Rick and Morty (seasons 1-3)
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Rick and Morty is an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Cartoon Network's late-night programming block Adult Swim. The series follows the misadventures of cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his good-hearted but fretful grandson Morty Smith, who split their time between domestic life and interdimensional adventures.
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 with his grandson Morty.
Why Science Makes Sense in These Seasons
- The premise of having a show where characters explore infinite alternate universes allows for seemingly infinite ideas on creativity. This also allows the show to go absolutely nuts sometimes since no matter where they go it WILL make sense.
- Despite the simplistic design of the characters, the animation is slick and streamlined, and the backgrounds look extremely beautiful, futuristic, and unimaginable.
- Amazing adventures taking the characters across various myriads of worlds, dimensions, and alternate realities that are just plain bizarre. The Citadel of Ricks and Mortys for example, is just an utterly outrageous world populated with Ricks and Mortys from across multiple alternate realities.
- Great voice acting especially Justin Roiland voices both Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith, and he even gets himself drunk to help portray Rick to add some realism and go all-out.
- The Same thing goes for the Russian voice-over translation, where Dima Sienduk (Дима Сыендук) voiced not only Rick and Morty but also the rest of the show's character cast.
- Over-the-top and gloriously crazy death scenes.
- Clever easter eggs from Gravity Falls can be spotted in some episodes. For example, in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind," a pen, notebook, and coffee cup can be seen falling out of a portal at one point. In an episode from that show, "Society of the Blind Eye," Grunkle Stan loses these exact items to his inter-dimensional portal.
- Lots of great pop culture references. In the Season 1 episode, "Ricksty Minutes", Gazorpazorpfield parodies Garfield, and often times the pop culture references are often times satirical as The Simpsons.
- Really entertaining, relatable, likable, and memorable cast of characters, like the title protagonists, Mr. Poopybutthole, The President, Birdperson, and so much more.
- Exciting but violent action-packed scenes that keep the audience rooting for either the protagonists or antagonists.
- It is one of the very rare shows on Adult Swim to have a Japanese dub.
- Really creative black comedy. It's never afraid to mock subjects such as political correctness, religious beliefs, and other elements of human society.
- The fourth wall breaks are well-created and funny.
- There are many great episodes, such as:
- "Pilot" (which started the show on a high note)
- "M. Night Shaym-Aliens"
- "Meseeks and Destroy"
- "Rick Potion #9"
- "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind"
- "Total Rickall"
- "The Ricks Must Be Crazy"
- "The Wedding Squanchers"
- "The Rickshank Rickdemption"
- "Pickle Rick"
- "The Ricklantis Mixup"
- Great theme song. Really, the entire soundtrack of the show is glorious, and the other original songs for the show range from awe-inspiring to downright hilarious, such as "Goodbye Moonmen" from "Mortynight Run" and "Get Schwifty" from the episode of the same name.
- Despite the craziness of the show, it does have its saddening moments like in season 4 where Rick is broken by the loss of Tony and deliberately triggers the trap he laid for him, which spawns a thousand holographic Ricks screaming at him and berating him.
- Over-the-top satirical violence that even the show pokes fun at sometimes.
- The more dramatic scenes are well-done and executed in untimely, ridiculous but effective ways.
- It has some pretty interesting philosophical questions in relation to coming of age, mediocrity, dullness, loneliness, death, and so much more.
- Lots of memorable quotes like "I'm Pickle Riiiickkk!", "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub", and "And that's the way the news goes.".
- Some of the aliens are very poorly designed.
- The animation, while beautiful and great, can be choppy at times and isn't the best in some episodes, such as in the pilot.
- The extreme violence and gore can be really messed up and disturbing, even for some viewers who are used to violent adult sitcoms.
- The characters can be very unlikable at times. For instance, Rick can be a very obnoxious, uncaring jerk towards everyone around him who nearly puts them in near-death situations, particularly Morty (though he was meant to act like that). And also, Jerry was often a cowardly, egocentric, selfish, and dishonest idiot who makes the wrong decisions and thinks he's in the right when he isn't.
- Some episodes of the show can be quite mean-spirited regardless of how good the episode is.
- Some of the episode titles can be misleading and annoying.
- The show treats tons of the characters that are not part of the Smith-Sanchez family like absolute trash, having them appear for one episode and they are either killed off or completely forgotten by the time of the next episode. Scropon is an egregious example as he seemed to have been introduced for no reason and then shooed away with a remark that his planet was destroyed.
- The show got into a bit of a slump in the third season due to changing certain aspects and creating plot holes.
