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TUNED IN

The Thin and Thick of 'The Tick'

January 24, 2002|SCOTT SANDELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"The Tick" proves that time can fly when you're having fun, even if you're going nowhere fast in the process.

Tonight's season finale (8:30 p.m., Fox) is only the eighth episode in the live-action series, which is based on Ben Edlund's comic book and animated show of the same name. It is also most likely the series finale, because the network is dropping the show.

As was the case with "The Tick's" premiere in November, this installment is often funny but is as thin as a superhero's tights. It focuses on the tribulations of the Tick's sidekick, Arthur (David Burke), who reveals his decision to be a crime fighter to his mother and sister. They, in turn, are so repulsed by his "lifestyle" and put off by the behavior of this dynamic duo's dumber half (Patrick Warburton) that the family stages an intervention.

The problem is that the plot and character development are about as facile as the Tick himself. Instead, the humor derives mainly from double-entendres (lots of them tonight are about "coming out") and the incongruity of comic book heroes' overinflated dialogue and demeanor in the most mundane of circumstances.

Although "The Tick" has had an enjoyable satirical ride, it appears that its run in this incarnation is deservedly over.

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