“Morty, there’s an infinite number of universes where My Kid is Into This wrote an article about us!”
“Wh-what are you talking about Rick?”
“In some universes, we’re -UURP- we’re a television show.”
Okay, that may not be a real Rick and Morty quote, but in another universe, it could be.
The show stars Rick Sanchez, an alcoholic, sociopathic super-intelligent galactic criminal as he drags his grandson Morty Smith through parallel dimensions and alternate universes in a quest for… Well, whatever Rick decides is worth his time.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this show not be for viewers under the age of at least 16. The show’s themes range from alcoholism to murder, terrorism, suicide and self-hatred.
That being said, it is hilarious.
The show toys with thought-provoking themes like existentialism and nihilism through the fact that there are an unlimited number of other universes with other Ricks and other Morties, so many so that in order to hide from their respective Galactic Governments’ influence, there is a Council of Ricks that coordinate themselves in secret.
If there’s just another version of you out there, exactly like you, what importance do you have? [NOTE, heavy spoiler for that link.]
Kind of heavy for a cartoon, isn’t it? So why does my kid love it?
First of all, the comedy is deliciously dark. I can’t speak for every person of the 18-35 age demographic, but a common form of humor right now is humor that draws from dark irony, horrible situations and peoples’ ability to be unaffected, and laughing in the face of dread. Rick is a prime example of all three of these tropes.
In separate situations, Rick has:
1) Told Morty to shoot bug-like aliens, referring to them as ‘robots’ until Morty sees one bleed. Rick clarifies that the aliens are bureaucrats, and that’s basically the same thing.
2) Killed an entire ship of aliens by tricking them into thinking they had gained his recipe for ‘concentrated dark matter’ when in reality it was an explosive substance.
3) Created a robot with the single purpose of passing the butter, and gave it enough sentience for it to have an existential crisis over this fact.
These uses of dark humor hit a certain spot in the hearts of teenagers and young adults, where they can all, at some level, relate to the emotional plights of the characters while laughing at the situations at hand.
Rick and Morty is surreal, but it also manages to take the time to talk about very real issues, such as the devolving marriage of Morty’s parents over the course of the first two seasons. Season 3, so far, is starting to show how our ‘heroes’ deal with this in their own, not-so-good way.
The show has spawned dozens upon dozens of memes, including “I’M MR.MEESEEKS, LOOK AT ME! “, Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! [Which turns out to mean “I am in great pain, please help me”] “Get Schwifty”, Szechuan Sauce and practically every clip from the episodes Interdimensional Cable 1 and 2. Notably, the dialogue for both of those episodes was largely improvised in the recording studio by Justin Roiland, who happens to voice Rick, Morty, and plenty of other characters.
My favourite clip from those last two are “Ants In My Eyes Johnson’s Electronics”.
All in all, Rick and Morty is a hilariously quotable show about coping with depression, sci-fi adventuring, and the consequences of life.
So your kid is into Rick and Morty. While I largely advise this for adolescents and teens, I recommend everyone watch it one day. Now you can too, and GET SHWIFTY IN HERE!