By Maggie Holmes
Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty: makeuseofus.com
Adult Swim’s hit animated comedy Rick and Morty is known for its crude, sci-fi animation and sickly, yet hugely-gravitating, dark humor. The show follows an alcoholic genius, Rick Sanchez, and his grandson and co-adventurer, Morty Smith, as they navigate familial and inter-dimensional trials. As ironic as it sounds, there is something incredibly refreshing about a show that revolves not only futuristic ideas; but, also around the repulsion of human nature. Producers Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland (Roiland being the voices for both Rick and Morty), have truly deviated from the typical comedic animation style, and they manage to pull off the most gruesome concepts with complete and utter success and acceptance.
Rick and Morty: wallpapersboom.com
Rick and Morty’s unique style and cunning humor can only be bested by its depth, which I believe to be the reason for its success among younger audiences. Depth is something that many other shows and former comedic renaissance-starter, Family Guy, lack. I mention Seth MacFarlane’s long-standing series because I believe that Family Guy really expanded what society allowed to be on mainstream television. It was cancelled twice, highly ridiculed by critics, and absolutely adored by its audience for its daring and offensive style. In a way, these two shows share a similar dynamic. Both center their plot lines around a family setting, and both are extremely crude. The difference is that Rick and Morty maintains a certain continuum throughout the show. From references to past episodes, to the decision to follow Morty and Summer’s parents’ rocky relationship; it is safe to say that this continuity makes the audience more invested; which, perhaps, is partially responsible for the devoted fan base.
Rick and Smith Family: comicbook.com
To me, Rick and Morty’s brilliance lies in the details. Harmon and Roiland let their nerd flags fly freely in the show and it’s easy to recognize. Rick and Morty are constantly interacting with creatures inspired by actual horror and sci-fi shows (and sometimes human genitalia). Some of the most obvious include “Scary Terry,” a character depicted parodically after Freddy Krueger, “Anatomy Park” modeled after Jurassic Park, and an entire episode called “M. Night Shaym-Aliens;” which, is a nod to M. Night Shyamalan’s twist-ridden films.
Monsters and Aliens of Rick and Morty: Tumblr.com
What really sets the show apart is more than the references and jokes. Some theorize that Rick is actually aware of his presence in a show (he breaks the fourth wall at least twice to address the audience) and is depressed because he must keep up the entertaining antics or his show, a.k.a. life as he knows it, will be cancelled. Fan theories are part of what makes Rick and Morty so fun to watch, because you could be right! I, personally, love this show. It is rare to find an animated series that reveals new and fun subtleties every time you watch it. Leave a comment and show Rick and Morty some love!