RETROSPECULATIVE TV: The Tick: “The Big Leagues” (Episode 9, or possibly 7)

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Tick and Arthur are invited to join The Superhero League, which upsets Captain Liberty since they only accept white dudes. (And Arthur, who’s Jewish, yet surprisingly that doesn’t come up in this episode). The League is run by “The Champion,” a not-particularly-well-cast Superman type. Meanwhile, Cap decides to sue the League for discrimination, and ends up hiring a lawyer who is, in fact, the secret identity of The Champion. Hilarity utterly fails to ensue.

Champion sets Arthur and Tick to talk Cap out of her suit, but she wont’ back down, and expands it to a class action thing. Arthur fit in surprisingly well, but Tick seems bored since the league doesn’t actually *do* anything.

Champion: “It’s beneath the dignity of the league to go after petty criminals. Think of us like Nuclear Weapons.”
Arthur: “You we’re mean big and expensive, sit around doing nothing, and everyone’s afraid of us?”
Champion: “Yes!”

Abruptly, since we’ve gone through a couple commercial breaks without anything of note happening, and they’re running out of film, Arthur gets pissy and declares they quit the league, which they do. They attempt to apologize to Captain Liberty, who’s at her Lawyers’ office, which results in The Champion’s lawyer cover being blown, and everyone in the office turning on him (“Twenty years I’ve been your best friend and partner, and you never told me? Do you know how much business we’ve lost because of you?!”) Champion settles out of court for an obscene amount of money.

Later, the league declares bankruptcy so they don’t have to pay the settlement, and re-organize as a limited partnership.

The End


The Third (And final) season of “The Tick” cartoon ended abruptly, and I’m not sure why. There were a couple episodes allegedly unfilmed, and they were in preproduction for season Four when the axe fell. One of the unused episodes was allegedly “The Tick vs. The Big Leagues,” which shows up here in a heavily-modified form. It shows: there are actually some funny bits in here, though - and this is the inherent flaw of the series - the show manages to completely rob them of all humor.

For instance: Tick’s inability to recognize Champion and Lawyer are the same guy, literally thinking they’re a different person several times in the course of one sentence. In the ‘toon, that’d be a scream, but here it’s just a tedious “Get to the end of it already” gag.

There’s really nothing more to say, excepting that Arthur mentions at one point that he’s only been in the superhero biz for six months. This is utterly in contrast to what the producers and (theoretical) fans have said about the episode order. (To wit: “The Terror” was intended to air second, and everything comes after that, with Tick and Arthur having been a team for a year). I’d go into details about this, and my theories, but really nobody gives a crap, nor should they.


Repeat after me: Nobody. Will. Ever. Like. This. Years from now, people claiming to like it will be taken as a sign of mental illness, and written up in the DSMV and the PDR