Rick and Morty

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Rick and Morty
Promotional art for the animated television series Rick and Morty; shown, the protagonists Rick and Morty running through an exoplanet
Promotional art
Genre Adventure
Science fiction
Comedy-drama
Format Animated series
Created by Justin Roiland
Dan Harmon
Directed by Pete Michels (supervising)
Jeff Myers
Bryan Newton
John Rice
Justin Roiland
Stephen Sandoval
Voices of Justin Roiland
Chris Parnell
Spencer Grammer
Sarah Chalke
Composer(s) Ryan Elder
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 11 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Dan Harmon
Justin Roiland
James A. Fino
Joe Russo II
Producer(s) J. Michael Mendel
Kenny Micka (pilot)
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Justin Roiland's Solo Vanity Card Productions
Harmonious Claptrap
Starburns Industries
Williams Street
Broadcast
Original channel Adult Swim
Picture format 16:9 HDTV
Original run December 2, 2013 – present
External links
Website

Rick and Morty is an American animated television series created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon that premiered on December 2, 2013 on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. Roiland voices the eponymous main characters: Rick, a scientist and alcoholic, and Morty, Rick's grandson. The series was announced during Adult Swim's 2012 Upfront presentation, and was picked up for 10 half-hour episodes; an additional episode was added mid-season for a total of eleven episodes. In January 2014, the series was renewed for a second season to air late 2014 or early 2015. The show has received critical acclaim.[1]

Plot[edit]

Rick is a mentally unbalanced, alcoholic, but scientifically gifted old man who has recently reconnected with his family. He spends most of his time taking his young grandson Morty (and later other family members) on dangerous, outlandish adventures throughout space and alternate universes. Compounded with Morty's already unstable family life, these events cause Morty much distress at home and school.

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Rick Sanchez (voiced by Justin Roiland) – A genius scientist who is the father of Beth Smith, and the grandfather of Morty. His sociopathy and alcoholic tendencies are the source of concern for his daughter's family about the safety of their son Morty.
  • Morty Smith (voiced by Justin Roiland) – Rick's good-natured but easily influenced 14 year old grandson, usually dragged into his misadventures.
  • Jerry Smith (voiced by Chris Parnell) – Morty's insecure father, who strongly disapproves of Rick's influence over his son. His marriage is jeopardized by Jerry's poor relationship with father-in-law Rick. Jerry worked at a low-level advertising agency until he was fired for incompetence. Jerry is now in-between jobs.
  • Beth Smith (née Sanchez) (voiced by Sarah Chalke) – Morty's mother, Rick's daughter, and a cardiac surgeon for horses. Level-headed and assertive, she struggles with her husband over his ego, which thrives in defiance of his proven mediocrity.
  • Summer Smith (voiced by Spencer Grammer) – Morty's 17 year old older sister, a more conventional teenager who values her image and constant access to cell phones. She occasionally expresses jealousy that it is Morty who gets to accompany Rick on his inter-dimensional adventures.

Recurring[edit]

  • Jessica (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) - Jessica is a classmate of Morty at his school. She is an attractive girl often shown in his math class. Morty has an obvious crush on her, but Jessica doesn't acknowledge Morty frequently.
  • Mr. Goldenfold (voiced by Brandon Johnson) - Mr. Goldenfold is Morty's math teacher.
  • Principal Gene Fagida (voiced by Phil Hendrie) - Principal Gene Fagida is the principal of Harry Herpson High School. He is good friends with Mr. Goldenfold.
  • Brad (voiced by Echo Kellum) - Brad is a student at Harry Herpson High School. He is shown to be a jock who plays football at the high school.

Development[edit]

Concept and creation[edit]

See caption
Co-creator Dan Harmon at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International

The series is created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, and is based on Justin Roiland's Channel 101 shorts, The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti, which were inspired by Back to the Future's Emmett Brown and Marty McFly.[2] In an interview with Harmon, he stated his inspiration behind much of the concept and humor for the series being various British television series, such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who. He made a comparison with the latter series, saying that "you do start to get a picture of the size of Rick's world." Harmon figures the audience will only understand developments from Morty's point of view, but stated "we don't want to be the companions. We want to hang out with the Doctor, we idolize the Doctor, but we don't think like him, and that's really interesting, Rick is diseased, he's mentally ill, he's an absolute lunatic because he lives on this larger scale."[3]

Roiland stated his and Harmon's intentions for the series to lack traditional continuity, opting for discontinuous storylines "not bound by rules". The pair also stated that they ruled out storylines related to time travel.[4] In a similar interview session at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, he described each episode as being "[their] own point of entry".[5] He stated that the series is retroscripted, primarily for Rick's lines.[4] In the United States, the series is rated TV-14. Roiland explains that under their contract with Adult Swim, he and Harmon have more flexibility with "dark" settings, he stated, that are similar to that of British children TV shows.[3]

Production[edit]

The series was first announced during Adult Swim's 2012 Upfront presentation.[6] Adult Swim has ordered 10 half-hour episodes (not including the pilot).[7][8] Matt Roller, a writer for the series, confirmed via Twitter that the network renewed Rick and Morty for a second season.[9]

Cast[edit]

