TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 07

The Ricklantis Mixup Poster
RICK AND MORTY S3 EP7 – 

The Ricklantis Mixup

Rick and Morty go to The Lost City of Atlantis.

Director:

Dominic Polcino

Review by Mary Cox

I’ve previously criticized this series for getting too far up it’s own ass with melodrama and family dynamics, but other than in fleeting moments, we’ve never seen a true dramatic episode like “The Ricklantis Mixup” before. Like any good sci-fi, this episode was highly topical and touched on a ton of contemporary issues, including police brutality, racial prejudice, class inequality, and the looming threat of authoritarian takeovers.

Rick and Morty has never shied away from heavy content. The series has followed the collapse of Beth and Jerry’s marriage, Morty’s sexual assault at the hands of Mr. Jellybean, and Rick’s attempted suicide. In the past, a shift from comedy to drama has been the death knell for several Adult Swim series, but the rabid popularity of Rick and Morty means its creators have a greater license to experiment with their show and its content.

The return of Evil Eye Patch Morty from “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” is a part of the greater shift to post-postmodernism that is surfacing in adult animation. It is a continuation of David Foster Wallace’s concept of New Sincerity, an honest and empathetic iteration of nihilism that has been divorced from the irony, skepticism and cynicism characteristic of postmodernist works. Rick and Morty both acknowledges and rejoices in the fact that life has no existential meaning.

It’s pretty weighty stuff from a series that started off as a Back to the Future parody, but at the same time, that’s exactly why Rick and Morty is what it is. At heart, this series, and several other post-postmodernist works, are a Millennial rejection of Gen X’s culture of apathy and cynicism. It is a casting off of self-satisfied irony, self-reference, and insincerity in drama.

the rickantis mixup

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 06

rest and ricklaxation.jpg“Rest and Ricklaxation”

Rick and Morty need a break.

Directors: Anthony Chun, Wesley Archer
Writers: Tom Kauffman
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Melique Berger

Review by Gilbert Seah

This week’s episode gave an answer to the question of whether or not Rick actually cares for Morty. We learn that the detoxifying machine only removes parts of your being that you yourself view as a negative attribute. The fact that Rick’s love for Morty was removed along with his alcoholism and nihilism really reveals the extent to which the Sanchez family is emotionally messed up.

Rick and Morty is a show that’s made in it’s funny little moments, like Detox Rick’s apology for burping and Beth taping a horse’s face over Jerry in her wedding picture. The series isn’t too big on running jokes in the way that some Adult Swim shows can be, but one of the weirder recurring motifs of this show seems to be about urination. This is a little offbeat, but hear me out: in “Rest and Ricklaxation,” one of Morty’s classmates makes a passing comment about being into golden showers.

Summer peeing her pants was referenced three times in Season 2 in “A Rickle in Time,” “Total Rickall,” and “Look Who’s Purging Now.” Not to mention, Summer’s invisible best friend is called Tinkles, another allusion to her childhood bed-wetting.

Rick and Morty is a show where the writer’s hangups and anxieties are on full display, so their obsessions and “interests” will obviously come through as well. I’m not directly saying Justin Roiland or Dan Hammond necessarily have a “yellow” fixation, but there’s been a suspiciously high number of references made to women peeing for this to be a mere coincidence.

Rick and Morty will be back in two weeks because of the Labor Day holiday break, but that will give you enough time to mull over the idea that this series is a window into it’s writers souls. What else can we learn about Roiland and Hammond if we take a closer look at this series

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 05

rickandmorty1Rick and Jerry go on an adventure.

Director: Juan Jose Meza-Leon (as Juan Meza-León)
Writers: Justin Roiland (created by), Dan Harmon (created by)
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer

Review by Mary Cox

“The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy”

As predicted, Beth is visibly struggling with both being single and single parenthood. Her morbid horse hoof statue is indicative that Beth is not thriving in her post-Jerry world. Much like Seinfeld’s Festivus holiday, this season’s seems to be centered around the notion of the Airing of Grievances. Rick finally
gets the chance to directly confront Jerry about “ruining” Beth’s shot at a good future by knocking her up in high school.

As much as I’m loving every episode being a (sometimes literal) therapy session for our characters, using a mid-battle heart-to-heart as the backbone of every episode is getting a little old.

Despite the episode being focused primarily on Jerry and Rick, the understated star of the episode was Morty. We learn that Morty is the mastermind behind the whole premise of the Rick and Jerry episode just because Morty wanted Rick to get off his back for a minute. Morty’s confrontation of Ethan was downright sinister. We’ve seen Morty transform this season from an unwilling and helpless sidekick to a powerful protagonist.

The real question is: what is Morty going to do in future episodes with his newfound power and prowess?

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 04

rickandmorty1.jpgRick and Morty are summoned by the Vindicators to stop Worldender but end up in a deathtrap conceived by Drunk Rick.

Creators: Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer

Review by Mary Cox

“Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender”

 Rick’s functional-dysfunctional alcoholism sets the stage for a Saw-like series of challenges that are meant to reveal the true nature of the Vindicators to Morty. This episode was a clear criticism of contemporary super heroes, specifically, those involved with The Avengers franchise.

This plan ultimately works, but not without adding to some of the existing tension between Rick and Morty’s relationship. It seems like Hammond and Roiland are setting the stage for some kind of major schism between our two titular characters, but one thing you have to remember about this series is that nothing is ultimately taken too seriously. Rick and Morty is a powerhouse of a series with a huge fan following, but Adult Swim’s mastermind Mike Lazzo has pulled the plug on popular shows that pivoted too far to drama in the past, such as Metalocalypse and Moral Orel.

Rick and Morty’s recurring show of heart does give the series an element of greater purpose and emphasis, but after so much time this season has been dedicated to the Sanchez family’s drama, it’s nice to see the series return to a Rick-centric perspective. It’s difficult to determine where the series is heading this season, but it’s unlikely that it will venture too far down the path of melodrama 

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 03

rickandmorty1Rick turns himself into a pickle.

Creators: Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer

Review by Mary Cox

“Pickle Rick”

It’s Pickle Rick! On this week’s Rick and Morty, we see Rick turn himself into a pickle (and gets himself into a pickle) in order to get out of going to family therapy with Beth, Morty, and Summer. Susan Sarandon guest stars in this episode as Dr. Wong, the family’s therapist.

This series does a great job of juxtaposing ridiculous and serious content, even as far back as the first season with episodes like Rixty Minutes. Tonight this was accomplished by flashing back and forth between Pickle Rick’s sewer adventures and Beth’s complete failure to embrace (and actively participate in) her family therapy session.

Beth seems to be taking center stage this season, where in past episodes, she’s been more of a supporting character. This season is spending a lot of time exploring the unhealthy dynamic between Beth and her father, and how she’s willing to put everything in her life, including her children, aside in order to make Rick happy.

I’m hopeful that this series’ exploration of this dynamic doesn’t delve into cliché “daddy issues” territories, but that it takes a broader look at how toxic relationships can function. Also, I seriously doubt this is the last time we’re going to see a reference made to Mr. Goldenfold’s literal shit-eating grin.
 
rickandmorty2

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t