Just throwing it out there – Spoiler Warning up to the end of Season 4
It might sound like I’m contradicting myself later on but I’m going to come out now and say that Rick and Morty is the best animated show still airing on television. Previously it was BoJack Horseman, but that show ended a few months back so Rick and Morty is our current reigning champion.
It’s a show that continues to thrive on it’s abstract wacky Sci-Fi concepts while still being really funny with the dark satirical humour that it is known for. There is alot of talent behind this show, especially from the exceptional writers and the constantly improving animation. The latest Season (Season 4) is another solid season yet I can’t help but feel very mixed about it.
I like the show, I liked all the episodes as it did everything I said in the previous paragraph, but I kept having that “been there done that” type of feeling. It’s like I’ve already seen all of it’s magic tricks and I’m no longer as wowed by it as I used to be.
I’m no TV expert but what I think makes a great long running TV show is that the show needs to invent itself each season. This could be accomplished by changing the show’s tone to fit the current growth of the characters or introducing a new situation or dynamic for the characters to deal with. A recent example of a show that does exactly that is Better Call Saul. It’s an awesome show because each season we see Jimmy McGill’s criminal lifestyle become more and more dominant over his average lawyer life. I can’t recommend that show enough, but back to Rick and Morty which is basically the same show every season.
Season 3 is the only time when Rick and Morty tried to change things up, with Jerry and Beth breaking up, with space aliens hanging out on Earth becoming a norm and the set-up of a possible series antagonist with Evil Morty. The show also got alot darker with the potential exploration of Rick’s past and whether Beth is actually a clone. So how is this not remembered as the best season ever? It isn’t, it’s actually remembered as the worst season ever!
This might be mainly thanks to Rick and Morty’s obnoxious fanbase, but I would say there’s another reason also. All that cool stuff I just mentioned ended up being just a tease or ended up meaning nothing because the show is an animated sitcom and the writer’s absolutely refuse to break the status quo. This type of format was fine back in day of The Simpsons or Futurama, but as television has evolved I find it very difficult to get interested in a show that teases change, but doesn’t have the balls to follow through. Hell, that’s basically the reason why I ditched Disenchantment.
That’s why I’m so mixed on this latest season. It’s still good, but it’s just the same as the previous seasons! It’s good TV, but with no real stakes or ongoing consequences I have grown to no longer really care about these characters anymore. Actually I have come pretty close to disliking them all as the whole Smith family, excluding Jerry, have basically developed their own nasty persona of Rick. Especially Summer – she’s so viciously unlikable now! What has also tainted my view of the show is Adult Swim have renewed the show for 70 more episodes, meaning it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, which means the constant teasing could potentially go on longer than five seasons and the characters could potentially grow to become as unlikable as the ones from Family Guy. I’m sorry, but for me I would be out the door before we even reach Season 6.
So this brings us to the long awaited headline for this post. Is Rick and Morty at the start of Franchise fatigue? It’s a term more commonly given to movie series that refuse to die long after their hay day, but I believe this also applies to TV as I’m sure you could easily name at least five shows that should have ended long ago. I just hope Rick and Morty doesn’t meet the same fate. It’s great now, but will it still be great in 5 or even 10 years time?
I still have some hope for the show and it’s thanks to Season 4’s finale that I’m willing to stick with the show. Season 4 ends with the introduction of Beth’s badass clone, maybe. (I’m still annoyed they’re still teasing this, but hey it’s progress.) This new character does offer what I was saying earlier about a new interesting dynamic that will keep the show fresh. As long as Rick doesn’t kill her or if she buggers off and the normal Beth stays with Rick by the season premiere taking us back to where we started, then Season 5 might unfortunately be my final season of Rick and Morty.
So that was my thoughts on the latest season of Rick and Morty and the whole franchise going forward. I don’t often write posts like this, they’re normally a bit more of a summary of my scattered thoughts. I just had this sudden urge to write almost a full school report on what I think of an animated Sci-Fi sitcom. It was sub-consciously building within me for awhile and it finally burst out today. Anyway, I hope this was a good read, especially for Rick and Morty fans. I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.