According to Roiland, multiple guest appearances are slated throughout the season. Among them are Tom Kenny, Maurice LaMarche, Alfred Molina, John Oliver, David Cross, Claudia Black and Virginia Hey of Farscape fame, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Phil Hendrie, Dana Carvey, and Aislinn Paul and Cassie Steele of Degrassi fame.[10]

Episodes[edit]

Rick and Morty series overview
Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 11 December 2, 2013 (2013-12-02)[11] April 14, 2014 (2014-04-14)
2 TBA TBA

Reception and release[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Since the pilot was made available, the series has received critical acclaim, currently holding a Metacritic score of 85, indicating "universal acclaim".[1] David Weigand of the San Francisco Chronicle described it as "offbeat and occasionally coarse, ... the take-away here is that it works." He praised the animation direction by James McDermott for being "fresh, colorful and as wacky as the script", and compares the series as to having "shades of Futurama, South Park and even Beetlejuice", ultimately opining that its humor felt "entirely original".[12] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times praised the series and compared it to the film Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa; he concluded his review stating: "Grandparenting at its unhinged finest."[13] Todd Spangler of Variety gave the series a lukewarm review; while he found the series was passable, he contrasted it with other Adult Swim series as "often seems overly reliant on simply being frenetic at the expense of being witty" and enjoyed it as "a welcome attempt to dream just a little bigger."[14] David Sims of The A.V. Club gave the series an "A−". In reviewing the first two episodes, he complimented the animation for its "clean, simple style." He stated that while the series has "a dark, sick sensibility," he praised its "effort to give each character a little bit of depth", further applauding Roiland's voice talent for the eponymous characters.[15]

Online distribution[edit]

Adult Swim has made the pilot episode available on iTunes, bundled as part of the complete first season, as well as a 37-minute interview between creators Harmon and Roiland at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International.[16] Eleven episodes have also been made available on the series' official website,[17] and on YouTube.[18][19] The episode "Rixty Minutes" was released early by the network via 109 15-second videos on Instagram.[20]

DVD and Blu-ray release[edit]

Roiland has confirmed via Twitter that a DVD and Blu-ray of the first season is planned. The release will contain uncensored audio tracks.[21] On July 11, 2014 it was announced that the complete first season Region 1 would be released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 7, 2014 [22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Metacritic staff (2013-11-22). "'Rick and Morty' Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  2. ^ Czajkowski, Elise (2013-11-12). "Dan Harmon's Rick and Morty Premieres on Adult Swim on Dec. 2". Splitsider. The Awl. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  3. ^ a b Schwartz, Terri (2013-11-25). "Dan Harmon: Rick and Morty will be the Doctor Who of Adult Swim cartoons". From Inside the Box. Zap2it. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  4. ^ a b Abarca, Justin (2013-11-22). "8 Fun Facts About Dan Harmon's New Animated Show, Rick And Morty". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  5. ^ Dan Harmon (co-creator); Justin Roiland (co-creator) (2013-07-29). SDCC 2013: Rick and Morty Panel. San Diego Comic-Con International: Turner Broadcasting System. 14:36. 
  6. ^ Rose, Lacey (2012-05-15). "Upfronts 2012: Adult Swim Orders Eight Pilots, Including a Project From Community's Dan Harmon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  7. ^ Harnick, Chris (2013-10-29). "Rick And Morty: Dan Harmon's Animated Series Coming To Adult Swim". The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  8. ^ O'Neal, Sean (2012-10-29). "Dan Harmon is still doing just fine, now has an Adult Swim series". The A.V. Club. The Onion, Inc. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  9. ^ Evans, Bradford (January 29, 2014). "Adult Swim Renews Dan Harmon's Rick and Morty for Season 2". Splitsider. The Awl. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ Dan Harmon (co-creator); Justin Roiland (co-creator) (2013-07-29). SDCC 2013: Rick and Morty Panel. San Diego Comic-Con International: Turner Broadcasting System. 12:54. 
  11. ^ "Rick and Morty Season 1 episodes". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  12. ^ Weigand, David (2013-11-26). "Rick and Morty review: Funny and edgy". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  13. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (2013-12-01). "A Warm and Fuzzy Grandpa? Well, Not Exactly: 'Rick and Morty' on Adult Swim". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  14. ^ Spangler, Todd (2013-12-01). "TV Review: Rick and Morty". Variety. 
  15. ^ Sims, David (2013-12-02). "Dan Harmon's new series is a warped take on the Doc Brown/Marty McFly dynamic". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  16. ^ "Rick and Morty, Season 1". Apple Inc. 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  17. ^ "Rick and Morty – Premieres December 2nd at 10:30p on Adult Swim". AdultSwim.com. Turner Broadcasting System. 2013-11-22. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  18. ^ Harris, Aisha (2013-11-27). "Watch the Pilot for Dan Harmon’s New Animated Series". Slate. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  19. ^ Evans, Bradford (2013-11-27). "You Can Watch the Pilot for Dan Harmon's New Adult Swim Show Online Now". Splitsider. The Awl. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  20. ^ Adult Swim splits up 'Rick and Morty' episode into 109 Instagram videos | The Verge
  21. ^ Twitter / JustinRoiland: The Rick and Morty DVD and
  22. ^ Lambert, David (July 11, 2013). "Rick and Morty - 'The Complete 1st Season' on DVD, Blu-ray: Date, Cost, Extras". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]