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AndersonVision Best TV of 2017: #2 – Rick and Morty: Season Three (Adult Swim)


“Rick and Morty” might have peaked with its third season. While the finale was a little lop-sided, the show hit that Simpsons Golden Era stride a little early. Then, the rancid fandom started attaching itself to the program. Somewhere between watching the line of Szechuan sauce consumers and the Hot Topic crowd, I had to ask myself a serious question. Did I really like the show or was I getting caught up in the bullshit aesthetic? After a few weeks, I realized that I earnestly love the show.

The adventures of Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty have done something I never thought possible. It squeezed the digestible Sci-Fi concepts of Doctor Who into consumable bits of American nihilism. America still doesn’t like to acknowledge its nihilistic streak, but somehow cartoons make it approachable for the masses. When Rick Sanchez discusses time travel and dimension hopping, he does it as a man with no more frontiers. He knows that all people are replaceable and situations can change at a moment’s notice. One of the mid-season episodes deals with how this reality makes him so incredibly toxic.

But, why shouldn’t he be like this? If you had all the answers to the test, wouldn’t taking the test seem incredibly pointless? From his prison escape and causing an economic collapse to insulting President Keith David, Rick spends the season driving this home. Nothing matters and no one should think they owe him anything. However, he’s willing to set aside his personal gains to bring his daughter’s family back together. Well, it’s a Beth and not his Beth.

Towards the end of the season, Rick gives Beth a chance at the freedom he experiences. The audience is left to decide whether Beth took it and Rick replaced with her clone. While we get an easy cop-out answer, most viewers missed a big truth. Rick knows that his intellectual and scientific freedom is a curse. For once, he wanted a loved one to experience and understand his journey. But, freedom is scary.

Hell, when Morty purges his toxic weakness mid-season…he becomes too smart and corrupt. The evil Morty at the Citadel is too corrupt because he doesn’t have an anchor like Rick controlling him. Ultimately, that reinforces what the show is about now. Rick is coming to terms with the fact that he’s the negative anchor keeping his family alive. If not his real family, then an alternate version of his family. Nothing matters if everything is replaceable, but what happens when you run out of replacements? It’s an issue that I see this series tackling sooner than later.


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