I’ve made no qualms about pointing out the poor quality of Adult Swim shows in the last few years. While there are still a few shining moments, they’re few and far between. Even with this prejudice, the buzz about AS’s new show, Rick and Morty, was too much to ignore. Quickly, I tore through the first season. I haven’t been this happy or excited about a show in years.
The premise is simple, one part Back to the Future, with Rick and Morty obviously based off of Doc and Marty, add in the craziest Hitchhiker’s Guide sci-fi imaginable with the lunacy of creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. I’ve been a fan of Harmon’s for some time with Community (a fantastic show that everyone should watch). As for Roiland, who voices Rick, Morty, and most of the other one-off characters, I think his imdb photo says it all.
The show took a bit to grab me, but not much. The pilot was decent, with the second episode hooking me more. The third episode, “Anatomy Park,” was terrible, easily the weakest of the season. After this, the show immediately skyrocketed. “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” had David Cross guest star, and was a lot of fun. “Meeseeks and Destroy” however, was hands down the best of the season. I still chuckle thinking about the Meeseeks. If I want someone to sample the show, this will be the episode I point them too. At very least, watch this one.
As the season went on, there was a bit of callbacks and continuity, with Morty pointing out his dead body in the backyard several episodes later. A definite plus. Speaking of the shows structure, I had no idea where this was going, ever. While the show obviously evolved as it was developed, becoming more insular and smarter for it, the breakdown of each episode was all over the place. The entire cast was used wisely, with Summer (Spencer Grammer), Jerry (Chris Parnell) and Beth (Sarah Chalke) all given time to shine. Occasionally, the central character sometimes switched in act two. This made the show unpredictable, and ultimately better.
The smart writing and callbacks are reminiscent of Arrested Development. The characters showed growth, something I wasn’t expecting, pulling from moments and gags from previous episodes brought out more laughs and subtitles. I could only imagine what they’d do next season.
I’ve been down on Adult Swim shows for years now. Really down. This is not only the best new show they’ve produced in years, but one of the best comedies I’ve seen in recent memory. Rick and Morty only improves as it goes. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
What was your favorite episode? How awesome was “The Rick Dance?” Comment below!
Chris Parnell was perfect as Jerry.