes what should be the serious bit and turns it on its head.
However, as well as send-ups like this, The Tick will also have grounded storytelling with real emotional stakes. According to producer Barry Josephson, Newman’s aforementioned sidekick character Arthur is the key to finding that balance. Arthur’s journey, working though “the loss of his dad and more”, will allow viewers to “relate to him because of that pain he is feeling.”
This emotional material will work in tandem with the parody elements, hopefully combining to offer something fresh in the superhero landscape - allowing The Tick to ridicule the familiar tropes of superhero TV shows, while also providing genuine emotional material for fans to cling onto. If the powers that be can blend those tones successfully, this show could well be “really special”. That’s how Serafinowicz describes it, and fans around the globe are currently hoping that he’s right.
The Tick hits Amazon on August 25.