Rick and Morty as Absurdist Humor, Yet Legitimate Sci-Fi with Family Drama (Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #54)

Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Eri­ca Spyres, and Bri­an Hirt address the 4‑season 2013 Adult Swim show, which cur­rent­ly has a 94% crit­ics’ rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes. What kind of humor is it, and how are we sup­posed to take its sci-fi and fam­i­ly dra­ma ele­ments? While its con­cepts start as par­o­dy, with an any­thing-goes style of ani­ma­tion, they’re cre­ative and ground­ed enough to actu­al­ly con­tribute to mul­ti­ple gen­res. How smart is the show, exact­ly? And its fans? Is Rick a super hero, or maybe essen­tial­ly Dr. Who? What might this very seri­al­ized sit-com look like in longevi­ty?

We also touch on oth­er adult car­toons like South Park, Solar Oppo­sites, The Simp­sons, Fam­i­ly Guy, plus Com­mu­ni­ty, Scrubs, and more.

Hear the inter­view we refer to with the show’s cre­ators. Watch the video we men­tion about its direc­tors. Vis­it the Rick and Morty wiki for episode descrip­tions and oth­er things.

Some arti­cles that we bring up or oth­er­wise fueled our dis­cus­sion include:

Also, do you want a Plumbus?

Learn more at prettymuchpop.com. This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.