Monday, November 28, 2016

Best Episodes of Rick And Morty (introduction)


Rick And Morty is currently sitting in IMDb's top 10 user-rated TV shows of all-time. Co-created by Dan Harmon, the man behind the extremely popular cult show Community (which has always been a personal favorite of mine), Rick And Morty matches the meta humor and self-awareness of Community and pairs it with enough science fiction theory and narrative experimentation to satisfy even the most hardcore sci-fi nerds. Throw in the hefty contributions from Justin Roiland, co-creator and voice actor for both Rick and Morty (as well as dozens of other characters throughout the show), who handles much more of the comedic side and you've got yourself a well-balanced, intelligent, and hilarious show. Roiland, known for his screechy voice acting as the Earl of Lemongrab from Adventure Time, is able to convey a lot with his idiosyncratic performance(s) in both of the titular roles, creating some very iconic characters while also generating a good deal of laughs with his improvised dialogue and childish sense of humor. Listening to Dan Harmon's podcast Harmontown shows that he and Roiland very much share this sense of humor, which really helps make this show work; there doesn't appear to be a conflict or struggle between the two main minds behind this show, and the results are terrific.

For those who don't know, Rick And Morty is an animated show about a genius alcoholic scientist (Rick) who goes on wild adventures with his neurotic and perpetually nervous grandson (Morty). Their dynamic and visual appearance is a play on the Back To The Future movie series' lead characters Doc Brown and Marty McFly - so much so that the first incarnation of this show that was originaly shown on Channel 101 was actually titled "Doc And Mharti". The strength of this show doesn't come from being derivative of the Back To The Future movies, but rather how it takes this base source material and adds so much more to the scientific logic behind it, with the dark and abrasive humor and episodic resolutions working well to add depth and eccentricity to the ordeal. This is not a show for everyone, as it features bad language, deliberately convoluted storylines, and abrasive and (at times) admittedly obnoxious voice acting. The first time around, I didn't find this show very easy to watch and was only mildly enjoyable. But this show is as rewatchable as they come.

So let's take a look at the best and worst episodes of the first two seasons of the show, starting with the "worst". I use quotation marks here because I enjoy things about every single episode of this show. I wouldn't call any of them bad as a whole, though there are several storylines and characters that are forgettable, uninteresting, or just dull and unfunny. Though there are only a total of 21 episodes at this point, it is still remarkable that there hasn't been a single bad episode yet. Here's hoping the upcoming 14 in season 3 keep up the quirky and clever precedent set by these first two seasons. If the first few seasons of most animated shows are the standard we can base our predictions on, it could be assumed that the show will actually improve with time. This was true with The Simpsons (up to a point), Archer, Bob's Burgers, Bojack Horseman, and plenty more I'm sure. But we'll just have to wait and see.

Keep checking on my Rick And Morty page for links to my countdown, or just follow my blog. That's an option, after all. I'll be posting the first entry right after this, and then adding at least one more every day until we get to #1. And who knows, maybe by then season 3 will have premiered. Crossing my fingers.
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