Not A Typical Cartoon: Rick and Morty Show Preview


Josie Wenzell

Cover scene from Adult Swim streaming

Josie Wenzell, Staff Writer

Adult Swim’s TV show Rick and Morty is far from ordinary. It may be tough for newcomers to get into the show, but once they are hooked, they are hooked. The series is incredibly smart and absolutely hysterical, and it does not look like the hype around Rick and Morty is going away any time soon.

Rick and Morty is loosely based on the relationship between Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown from The Back to the Future franchise. Having said that, after three (complete) seasons, everything about the series has taken on a life of its own. Although the series doesn’t specifically deal with time travel, it still finds a way to fracture its own timeline and keep audiences intrigued. 

Rick and Morty use a spaceship to travel between the dimensions. There are an infinite number of dimensions, and out of all the galaxies, Rick is the smartest man/being. He uses his knowledge to travel between these dimensions, while he brings along his trusty grandson Morty. No one else has this ability. Foreign species, like aliens, strive to gauge the “recipe” for dark matter as that is needed for this type of transportation. Rick keeps this a secret and outsmarts anyone who tries to get it. 

Rick takes Morty out of school almost daily for an adventure. Rick can’t travel in time, but he can travel in different timelines. The show doesn’t shy away from the impact that traveling multiple universes can have on even a super-genius’ mind. It’s revealed in episode one that it’s hard for Rick to relate to other people, even his family, because he knows that the best and worst versions of himself exist in infinite realities. 

Because it embraces the idea of interdimensional travel, most episodes of Rick and Morty deal with self-contained plot lines. They can always step through one of Rick’s portals and be back home in time for dinner. These portals are created with Rick’s portal gun, that he invented himself.

Despite the dark humor and psychological trip the show puts viewers through, conflict is often resolved for the protagonists (Rick and Morty). As for the other main characters, the show also portrays the family dynamic between Rick and Beth Smith, his adult daughter. Due to the fact that she is desperate for her dad’s approval and traumatized by him leaving in the first place, Beth welcomes his dysfunction into the home she shares with her husband, Jerry, a beta male who is nowhere close to Rick’s level of super intelligence. Jerry is constantly confused by basic concepts. 

Together, Beth and Jerry have two kids. Their eldest daughter, Summer, is in many ways the average American teenage girl. She’s worried about fashion, her friends, and the various boys she likes at her school. However, what sets her apart from the rest of her peers is how utterly unfazed she needs to be by her parent’s failing marriage and her grandpa’s high-risk space adventures. She seems to always be unbothered, unlike her father who is naive and aloof to the reality of happenings in their lives.

Josie Wenzell
Rick and Morty has become so popular that they are able to sell merchandise like this 16 month calendar at mall kiosks.

Nonetheless, Rick and Morty continue their adventures through space, no matter the type of obstacles they face along the way. With Rick’s intelligence and Morty’s strong side-kick abilities, their unstoppable duo rules the universe.