The Tick: The Entire Series
And now for something completely different: The Tick, a live-action TV series that went nowhere when first broadcast back in 2001. It ran for nine episodes, all included on this 2-disc set. It's easy to see why it failed—and why it shouldn't have. It is roll-on-the-floor-laughing funny, but if you can't get into its totally off-the-wall, bizarre humor, you'll wonder what in the world is going on here. What it is is a gloriously failed experiment by co-director Barry Sonnenfeld (!), who is included in the commentary tracks—the only significant feature.
The Tick is to X-Men as Blazing Saddles is to High Noon. Our titular hero (Patrick Warburton), a clueless lunk with a never-ending supply of deadpan comments, is dressed to fight evil in a big blue suit, complete with loopy, expressive antennae. He teams up with a motley crew of fellow superheroes, including Arthur (in a moth outfit but constantly mistaken for a bunny rabbit), Captain Liberty (a luscious Wonder Woman clone), and Batmanuel (a Latin . . . well, you know). Together, they fight crime and clogged plumbing to keep this nutty concept—which began as a comic book and had previously been made into an animated TV series—moving crisply along. The cast couldn't be better—Warburton, in particular, is perfect as the Tick—and the writing is clever and original. A word of warning, however: while this show is not rated, consider it TV-14 (or PG-13, if you prefer). That might well have been its undoing in the broadcast world, where this sort of program is automatically assumed to be kiddie fare. The Tick isn't.
The video quality is good for a TV series—though the first episode (the pilot, apparently) looks sharper and better detailed than the others. The simple Dolby Surround sound is nothing special, but it doesn't have to be. You'll be laughing too hard to notice.—TJN