Reviews: Rick And Morty

So...Season 3...

Season 3 of Rick and Morty, so far, has been polarising to a fair amount of people. Some think it's good, while others think it's not good. Personally, I actually don't know how to feel on it. It has both good things and bad things, and I'm having a tough time forming an opinion.

Season 1 and 2, I will admit, I did enjoy more. More iconic imagery and episodes came from them, compared to Season 3, where the most iconic images to come from it are Pickle Rick and Szechuan "How the fuck do I spell this?" Sauce. But Season 3 still has good moments, even if their not as memorable, like giving Jerry some much needed character development, intriguing concepts and some interesting world building. And the comedy, while not as strong, still makes me laugh, a good example being Morty's un-characteristically casual disarming of a bomb in Vindicators 3.

On top of that, the intro to Rest and Ricklaxation, while partially pulling a bait and switch on what would of been a nice episode, is probably one of the best things I thought came out of the series. Seeing these two have a more down to earth reaction to one of their adventures was very enjoyable, showing that Rick is not always the brave hero we see. In fact, I actually, personally enjoyed the whole episode, even if it was not what I expected, with the idea of Rick's bad side and good side being split into two different beings. True, Rick saying his attachment to Morty being a bad quality is a bit of a downer, but I still enjoyed it very much, even though I know some may not (Or maybe they did like it? I dunno, it's very new as I write this.)

But on the other hand, Season 3 is following two seasons of what many consider the greatest adult cartoon made, so it has some competition. While I did enjoy at least every episode in Season 3 so far, most of them do not stand with great episodes like Auto Erotic Assimilation, Total Rickall, Rixty Minutes, The Wedding Squanchers or Rick Potion #9. I think this is mainly due to a new variety of writers, which is straying us away from the more iconic episodes from the show. Justin Roiland does constantly look and read criticism of the show, especially from fans, so there is a possibility that any problems people have with Season 3 is dealt with in a possible Season 4, if it should ever be made.

Overall, at episode 6, Season 3 has me feeling...neutral. The good stuff is there, but the good stuff itself is weak compared to the previous seasons. I'm willing to stick with both Rick and Morty on there adventures, so I do plan on watching the rest of Season 3 itself. I just hope it won't dip into "bad" quality for me, as there's few feelings worse then a dislike for what was once one of your favourite things.

S03E04: Vindicators 3: Return of Something Something

I might as well sum up all the frustrating things about this episode in bullet points.

  • There's very little tension, with the hyped up villain killed off-screen without effort by Rick, and Morty effortlessly dealing with the death traps; the subverted plot isn't replaced with anything of value and no one is in any sort of peril
  • Vindicators' death as a whole was predictable, because that's what side characters do in this bloody show; there's no reason for me to give a shit about them for this reason alone, and then they turned out to be unlikable douchebags, proving Rick right (see point below)
  • Rick's exploits are on the level of bullshit I associate with bad fanfictions; he effortlessly pulverizes a very threatening villain, kills off half the Vindicators and proves to Morty that sure, he's a douche, but so are the Vindicators; the first two seasons had him actually fight and be in danger, here (and in S3 in general) he's basically doing what he wants with nothing threatening him
  • The bait and switch at the end could be seen from a MILE away; actually having it be a straightforward admission that Rick cares about Morty would've been sappy, but at least it'd be something unexpected
  • The ending was anticlimactic in the worst possible way; the bad guy just leaves, and there's an out of nowhere party?
  • BONUS: a guy with kajillion deaths under his belt, who destroyed and enslaved entire UNIVERSES, who doesn't give a shit about what other people think about him... feels the need to explain that he's not an anti-Semite? I mean, anti-Semitism is obviously a bad thing, but in Rick's case it feels like drawing line in the sand between two piles of corpses

Rickshank Redemption: Commitment to Not Giving a Shit

Season 2 ended on an intriguing note. The status quo was changed, Rick had undergone apparent character development, and the show promised to be going in an interesting new direction.

A year and a half later, the season 3 premiere is here to tell you you're an idiot if you thought the show would have things like 'plot' or 'character development.'

