Full disclosure, this is one of the trickiest reviews that I’ve ever tried to write. How does one coherently write about a show where one of the most reasonable elements is a talking dog that is a best-selling author that may be able to melt brains. Or something. The Tick (Amazon) is
The titular hero is a mysterious and absurd amnesiac. His sidekick, Arthur, is a “nice guy” who was severely traumatized by a childhood tragedy that turned him into a bumbling conspiracy theorist. The antagonist, The Terror, is successful because “his plans make no sense”. If these characters sound odd to you, you’ll be delighted to know that they are the only ones that make enough sense for me to even attempt to describe.
Despite the show’s characters being surreal, The Tick excels at world-building. The writers understand a basic, but often overlooked rule to absurdist comedy: if it’s impossible for an audience to relate to your characters, it’s essential that your audience can relate to your characters’ world. It’s what allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in a show/movie and The Tick does it as well as any show I’ve ever seen.
Best of all, the show is genuinely funny. Except for The Good Place, it may be the funniest show currently on television. The writers do idiocy and lunacy with a rare cleverness and all of the actors have clearly bought into their roles. Plus, their comedic timing is impeccable. It seems evident that the people working on this show enjoyed doing so.
The Tick isn’t going to have as large of an audience as I feel it deserves. Some people aren’t fans of absurdist humor. Others may not want to give it the episode or two that it takes to get into gear. And if you don’t like “stupid” humor, this show is definitely not for you. If, however, you’re looking to relax, want to laugh your ass off for half an hour without having to overthink things, and can leave your reality at the door, give The Tick a chance. You won’t be disappointed. 8/10