If you haven’t seen Rick and Morty, do yourself a favor and go watch it right now. Bam, heres a link to some stuff. Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland give us an awesome show riffed with clever sci-fi references, puns and dark comedy at its finest. Often being compared to Back to the Future meets Doctor Who meets Futurama, while it’s true, Rick and Morty stands on its own as an instant classic, in the same category as the three.
Being a parody and cynical love letter to the sci-fi genre, the show is original with its humor and has some seriously awesome shout-outs to science fiction lore. Based off Channel 101’s “The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti”. The show centers around Morty Smith, a troubled young high school student, and his alcoholic, mad scientist grandfather Rick Sanchez (both voiced by Justin Roiland). We follow them as the duo travels through different dimensions and alternate realities causing intergalactic trouble for the universe. Rick constantly pulls Morty out of school, to the dismay of his father, Jerry Smith (voiced by Chris Parnell) and mother, Beth Smith (voiced by Sarah Chalke), who is also Ricks daughter. Rick drags Morty along on adventures through time and space, encountering bizarre alien creatures, with Rick often forcing Morty to assist him with his insane experiments. Roiland’s crazy brutal comedy combined with Harmon’s story telling and dark humor make for the perfect formula for quality adult animation.
The very first moment we are introduced to the series and our protagonists, Rick drunkenly abducts Morty so he can carry out a plan to exterminate the entire human race, except for himself, Morty and the girl Morty likes. Morty is able to talk Rick out of it with the hilarious exchange setting the tone we think we can expect from the show. As the series continues, episode continuity gives chances of funny call back jokes and even better story telling. One thing that sets Rick and Morty apart from other adult animation out there today is that there are no cutaway gags, the same ones Family Guy made popular. Every scene and joke of the show has a purpose and each scene furthers the plot of the episode, with the closest coming when the show breaks the fourth wall but it still goes with the story.
The development of not only the titular characters but how supporting characters get depth in subplots is done great, with the show including the family through the episode while Rick is off in whatever crazy mishap with Morty. An example is Morty’s sister Summer, who goes on an adventure with Rick and saves his life, where up to that point she was just more of a recurring extra. It shows the audience she is more layered and her character plays a more included role in the series onward.
The animation is a nice simple style and very creative at the same time. A Simpsons couch gag, seen here on the page, exposed the first, for a lot of people, look at Rick and Morty, but the show’s first season premiered on December 2, 2013. Rick and Morty’s character and animation style also have a lot of influence from early works and characters of roilandtv.com, for instance King Jellybean looks almost identical to Crumply Crumplestien (disclaimer: really R-rated stuff.), a Roiland character and the characters jagged-looking pupils. Here, here and here are a few other creations that show where Rick and Morty get their inspiration for how they bond and possibly what they could have looked like. Glad we have the outcome we do, for sure.
The best element of Rick and Morty in my opinion is it’s progression of black comedy. Many jokes stem from Rick’s drinking problem and sociopathy, and the toll it takes on Morty. While Morty is trying to comprehend whatever fucked up and other worldly misadventure the pair go on. After Episode 9 the series takes a realistic look how Morty’s psyche could be traumatized by the experiences with Rick. Also, Rick is a complex character who, through his sociopathy, loves his grandkids and daughter, and maybe even sometimes his son-in-law. If you fuck with his family, he fucks you up, whether it be from a beat down or a death ray. With out giving too much away, this show unexpectally brings the feels with heartbreaking secrets and genuinely cool science fiction stories.
Be sure to check out Rick and Morty this Sunday July 26th @ 11:30pm cst on Adult Swim.