The Tick vs. Season Two – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Cast:
The Tick… Townsend Coleman
Arthur… Rob Paulsen
American Maid… Kay Lenz
Die Fledermaus… Cam Clarke
Sewer Urchin… Jess Harnell

Release Date: August 7, 2007
Running Time: 255 minutes

The Show:
For those not familiar with The Tick (shame on you!), it’s about a superhero and his sidekick (and occasionally their friends) trying to defend The City from the various supervillains that plague it.

The Tick himself is The City’s most effective superhero in spite of his incredibly naive world view. Joining The Tick is Arthur, an accountant turned superhero sidekick. Together The Tick and Arthur are able to deal with most any threat. Sometimes they do get some outside assistance though, usually in the form of American Maid (kind of like Wonder Woman combined with Captain America), Die Fledermaus (like Batman, but far more cowardly) and Sewer Urchin (kind of self-explanatory).

Not since Adam West’s Batman has there been a show that more effectively lampooned the superhero genre. And while Batman certainly had its bizarre moments, it’s got nothing on The Tick. In this season alone we see Tick turned into a two headed bird that can only speak basic French, an army of living furniture, and a guy with a pig for a leg (and that’s but a small sample of some of the weird moments to be found).

It’s the absurdity of The Tick that makes it the cult classic it is today. While there are great, over-the-top supervillains with truly classic plans to take over The City, it’s the The Tick himself that really carries the show. The Tick always has the most wonderfully non-nonsensical speeches; whether he’s explaining why evil is evil or giving a lecture about the wrongness of eating kittens, every time he opens his mouth you can count on The Tick to deliver something memorable.

One word of warning, much like in season one, this isn’t actually the complete season. The second episode of the season, “Alone Together” is not included with the rest of the season. So if you were anxiously awaiting to get “Alone Together” on DVD you’ll have to wait. My theory is that they’ve chopped one episode off of both season one and two so that the season three DVD release will have the same number of episodes as the others (the actual number of episodes is thirteen for season one, thirteen for season two and only ten for season three).

The Episodes:

Disc 1

“The Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love” – A giant whale is running across America, Arthur meets a lady moth friend who’s being pursued by the Swiss and a jealous Tick carves himself a new sidekick. What a great way to kick off the season.

“Armless But Not Harmless” – After Venus and Milo are thwarted by a janitor, they vow to win back the respect of their supervillain peers and win an Enemy Award. To do this, Milo uses a new invention to remove Tick and Arthur’s arms and attach them on to robots. The now armless duo must find a way to stop Venus and recapture their errant limbs.

“Leonardo da Vinci and his Fightin’ Genius Time Commandos!” – A supervillain uses a time machine to kidnap inventors throughout the ages, ranging from the cavewoman who invented the wheel to George Washington Carver to Thomas Edison to, of course, Leonardo da Vinci. The villain has a fiendish plot to blow up the Renaissance but The Tick and Arthur, with the help of Leonardo and the other inventors, are determined to save the Renaissance.

“Coach Fussell’s Lament” – The kid from season one’s “The Tick vs. Brainchild” is back and he’s reverted to his supervillain ways. Charles not only turns his nanny into a killing machine, but when The Tick gets in the way, Charles turns the tick into a small two-headed bird that can only speak high school French (yes, that old chestnut).

“Bloomsday” – Tick ends up in charge of guarding a plant that blooms once every 400 years. Blooming season snuck up on them and if the plant blooms in anything less ideal conditions, it will grow at an exponential rate, threatening the entire city. Fortunately, a constant stream of music calms the plant and keeps it from blooming; unfortunately, El Seed has a plan to claim the 400 year bloom for himself.

“Evil Sits Down for a Moment” – There’s a new supervillain, Ottoman, in town. Ottoman is so named because she has the power to animate any and all furniture. She plans to build up the Ottoman Empire and takeover The City. Complicating things, Ottoman and Die Fledermaus fall in love.

“Heroes” – The Tick is thrilled to be the newest star on the Cops-like show, Heroes. To The Tick’s dismay, everything is pretty quiet for a while, but things perk up when The Deadly Bulb makes his debut.

“Ants in Pants!” – Betty’s the Queen of the Ants. She uses her powers to lead the ants in a bid to takeover The City. The Tick’s freaked out by all the ants and ends up checking himself into Captain Sanity’s Superhero Sanitarium, leaving the rest of The City’s superheroes to battle the ants on their own.

Disc 2

“The Tick Loves Santa” – A criminal disguised as Santa suffers an unfortunate accident that gives him the power to make a nearly infinite number of clone Santas. The City is in danger of being overwhelmed, and The Tick, much like in the last episode, isn’t much help. This time he just can’t bring himself to hit Santa.

“The Tick vs. The Big Nothing” -The Tick and Arthur are kidnapped by aliens whose language consists only of the word ‘What.’ Fortunately one of the aliens speaks English as well and he tells Tick and Arthur that they need to save the galaxy from being destroyed a group of aliens who dress exactly like Arthur and only say ‘hey.’

“The Tick Vs. Reno, Nevada” – A brilliant but disgruntled show dolphin, Mister Smarty-Pants, breaks free of show business to form his own gang. Arthur and the Tick are called in to help, but The Tick has difficulty ignoring the siren song of the slot machine.

“Grandpa Wore Tights” – The Terror breaks The Human Ton out of prison and goes after the Desiro-Vac. It’s up to The Tick, Arthur and retired superheroes, The Decency Squad, to put a stop to The Terror’s plans.

The Audio and Video

The video is presented in standard 1.33:1 ratio and unfortunately it isn’t that great. There’s a fair amount of dirt and scratches throughout the season, as well as the occasional odd white line coming off of Arthur. The audio’s Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound and it’s functional enough.

Extras

There’s not really much in the way of extras. You get a few trailers when you pop in the first disc, and the case includes a ‘Collectible Tick Lithograph‘ which is kind of neat. Sadly there aren’t any interviews, commentaries or other such features included here.

The Inside Pulse

You can’t go wrong with a show as over-the-top as The Tick. The video quality isn’t great, and the lack of extras hurts the release, but the episodes we get here are strong enough to easily overcome those limitations.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Tick vs. Season Two
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

9
THE VIDEO

4
THE AUDIO

6
THE EXTRAS

1.5
REPLAY VALUE

10
OVERALL
8.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)