What a terrific show. Really, it is so good, so consistently
entertaining and wilfully unique it is a miracle it is allowed to exist at all.
TV shows shouldn’t have main characters attempting suicide or accidentally
shooting family friends. They’re not supposed to have downbeat endings where
nobody learns anything. There shouldn’t be characters called Bird Person or Mr
Poopybutthole. There shouldn’t even be Rick, a truly singular anti-hero, a guy
who just muscles his way through life without a plan or moral concern for
anyone else. TV is not supposed to be so nihilist, so pessimistic. And it
shouldn’t work so well. It is amazing.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a show that knows itself so well.
That seems like a strange compliment but Rick and Morty is just so self-assured
there’s hardly ever a misstep. Even the stuff that doesn’t work still works.
A lot of the stories feel like they begin with cool “what
if…?” questions by the writers. Like “what if an AI computer system was ordered
to protect a human without violence or killing?” Well of course it’d use
memories of the policeman’s dead son to cause a mental breakdown, and then
broker world peace to call off the heat. It’s not just the cool scenario the
writers have constructed that I like but how they push it to its extreme. No
idea is left half-explored.
Other episodes are riffs on well known sci-fi or pop culture concepts.
The devil selling perfect items in exchange for customers’ souls only to be
negated by Rick who opens a shop next door which undoes the curse. Rick’s
spaceship’s engine, which is powered by a whole microverse, wherein a scientist
has constructed his own microverse and so on and on. A straight up version of
The Purge. Real exploration of multiverse (including the inevitable evil
version of Morty and a day-care for all the different Morty’s dads to stay out
of trouble). Again, the show doesn’t just take these ideas and set a story
inside them. It takes them and runs away with them, throwing in wonderful
post-modern twists at every turn. It’s inventive, refreshing storytelling.
It’s not a show for everyone though. It’s sometimes violent
and gruesome. And if you’re not on board with the storytelling, you’re never going
But for a show that shouldn’t exist, it’s pretty damn good.