Rick and Morty Season 5 Netflix Series Review - Warp 10 on Plot Complexity
Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! Rick and Morty's Season 5 give you the Rickest Rick and the Mortiest Morty ever! For a cartoon show that doesn't depend solely on animation chops, Rick and Morty has always done well across various demographics with a loyal fan base.
Plot and Characters
Meta commentary on movie and TV tropes along with real-world issues have been the bread and butter of the Rick and Morty cartoon by Adult Swim. Add the directorial genius of Dan Harmon to the extraordinary voice talents of Justin Roiland and you get the hilarious Rick and Morty. Of course, both are co-creators, and voice characters in this nihilistic romp of an animated series.
In case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, the plot of Rick and Morty revolves around the titular characters who go on space adventures steeped in sci-fi. Rick Sanchez is a scientist on an interdimensional level with a portal gun who lives with his daughter to stave off loneliness. He puts up the brave facade of being a 'one-man army' badass but is actually quite attached to his family (read as daughter Beth and grandson Morty).
Morty is Rick's partner-in-crime in every way imaginable, going along with Rick in his high-concept sci-fi rigamarole as Jerry Smith puts it (Chris Parnell). Jerry Smith is Beth's pathetic husband who Rick detests with every fiber of his being. Morty is ageless like the Simpsons baby Maggie and is always 'coming of age'. While frowning upon most of what Rick does, Morty keeps his grandad in check by reminding him of human values such as empathy, attachment, and fundamental optimism.
Rick and Beth have a dysfunctional relationship where Rick used to be an absentee father and his daughter is dealing with abandonment issues. Rick deals with the disconnect that he feels with his family and the human race in general by drinking. This vice adds to the humor making him burp mid-sentence or passing out at crucial moments.
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Like any child, Beth displays a need for validation from her father which has continued well into her marriage. This forms a semi-symbiotic relationship between them where she admires his independent thinking and he relishes the company of his only child.
Then there is Summer Smith, Beth's daughter who Rick likes as well but not quite as much as his adorable grandson Morty. Summer is your average millennial teen with plenty of teen problems and annoying traits.
The voice cast is amazing beyond belief! There's Dan Harmon, the creator of the cult series Community, Justin Roiland voicing the eponymous Rick and Morty, and Sarah Chalke ( Scrubs sitcom) as the sharp as whip Beth. There's also an insanely funny performance by Chris Parnell as Beth's loser husband who survives on pity, dad jokes, and sympathy from all he encounters. Summer Smith is voiced by Spencer Grammar, playing the part of a valley girl clone to perfection.
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The recurring guest cast on this series is probably even better than the main voice actors with names such as Stephen Colbert, Nathan Fillion, Keith David, Susan Sarandon, Christina Hendricks, and Jordan Peele. The full list is endless but I have named only a few of my favorites. Susan Sarandon's portrayal of the family therapist Dr. Wong was particularly hilarious when she sized up Rick.
Wong standing over the flaming wreck of her therapist's office saying "I'm better than this" made me laugh so hard. It was after Rick tells her off after she attempts to climb into his garage car. The reversal of roles, the frustration, and angst of Wong conveyed in a dry monotone and Rick's casual dismissal of the therapist all make for an incredibly comedic moment.
Here is a live version of Rick and Morty released by the adult swim channel with Christopher Lloyd as Rick Sanchez and Jaeden Martell as Morty Smith. Here is a video of the same:
Key Gadgets and Gizmos Used by Rick Sanchez
You can't talk about the adventures of Rick and Morty without mentioning the technology developed and/or acquired and used by the tinkerer of terror himself:
The Portal Gun: This is the one gizmo that makes him the most wanted man in the whole universe across various dimensions. Using this green gun, Rick can instantaneously travel across various dimensions (but not necessarily time). This is how he has access to tech from all over the inter-dimensional universe.
The Space Cruiser: Rick's batmobile that's made out of scrapped garage parts is capable of space and interdimensional travel with impenetrable defenses. While not elegant or classy, it is a vehicle that could put the Millennium Falcon or even a death star out of commission with relative ease.
The Neutrino Bomb: A weapon of Rick's own making, the neutrino bomb is powerful enough to decimate a planet. He has used it, (unsuccessfully I might add) on various occasions to blow up planets or moons.
A Plumbus: This is a universal home appliance that is used across the galaxy for, bathing, ironing, cleaning, and god knows what else. It is something that the boozy scientist bought rather than made himself. It is to a home as a laptop is to computing.
A Mr. Meseeks Box: Imagine a one-wish genie that is capable of performing any task with certain set limitations, and that disappears after fulfilling the wish. This is your intergalactic version of a task rabbit contained in a portable box.
What's in store in Season 5 (Mild Spoilers)
For anyone to enjoy Season 5 fully, I strongly recommend you go through seasons 1-4 for all the jokes to land. But for those of you who are on track with the previous seasons of Rick and Morty a few plotlines will be wrapped in this season.
Bird-Person turned Phoenix-Person who is on stasis in Rick's basement will ultimately be re-animated. Multiple Rick and Morty universes are dealt with exclusively in one particular episode. This is something similar to Rick's project Phoenix initiative for clones. Other episodes are basically stand-alones with little to no connection to a greater theme.
Should You Watch It - Yes!
If you haven't already watched it, I highly recommend this meta-humor-filled fun ride of an animated series. It is funny, smart, and touches upon some deep societal issues and the human condition in general. Watch the first episode of the first season, and you'll be hooked!
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