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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rick and Morty Pilot Review: 100 all day long forever... some things.

Lord knows I'm a fan of Dan Harmon's work, and lord knows I've seen a fair amount of Adult Swim in my day. But given the economic circumstances of late night animation I've felt like too many concessions are made to create anything that rises above "yeah... that was pretty good." Everything that is, except the Venture Bros. But that started in 2003 and we're still months away from anything resembling the second half of it's 5th season. Again, concessions.

So what are we looking at here with Rick and Morty? A middle school kid named Morty and his estranged mad scientist grandfather Rick, dealing with "high concept, sci-fi rigamarole." In essence, an American hitchhiker's guide with a few family sitcom trappings. Rick keeps pulling Morty out of school for some quality adventure time, and his parents are trying to keep him from flunking out. That's about the gist of it, but is it any good?

If the pilot is any indication of what's to come (I've embedded it below) I think I've seen the Lawrence of Arabia of budget animation. It's shocking how fluid everything is, how alive everything feels. Having been subjugated to damn near every season of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and it's maddeningly repetitive character poses in college, this is the best I ever hoped to see from AS. You know, besides the Venture Bros.

But is is funny? Yes! Good lord, it's funny. It scratches my Douglas Adams itch something fierce, while also having some fun side details I didn't see coming. Rick sneaking in alcoholic belches in the middle of lines should have been irritating. In fact, a lot of critics give the show hell for it. But as a guy who tried his damndest at a formative age to master the comic burp, I gotta give Justin Roiland (co-creater of Lemongrab fame) credit for both variety and intensity. My ten year old self is seriously jealous.

This is hands down, the best AS pilot in history. It ain't perfect and it may not blow your hair back. But it's got a good budget, confidence, a solid story line, and a sexual dream sequence that had me in stitches. If you can't find something to like about Rick and Morty I will honestly be surprised. Or you just don't like Adult Swim and you take pleasure in stomping on other's positivity.

In which case, WHY?! I just wanted you to think I was cool...

Here's the stupid video, you jerk. I never liked you anyway.

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