Monday, 20 October 2014

Rick and Morty - Packed full of Sci-Fi Tropes

I guess sometimes I can be accused of sleeping under a rock when it comes to the latest US TV shows, but I bet I'm not the only one.  Which is why I just have to share the love for Adult Swim's Rick and Morty.

An example of what happens in just about every episode.

Created by voice actor and director Justin Roiland, who some might recognise as the voice of Adventure Time's "Lemongrab",  and Dan Harmon, creator of the hit sit com "Community".  Rick and Morty is an adult sci-fi cartoon series following the mind bending, dimension hopping adventures of sociopathic alcoholic scientist Rick and his 14 year old grandson Morty.   

A show of two halves, each episode finds Rick and Morty on some wild adventure whilst his family (unemployed ad exec dad Jerry, horse surgeon mom Beth and unpopular sister Summer) are often left to deal with the unintended consequences of one of Rick's devices.

Bizarre ideas are the meat and potatoes of this show and no trope is safe.  Season 1 has seen cyborg dog revolution, a contagious love virus / preying mantis / Cronenberg monster apocalypse, inception dream walking, alien abduction, a Rick and Morty multiverse, sex robots and alien child rearing to name just a few.

Meanwhile Jerry and Beth struggle to keep their marriage alive, as Dan Harmon puts it, "the nature of their relationship is that it's always 1 minute from ending" and Summer stives to improve her social position from "not super hot/super popular" high school girl whilst being the result of the "unwanted pregnancy" that keeps her parents together.

The language and visuals are as adult and bizarre as they can be and dialogue is often delivered at a breakneck pace in order to cram as much action in as humanly possible.  The casting is spot on from regular voice performers Justin Roiland (Rick/Morty), Chris Parnell (Jerry), Spencer Grammer (Summer), Sarah Chalke (Beth) to the great vocal cameos delivered by Alfred Molina, Dana Carvey, David Cross, Rich Fulcher, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, John Oliver and Cree Summer.

Rick & Morty 3D Billboard courtesy of Dailybillboard
 The show is a definite must see and has been picked up for a second series scheduled to air in early 2015 along with a spin-off comic book.  The "point and click" style game "Rick and Morty's Rushed Licensed Adventure" is also available to play on the adultswim website.

With all this richness it should only be a matter of time before someone writes a Fiasco playset based on this universe and it's one setting that most definitely has to go "gonzo"... every single time.

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