See that word in the title? Yeah. That one. It means something. “What does it mean, Oh Handsome Writer?” You say. Well, hypothetical reader, thank you, and that word means awesome, which is the show in a word. Rick and Morty, created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon is an animated sci-fi comedy focused on the shenanigans that a genius and his not so bright grandson get into. Now, let me gush about this show for a few hundred words because it is the schwiftiest show on air right now.
Watch the first two minutes and fifty seconds of the pilot (Go ahead and finish the season and come back. I’ll be here)
Once you get over the annoyingness of Morty’s voice, Rick and Morty is very enjoyable
What do you think happened? Morty somehow disabled the Neutrino bomb, or something else happened, which is somehow simultaneously more outlandish, and logical (if you’ve watched an episode or ten) (Skip the next line ‘cus *SPOILERS* I like to think that the Rick from the beginning is dead and we are looking at a parallel Rick)
This episode does an extremely good job of letting the viewer know that it will get weird. To get a sense of how weird things can get, the first episode is the tamest episode of them all. As is revealed in the later episodes, there are an infinite number of universes and thus, an infinite number of Ricks accompanied by an infinite number of Mortys. This allows for greater writing prospects for the writers of the show, because the writers can explore stories that would be impossible to write in some universes because it would be out of character for the Rick in some universes. (See: Every alternate Rick in Close Rick-counters of the Rick kind) It also allows for more bizarre situations (See: Close Rick-Counters of the Rick kind)
This also allows for hidden storytelling, which resembles what Saki had done in his short story “Dusk”, where the clever/observant reader is rewarded with the end much before the average reader is, or there is an AHA! Moment which only the super observant reader can have.
Much like any good and/or popular show, Rick and Morty has an underlying philosophical principle, and deals with the various facets of this philosophical principle, and exposes the viewer to this school of thought, often changing the viewer. For example, Game of Thrones deals with the five stages of grief over and over and over and over again, and makes the viewer very comfortable with the five stages of grief. Breaking Bad deals with Confucian / role ethics – living out one’s family roles to the maximum effect – at least before he turns into Meth Hitler. The school of thought that Rick subscribes to is Nihilism – belief that nothing in life matters, and so, the belief that life itself is pointless – this allows him to do things that would be considered outrageous or forbidden to us. In many instances, we see Rick explicitly say that life is meaningless and nothing matters. Though this is a depressing setting for a show, Rick and Morty is intrinsically a comedy show, and so, has jokes. Really silly ones. This show also deals with a fundamental frustration that all of us experience. The frustration caused by the human tendency of seeking meaning in everything, and the response that the universe shows, or rather doesn’t show – indifference towards the human endeavour (condition?). This frustration scares us. What do we do to deal with this scary situation? Ignore it and laugh along with one another, because that is what we have in the end. Each other. This got heavy. Have a funny.
Easter Eggs, Humour, References, and Theories. (The fun stuff)
All show ruining Easter eggs mentioned will be in bold font to avoid spoilerage (?)
This show is jam-packed with in universe Easter eggs and references to real life things
Almost every episode’s title is a pun. Usually with the word Rick thrown in for good measure. Don’t believe me? I’m sure Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind, Rick’s Potions # 9, Something Ricked, and Ricksy Business can convince you otherwise.
This show has a very dark sense of humour which is a natural result of the built-in nihilism which is a result of the infinite universes which is a result of the creators’ refusal to work on anything time travel related which is a result of continuity errors which might pop up when time travel happens. That was a wonky sentence!
In an episode, we see the house being transported to another planet. When the house reappears, their walkway is cracked. In a later episode, we see Jerry ask for a weed whacker to whack the whack weeds growing out of the cracked walkway. These kinda details aren’t super important, but they provide an Aha! moment to the hardcore fans.
Despite all this praise I’ve heaped upon Rick and Morty, there is but one fatal flaw in the show. We as viewers have been accustomed to the concept of stories spanning many universes. There have been many switches in universes between episodes, but the kicker is the in episode switches in universes. In the episode Mortynight Run, we see a Rick drop Jerry off at the Jerry care centre and take a token numbered 5126. Later, we see this ( from 20:25 ). This scene doesn’t make sense unless you think of it as Rick 1 ( the farting one) using a 5126 token from a casino they visit earlier in the episode, and thus, Rick 1 isn’t the Rick that drops Rick off at the Jerry care centre. This shows that the universes may switch while the show runs. This is a fault because it prevents us from empathizing with any individual Rick, Morty, Jerry, Beth, Summer, Birdperson, Tammy (FUCK TAMMY ) or Mr. Poopybutthole, and distances us from the characters. You can never get to know the characters as people. You only get to know a few facets of what could be completely different versions of the same character.
Just pop it in and watch it. It has something for everyone. Immature jokes, philosophical questions for the thoughtful, tonnes of easter eggs and clues for the theorists, a lovable cast of unique characters, and sadly, No season 3 (yet). The most awesome part of this show is the fact that it refuses to take itself seriously. So, dear reader, watch this show that has been hailed as a modern classic, and be a part of the amazing online community, theorize, and laugh along at the utter meaninglessness of life.
– ML Prahasith