Skip

The Tick
November 9, 2001 8:37 AM   Subscribe

The Tick finally airs! I watched the premiere episode of Fox's live-action version of The Tick last night. This morning at breakfast I found myself saying to the coffee maker, "Java devil, you are now my bitch!" What was your reaction?
posted by MrBaliHai (54 comments total)

 
Just to flesh out my reaction a bit, I was quite surprised and pleased to see Christopher Lloyd in a cameo role and the big blue guy's animated antennae really stole the show. Seemed to stay pretty faithful to the spirit of both the comic book and the cartoon as well. I'm looking forward to the next episode.
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:43 AM on November 9, 2001


I actually yoinked a copy of the pre-release pilot episode off of the gnutella network a few months ago, and was delighted to see how faithful it remained to the animated series. Some of the humor was a bit crass and non-television-y (in the end, Die Fledermaus Batmanuel explained that his arm was broken when he tried to get to third base with American Maid Captain Liberty) , but I assumed most of that would be removed before it was aired. Anyone confirm or deny that? (I don't own a television at the moment.)
posted by Danelope at 9:01 AM on November 9, 2001


I thought it was hilarious. The scene you mention was present.
posted by jdc at 9:04 AM on November 9, 2001


Batmanuel explained that his arm was broken when he tried to get to third base

That was still in the episode last night.

I thought it was pretty good, but live action always has a hard time capturing the visual playfulness of animation.

Some people have said putting it on Thursday night is a mistake, but putting it at 8:30, where NBC always puts their crappiest Thursday show, is brilliant. This beats the crapulous "Inside Schwartz" by a mile.
posted by briank at 9:05 AM on November 9, 2001


It was all there, Danelope.

"I think it's time you knew the truth... that wasn't really a magic hubcap. The magic was inside you all along."
posted by kevspace at 9:06 AM on November 9, 2001


I've been with the Tick for a while (MOAV Cog #1024), and I'm very pleased by the show. It's evident that Ben Edlund has a lot of control over it, and the show's kept the quiet everydayness of the comic while still being big and fun in new ways (the antennae, the music). Me likey.
posted by droob at 9:12 AM on November 9, 2001


"Fight fire with Arthur!"
posted by TacoConsumer at 9:12 AM on November 9, 2001


"Java devil, you are now my bitch!"

I think that line is very un-Tick like. Granted, my exposure to the Tick is limited to the animated series, but I cannot see that line showing up there. The Tick isn't out to make people his bitch. He's out to do things for justice! He's always got that higher purpose in mind, no matter how inept he is. Lines like that just lower his character.

Perhaps that's more in line with the tone of the comic books, but I've never read them, so I wouldn't know. Can anyone else comment?
posted by Potsy at 9:17 AM on November 9, 2001


Yep Potsy I agree, how about:

"Java Devil, cower before the SPOON OF JUSTICE!!!"

Just a thought...
posted by Benway at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2001


I also happen to think the introduction of the Red Scare was seriously one of the coolest visual gags I've seen all year. And I watch a lot of movies.
posted by kevspace at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2001


"Sticky pink devil! Who puts gum on a roof?"
posted by TacoConsumer at 9:23 AM on November 9, 2001


speaking of ben edlund, slashdot is calling for questions to be submitted for an interview.
posted by moz at 9:28 AM on November 9, 2001


I'm a Tick fan - and I keep running into other tick fans WHO HAVEN'T read the comics... check 'em out guys... There's more to the Tick than just the cartoon. The comics are a blast. Most of them have been collected into trade paperback form and most good book stores, newsstands or comic shops should have them. You can also check on amazon or ebay for preowned copies.
posted by wfrgms at 9:29 AM on November 9, 2001


"Gravity is a harsh mistress".

Patrick Warburton is perfect, as I imagined he would be. The antennae were a clever touch, especially since he doesn't have the giant "goggle" eyes from the cartoon/comic.

I'm only disappointed a lot of the best bits from the cartoon won't be in the new show, like spoon, "Speak", or Sewer Urchin.

My perceived conflict of interest between Survivor and the Tick turned out to be a non-issue, since apparently no one is watching Survivor anymore.
posted by O9scar at 9:29 AM on November 9, 2001


"Look: a secret message...from my teeth!" I knew that line was coming (had seen it in commercials) and it was still hilarious. My wife and I liked it. We have no prior history with the Tick comics or cartoon, so we're complete newbies, but we'll check it out again.

