4 Reasons You Should Watch Rick & Morty

This show has received just as much love as it has hate. Critics of the show primarily take issue with its fanbase, and while many of Rick and Morty’s fans do spew toxically masculine narratives and other generally problematic rhetoric, this shouldn’t disqualify the show from making your to-watch list. The art itself is divorced from its fans, and I urge you to check out the zany, wild world of Rick and Morty as it takes you from Earth to alien worlds to the inner workings of the body of a vagrant in one delightful Christmas special (featuring John Oliver, no less!).

Image via Comedy Central

1. The character relationships are riveting

Rick, a genius but cynical scientist, often brings his young, impressionable, and dim-witted grandson Morty along for ridiculous adventures. Rick’s relationship with Morty is extremely toxic. Rick often uses Morty for personal gain, which exposes Morty to extremely traumatic situations and leads to an entire episode where they review all of the memories Morty begged to have erased from his mind because he couldn’t go on recalling these horrible things. Yet Rick and Morty still care deeply for each other and would go to great lengths to protect each other.

There are other relationships that are equally intriguing: the twisted marriage between Morty’s parents and its subsequent end, how they strive to break free of their codependence and discover their individuality after so many years of marriage, and Morty and Summer’s often funny yet touching sibling bond. All of these characters are horribly flawed, and some of them are irredeemable. But despite the wackiness of their circumstances, they appeal to a fundamental brokenness in all of us and the toxic as well as healthy and supportive relationships we choose to entangle ourselves in. There is something relatable in every character, from sociopathic Rick to cowering Jerry to hopelessly optimistic Summer, that speaks to both our worst and best tendencies as human beings.   

2. It raises philosophical questions and prompts the viewer to think deeply 

Now, Rick and Morty may not be the next Kant, but it does delve into some interesting philosophical issues. Rick and Morty’s adventures often put lives at stake, leading viewers to question under what circumstances it may be justifiable to put others in harms’ way, or call into question the meaning of slavery in the modern day, the validity of psychological torture versus physical torture, or under what circumstances couples should try to make a relationship work or just abandon it. For every issue raised, the show provides two different viewpoints (usually through Rick and Morty, whose personal philosophies and morals often conflict) and leaves the viewer to decide who is right. 

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3. It’s hilarious 

Rick and Morty is dark. Halfway through Season One, Rick and Morty move to a new dimension where they are already dead. For the rest of the show (so far, at least), they live mere yards from where their own corpses lay rotting in the backyard. Yet the show manages to walk a fine line between being dark, gritty, and addressing serious philosophical questions about existence and the pointlessness of life while also being laugh-out-loud funny.

Rick and Morty find themselves in unpredictable but inevitably amusing situations every episode, whether it’s Rick turning himself into a pickle to escape family therapy or sneaking into Morty’s teacher’s dreams to incept the idea that he should give Morty good grades. This article has touched on some of the more serious parts of Rick and Morty, but in the end, it’s a goofy comedic cartoon and it’s meant to get you laughing. If you enjoy cynic and dark but outrageously clever and thoughtful humor, Rick and Morty will definitely be up your alley.

4. The plot is captivating

Rick and Morty is not your stereotypical adult cartoon. Although Rick and Morty’s adventures are often confined to a particular episode, much of the information they uncover or characters they encounter end up playing roles in later episodes. There are some major overarching plot threads as well that are simply stunning in their complexity, relevancy, and execution.

The season finales are always wildly funny, unexpected, and yet completely heartbreaking. Rick and Morty gets you laughing, pondering the meaninglessness of existence, and sobbing over tragic moments all in one episode, while weaving together a story that focuses on everyone from one dysfunctional family to the fate of millions in the multiverses.