Ben Edlund Interview: ‘The Tick’ creator
“If the heart was beating at a certain pulse rate in season one, it’s increasing, and it’s a heart that’s pumping … this blood mixture of comedy and caring,” says “The Tick” creator Ben Edlund about how the second season of the Amazon series, which premiered April 5, is different from the first. After introducing the audience to the title superhero (Peter Serafinowicz), his sidekick Arthur (Griffin Newman), and a rogues’ gallery of friends and foes in year one, “the philosophy of storytelling this season is … less about one big bad and more about a series of different things that happen, more like life.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Edlund above.
This is just the latest of many iterations of “The Tick” that have existed over the years. Edlund originated the story in a 1980s comic book, which was adapted into a 1990s animated series, and then a 2000s live-action series before coming back for more live-action adventures now. A lot has changed in the pop culture universe since the Tick last donned his antennae in 2001. For starters, there are more superheroes than ever before, with the Marvel and DC extended universes dominating multiplexes and TV screens. There’s also more TV than ever before thanks to streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and more. Both of those changes have informed Edlund’s approach to this new version of “The Tick.”
“This is the dawn of a whole new era of television,” Edlund explains. The age of binge-watching “has led to increasingly novelistic content,” so this version of “The Tick” is more serialized than the previous ones. And the almost unlimited viewing options the show is competing with has inspired the show to follow a more emotional path. If the goal were only to deliver a one-note parody, then “we would have made 10 episodes and been out.” To stay afloat in an oversaturated landscape, it’s “even more important to make an actual intimate human connection with these fictional projections.”
Another difference in this series is Edlund’s decision to delve into the Tick’s origin, which has never been explained in the 30 years since he created the character. But it’ll take a little while to get there. “I have an answer for it, and I’m excited about it,” he says. “More answers to come.”