Man, our VCR was smokin' last night, what with Friends, Survivor, CSI...I still wish the Yankees and Diamondbacks were playing, though. Series ended too soon for me.
posted by msacheson at 9:32 AM on November 9, 2001


O9scar, it was just the first episode, bro. They need time to flesh things out before they introduce other characters.

I for one hope the little wooden boy makes it to the show.
posted by SweetJesus at 9:39 AM on November 9, 2001


Another thing I found gratifying was that Fox didn't chicken out and replace the terrorism plot with something with less of a potential for controversy. Too bad they couldn't have gotten Jimmy Carter to appear for real.
posted by MrBaliHai at 9:41 AM on November 9, 2001


A jillion years ago, when the first opening sequence of "The Tick" leaked out on the Internet, someone from the show swore up and down that the "you are now my bitch" line was a joke. (Well, I mean obviously it was a joke, but he meant that some prankster at the studio had dubbed in that line, and that it was not part of the original dialog. Given the poor quality of the audio in that clip, you couldn't really tell one way or the other.)

So either (a) they decided that the "joke" was so funny that they stuck it in there for real, or (b) that line was there all along, and the FOX spokesguy is, in fact, Ari Fleischer .

I thought it was pretty good, but it seemed to lose momentum here and there.

Is "Spooooon!" gone because of legal reasons?
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:42 AM on November 9, 2001


I found myself saying to the coffee maker, "Java devil, you are now my bitch!"
Heh. Been sayin' that with every sip. It was better than I had feared. Loved the gum, the "nope!"s and the teeth messages, too. I miss the music from the animated one. I hope it gets better, but I'll keep watchin'...
posted by mimi at 9:42 AM on November 9, 2001


Sewer Urchin would rock my world, if they let the character on the show. Copyright pigs.

I loved that guy.
posted by aramaic at 9:44 AM on November 9, 2001


"I think he going to fall down a lot a die."
posted by TacoConsumer at 9:46 AM on November 9, 2001


"Arthur, fate dressed you this morning and fear is trying to take off your pants. If you let that happen, fear will just laugh at your dangling unmentionables."

I may not have gotten that exact, but it was my favorite line. What a great show! I began my Tick video library yesterday!
posted by Sal Amander at 9:47 AM on November 9, 2001


Ha! Benway, I like your line better.

Shadowkeeper, that's a very interesting story. It makes me wonder.

You know, I hate to nitpick a small detail like this, but just a minor change in tone could turn The Tick into from something immensely enjoyable to something I'd rather not watch. In any case, overall, I like what I see so far. It was just that one line that bugged me.
posted by Potsy at 9:55 AM on November 9, 2001


Outstanding! Anyone else notice the activation device for the Red Scare was a child's toy painted silver? I can't remember what it was called, but it was some sort of bouncing ball.

I loved the fact that they didn't even try to hide that Jimmy Carter was obviously NOT Jimmy Carter! Very cool and very campy in the best sense of the word!
posted by Hugh2d2 at 9:57 AM on November 9, 2001


The guy who played Jimmy Carter looked more like Joe Lieberman.

Tick: "What's your couch turn into?"
Arthur: "A bed."
Tick: "That's not much, but it's a start."
posted by TacoConsumer at 10:05 AM on November 9, 2001


Must...try...to...stop...plummeting...elevator...with...head...

Patrick Warburton is an excellent Tick! I also thought Batmanuel was wonderful -- better than Die Fledermaus in the cartoon, even. (But I do hope they bring on something like the Sewer Urchin...)

Favorite line (paraphrased):
May I have a sweet slice of your combat pie?

Spoon!
posted by mrmanley at 10:09 AM on November 9, 2001


what are the legal reasons that "spooooon!!" and sewer urchin couldn't be used? if edlund owns the rights to the tick then what could the problem be? also, the animated tick was on fox so i don't see any problems there. w/so many legal rights issues i don't doubt that there could be issues but if someone has some insight into it i'd be interested in hearing about it.
posted by suprfli at 10:12 AM on November 9, 2001


"SPOON!" can't be gone from the show. On the official site the tickism of the day is SPOON!!.

...personally, I prefer the war cry "PIPE!!". (pete)
posted by tomplus2 at 10:18 AM on November 9, 2001


Nonsense post:

can't.... do... plaid...
posted by manero at 10:25 AM on November 9, 2001


Anyone else notice the activation device for the Red Scare was a child's toy painted silver?

Nope! (Actually, I did, but it was a good opportunity for another Tick quote. It was a Bumble Ball, which were also used as the parasites being blowtorched out of the aircraft in The Fifth Element.)
posted by Danelope at 10:26 AM on November 9, 2001


Thanks Danelope! The name of that thing was driving me mad. (Short trip.)

