TV Analysis: You should watch “Rick and Morty”
Inspired by co-creator Justin Roiland’s Channel 101 shorts “The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti,” “Rick and Morty” is an animated series that follows the wacky adventures of a dysfunctional family including the grandfather Rick. Rick is a mad scientist inspired by Doc Brown from “Back to the Future.” The series has also been compared to “Doctor Who,” Harmon states while comparing the shows – “We want to hang out with the Doctor, we idolize the Doctor, but we don’t think like him, and that’s really interesting, Rick is diseased, he’s mentally ill, he’s an absolute lunatic because he lives on this larger scale.”
And that’s just what “Rick and Morty” is. Diseased (in a good way), mentally ill (also in a good way), and filled with lunacy. You should be watching this unique show and you can catch it on Adult Swim. The show was picked up in the latter half of 2013 to a 10-episode first season and has been renewed for a second.
“Rick and Morty” is raunchy, gross, offbeat, frenetic, but most importantly it is different and co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon aren’t afraid to push it in that direction. Adult Swim originals have a history of being off-the-rails and zany, and “Rick and Morty” is not an exception to this. The situations and conflicts in the show can often leave you scratching your scalp wondering – “What the hell am I watching?”
The show has an identity outside of that though, it is well-written. Each individual character has their quirks and are guided through Harmon’s well-known storytelling wheel. Harmon explained his method of writing through 9 stages which circle around to the beginning – A character is in a zone of comfort, but they want something, they enter an unfamiliar situation, adapt to it, they get what they want, pay a heavy price for it, return to their familiar situation, having changed, then back around again.
It’s interesting how much Harmon’s storytelling wheel comes into play in this show, even given its “not bound by rules” approach as put by Roiland.
It’s episodic and you can choose whether to watch it with your brain on or off. The show is colorfully animated and the script balances sharp wit, gross-out humor, and a childish sense of wonderment. Season 1 of “Rick and Morty” has sustained an 85 on Metacritic. It’s not the show that everyone will be talking about around the water cooler at 9am on Monday. It is much better than those shows.