Monday, December 9, 2013

Be Careful Hanging Out With RICK AND MORTY

Article first published as Be Careful Hanging Out With RICK AND MORTY on TheTVKing.

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim's latest series, which premiered this week, is Rick and Morty. From the mind of Dan Harmon (Community), Rick and Morty is a twisted tale of a gullible, dumb, naive grandson, Morty (voiced by Justin Roiland, Fish Hooks), being taken along on dangerous adventures by his eccentric, compassion-challenged, alcoholic grandfather, Rick (also Roiland).

Some have compared Rick and Morty to Back to the Future, pointing to the strange relationship between an old man and a young boy, though this show makes the bond more understandable by having the two be related. It's true, the connection between Rick and Morty is the heart of the show, the latter being a willing participant, through more because of familiar duty than desire, in the schemes. But it doesn't paint Rick in a very good light to take advantage of the boy, and so their footing is not equal, making for an unbalanced duo.

This may be a good thing. Were Morty as into the travels and risks as Rick were, the two would likely be in big trouble even more frequently. Rick couldn't take the competition, and while Morty doesn't exactly reign in his grandfather, he doesn't encourage him, either. Thus we have two very different souls pushed together by a blood relation, rather than anything they share in common.

The animation is as crude as the plot and the jokes, which include things such as Rick wanting to smuggle giant seeds up his grandson's butt. They are well matched in rough lines, odd colors, and twisted creations. The places Rick takes Morty are literally out of this world, allowing the animators' imaginations to run wild. To their credit, they definitely get the tone, and provide pictures that match the words.

I actually like it, though, in spite of this. While super weird, it also has that charm and cleverness that is found well-seeped into Community. Harmon extends his talent in a second project, and though the two share little in common, they are likely to earn some of the same types of praise, with words like "original" and "groundbreaking" thrown around. I don't think Rick and Morty is likely to gain quite as large or as passionate a fan base as the live-action sitcom, but it is very enjoyable, more so than I expected it to be.

The voice cast is rounded out by Chris Parnell (Suburgatory) as Morty's father, Jerry, Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) as Morty's mother and Rick's daughter, Beth, and Spencer Grammer (Greek) as Morty's older sister, Summer. All are great, though they don't get a ton to do, at least in the "Pilot."

If you're on the fence about watching Rick and Morty, check it out. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Rick and Morty airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Cartoon Network.

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