Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Rick & Morty: Season 3 ★★★★★

Attention citizens of Earth C-137

For better or worse, the world has become infatuated with Rick & Morty. From Pickle Rick memes to Szechuan sauce shortages, it’s become impossible to deny the cultural phenomenon that Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s animated creation has become. But if we ignore the hype, was the latest series actually any good? Grab your portal gun and let’s find out.

The Good

The greatest strength of Rick & Morty season 3 is that it has a more robust, compelling narrative than either previous series; following on directly from the season 2 finale ‘Wedding Squanchers’ and weaving into a rich arc that demonstrates the most ambitious storytelling from the creators to date. As a result, we’re treated to genuine character development throughout the family that’s as emotionally captivating as it is hilarious.

What’s more, the tone of the most recent episodes is decidedly darker and at times more harrowing than ever before. Without diving into spoilers (for the benefit of all three of you who haven’t binged the series yet), a chain of events in episode one result in Rick becoming more unhinged and unstable than ever before, doubling down on his arrogant, self-destructive behaviour. Although this presents him as more cartoonish than we’ve previously been exposed to (he literally turns himself into a pickle), the reaction of the surrounding cast to his newfound erraticism is strangely humanising, augmenting the engaging new narrative format.

The Bad

Although season 3 is fantastic, it’s not quite as schwifty (how do you do, fellow kids?) as some might have you believe. Despite being the most consistent series yet in terms of quality, it doesn’t quite the hit the heady heights of season 2. There’s nothing quite as instantly quotable as “Total Rickall” or “Get Schwifty” that you’ll feel compelled to come back to time and time again. This may be a necessary sacrifice of the new arcing narrative, but I’d be surprised if many people claim their favourite episode comes from the lastest run.

Finally and arguably most importantly, there was a distinct lack of Jerry this series. What’s up with that? I fully endorse a Jerry-centric spinoff. Make it happen, Adultswim.

The Verdict

Regardless of the online perception, Rick & Morty remains one of the smartest comedies on television. This extends far beyond the scientific and philosophical topics it wrestles with; the deft art of storytelling that the show employs is what makes it the powerhouse that it is. At this rate, season 4 could become the television event of our generation.

That is if it comes out in our lifetime…

Sir Thomas Baker

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