The show teases Rick having a backstory, only to reveal that he made it up. Interesting antagonists are casually offed, doing away with what little overarching plot this series had in the first place. Tragic backstories are cliche, apparently, so instead we'll have nothing at all.

Did you think that maybe Rick was growing as a person and might have to face consequences of his actions? Nah, have him effortlessly win at everything. And have some flashbacks to fucking Superjail! while you're at it.

So far the season promises to just be more of the same movie parodies with Rick being a static character; jackass who wins everything.

The real April Fool's joke was making you think the show would commit to anything interesting.

Seasons 1 and 2

Ricky and Morty is a strange sort of show. At its core, it's a comedy revolving around a genius named Rick who loves to take his grandson Morty on adventures all throughout space and alternative dimensions. And then something weird always end up happening and you're forced to watch insanity unfold before you in a semi-episodic format.

The show relies upon nihilistic and dark humor and isn't afraid to say or show ANYTHING. And I mean that completely with probably the best example being that Rick wanted to 911 a plane in a dream (I couldn't make this up if I wanted to). The show doesn't care what you think and will happily say whatever it wants and laugh at how horrifying everything is around it.

But despite all of the darkness and insanity that the show relies upon, it's also a strangely touching and insightful show. The episodes do give some lessons that aren't seen too often (particularly in Season 2) and it does its best not to be too preachy about what it intends on telling you. Each episode will simply revolve around the theme and have you figure it out yourself. I genuinely felt heartbroken at several situations just because of how REAL everything was played out. Even though most of the episodes take place on some alien planet with absurd scenarios happening on them, the situations feel just like how they would be on Earth and strike you deep. For example, in the Auto Erotic Assimilation episode, Rick tries to reconnect with old ex of his, a hive mind named Unity, after meeting her again and coming to the planet that she's taken over. At first its starts off silly and uses the show's usual sense of ridiculous and lewd humor, but by the time the episode is over, you're slammed with something so harsh but so true that you can't help but feel the pain Rick feels when it's all over.

With Season 2 over with that gut-wrenching cliffhanger, I don't know where the series will go from here. But what I can say is that until the series does make a third season, I'd give the show a shot. Give it at least 6 episodes and if you don't like it, then stop. But if you do, then keep going and don't ever stop.

Spoiler-Free Review

Rick and Morty is a great series even if, like me, you tend to avoid Western Adult Cartoons. And, unlike, most Western Animation I like, it's not a similarity to Anime that appals to me; it's taking the standard tropes of its genre and treating them with respect. Take, Jerry, for example, the idiot dad: he's one of the most well meaning characters I've seen in TV, which makes his idiocy fun because it's not an excuse for him to hurt everyone else. Or take Morty: where on another show he might be the character who unrealistically takes shit while getting no benefit, he actually has a good time on the adventures and isn't afraid to demand things in exchange for the help he gives Rick. In addition, the use of multiple realities is a breath of fresh air, and doesn't lend itself to the paradoxes time travel does.

My suggestion, watch the show, there's a large chance you'll like what you see. Go half a season in and be ready to have what you know about the show turned on its head, and to like it even more because of it.

Bizarre, Hateful, Beautiful

This show is something strange, even for Adult Swim. Visit gorgeous alien planets! See amazing creature designs! SEE THE RAW HORROR OF EXISTENCE.

The character designs are clearly inspired by Back to the Future, but the more apt comparisons throughout are to Doctor Who. It is Deconstruction but without contrivance; it simply takes the format of Doctor Who and dumps reality on it. Strained interpersonal relationships, sex, mistakes, horror...

Rick is possibly the most frustrating character of all time. He speaks non-stop - until he has something important to say, and then he stutters and belches until you want to punch him in the face.

Morty is pitiable, but lovable; and his realistic teenage predilections only make him MORE likable. He's not an innocent - except by comparison to the festering wound that is real life.

At times the show feels practically spiteful in its abuse of the audience, and it's often hard to watch.

But for whatever reason, I couldn't stop watching. It's absurd and horrible and somehow amazing and touching. The simplistic character artwork lets them spend their money on the wonder and horror of a science fiction universe which pulls no punches; but its bizarre magnificence makes its allure very believable, and infectious. Sometimes literally.
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