"Gravity is a harsh mistress."
posted by Hugh2d2 at 10:34 AM on November 9, 2001


I was very pleasantly surprised. All I'd heard was that the new show was only a shadow of the cartoon. There were indeed a few "adult themed" jokes that would not have made it into the Saturday morning cartoon - but that's not necessarily a bad thing if done well.

Favorite line:
(by The Tick, while shaking a faulty coffee vending machine)

"Armless bandit, release the bitter, black urine that we call coffee!"
posted by conquistador at 10:35 AM on November 9, 2001


Tomplus2: It's 10 o'clock in the morning and all.... is PIPE!
posted by TacoConsumer at 10:35 AM on November 9, 2001


I loved the show, but I still really miss the animated series. Anyone know where I can acquire the entire run on video?
posted by matt8313 at 10:40 AM on November 9, 2001


what's wrong with the spoon saying? i'm quite mad at myself for missing it last night. i guess when i get home, i'll search for a copy on morpheus because it sounds quality.. man, i loved the comic and cartoon:

"wait a minute... you guys are ninjas!"
posted by lotsofno at 11:19 AM on November 9, 2001


I loved when the Tick responded with "Nope" every time Bat Manuel said "if you know what I mean" after each sexual innuendo.

I agree that Sewer Urchin is a great character and should make it to the show (definitely).

"Monkey out of nowhere!"
posted by terrapin at 11:32 AM on November 9, 2001


Tick: "What's your couch turn into?"
Arthur: "A bed."
Tick: "That's not much, but it's a start."


That's from the original comic. I'd look for "Spoon!" to show up in ep. 2.

Will there be a Barry?
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 11:35 AM on November 9, 2001


I think Christopher Lloyd should come back as "The Terror"
posted by cburton at 11:37 AM on November 9, 2001


Huge fan of the comic books and (especially) the cartoon. I thought the show last night sucked. I didn't like the more adult tone. Agreed about the coffee - bitch line. Feh, I'm going to watch El Seed.
posted by perorate at 11:57 AM on November 9, 2001


Strange.... Never heard of, or seen the Tick other than a few on my dog once in a while. I made sure though to catch the show because of the actor from Seinfeld, who I always thought was funny.
The fact is, I couldn't watch longer than about 5 minutes. Without the "comics" reference to it, it was just nothing in terms of script, character, acting, etc.
posted by semmi at 12:00 PM on November 9, 2001


I read an interview with Edlund in which he mentioned that copyright issues prevented him from using certain characters from the cartoon. That's why Die Fledermaus and American Maid are now Batmanuel and Captain Liberty (not a bad thing, mind you). But it said he was prevented from putting Speak in the live action show.
posted by O9scar at 12:09 PM on November 9, 2001


I couldn't watch longer than about 5 minutes. Without the "comics" reference to it, it was just nothing in terms of script, character, acting, etc.

you judged all that based on 5 minutes? first eps have to establish the setting, the characters and their relationships, but they can't do it in 5 minutes.
posted by tolkhan at 12:14 PM on November 9, 2001


I've been a Tick fan for a while (not a rabid fan, but I have most of the comics and I watched the cartoon), and I watched it with my wife ("Who's the Tick? Why is he wearing that stupid blue suit?"). We both laughed so hard we cried. I thought it was freakin' brilliant. I've been citing lines from it all day. My co-workers are REALLY starting to dislike me. Good thing it's Friday!
posted by sjarvis at 12:43 PM on November 9, 2001


I loved the show last night. I personally hope Sewer Urchin, Chairface, and Butter Pat all make an appearance or two as the show progresses, but I'm afraid that for copyright reasons they would be named Sewer Snail, Chairhead, and Margie Rinn. I hope not. I think American Maid was a better name than Captain Liberty, thought I have to say Batmanuel beats out Die Fledermaus.
posted by pheideaux at 12:52 PM on November 9, 2001


Another thing I found gratifying was that Fox didn't chicken out and replace the terrorism plot with something with less of a potential for controversy.

If it wasn't the first episode I'm sure they would have pulled it. Look at their reaction to the New York episode of the Simpsons. That one didn't even mention terrorism, just NY and at that time one of its biggest landmarks.


Too bad they couldn't have gotten Jimmy Carter to appear for real.

Yeah tell me about it. How hard is it to find someone that looks like Jimmy? The "hiding of the face" technique of casting just looks lazy.

