The Show You Should Be Watching: Rick & Morty

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

The Show You Should Be Watching: Rick & Morty

MovieBob admits he was wrong. You'll need to read further to find out what topic has him confessing that he was "wronger than I've been in a long time."

Read Full Article

100 years rick & morty

I do not blame you for being so skeptical. Another comedy on Adult Swim? Premiering on Monday nights? I had no faith or interest in this series. Then I caught it one night and was like "Wait? This. . . this isn't half bad. Actually, this is pretty good."

I hadn't given much thought to this show, mostly because I just don't watch TV all that much, but I may go give this a try as soon as finals are over.

Oh Lordy, I have seen that Cronenberg episode more times than I wanted too. It almost gave me a drinking problem on Rick's scale. One of my favorites is the episode with the multiverse of Ricks & Mortys. I like how this and The Venture Brothers have continuity and characters who change and have pathos, instead of pretty much very other Adult Swim original they play now (specifically, China, IL and Tim & Eric can go die in a fire).
I hope we get MovieBob HD columns about The Venture Bros. & Adventure Time!

The appeal of this show is really the angle of 'Where the fuck is this gonna go..?' Each episode starts off with a simple enough sci-fi spoof, but then germinates into the most bizar and unimaginable situations.

I found it very similar to the manga Franken Fran, which also features a crazy character whose scientific abilities (in this case plastic surgery) are practically magic. And where each chapter starts off weird, and then proceeds to dive right off a cliff into fucked up, batshit lunacy.

This is sci-fi adventure time. Silly premise, completely mad to the point where people can incorrectly label it "lol, random", strong continuity and world building promising a payoff later. The difference is that this is on Adult Swim, so it has leeway to get into a different set of dark messed up places.

Also, it's TV Tropes the show, so what's not to like.

edit- also the second-to-last episode is probably the best example of the mic-drop twist ending. The first time you were "what" and then the second time you see all of the subtle hints.

I just finished the first season a couple of weeks ago and I was really hoping to see it get some professional praise. I tip my fancy hat to you MovieBob, well played goodsir!

The episode Rixty Minutes needs an honorable mention. Even with the expected cronenburging shenanigans of Rick put on the back burner, the episode still manages to tell a personable story involving the more mundane aspects of the Smith household and ends it with a twist that surprisingly disarms us by exposing the series's unexpected softer side.

My three favorite moments of the show:

The end of the first episode. Delirious, hilarious.

The bit Mr. Chipman describes in Meeseeks & Destroy when Rick's eyes narrow and you know he just figured everything out.

When strung-out, famous Jerry shows up at the house after the ridiculous police chase.

I'm glad I gave this show a shot, because I like it a whole lot better than I ever liked King of the Hill, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, American Dad, The Venture Brothers and even Futurama.

--Morology!

Ace Morologist:
My three favorite moments of the show:
-snip-

I'm going to have to go with "Nobody exists on purpose, nobody really belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die...Come watch tv?"

Alright let's get this over with

"HI I'M MISTER MEESEEKS LOOK AT ME!!!"

I'm tired of so much of western animation being visually grotresque, mean-spiritedly ironic absurdist comedy, from kids' shows to adult ones.

MLP was good, but we could use a bit more New Sincerity, thank you very much.

Alterego-X:
I'm tired of so much of western animation being visually grotresque, mean-spiritedly ironic absurdist comedy, from kids' shows to adult ones.

MLP was good, but we could use a bit more New Sincerity, thank you very much.

Long story short, when Pokemon took over in the US, the 'second golden age' ended. This left us with a lot of 'designed by executives and focus test' series taking place of the Kids WB/Nick/Cartoon Cartoons. The pessimism and propensity for weird visuals are a direct rejection of this by cartoon makers.

Further elaboration follows, it'll get long.

However, certain people *cough*Nickelodeon who were around this stuff before it became normal didn't realize when it can work. That's how Spongebob's shuffling zombie corpse works (meanness, bad visuals instead of writing and characters)

When it does work though, the harshness of the world and visuals increases the effect of the happy moments. It's part of the "uncanny valley" effect, where the human-like things about a non-human make it seem more human. Absurd humor in western animation is something you just have to get used to, since it's always been there and isn't going away.

