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The Tick Pilot Episode (2001)

by on 2013/05/29

the_tick_2001“Someone has to don the oven mitts of all that is right and strangle the red-hot throat of all that’s wrong.”

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Gosh I love cartoon series The Tick. Really, really love it.

But my love is a lonely sort of love. No else around me seems to understand …or humour even half an episode with me.

It is good, people! Come on! Anyone? …Anyone?

There is so much to recommend The Tick. First of all, the Tick is big, blue and dim. He’s strong, smashy and yells things about justice.

His battle cry is, “Spoon!”

And so much other stuff. So much. Wheeze.

Okay, I’m not making a great case here. Just please watch it.

When I heard about the live-action Tick, I was worried. So worried in fact, I put off watching in for …um, more than a decade. Turns out, I was wrong, stupid even. I should hit myself with a rolled up copy of my Tick Christmas comic book.

However, thanks to the miracle of Netflix, I finally got around to seeing it. Now I get why Barry Sonnenfeld (Blood Simple) says it is the best thing he’s ever directed.

Patrick Warburton (Hoodwinked) is the Tick, and by this I mean, he literally becomes the Tick. He is the “great blue salmon of Justice” …the mighty Tick (who) courses upstream to the very spawning ground of evil.” Yes, he is.

He even jumps between buildings in the *exact* way the cartoon Tick does, smashing bits off of the buildings and destroying TV antennaes. Well-meaning, kindly but destructive. This live-action demonstrates smashy attention to detail.

David Burke is precisely the whiny, conflicted  Arthur, accountant turned superhero sidekick. He dresses like a white moth and is good at math. Liz Vassey is terrific as the careerist, mercenary, pump-throwing Captain Liberty. And Nestor Carbonell, well, he’s frickin’ superlative as the greasy, philandering  Batmanuel.

Batmanuel can save “multiple women in one night.” If you know what I mean. (You do right?)

Lasting only 9 episodes, its cancellation was a crime the Tick couldn’t stomp. The pilot premise? A killer robot from the U.S.S.R. is trying to kill former president Jimmy Carter. “You and what army pinko?” Crazy good.

Other notable moments include Tick exclaiming with child-like abandon after biting into a fortune cookie: “A secret message from …my teeth!” Then there’s the suggested, for budget reasons maybe, appearance of Apocalypse Cow. “She shoots fire from her teats.”




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  1. tedcarson permalink

    Does anyone know the name of the song in episode two: The Terror, when the Terror resuscitates himself with the Hugh Jass syringe in the hospital as he’s dying from cardiac arrest? It’s got early Doors sounding synthesizer and “paaa pa!” in the background…please, Tick!, save me!!!

    • Grushenka Geusebach permalink


      Not sure, but I am going to absolutely try to find out for you. So nice to find another human out there who is interested in the Tick. So lonely… Stayed tuned …(and spoon!).

      • tedcarson permalink

        Very good. I’m going to play man from la mancha with a shaving cream goatee while I wait! ;-)

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