From creators Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland (House of Cosbys) comes the brilliant Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty. The show will return for its fourth season – a long time from now probably…
After having been missing for nearly 20 years, Rick Sanchez suddenly arrives at daughter Beth’s doorstep to move in with her and her family. Although Beth welcomes Rick into her home, her husband, Jerry, isn’t as happy about the family reunion. Jerry is concerned about Rick, a sociopathic scientist, using the garage as his personal laboratory. In the lab, Rick works on a number of sci-fi gadgets, some of which could be considered dangerous. But that’s not all Rick does that concerns Jerry. He also goes on adventures across the universe that often involve his grandchildren, Morty and Summer.
After last season saw Rick imprisoned in some intergalactic stronghold, we kick off the long-awaited third season with his escape and subsequent emotional assault on his family as he completely tears them apart with his nihilistic psychopathic tendencies. This is the darkest season by far and it’s also the best. Beth and Jerry get divorced so coyotes eat Jerry’s paycheques while the wind whispers “loser” as he walks back to his shitty apartment. Morty is continuously strung along on dangerous adventures with Rick who is even more self-aware than past seasons. When the time comes to play Minecraft with Morty, he bails and says Southpark did it four years ago. Yes they did. Rick will usually break the fourth wall and even talk about the theme of the episode they’re in – it’s hilarious really. While Rick is certainly the star of the show in many ways and he usually drops the best lines, every character in the family has their chance to shine and develop.
From Jerry’s sadness, to Summer and Morty dealing with their parents’ divorce, to Beth re-thinking her entire life and potentially leaving the family for good so she can try to live the life her father did when he abandoned her and went on crazy adventures through multiple universes. For an animated show that features ridiculous moments like Rick turning himself into a pickle and killing endless waves of villains in some sort of Die-Hard homage — the show can get pretty complex too, such as the politically charged and mind-blowing Ricklantis episode where we see the Citadel and how a planet made entirely of various Morty’s and Rick’s from different universes co-exist with one another….
I’m still astonished at how much work and genius creator and voice actor Justin Roiland has put in this year. This season was his masterpiece. He voices both Rick and Morty, so having an episode comprised of virtually hundreds of Ricks and Mortys is a shitload of studio work and then he has to try and make them all sound distinct while still remaining Rick and Morty even though they aren’t really sorta… This show can get complicated at times, but that’s part of the fun and why it stands apart from other animated sitcoms. The on-going story is extremely important and the amount of depth, in spite of the silliness, is staggering and powerful. I care about these characters and I don’t usually give a shit about cartoons.
From the season opener (which premiered months ahead of the rest of this season on April Fool’s Day) and caused the szesuan sauce craze of 2017, to the potential unsettling re-set of the entire show after that uncomfortable ending which leaves the fate of Beth and more in the air — Rick and Morty is easily the most clever comedy series on TV. They managed to combine SAW with The Avengers in one episode, and choreographed some of the most brutal and insane action scenes of the year. This is not easy stuff for a cartoon series to pull off.
Rick and Morty’s battles are so over-the-top and insane that following the action is an incredible mind-fuck. There’s a moment where Rick hatches as a baby out of himself and then ages at an accelerated rate to continue the brawl naked while an alien beast eats the old corpse. Did he just clone himself? What the hell is going on? What about when the President blows that silent whistle in the finale and two little blond kids come out of secret doors, their eyes turn white and they proceed to attack Rick? What the hell is happening? Rick and Morty might be the most re-playable TV series of the year because you really have to see everything twice to catch all the carnage you’re missing as you blink.