We also get the "Family Guy" effect, where mean-spirited stupidity overpowers the good portions of a show. It's pretty much infected all of the Fox Shows except "Bob's Burgers", with once real characters losing everything that made them remotely relatable because the network doesn't understand their own formula.

If we use this show, a surface glance just says 'mean jerk show with nothing but in-jokes'. Watch it, and it's the story of a seemingly irredeemable man actually finding redemption with his family. If you take your eyes off of Rick and Morty it WILL punch you in the gut. It's funny, but there's substance behind it.

It's also perfectly valid to want a more restrained but optimistic 'popcorn' cartoon, with not a lot really going on plot-wise but a decent ride in the vein of Tiny Toons or KND. We don't have any of those right now (except maybe Clarence. I still don't know what to think of that show)

Glad to see that show get some critical acclaim.
Then again, I might be biased. Cyril from Archer voices the dad and since I maintain that Archer is the best thing animation has brought the civilised world, that's an instant win in my book.

I found the show surprisingly watchable, if not especially laudable myself.

When I saw the pilot, I was far from impressed. I had no idea how they were going to stretch the one-joke premise of "lampoon the relationship between Marty and Doc Brown from Back to the Future" into an entire series, and Rick's belching between words was (and still is) one of the most annoying verbal tics ever given to a character in the history of forever.

I watched a few episodes after that, though, and warmed up to it a little. the writing can be really clever when it wants to be, and the show has a legitimate heart from time to time.

Good article!

Ken_J:
Alright let's get this over with

"HI I'M MISTER MEESEEKS LOOK AT ME!!!"

HI MISTER MEESEEKS I'M MISTER MEESEEKS!
CAN YOU HELP ME TAKE TWO STROKES OFF JERRY'S GOLF GAME?

I love this show and I'm watching the reruns still laughing my ass off at all the amazing humor.

Well, after being forced to turn to youtube reuploads because they have blocked the show in Australia and watching a few minutes of the pilot it's not really my kind of comedy. Between that and the fact they are in full support of useless and pointless geo-blocking of content I see no reason to watch the show. However the rushed licensed adventure can be played here (Don't ask me why they let Australa play the game but not watch the show!) and seems to do what it says on the tin with a lot of meta humor.

If anyone here didn't know, the guy who does the voices of Rick and Morty also does Lemongrab's voice from Adventure Time. :D

I had a similar experience to Bob. I saw a few adds for the show and wasn't impressed. It seemed to start out like a normal ad, but then Rick and Morty appear with Rich saying he has to blow up the ad before it gives people a bad impression much to Morty's horror. It didn't really appeal to me.

But I ended up seeing it due to the sheer availability of everything on the internet and was pleasantly surprised. I usually give shows three episodes before I either get invested or turn away. Rick and Morty got me within the first episode.

And there were several great episodes that followed. Meeseeks and Destroy. M Night Shaym-Aliens. Something Ricked This Way Comes. One episode had Rick and Morty trying to Incept (like the movie) Morty's teacher to give him A's while the rest of the family dealt with the now super intelligent family dog.

If you haven't given the show a chance, here's a clip to wet your appetite.

Alterego-X:
I'm tired of so much of western animation being visually grotresque, mean-spiritedly ironic absurdist comedy, from kids' shows to adult ones.

MLP was good, but we could use a bit more New Sincerity, thank you very much.

I don't know many current shows that have the same optimism as MLP while being high quality and NOT batshit insane.

Although now you mention it, I do know a certain underrated Disney animated show that just so happens to be a reincarnation of the classic Simpsons, but with more sincerity, great characters, an element of supernatural mystery and gorgeous eye-watering animation.

Here's the intro, in case you're wondering.

Aerosteam:
If anyone here didn't know, the guy who does the voices of Rick and Morty also does Lemongrab's voice from Adventure Time. :D

you can really tell it's him by how well he can voice an entire crowd of meeseeks without blowing out his vocal cords

i'm sort of confused as to how the show's dialogue is largely improv (they lampshade this in rixty minutes) when the two main characters are voiced by the same person

I'm not laughing a ton at this show, but it's pretty enjoyable. I, too, was hesitant about watching it, but I started to record it on a whim, let it stack up a bit *Mutters about lacking free time*n then watched a mini marathon. It grew on me.