I thought the gags per minute ratio was incredibly low for a wacky comedy especially compared to the cartoon. They wasted a lot of time on the Arthur character who isn't supposed to be funny. Hopefully, all the introductions are done with and we can get on to some action.

SPOOOONN!!!!!
posted by skallas at 1:08 PM on November 9, 2001


How hard is it to find someone that looks like Jimmy? The "hiding of the face" technique of casting just looks lazy.

When you look at the care that went into the costumes (those antennae!), it clear that the guys behind this show are anything but lazy. That's why I assumed that the "Carter hiding his face" stuff was a gag. I mean, they were so blatant about it, having him face the back corner of the elevator throughout that entire scene. I think they were going for absurdist laughs, like "we spent four million dollars on this fantastic Tick suit and didn't even bother to hire an actor that looked like Jimmy Carter!" I laughed, anyhow.

I was kinda lukewarm on the show by the end, but the more I think about it the funnier it seems. I agree that Arthur's introduction was overdone, though.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 1:22 PM on November 9, 2001


I've also been a fan since the comics/cartoon (which was also on Fox, incidentally), and I also loved this new live-action show. A brilliant touch to the new series that it's also greatly inspired by the high-camp Batman series from the '60s—liberal amounts of kooky villians and silly fun. It helps that a lot of the action takes place off screen; it allows for more subtle and absurd humor to break through in the writing, and I'm sure it's easier on the show's budget.

Just as long as they keep the Swiss Army Soldiers (who carrry all their weapons and gear in big Swiss Army knifes), I'm sold.

EAT MY JUSTICE!
posted by Down10 at 2:04 PM on November 9, 2001


"you judged all that based on 5 minutes? first eps have to establish the setting, the characters and their relationships, but they can't do it in 5 minutes."

Tolkhen: no offense, it's just a matter of taste. I like first eps to make me curious of what may come next, not to establish things.
posted by semmi at 3:28 PM on November 9, 2001


I rushed from the TV to post my adulation on MetaFilter, but stopped myself, feeling that I would be pelted with apples for a post that was not worthy. I then spent an hour trying to put a spin on it to spark a legit string... then I fell asleep.

"Great Molly Hatchet!"

Best. episode. ever. (until next week... sweet, sweet, next week...)
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 4:35 PM on November 9, 2001


I was not really very impressed with this, to be honest. Maybe it'll get better.
posted by kindall at 4:56 PM on November 9, 2001


I like first eps to make me curious of what may come next, not to establish things.

Yeah. Huhhuh, establishing things sucks ass.
posted by kevspace at 7:34 PM on November 9, 2001


When you look at the care that went into the costumes (those antennae!), it clear that the guys behind this show are anything but lazy. That's why I assumed that the "Carter hiding his face" stuff was a gag.

Dunno, if it was a gag it wasn't terribly funny. There's a big difference between the costume designers and who does the casting for the show. Maybe the director didn't think Jimmy looked enough like Jimmy and just shot him that way. Who knows. Still looks bad and I don't see any other subtle production-based comedy in The Tick.
posted by skallas at 7:39 PM on November 9, 2001


Man, what in the hell is with you people ... okay, I know it's just taste, everyone's got it, everyone's got it different, no arguments are possible. But my wife and I are both devoted Tick fans (she's the original -- got everything) and we watched that miserable episode in utter disbelief. It had more dead spots than a cemetery; it seemed to comprise about 1/8 of the amount of plot a similar-length episode of the cartoon would; and the tone, that perfect tone of the cartoon, was never there. "You are now my bitch"?! The cartoon's humor was always grad-school dropout at its most sublime; that's 8th-grade.

I smiled a couple of moments and winced the entire rest of the time. I very nearly rushed to the computer to solicit the solace of my fellow MeFi'ers (I knew there would be Tick fans here). And instead y'all have become alien pods! Back, I say! All of you!
posted by argybarg at 11:37 AM on November 10, 2001


*sigh*


"What's that smell?"
"It's me - I was swimming in raw sewage, I love it!"

"Sorry we would have come earlier but your husband wasn't dead then."

"Who are you and how did you get in here?"
"I'm a locksmith, and ...I'm a locksmith!"

"I havent had this much sex since I was a boyscout leader!"

"Nice beaver."
"Thanks. I just had it stuffed."

"I want a world where my child can go into a convenience store without an interpreter!"

"I'm sure we can handle this as the adults we are, isn't that right? Mr. Poopy Pants!"



*sigh*
posted by ZachsMind at 5:07 AM on November 11, 2001


« Older   |   Too little, too late? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post