Adult animated series explores sci-fi through concept episodes


What do you get when you throw a drunk, apathetic version of Doc Brown and an idiotic, socially-inept Marty McFly into zany, animated adventures across the galaxy?

The result of this volatile mixture is “Rick and Morty,” an adult animated series that follows these two characters across various galaxies and dimensions.

Rick (the character reminiscent of Doc Brown) is the grandfather of Morty (similar to Marty McFly.) The series also focuses on the rest of the family, including Morty’s stereotypical, internet-obsessed sister Summer, his practical mother Beth, who works as a horse surgeon and continuously forgives Rick for his diabolical antics and the dunce of the family, Morty’s father Jerry.


It’s made pretty obvious that Summer takes after her sharp mother while Morty takes after his slow father. The structure of the show usually divides the duo of Rick and Morty, and the rest of the family into two separate storylines.

The show explores common tropes of science-fiction, but with a disturbing twists. The show is a collection of concept episodes, each focusing on a certain sci-fi movie or idea, and putting a unique spin on it.

This often manifests from parodies of films like “The Purge,” “Inception” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” By exploiting the audience’s knowledge of these culturally known stories, the writers are able to subvert expectations and take these stories to new depths. The writers even manage to improvise most of the first season’s eighth episode “Rixty Minutes.”

Through these methods, the show creates a sense of cosmic horror. Rather than being in awe of these alien worlds and events, Morty sees the terror of aliens who have no concern for humanity.

The show puts the audience in constant doubt and wonder, which is typical of science fiction. Any interactions with the cosmos is going to reveal that we are but a fleck of dust in the eyes of these horrible creatures and advanced species.

What eclipses this horror are the relationships Rick has with the various members of his family and the humor that can be found in even the darkest of times. Rick’s influence on his family is apparent through Morty. Morty begins the series as an awkward failure and throughout the two seasons, he comes closer to adopting Rick’s view of existence that is, to do everything you can to enjoy life because it all will just abruptly end one day.

“Rick and Morty”is available to stream on Hulu and Adult Swim’s website.