RETROSPECULATIVE TV: The Tick: What have We Learned?

Republibot 3.0
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Since I've been working on "B5" reviews for such a long time, it's been a while since we've actually *finished* a series. When we do finish one, however, we like to do a little overview, reflecting on the series as a whole, and deciding what we think of it, good or bad, reflecting on its many merits or weak spots. It's a time for introspection and judicious artistic criticism. Usually. In this case, though, the show just sucks so there's no need for that.

The little engine that couldn’t finally chugs to a halt, and I’m glad. Frankly, were this not the end, I don’t think I could have watched much more of it. Readers may recall that I was pretty unimpressed with the show when it first aired, and drifted away along with - well, I was going to say ‘along with the rest of the North American Television Owning Public’ but that’s not really right, is it? Because this show was airing opposite “Friends” (In inexplicably popular show who’s popularity grows even more inexplicable in retrospect). Even Ben Edlund complained that his girlfriend wouldn’t watch ‘The Tick’ because of that scheduling. So the show was really dead before it hit the air, but even if it hadn’t been, I don’t think I could have taken much more.

I admit I’m not sure why. GinRummy loaned me the entire series on DVD a year or so later, and I watched it again. Then as now, it started out with “This isn’t as bad as I thought it was, maybe I didn’t give it a fair shake owing to various colonoscopy-related troubles” or whatever. By the end, I really disliked it. Read the reviews: Exactly the same thing happened here.

I’ve watched *worse* shows, worse by a long shot, and reviewed them. “Man From Atlantis” really kicked my ass, for instance. There is something compelling about that level of awful, though. And of course I’ve reviewed far better shows. And I’ve reviewed far more mediocre shows than this. Weirder, boringer, you name it, I’ve reviewed it, and none of them have filled me with the urge to not give a crap more than the live action version of ‘The Tick.’ It’s not bad enough to be memorable, not good enough to be missed, not weird enough to be noteworthy, not funny enough to really think twice about, not dramatic enough to think twice about, not really worth a second shot. All you can really say at the end of the day is that it was just one great big pile of exceeding ‘meh,’ that somehow manages to be more ‘meh’ than any other ‘meh.’ That’s not a superlative, it’s just more bland than any other bland thing you can think of.

Worse yet, it’s ruined my 30-something lustful memories of Liz Vassey. (I mean, I was in my 30s at the time, not that I have a list of 30-odd specific memories of Liz Vassey. [I mean 'Odd' in the sense of 'a vague number between one and nine' and not in the sense of anything unseemly])


It's September 11th, you know...