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‘The Tick’ Tries to Enter Pantheon of Superheroes

TIMES TELEVISION CRITIC

“The Tick” is a comedy sketch in search of a series.

Based on Ben Edlund’s comic book and animated series of the same name, this new Fox show starts fast and funny before fading, introducing Patrick Warburton (who played thudding Puddy on “Seinfeld”) as a blue-suited superhero and David Burke as his little moth-like sidekick, Arthur, along with their best friends, Captain Liberty (Liz Vassey) and Bat Manuel (Nestor Carbonell).

The Tick, who is dumb as a ... tick, and Arthur are overwhelmed when invited to join a prestigious superheroes group. “Imagine us,” says Arthur, dreamily “working side by side with the greatest names in superherodom.”

Soon they’re welcomed by the Champion (Jonathan Penner) into the Hall of Heroes, where these caped-and-booted white male immortals play billiards, smoke cigars and hang out with their own kind. Rejected for membership because of her gender, Captain Liberty angrily pursues legal action and displays her lawsuit to the Tick.

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Liberty: “Do you know what this is?”

Tick: “Paper?”

“The Tick” is a clever premise, but Warburton’s palooka act is so extreme that it gets in the way and, well before the final credits, this gimmick series is on redial, ultimately wearing out its most satirical bits.

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“The Tick” premieres tonight at 8:30 on Fox. The network has rated it TV-PG-L (may be unsuitable for young children, with a special advisory for coarse language).


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