- Rick is turned into an overpowered character and is suddenly "the smartest man in the universe", almost making him a Gary Stu. This makes a lot of the dramatic fight sequences less impactful since Rick will just pull a scientific device out of nowhere and kill almost everyone around him. This is especially weird since in the episode "Look Who's Purging Now", he is wounded and robbed by a teenage girl. It also doesn't make sense for him to be the smartest man since he found someone who's equally as intelligent as him in the episode "The Ricks Must Be Crazy" and the show only started calling him this in Season 3.
- In the very first episode Rick takes down the Galactic government and Sentential of Ricks with ease and claims that it was his plan the whole time along with getting Jerry out of the family because he crossed him. This makes no sense since the whole point of his getting caught was to keep his family safe and out of danger, essentially owning up to his selfishness; it also showed that he agreed with Jerry in that he is in fact a danger to the family. The only thing this does is ruin Rick's character development and create a plot hole.
- Plot Hole: If Rick could take down the Galactic government and the Sentential of Ricks so easily, then why did he not do this before since this would've saved all his friends including Bird Person?
- This season's frequent nihilistic tone, along with how the characters constantly go through the perception that life is meaningless and should just accept that as it is can make the writing come off as lazy, immature, and annoying. Because if nothing matters, then why does the show matter?
- The show seems to be trying to appeal more to the audience since it makes many references to things like Reddit which is pretty out of place since that isn't what the show is about.
- Speaking of decline in quality, the show has hitten seasonal rot in season 4, and has shown no signs of improvements.
- The show sometimes teaches bad morals to adult viewers. In "Raising Gazorpazorp", sexism is portrayed as a good thing as it portrays female gazorpians as wise, shopping-obsessed, sophisticated women while the males are portrayed as violent, angry, and uncivilized jerks.
- It features many Easter Eggs from Gravity Falls. This is due to co-creator Justin Roiland being friends with Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls.
- In an unexpected and shocking way, on June 8, 2021, Rick Sanchez arrived at the famous Battle Royale game, Fortnite as part of Season 7, Chapter 2 and also as a collaboration (Along with Superman), since you had to be at level 100, which gives you Rick's skin, a pickaxe that has the Morty Hammer design, a backpack that has the design of the butter robot, an emote of the dance from the episode "Total Rickall", the delta wing of Rick's ship and even the design of Toxic Rick. On August 21, 2021, they released Morty in the item store. Morty uses a robot suit reminiscent of the machines used by the dogs in the episode "Lawnmower Dog", a backpack in the shape of a Meeseeks box, a space snake pickaxe, and a "Get Schwifty" emote.
- Rick and Morty also appeared in The Simpsons episode Mathlete's Feat, through a couch gag one time, which might have shown the crew of The Simpsons might have done some research on the characters, and the show itself.
- The series is set in Seattle, Washington.
- In January 2023, Justin Roiland was fired by Adult Swim for his domestic abuse allegations, yet Rick and Morty have been confirmed to continue without him, though this consequently means that the titular characters will be recast in Season 7.
Rick and Morty has received universal acclaim, holding an approval rating of 94% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes for the entire series. David Weigand of San Francisco Chronicle described it as "offbeat and occasionally coarse... the takeaway here is that it works". He praised the animation direction by James McDermott for being "fresh, colorful and as wacky as the script", and states that the series possesses "shades of Futurama, South Park and even Beetlejuice", ultimately opining that its humor felt "entirely original". Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times praised the series and stated that it was "Grandparenting at its unhinged finest." In a review shortly after the second-season premiere, Sean Sebastian of Junkee said that although the crude animation and over-the-top voice acting might have discouraged some viewers to continue watching, Rick and Morty is "exceptionally well-made" and that "the more you dissect it, the more you find it has to say."
Todd Spangler of Variety gave the series a lukewarm review; saying that though it "often seems … frenetic at the expense of being witty", it represents "a welcome attempt to dream just a little bigger". David Sims of The A.V. Club gave the series an "A−". In reviewing the first two episodes, he praised its "clean, simple style" of animation, and said the series has "a dark, sick sensibility". He praised its "effort to give each character a little bit of depth", and applauded Roiland's voice talent.
While the show received universal acclaim, the third season is considered a "make or break" point for many due to the constant nihilistic tone and the fact that Rick gets a major power buff. Because of this many began to stop caring for the show, however, it's not as bad as season 4 onwards, as it received mixed-to-extremely negative reviews from critics, audiences, and fans due to it cranking up the nihilistic tone, flanderized characters, inferior plots and so on.