It’s as simple as that. “Rick and Morty’s” fourth season is still just as funny as the first three. The new season premiered on Adult Swim two Sundays ago at 11:30 p.m. The series created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon (“Community”) is possibly the best series on the air because with each new season the show sets a bar they continually achieve and surpass. The series is in competition with itself and doesn’t worry about what else is being shown 30 minutes later on another network or whichever latest streaming series just launched.
For the uninitiated, the series follows Rick Sanchez (Justin Roiland), an eccentric alcoholic and genius scientist, who only listens to one entity—himself. He goes on absurdly surreal sci-fi adventures with his grandson Morty Smith, a scrappy and less-than-intelligent individual, who is also voiced by Justin Roiland. Morty’s sister, Summer (Spencer Grammar), joins in on some of the adventures while their parents, Jerry (Chris Parnell), a social parasite, and Beth (Sarah Chalke), a narcissistic horse surgeon, are continually on the verge of divorce and reconciliation at the same time. Beth is Rick’s daughter.
If for whatever reason – maybe you were distracted by a… thing – you didn’t read that last paragraph, you should still jump into the insanity that is “Rick and Morty.” This is especially true if you’re a fan of questions concerning the meaning of existence, multiple dimensions or even science fiction in general. Humor, thy name is “Rick and Morty.”
I know there’s a lot of hype with “Rick and Morty” but there’s a reason. There’s also a huge meme culture as well as ideas of the type of person that would watch such a show. Forget that nonsense. It doesn’t matter. The show, “Rick and Morty,” doesn’t care about any of that and you shouldn’t either. No one’s a “poser” for liking a show after it’s been on the air (how else would you watch it?) and no one is intelligent for watching it either. It’s an adult cartoon. It’s fun. Yes, there is a nuanced view presented and the show makes decisions and sticks by those statements but it’s not an arbiter of what’s right and wrong. It’s entertainment.
“Rick and Morty” does have a serious side and the show does tackle issues such as depression, alcoholism and isolation. This isn’t a substitute for the library or the classroom but it can spark interesting questions in the viewer. What is the meaning of my life if there is an infinite number of “me” in an infinite number of universes? I don’t know, don’t be so solipsistic, but it does verge on creating meaning out of that inherent nothingness. There’s more to the universe than you. There’s almost a dismissal of nihilism which is emphasized by the entire idea of adventure. If nothing mattered than none of the actions in the show would take place. It’s especially refreshing to view in a culture so absorbed by flashes of images and snippets of sound that is instantly forgotten and replaced by more and more of the same.
Being inundated with more of the same also highlights just how different “Rick and Morty” is from other series on air. In the latest episode, the second of the season, Rick has created an entire planet where he can go to the bathroom in private while Jerry develops a new phone app with an alien voiced by Taika Waititi. That’s not too far out there for this show. Some episodes within the series deal with the sentience of different creatures, hive minds, parasitic alien clones and the freezing of time.
Some aspects of the show will be a bit much for the squeamish. Some episodes are violent while others are just plain gross. Sometimes both. This new season is no exception – considering only two episodes are out – but that doesn’t mean to avoid “Rick and Morty.” Jump in! Do it! Stop taking the world, and yourself, so seriously. Finish all of that required reading, the reading you never skip and expand the margins and increase the font by .3 (no one will ever be able to notice that ingenious move and it’s definitely not more time consuming and taxing than just writing that paper) so you can watch some television.
Watch “Rick and Morty” if you have a spare 22 minutes here and there these last few weeks before the semester is over. Any episode is good, but I would recommend starting with episode five from the first season titled “Meeseeks and Destroy.” If that one doesn’t scare you away from the series then you’re in for a wild ride.