Of the two cartoon series that I’ve watched recently, Rick and Morty is the filthier, cruder cousin to the delights of Steven Universe, but it still has its charms. From creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the guy behind Community, similar in only its fast-talking humor, Rick and Morty is the story of a crazy scientist who travels the universe with his awkward grandson Morty.
With the rest of their family often in stories of their own, Rick and Morty, clearly modeled on Doc and Marty from Back to the Future, is a show with a lot of high concepts and a lot of dick jokes. It’s Futurama meets Family Guy and whilst it can’t match the former and too often falters from the problems of the latter, it’s still a show that bursts with creativity and safely fits within the new boundaries of modern TV.
It’s often funny, in a silly way, but clever enough to be wry and fourth wall breaking at the same time. It doesn’t have the stability of Community, but by being able to do literally anything with its story, it makes for a show that can at times be incredibly off the wall and conceptually engaging.
The jokes are thick and fast, and only rarely indulgent but when it comes down to it, they all work because the very nature of the show is that it’s a loving parody of the things it spoofs.
As I said, where it fails is where Family Guy fails, in that because it’s so removed from reality, that any attempt to inject real heart into the show feels either untrue or just another joke.
In the end, what makes it work is the dedicated voice cast, the funny, knowing scripts and the talent of the creators, making this a more appealing show than the growing staleness of its counterparts.