Rick and Morty may be Adult Swim’s greatest new series and it’s killing us to wait
If you haven’t been keeping up with Adult Swim’s new animated-comedy “Rick and Morty” you are missing out on one of the craziest adventures a boy and his grandfather have ever seen. Recently the network wrapped-up the second season of the new animated-series, adding a few cliffhangers and character-arcs for fans to enjoy during the sophomore season. The show also added a few new layers to each of the core-characters, making what was an already stellar show, even more enjoyable. We won’t spoil the season 2 ending events for fans that are lagging behind but if you are new to the series or need to catch-up, you should do so immediately.
The series follows mad-scientist Rick, a completely self-obsessed and reckless alcoholic and his grandson Morty. Season 1 began when Rick Sanchez (voiced terrifically by Justin Roiland) arrives at his daughter Beth’s (Sarah Chalke) home hoping that he could crash with her and her family. Little does Beth know that Rick is basically wanted by every known law-enforcement and governing body in the universe and that Rick will soon involve his grandson and granddaughter in all of his misdeeds and crazy adventures.
Not knowing the full extent of her generosity, Beth welcomes Rick to live with her and her out-of-work husband Jerry (voiced by Chris Parnell) along with their children Summer (Spencer Grammar) and Morty (Justin Roiland).
The show itself is the creation of Dan Harmon (Community, Channel 101) and Justin Roiland (House of Cosbys) who also serve as the show’s executive producers.
Season one of the show had a ton of completely over-the-top moments while playing with the idea of time-travel and parallel universes. While introducing these concepts to the viewer, the show frequently would explode a main character or two as a shocking twist, only to have them return later on in the episode. Deaths in this show are usually as gruesome as possible, as are the body-function jokes and Rick’s complete lack of caring about social-norms.
Rowland’s wonderful work as the voice of Morty instantly paints the kid as a hapless and naive counterpart to Rick. Morty’s moral compass and optimistic attitude towards the universe usually contrasts Rick’s bitterness and space-tested eduction but it’s when Rick is teaching Morty that things are usually at their funniest.
Season one was also when we learned just how depraved and convoluted Rick’s spacetime adventures actually are, including convincing Morty into smuggling minerals from rare and beautiful planets, to Rick killing anything or anyone that stood in his way.
The show does an amazing job at poking fun at sci-fi classics like “Back to the Future,” “Doctor Who” and “Star Trek”. Rehashing the idea that the stars of these shows frequently took children with them on expeditions and on experiments and just how morbidly unethical and dangerous that would really be. The show offers a hilarious (yet sometimes over the top crude) example of everything that could go wrong with this scenario and it’s doing it better with every episode. The show does a great job of showing Rick as a teacher, a guardian and a genius, just long enough that we forget how terrible he is and are slapped with his shortcomings all over again. Usually Morty and Jerry take the brunt of Rick’s failing schemes.
While season one might have been a bit crude and simplistic, season two actually opened a lot of character development. The majority of the 10 episodes focused on the relationships between the main-characters. In several episodes the story dealt with Beth and Jerry’s mismatched marriage, Summer and Morty as squabbling siblings and Beth and Rick’s distant father-daughter relationship. The show even had Rick coming to terms with his own terrible habit of hating everyone and everything.
The move from over-the-top slapstick and violent comedy into a more tactful adventure-comedy goes in-and-out throughout the season but season 2 offers a much more substantial storyline than the first season did. The show is one of Adult Swim’s fastest growing hits and (so far) it has at least one more season to go.
The final events of season two’s episode “The Wedding Squanchers” left fans with a ton of questions that need answering but those answers won’t come for at least another 18 months at this point. Watching the ending of the first season was a heartbreaker that is only making waiting for season three even harder. Again, we won’t spoil anything for fans but just know that anyone that loves “Rick and Morty” are most likely hoping that the show comes back soon rather than later.
Still, the extended break should give new fans and current stragglers more than enough time to catch-up on the series. Hopefully season 3 will continue the story-arcs that we saw established in the second season and Rick and Morty will be off causing disasters on new planets and in new dimensions in no time.