A few shows are kinda getting on my DVR like that. Record despite thinking it might not be good, watch it a bit, and end up enjoying it. MLP, Steven Universe, and such.

Mister Meeseeks was absurdly awesome. Like some absurd "for the kids" mascot like Jar-Jar, but far far better.

MCerberus:
This is sci-fi adventure time. Silly premise, completely mad to the point where people can incorrectly label it "lol, random", strong continuity and world building promising a payoff later. The difference is that this is on Adult Swim, so it has leeway to get into a different set of dark messed up places.

Also, it's TV Tropes the show, so what's not to like.

What I like about the show is that yeah, it's nuts, but not to the point of looking like it was born from the fevered dreams of a dying meth junkie like other shows like Chowder or Misadventures of Flapjack or... well, a lot of the cartoons they have on Cartoon Network these days.

Bob's apathy towards television makes me wonder why he's doing a TV column in the first place. His constant jabs and general disgust towards the medium don't do much to sway TV watcher into reading his material. He's devolved into attacking other Escapist content creators for reviewing popular television shows. I just find the whole thing weird.

More on topic, I've enjoyed Rick and Morty, very funny series. No surprise considering it's from Dan Harmon.

Ken_J:
Alright let's get this over with

"HI I'M MISTER MEESEEKS LOOK AT ME!!!"

LOL! This was the first episode I stumbled upon a few weeks ago after watching some bravest warriors on youtube. Absolutely hilarious, up until Mr Jellybean.. tries to.. yeah. If the rest of the series is as funny as this one then I'm probably going to be a big fan.

The Meeseeks episode also took a swipe at Batman. After finding out those photos of pedo King Jellybeans' and burning them, the guy says "Our people will get more from the ideal he represented, than from the jellybean he was." Harvey Dent much?

MCerberus:
Just Getting Your Attention

Alterego-X:

It's also perfectly valid to want a more restrained but optimistic 'popcorn' cartoon, with not a lot really going on plot-wise but a decent ride in the vein of Tiny Toons or KND. We don't have any of those right now (except maybe Clarence. I still don't know what to think of that show)

I'd actually like to recommend to you both Steven Universe. It's not the most humorous show, but it has a lot of heart and is much more down to Earth than much of current Western animation.

OT: Yay, someone with an actual platform spreading the good word. I've turned all my friends on to the show, but I admit I usually cheat and start with the Meseeks episode. It's not like there's much extra context needed since it was so early on anyway.

It was somewhere between Mr. Meeseeks "existence is pain" and Morty's total yawning gaping awareness of the meaningless of existence in a strange and cruel multi verse that I knew this was going to be my new favourite show.

Also to combat the backlash of depicting an attempted child rape. The creators released a statement of King Jellybean's true intentions with Morty. Which is pretty ballsy and hilarious in and of itself:

From the wiki:

"With time, King Jellybean had become addicted to the high he received from the enzymes entering his blood stream through alien saliva. His tolerance for saliva became weaker and weaker with repeated engagements of the same species, so he was constantly on the look out for new ones. As a result, King Jellybean he spent time in places like the Thirsty Stair where a diverse multitude of inter dimensional beings congregated, beings who could help feed his addiction. Over the years, the repeated inter-species body licking caused the depletion of a key chemical in the jellybean body resulting in a loss of color which is why King Jellybean was grayish shaded instead of a normal colorful jellybean hue. Morty was his first human, so he was especially aggressive with him. To Jellybean, Morty was a quick fix and he was desperate for a hit."

Nothing sexual AT ALL. just harmless drug addiction.

Also Bob, I don't like Adventure Time either and it's not because I associate it with a group of people I don't like. Labelling shows based on their demographic is pretty close minded. My 60 year old mother watches the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Doesn't mean she is a nerd or geek or zombie fan. you like what you like. (She also loves Firefly)

I love this show, I think it's most accurately described as THE American Doctor Who. Because they go anywhere do anything.

The best part, however, is how much heart is packed into this thing.

I think my favorite episode was Rick screwing with the devil. "Nah this is just a bit for me, like when Bugs Bunny fucks with the opera singer for twenty minutes." explains Rick. Then he decides he's bored and burns the whole place down.

