Imagine you have a crazy scientist grandfather. A bit of a boozer, and a borderline asshole, but in his own quirky way, he loves you and you love him. Now, you’re thirteen, hormones are dancing around in your pants, and you’re in love with this girl way out of your league. Your scientist grandfather decides to help you out with a carefully crafted concoction of insect pheromones that should make you irresistible. And it works! You’re irresistible! Only side effect: The object of your desire turns into a huge roach. You and your gramps try to fix the mistake, but things only get worse, until you grandfather just burps, shrugs and opens a portal to parallel universe in which parallel you and your parallel grandfather die a horrible, horrible death. Problem solved – just take their place! All you have to do is bury your own decaying corpse…
Welcome to Rick and Morty, one of the darkest, funniest, most existentialist animated comedies currently on TV! Penned by Community’s Dan Harmon at his absolute worst and thus, if you know the man, absolute best, Rick and Morty takes the tried-and-true Saturday morning cartoon setting – excited kid and his extravagant gramps have scientific adventures – and completely rips it a new one. Morty isn’t excited, he’s existentially/hormonally confused and in constant fear of his life; Rick isn’t just extravagant, he’s a narcissistic alcoholic with no moral compass or regard for human life. This is Back to the Future on LSD, guys. Better strap yourself in.
Hey look! It’s my biggest fear!
For me personally, Rick and Morty hurts to watch. It’s disgusting, it’s weird, it makes the universe around us feel gargantuan and that scares the beejeesus out of me. But in its own weird way, through all the dark humor, this show’s got a brilliantly functioning emotional compass. The two titular characters and their dysfunctional family might constantly be on the verge of a neurotic breakdown – they still do have each other. And that’s the one ray of light that makes this show more than just a dark sci-fi comedy.