Thursday, October 6, 2016

Get Schwifty For Rick And Morty Season Two!

The Good: Hilarious references to science fiction works, Good voice performances, Animation quality
The Bad: Starts recycling some of its good ideas, Short!
The Basics: Rick And Morty Season 2 is quirky, fun, and progresses the story of Rick Sanchez and the Smith family on their science fiction adventures.

I am very rarely moments ahead of a trend, but with Rick And Morty, I actually was. I discovered Rick And Morty days ahead of the Season Two premiere from an advertisement at a movie theater that aired before the film I went to see. Based on the strength of the clips, I got into Rick And Morty and it was one of the few television shows I watched as it aired last year. Rick And Morty Season 2 progresses past where the show was in Season 1 (reviewed here!) and it was more of a collaborative work by the show's creators. Despite the reluctance articulated by the creators of the show to work with other people, the result is that Rick And Morty Season 2 is a strong body of work.

I suspect that Rick And Morty is like music; people tend to be most attached to the music they grew up on. While I watched Rick And Morty Season 1 later on, I experienced clips and episodes of Season 2 (repeatedly!) before that. As a result, I found myself much more attached to season two of Rick And Morty than season one. Rick And Morty Season Two is a collection of ten half-hour animated episodes of television that follow the exploits of the Smith family and Rick Sanchez, Beth Smith's father. Rick Sanchez is an irresponsible mad scientist who dragoons his grandson, Morty, and his granddaughter, Summer, into his frequent adventures through space and against aliens. Jerry, Morty's idiotic father, continues to loathe his father-in-law.

Adventures in the second season of Rick And Morty include Rick, Morty and Summer accidentally splintering into the multiverse after freezing time. Saved by an alien from the fourth dimension, Rick is threatened with jail for stealing time crystals. In righting broken time, the trio kills the alien and ends up purposely fracturing existence again! Morty tries to use compassion to save a life form that an intergalactic assassin wants dead with horrible results, while Jerry is stuck in a Jerry-themed daycare used by alternate Ricks. Making a fortune off selling guns to an alien assassin, Rick and Morty spend the day at an intergalactic arcade. While Rick gets laid by a planet of mind-controlled aliens, Jerry and Beth go to alien couple's counseling. The family is invaded by a parasite that effects their memories before Rick and Morty have to defend the Earth from an interstellar music competition that results in planetary destruction for those who fail to win. Rick has to fix his car by entering microscopic worlds within the car battery and Rick puts his consciousness in a younger body to bond with Summer and Morty. Rick and Morty visit a planet with qualities like The Purge and Rick's past as a Rebel comes back to haunt him as he and his friends are hunted.

What is surprising about the second season of Rick And Morty is how well-assembled it is. From the very first episode of the season, Rick is threatened with intergalactic prison and the implication that he is an interstellar criminal plays through the entire second season. For sure, the concept of Rick being a wanted intergalactic criminal pretty much flies in the face of the Intergalactic Council Of Ricks from the first season, but within the second season, the idea of Rick's turbulent backstory plays out well.

Rick And Morty Season Two recycles one of its best first season ideas for "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate," which is admittedly a low point for the season. Beyond that, though, the second season of Rick And Morty manages to feel fresh and fun while being clever like the first season. There are some wonderful allusions in Rick And Morty Season 2, much like in the first. Those who love science fiction and pop culture works like The Purge, Star Trek The Next Generation, Aliens and stupid reality contest shows will find Rick And Morty Season Two clever and hilarious. Even the high-concept episode "Total Rickall," which is predictable in many ways, is hilarious and well-constructed.

The second season of Rick And Morty looks great. Episodes like "Mortynight Run" feature surprisingly ambitious animation to create musical numbers and pretty impressive location designs. Sure, there are a lot of asses animated in the video and the perversions of Rick ripping "Gearhead's" gears out of his crotch and sticking them on his face are hilarious.

For those not familiar with the show, it helps to know who the key characters are. In the second season of Rick And Morty the primary characters are:

Morty Smith - A fourteen year-old boy, who is pretty much an idiot, he accompanies his Grandpa Rick on adventures, including learning to fly the ship. Rick teaches him how to fly the space ship. His compassion leads him to take a stand against the hired assassin to whom Rick sells weapons, which puts the universe in danger from a gas-based entity. In playing Roy, he goes back to the carpet store! Against all odds, he figures out how to thwart the memory parasite! He abandons Rick during the Cromulon incident and discovers from Bird Person that Rick once saved his life. He rejects Rick's attempt to be a god within the car battery and tries to save a young woman from the Red Hour in his own attempt to get laid,

Summer Smith - Morty's older sister, she travels with Rick and Morty much more frequently now. Despite dropping the ball on putting a mattress under a falling neighbor when time was frozen, she spars with Morty over who is a more competent at traveling with Rick. She tries to free a planet of a parasitic entity, in the process making the situation there vastly worse and is horrified at how the car keeps her safe while visiting another universe. She becomes an ideal daughter when a religion is formed around the Cromulons in the sky. She sees how miserable Tiny Rick truly is and finds her relationship with her father very strained,

Jerry Smith - The dimwitted father of Morty and Summer, he is not fond of Rick, largely because Rick does not respect him. He and his counterparts from the multiverse are kept in a specialized daycare rather than being allowed to accompany Rick and Morty on their adventures. He is pissed to discover Rick has a whole bunker under the garage and uses it to prove to Beth just how horrible Rick is. He discovers that his relationship with Beth is entirely parasitic, but works. He faces his biggest moral dilemma when he has the chance to save an intergalactic hero by giving up his genitals,

Beth Smith - Rick's daughter, she spends most of the season simply reacting to her lack of feelings for Jerry. When Jerry hits a deer on the way home from getting ice cream, she becomes to determined to prove her competence as a surgeon. She is able to help defeat the family's parasite by recognizing how miserable Jerry makes her,

and Rick Sanchez - A mad scientist and grandfather to Morty and Summer. After Morty and Summer break time, he gets into a gunfight with different temporal versions of himself and nearly destroys existence over choosing between a flathead and philipshead screwdriver. He teaches Morty to drive the space ship and refuses to let Jerry travel with him while in space. He disregards interstellar and interdimensional laws in order to do what he wants, even taking Roy completely off the grid, which comes back to haunt him. After breaking up with the hive mind Unity, he becomes despondent. He puts his mind in a young body in order to hand out with his grandkids at high school and that nearly kills him. He plays god to people living inside the car battery and makes an awesome jam to save the world.

Rick And Morty relies upon the voice talents of Justin Roiland, who voices both Rick and Morty, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, and Sarah Chalke. They are all wonderful and able to emote perfectly for their characters. Parnell is familiar to fans of works like Archer and the rest of the cast has voice talents that are on par with him. Justin Roiland continues to impress by voicing both Rick and Morty and his ability voice act is stunning in the second season of Rick And Morty. The second season features awesome guest vocals from Keith David, Patton Oswalt and Stephen Colbert. And Jemaine Clements performs "Good Bye Moonman" in a style so like David Bowie is it eerie!

Rick And Morty Season 2 has memorable supporting characters, a hypnotic jam and a lot of laughs that hold up a lot better than most animated comedies being produced these days!

For other works from the 2015 – 2016 television season, please check out my reviews of:
Orange Is The New Black - Season 4
The Flash - Season 2
Game Of Thrones - Season 6
Grace And Frankie - Season 2
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3
The Walking Dead - Season 6
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season 2
Legends Of Tomorrow - Season 1
Jessica Jones - Season 1
Daredevil - Season 2
House Of Cards - Season 4
Doctor Who - Season 9


For other television reviews, please check out my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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