Rick and Morty
|Rick and Morty|
|Created by||Justin Roiland
|Directed by||Pete Michels (supervising)
|Voices of||Justin Roiland
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||11 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Dan Harmon
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
|Original channel||Adult Swim|
|Picture format||16:9 HDTV|
|Original run||December 2, 2013 – present|
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 has been picked up for 10 half-hour episodes; the series has been renewed by Adult Swim for a second season. The show has received critical acclaim.
Rick is a mentally-unbalanced but scientifically-gifted old man who has recently reconnected with his family. He spends most of his time involving his young grandson Morty in 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.
Cast and characters
- Rick Sanchez (Justin Roiland) – A genius scientist whose alcoholic tendencies are the source of concern for his daughter's family over the safety of their son Morty.
- Morty Smith (Justin Roiland) – Rick's good-natured but easily influenced 14 year old grandson, usually dragged into his misadventures.
- Jerry Smith (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 and is now in-between jobs.
- Beth Smith (née Sanchez) (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 (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.
- Jessica (Kari Wahlgren) 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 (Brandon Johnson) is Morty's math teacher.
- Gene Vagina (Phil Hendrie) is the principal of Harry Herpson High School. He is good friends with Mr. Goldenfold.
- Brad (Echo Kellum) is a student at Harry Herpson High School. He is shown to be a jock who plays football at the high school.
Concept and creation
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. 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."
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. In a similar interview session at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, he described each episode as being "[their] own point of entry". He stated that the series is retroscripted, primarily for Rick's lines. 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.
The series was first announced during Adult Swim's 2012 Upfront presentation. Adult Swim has ordered 10 half-hour episodes (not including the pilot). Matt Roller, a writer for the series, confirmed via Twitter that the network renewed Rick and Morty for a second season.
According to Roiland, multiple guest appearances are slated throughout the season. Among them are Tom Kenny, Maurice LaMarche, 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.
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||11||December 2, 2013||April 14, 2014|
Reception and release
Since the pilot was made available, the series has received critical acclaim, currently holding a Metacritic score of 85, indicating "universal acclaim". 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". 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." 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." 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 titular characters.
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. Eight episodes have also been made available on the series' official website, and on YouTube. The episode "Rixty Minutes" was released early by the network via 109 15-second videos on Instagram.
- Metacritic staff (2013-11-22). "'Rick and Morty' Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
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- Evans, Bradford (January 29, 2014). "Adult Swim Renews Dan Harmon's Rick and Morty for Season 2". Splitsider. The Awl. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- 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.
- "Rick and Morty Season 1 episodes". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- Weigand, David (2013-11-26). "Rick and Morty review: Funny and edgy". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- 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.
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- 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.
- "Rick and Morty, Season 1". Apple Inc. 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Rick and Morty – Premieres December 2nd at 10:30p on Adult Swim". AdultSwim.com. Turner Broadcasting System. 2013-11-22. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- Harris, Aisha (2013-11-27). "Watch the Pilot for Dan Harmon’s New Animated Series". Slate. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
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