Amazon may finally be giving customers the incentive they need to pay that $99 per year for Amazon Prime if the rumors of them bringing back FOX’s 2001 cult hit The Tick are true. Ok, maybe that alone wouldn’t do it, but Tick fans and anyone who is a fan of comedies or Seinfeld-inspired friends sitcoms should be thrilled by the news.
In case you missed the series that came and went in a 9-episode run in 2001, The Tick was a TV series based on a comic book that iself is a spoof of other comics book. It follows the exploits of the big blue justice himself, The Tick, along was his sidekick Arthur and superhero friends Batmanuel and Captain Liberty.
For most people in their 20’s and early 30’s The Tick is most likely associated with Saturday mornings watching the 1994 cartoon of the same name. While that fared a little better than its live action counter part and even spawned a Super Nintendo game, it was cancelled after three seasons.
As previously stated, The Tick was less about big explosions and super hero action and focused more on the characters themselves and their own human faults and the comedy that could be pulled from those shortcomings. Executive Producer Larry Charles leaned on his previous experience as a Seinfeld writer to bring that same feel to the super hero spoof show.
When there was an antagonist for the group to take down, it was a “monster of the week” type show featuring a different villain plaguing the city that can’t stop the Tick from protecting it every episode. Celebrities such as Ron Perlman as “The Fiery Blaze” and Sam McMurray also made appearances as both friends of The Tick and random villains.
There was reportedly a messy divorce between star Patrick Warbuton and FOX following the shows cancellation in early 2002. Saying the network “didn’t have a clue” during an interview with About.com, Warburton also claimed that the show didn’t receive nearly the amount of promotion other FOX-owned shows such as 24 and The Bernie Mac were getting and The Tick was pitted against other network’s biggest shows. Those factors, plus a production cost deemed high by FOX, led to the shows quick demise.
The Tick wouldn’t be the first fan-favorite show on cancelled by FOX either before it had the chance to get going or when fans were still wanting more. The most famous is Firefly which, years later, still has a rabid fanbase and left millions confused as to why the critically acclaimed space western was cancelled after one year. You might also remember that Family Guy and Futurama were both at one point cancelled before being brought back due to heavy fan interest. FOX themselves resurrected Family Guy but Futurama eventually found a home with several straight-to-DVD movies and on Comedy Central where it ran for several more seasons before getting cancelled presumably for good.
While there has not been the same level of fan outcry as Firefly for a return of the cult hit, The Tick could not be coming out at a more opportune time if Amazon does proceed ahead with bringing it back. With more than a dozen super hero movies coming out in the next few years alone and the massive pop culture presence of comic books in general, The Tick will have plenty of material to pull on for its spoof style of comedy.
Warbuton has also implanted himself in geek/pop culture in the past decade since The Tick’s initial cancellation. His unmistakably stoic voice has been heard in shows such as The Venture Bros, Family Guy, Archer, and also had a short stint in Men in Black II. He is also no stranger to internet video having starred in several CollegeHumor original shorts.
Not much has been said about the return, but it’s been rumored that Warburton and original series executive producer Ben Edlund are both on-board for the Amazon series.
If you missed the series it’s first time around or even if you have but maybe don’t remember a lot, you owe it yourself to burn a slow afternoon and marathon the nine episodes on Netflix.