“Rick and Morty” is a show I highly recommend and after I finished Season 1 I started watching Season 2 so there will be more reviews later on in this amazing animated dark comedy sci. fi. The characters have depth and get developed over time and no matter how dark the show goes, it never stops having fun. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon created a wonderful show and I’ll go into more depth on what I enjoyed about Season 1 and where it fell short.
The Pros: The Comedy – The comedy is hilarious! There are some brilliant satires in episodes (“Lawnmower Dog” satirizing both “Planet of the Apes,” “Inception” and “Friday the 13th.” As well as countless others. The comedy is both random but also has some great setups as well as character cons end up leading to some pretty good payoff later in relationship to other characters and the surrounding environment.
The Universe – The Universe is rich! From alternate dimensions and times, The Council of Ricks, Bird Person, the Meeseeks and the countless aliens and governments Rick comes into conflict with throughout his anti-authority adventures.
The Characters – The characters are wonderful and memorable and the family and their relationships develop over time in relationship to Rick and Morty who are the characters who primarily drive the plot.
Mr. Meeseeks – Mr. Meeseeks are created to solve problems and after they stop existing. Their entire existence is pain and when they try and help Jerry improve his golf game they come to see it as impossible and end up taking hostages and growing desperate in a stark contrast to their initial kind and supportive nature. I really hope we see these guys again.
Jerry – Jerry is an idiot and his arc is really becoming comfortable in the fact he is not smart and becoming comfortable in that as well as his role as a father and the fact that his wife loves him even though they clash a lot and are in a failing marriage. He’s an idiot but he’s sympathetic when he isn’t arrogant.
Beth – Beth is the high achiever and a staunch defender of her dad. She is the one helping Jerry develop into a better person and dealing with her perfectionist nature and learning to let go. She hasn’t gotten there yet but throughout the show we see the strange, extreme circumstances Rick’s or Jerry’s actions bring about bring her closer to that place.
Summer – Summer is Morty’s sister and her arc is dealing with the fact that she was a mistake and learning to accept that life is chaotic, strange and hard and at the end you die. This ends up making her a great Rick companion as Morty learned this over the course of the series too. She also doesn’t have the moral core Morty has either, best shown in “Ricksy Business.”
Rick – Rick is a sociopathic mad scientist whose moral core is Morty, his grandson and travel companion. Rick learns to care about Morty and the family over the course of the season and we see him see those small relationships and appreciate them in the overwhelming abyss that his the rest of reality. He’s also an anti-authority rebel which makes his relationships with alien governments entertaining.
Morty – Morty is like Marty to Rick’s Doc Brown and is the moral core of the show as he helps Rick care about people and life even as Morty goes through that same process of learning himself when his selfishness destroys the reality he starts out in. It is this arc that gives him a bleak view of existence but improves his relationship with Rick and his family. He is pretty mature at the end though he still has his wide eyed idealism that defines the character, even given all he’s been through.
Rick and the 4th Wall – Rick breaks the 4th Wall on multiple occasions and talks directly the audience telling them to watch next week or buy a product. It is hilarious and fits into the fact that Rick is aware of everything and that is why he is crazy and nuts.
The Cons: The Cliffhanger Ending – In “Ricksy Business” Rick freezes time so they can clean the house after the party and that is where it ends with them still cleaning. There isn’t a complete arc for this reason in regards to Rick and Beth in relationship to Rick as they were in conflict with him from the very first episode.
For a show that is all about subtle arcs and callbacks ending the show on a cliffhanger ended up being the only con. It achieved it’s purpose as it made me watch on to see what happened but it did detract from the overall narrative. It is strong though and easily one of the best animated series currently on television. I laughed through most of it and the only episode that was weak was the one where they had gender stereotypes. The rest were at least 8’s and there were many that were high 9’s. My favorite episodes were “Lawnmower Dog,” “Meeseeks and Destroy” and “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.”
Final Score: 9.5 / 10.