Thursday, April 30, 2020

Why Rick & Morty Is So Good

Even if you’ve only dipped into a few episodes of Rick and Morty, now’s the perfect time to get back on the bandwagon. Below you’ll find six reasons to approach it in a new light. And once you’re done with the earlier episodes, you’ll be ready for the next batch, premiering on Adult Swim May 3.

1. Character Development

The dynamic between Rick and Morty appears straightforward: Rick, a control freak and god-like genius who regularly kills people, forces his meek, stuttering, morally good grandson into having dangerous adventures with him — not out of bonding, but so that Morty’s mind can act as a “jammer,” his consciousness a shield that protects Rick’s mind from dangerous enemies.

2. Existentialism

It takes a while, but eventually you realize something about Rick and Morty: Aside from feeding into the show’s existentialist theme that the universe is a random and cruel place and nothing matters — sometimes the toilet humor is used as a ploy by Rick to deflect in situations when he finds himself caring about someone other than himself.

3. Movie Genres, Tropes and Cliches

Most Rick and Morty episodes parody famous movies. Here are some episode titles: Total Rickall, One Crew over the Crewcoo’s Morty and Rattlestar Ricklactica. But Rick and Morty takes things a step further, spinning out the central concepts of those movies until they reach breaking point.

4. Rick Sanchez

Forever stuck in an existential crisis, Rick is self-destructive, self-loathing and a drunk. All-powerful yet miserable, his catchphrase — “Wubba lubba dub dub” — is revealed in season 1, episode 11 to translate from an alien language to, “I’m in great pain, please help.”

5. Unsolved Mysteries

One character who we haven’t seen much of is Rick’s ex-wife, Morty’s grandmother. Her family speak about her occasionally, but the reason for her absence is an ongoing mystery. In the season 3 premiere (minor spoiler), we see what we think is Rick’s criminal origin story: a normal, non-alcoholic Rick witnesses his wife Diane and their daughter Beth blown up by a bomb.

6. Easter Eggs

Rick and Morty is jam-packed with Easter eggs. Most of them are movie references, but there’s also the occasional science reference: In the season 2 premiere (minor spoiler), when Rick and Morty’s reality splits into two possibilities, they find themselves lost in a timeless oblivion, surrounded by floating Schrödinger’s Cats.

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