Call me behind the curve, but I just “discovered” Adult Swim’s cartoon Rick and Morty last month. I use the word “discovered” in the loosest sense of the word as this show has been running on Adult Swim since 2013.
Several of my friends have been telling me for a while to get into it on the grounds that I have a cynical sense of humor. Let me just say that Rick and Morty does not disappoint.
Originally pitched to studios as a dark version of Back to the Future with Doc and Marty, the show is really quick-witted, sarcastic, and “cheerfully cruel” (a term my friend Troy and I coined to describe other shows in the same vein such as Blackadder by Sir Rowan Atkinson and Fawlty Towers by John Cleese). Here’s a short clip that exhibits exactly what I mean:
Whereas Doc and Marty McFly cruise around in their DeLorean trying to solve their personal problems, Rick and Morty use their portal gun to cause chaos. There’s some itch in a part of my psyche that this show scratches with it’s callous disregard for sanity and rational thought.
The story is set on the premise that there are infinite timelines and that everything we do is being repeated countless times, therefore everything is pointless. This existential nihilism manifests itself in a variety of ways, but most often through Rick (the blue, pointy-haired “Doc” in the video above) shrugging his shoulders in ambivalence about what’s happening in front of him.
Ultimately, this show won’t be for everyone. It can be quite crude. But if you know me and already know that your sense of humor aligns with mine, I think you could certainly do worse than a Rick and Morty show marathon.