“Rick and Morty”: Bringing nihilism to contemporary television with biting humor

“Rick and Morty” is the best comedy series on television. Arriving at the tail end of a renaissance in video content, the show appeals to a cynical and young audience while still incorporating clever humor and smart character/plot development.

Rick, an alcoholic super-genius, and his less than intelligent grandson Morty are the main figures in this series. The juxtaposition between the blunt Rick and endearing Morty are central to the story, with their crisis-ridden family and unforgiving universe as mere accessories to their story.

The two spend their time going on dangerous adventures and working on Rick’s perplexing innovations, some of which include the portal gun they use to get around and the Meeseeks box found in Season 1 Episode 5. “Meeseeks and Destroy,” an episode revolving around Rick’s contraption that spawns strange blue humanoids to do the family’s menial tasks, is the epitome of the shows spirit, expanding on the family’s conflicts while still conveying the series’ nihilist message. These meeseeks are supposed to carry out the order and promptly cease existing, but this gets out of hand when Jerry, Morty’s incompetent father, is unable to improve his golfing. Unable to help Jerry, the meeseeks spawns more blue men to help him out, leading to one of my favorite back and forths between two meeseeks in the entire series:

“I’ve been here for 3 days, an eternity in meeseeks time. I just wanna die!” the first one said.

“Your faults are your own, old man.” the second one replied.

These witty, dark turns in progression are found in every episode, and although for some it may be a bit much, the show is funny and thought provoking- something I would have a hard time saying for almost any other animated series out there right now.

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