SEE AGAIN: Animation’s most lawless duo are back – and still going crazy and pushing the limits.
Best described as the unholy love child of Back to the future, Futurama and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but with saltier language and “adult themes”, Rick and mortyThe initial cult of has turned into a global obsession since its debut in December 2013.
We’re now in the fifth season – the second of what appears to be a seven-season deal signed between Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon – and, if the opening episode Rick Andre Mort Dinner (now streaming on Netflix) is something to do, fans are ready for another very entertaining ride.
For those who do not know the series, inspired by the short film by Roiland Back to the future-parody The real animated adventures of Doc and Mharti and developed by Harmon after being removed from their own sitcom creation Community, they are essentially the misadventures of cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his young teenage grandson Morty Smith through time and space.
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As Dead dinner opens, the pair’s luck seems to have run out. Rushing to Earth, both bloodied and battered, all hope seems lost.
“I’m a silly little man,” Rick curses to himself, as Morty decides now is the time to call his crush Jessica to let her know his feelings. To his surprise, she berates him not only for not making a move sooner – “being nervous is sort of selfish” – but suggests they go out that night. All that remains is to get the spacecraft out of a terminal speed dive.
Incredibly, he does. However, when Rick regains consciousness, he is horrified by Morty’s choice of landing. “You touched the ocean,” he shouts, “this is the home of my once and everlasting enemy, Mr. Nimbus. He is the king of the ocean and a pain in a .. Help me to fix this, or it will become more trouble than it is worth.
In requisitioning the Smith’s house for a dinner / peace summit, Rick sets out to try and calm Nimbus’ aquiline and anger, while simultaneously enlisting Morty’s sister, Summer, to “dive into the Mariana Trench.” and recover the hidden shell that gives Nimbus his power ”.
Meanwhile, Morty desperately tries to prepare for Jessica’s arrival, but is increasingly frustrated by Rick’s bizarre requests for help. The main one is to cure the wine, which requires rapid aging via a time portal. “Is this like a Narnia thing?” Morty asks when Rick tries to explain why time goes faster on the other side of the “magic door”. “I’m not a beaver who believes in Jesus Christ, but yes, that’s a Narnia thing,” comes the cynical response.
This is just one of many hilarious and subversive nods to both pop culture and sci-fi / fantasy tropes. There are references to FrasierThe repeated habit of kitchen talk, HBO show problems and “stripped-down sci-fi bulls from Sundance …” while Rick warns Nimbus against any attempt to “establish a canonical backstory” for his character and later promises to “deus ex machina the situation” so that everyone can return home.
The speed of the laughs and the rat-a-tat style of the whip-smart dialogue can be dizzying at times, but what sets it apart from the similar tone? family guy is the jokes stay with the story. We don’t constantly pull away from the action to deliver a zinger, that naturally becomes part of the narrative, resulting in the often frantic story.
Besides Mr. Nimbus’ seemingly absurd ability to control the police, the real strength of Dead dinner was the “butterfly effect” caused by Morty’s repeated visits through the portal to those on the other side. Inventive, devilish and at times brutal, he conjured up memories of the Simpsons classic Hut of Horror tale Time and punishment.
Definitely not for pre-teens or easily offended people, Rick and morty still feels cool and pulls on all cylinders, even five seasons. And with titles like Mortyplicity and A Dead Rickcommode included among the rest of the 10-episode season, it looks like there are plenty of delicious parodies and crazier adventures waiting for you.
Season 5 of Rick and morty is now streaming on Netflix.