Blame it on my son. That’s what I do for many things. Most things even. But in this case, I really can blame it on him.
He cajoled, whined and flat-out bullied me into watching Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty with him because, as he said, “Mom, you’re really a 14-year-old boy and I promise you will like it.”
I resisted because frankly, I’m not always a huge fan of adult animation. I know, I know… The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. etc. Yes, I recognize their influence (and brilliant skewering) of pop culture, and I respect it and sometimes watch as a casual viewer but I never quite became a true fan. Then along came alcoholic scientist Rick who bounces around time and space with his grandson, Morty, and I was changed forever.
Here are seven reasons why you should be watching Rick and Morty and breathlessly anticipating the premiere of season three, scheduled to return later this year.
1. Family dynamics, yo. The dysfunctional depiction of an ill-matched married couple with kids and a mad, irresponsible, multi-dimensional wandering, scientist grandfather under one roof is genius in it’s commitment to seriously f-ed up family dynamics. I mean who can’t relate to having a sociopath, two hormonal, awkward, angry teenagers, and a couple who can’t decide if they hate each other or sorta, kinda love each other under one roof?
2. Well-rounded portrayal of said sociopaths. I don’t know why more sociopaths aren’t up in arms about their portrayal in media. But this show deals with Rick’s sociopathic behavior with sensitivity and understanding. Nah, that’s total bullshit. Rick, a brilliant scientist/sociopath, willfully and gleefully manipulates Morty and Summer (his grandchildren), tortures his idiot son-in-law and tolerates his own daughter and it’s AWESOME.
3. It’s dark and twisty. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everyone is going to die.
4. Summer is not just a season. Co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon clearly had the epiphany after season one that Summer should go along with Rick and Morty on their intergalactic adventures because… sexism. Summer’s character has evolved from sideline bitchy, annoying older sister to a MAIN character bitchy, strident, borderline femi-nazi and she adds a needed dose of estrogen-laced sarcasm to Rick and Morty’s ridiculously co-dependent relationship.
5. Wrong. It’s just wrong. So brilliantly and unapologetically wrong on multiple levels. Satire mixed with equal parts of the absurd and incorrect.
6. Available on any screen near you. Adult Swim makes the show available online virtually everywhere. I’ve yet to watch an episode actually on Adult Swim.
7. Bonding. The deep maternal bond that occurs when a mother and her 14-year-old son watch Rick and Morty together every night. When we laugh together at masturbation/sex/race/violence jokes. Even better, when my son says “You,” when Morty’s mom does or says something wildly inappropriate – frequently involving wine. It’s heart-warming, non?
Thank God for therapy. And for Rick and Morty. Same same.
Tricia Melton is the former SVP, marketing and brand for TNT, TBS, TCM, but has never to her knowledge, ever worked for or with Adult Swim. Well, except for those times when Mike Lazzo yelled at her about a Family Guy/American Dad/Conan deal, but I think we can all agree that doesn’t really count. Melton also provides her marketing consulting services and wise counsel to PromaxBDA.