Klagermeister:

Ken_J:
Alright let's get this over with

"HI I'M MISTER MEESEEKS LOOK AT ME!!!"

HI MISTER MEESEEKS I'M MISTER MEESEEKS!
CAN YOU HELP ME TAKE TWO STROKES OFF JERRY'S GOLF GAME?

I love this show and I'm watching the reruns still laughing my ass off at all the amazing humor.

YOUR PROBLEMS ARE YOUR OWN, OLD MAN! I SAY: FOLLOW THROUGH!!!!

Lono Shrugged:
It was somewhere between Mr. Meeseeks "existence is pain" and Morty's total yawning gaping awareness of the meaningless of existence in a strange and cruel multi verse that I knew this was going to be my new favourite show.

Also to combat the backlash of depicting an attempted child rape. The creators released a statement of King Jellybean's true intentions with Morty. Which is pretty ballsy and hilarious in and of itself:

From the wiki:

"With time, King Jellybean had become addicted to the high he received from the enzymes entering his blood stream through alien saliva. His tolerance for saliva became weaker and weaker with repeated engagements of the same species, so he was constantly on the look out for new ones. As a result, King Jellybean he spent time in places like the Thirsty Stair where a diverse multitude of inter dimensional beings congregated, beings who could help feed his addiction. Over the years, the repeated inter-species body licking caused the depletion of a key chemical in the jellybean body resulting in a loss of color which is why King Jellybean was grayish shaded instead of a normal colorful jellybean hue. Morty was his first human, so he was especially aggressive with him. To Jellybean, Morty was a quick fix and he was desperate for a hit."

Nothing sexual AT ALL. just harmless drug addiction.

Also Bob, I don't like Adventure Time either and it's not because I associate it with a group of people I don't like. Labelling shows based on their demographic is pretty close minded. My 60 year old mother watches the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Doesn't mean she is a nerd or geek or zombie fan. you like what you like. (She also loves Firefly)

Boo. That whole episode works better with the Jelly Bean being a child rapist.

The sudden contrast in tones (Morty's light hearted adventure/The Very Realistic Attack)
Rick's trying to come around, he clearly sees Morty is not okay and really shoes caring for his companion.
The cathartic release when

and the whole joke at the end with the pictures...

Also hey, wait a minute, King Jelly Bean had a statue of himself with a little a kid!

SaneAmongInsane:
snip

I get the feeling that the whole King Jellybean being a junkie rather than a child molester is a little sarcastic dig from the creators more than anything. ultimately killing any controversy because anytime anyone complains about him trying to rape Morty, (And there was quite a bit I recall) someone can post that pretty hilarious counter argument and shut down any kind of "think of the children" talk. It's a little along the lines of "are we supposed to think this is some kind of MAGIC ribcage xylophone" from the Simpsons. "You want an overly complicated and tv safe reason for his behaviour, fuck you! here is some canon nerd lore" It is exactly the kind of irreverent attitude I love about the show.

Don't worry, he is still a kiddie rapist, not a drug addict. (which is totally ok to joke about on tv)

shirkbot:

OT: Yay, someone with an actual platform spreading the good word. I've turned all my friends on to the show, but I admit I usually cheat and start with the Meseeks episode. It's not like there's much extra context needed since it was so early on anyway.

Well it is an attention grabber, the whole episode just screams "LOOK AT ME".
Oh yes, that's the bad joke everyone expected.

Something about Rick & Morty rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's the writing (which seems horribly paced to me), or the superficial characterizations that populate the show, or maybe something else. I can't really put my finger on it, and that bothers me because it's exactly the kind of adult cartoon that should appeal to me.

The first episode was fantastic, but everything else after that just came off as another formulaic "Bill & Ted romp with sex jokes" retread. I'll stick to Venture Bros. and Squidbillies, thank you very much.

This show is fantastic. Everyone I talk to also loves it, so I'm hoping this will mean many more seasons for it.

Watched three episodes and am loving it so far.

Except one thing, the father sounds so familiar and I can't remember where I've heard it before and it's killing me.
I also refuse to look it up, because it's right there, on the edge of my Cyril from Archer! I just figured it out while writing this!
Yeessss.

Anyway so, yeah, good show.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here