Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Dan Harmon's New 'Toon Rick and Morty?

By Tim Surette

Dec 01, 2013

Occasionally, networks debut new shows at weird times; not every program can be a fall baby. But lucky for you, we do our best to stay on top of such things, so that you can be lazy and let us do all the work. And what are we getting out of this relationship? The knowledge that you are properly informed of any noteworthy programming that's en route to your TV. Okay, yeah, it's a lopsided relationship, so if you want to slip us a couple dimes for our trouble, that'd be cool. But in the meantime, let's see if Adult Swim's new animated adventure comedy Rick and Morty is worth your time, in another edition of Here's a New Show You Might Want to Watch Now Give Us Twenty Cents

Rick and Morty, so this is a show about Rick and Morty?

Bingo! Rick and Morty is a half-hour animated series that follows a deranged, alcoholic grandpa scientist (Rick) and his cautious, somewhat-innocent, and dumb grandson (Morty) as they set out on inter-dimensional adventures, battle alien TSA agents, and smuggle contraband in their rectums. And just to be clear, all of those things happen in the first episode. Morty's mom and dad don't approve of their relationship, mostly because it usually involves grievous harm to Morty's well-being. Chillax, parents!

Whose show is this, and who's providing the voices?

The big draw here is that Rick and Morty was co-created by Dan Harmon, the mastermind behind NBC's Community (minus Season 4). Harmon's partner in animated weirdness is Justin Roiland, a voice actor (Fish Hooks, Gravity Falls) who knows Harmon from working with him on Harmon's Channel 101 monthly film festival in Los Angeles. Roiland provides the voices for both Rick and Morty, but you'll also hear Chris Parnell (ArcherSuburgatory), Sarah Chalke (Scrubs, the short-lived How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)), and Spencer Grammer (Greek, NBC's short-lived Ironside remake) as members of Morty's family. 

When does Rick and Morty pop out of a portal and into out our TV sets?

Rick and Morty premieres Monday, December 2 at 10:30pm on Adult Swim. 

Who might enjoy Rick and Morty?

Fans of the current wave of adult cartoons should dig this. But it has that immature Harmon twist, so expect a little more butt and poop humor than you might find on a show like Adventure Time. However, it's not quite as zany as some of the network's other fare. Think of it as living cozily between the imaginative fun of Adventure Time and the cloud of pot smoke that clings to Aqua Teen Whatever It's Called Now.

What's to like about Rick and Morty?

Dan Harmon's brain is like a National Park on another planet, and while Community has given us a decent peek inside it, the gates to his mind can only be fully opened with the power of wacky animation. And in that sense, Rick and Morty is glorious! Full of inter-dimensional portals, phallic-looking xenomorphs, and just the right amount of cartoon gore, the show should be fun for both kids and stoners. I also really like the animation style. There are weird testicle thingies on like every creature in sight; it's basically Harmon's teenage self getting control of a cartoon show.

What isn't so great about Rick and Morty?

I didn't care for the voices of either Rick or Morty, but maybe that's just me. And the jokes can be hit-or-miss, relying a little too heavily on lazy potty humor. The first few scenes are a bit of a slog, but once the pilot gets going, it takes off into pretty fantastic territory.

So, should I watch it?

If you're into cartoons and trippy, weird sh*t, then yes. This show has zero limitations, and knowing Harmon, it will probably take advantage of that.

Let's take a look at a trailer!

Okay! But if you want to watch the entire premiere episode instead, you can do that here.

Rick and Morty premieres Monday, December 2 at 10:30pm on Adult Swim.

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  • chuuuuck Dec 07, 2013

    Parnell, Chalke, Grammer and Harmon are all names that will make me at least give this a chance. I miss Greek.

  • Silver_Sword_14 Dec 02, 2013

    For all its faults, the pilot did have some funny lines. I just hope Rick's drunkenness is dialed down in future episodes because I got tired of hearing him burp and having that gross-looking shit on his chin.

  • Bear_TV_Lover Dec 02, 2013

    I watched the pilot because of Dan Harmon. The grandfather constant burping was disgusting, but not in a funny way. It was boring. I'm going to skip this show. It is possible that it will get better after the pilot and the voice work will even out, first episodes of several really good animated series are VERY bad. I'll stop watching and if it gets picked up for a second season and one of the people that I trust says it's worth it, I'll binge watch it. For now, I'm going to let it go and spend the time I saved writing Dr. Space-Time fan-fiction.

  • EsmeBuffay Dec 02, 2013

    I don't like it when shows rely on being random to be funny, it's kind of funny, to a point, but I feel like shows like Adventure Time just throw in weird and random things instead of actually clever jokes or dialog. I like Archer which is an animated show but I don't think it's an animated show in the way he means this is an animated show. I think I'll probably pass, I'm not eleven or a stoner so I need more than just random things happening to laugh.

  • dodge_hickey Dec 01, 2013

    Dan Harmon? I'm there.

  • Gerbils Dec 01, 2013

    Also, they used one of my favorite Pixies songs in the trailer. I'm in.

  • Gerbils Dec 01, 2013

    I feel you on the voices, especially the kids, but I figure I'll get used to them. I used to not like dippers voice on Gravity Falls and I hated Finn's voice on AT when I started watching but I got used to them (Finns voice actors voice matured though so that's probably why his voice doesn't annoy me anymore).

    Anyway I'd say this article is pretty spot on about the pilot. I enjoyed it and I'll be watching.

  • stiffler_17 Dec 01, 2013

    I'm a huge fan of Harmon's work and I got half way through the pilot when it was on YT, but I agree, the voice work was kinda one note; the Doctor is curmudgeon-y, the kid is an idiot. I think this will improve with time and when the actors/writers find distinction or subtlety to each character, but for now I feel its a strong case of Pilot-itis. I'll finish watching the rest eventually (just because) and surely the series will get a lot better.

  • WavSlave Dec 01, 2013

    Well, I'm an [adult swim] devotee and will therefore certainly watch this, especially since new animated fare is increasingly rare for them to air. (Huh?) However, my enthusiasm is greatly reduced knowing that it will include way too much excrement "humor." It's a mystery to me why anyone of any age finds flatus and feces a source of comedy, but it's especially confounding that any adult would. Funny how this show, ostensibly targeted at adults, sounds more juvenile than the delightful Adventure Time, which is most definitely aimed a younger audience. (For the record, I love Adventure Time and think it's one of the very best animated shows to come out in years.)

  • stiffler_17 Dec 01, 2013

    I stopped watching 'the league' because I realized it was 45% dick jokes. They're a "comedy for dummies" or "stand-up 101" crutch..

  • MarkNash1 Dec 01, 2013

    Yeah the first half of the pilot is a snorefest but the second half is a huge improvement. Sadly from the trailer it seems like it's all a minor twist on the 'Back to the Future' dynamic of Marty and the professor and then stealing other movie plot ideas instead of doing anything original.

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