Rick and Morty on Adult Swim: The future of a new generation

Watching Bill O’Reilly lately, with his support of Tesla Motors, government bailouts, yet maintaining strong traditional stances against socially downward trends, I had the feeling I’m was watching a generation’s excuses for bringing socialism to America. O’Reilly represents a majority American opinion for those above age 35, which is why he is so popular. However, there is a tremendous undercurrent that is coming under this age barrier and they think radically different from the generation of Bill O’Reilly about most everything. These are people from a generation that does not understand what it meant to have a mother in the home. They had the “state” in charge of most of their education, and they don’t have great prospects for social monetary gains, and they are not particularly happy about it. I associate with these people in gaming circles. They are often Star Wars fans, Doctor Who fans, and they play a lot of video games—hours and hours of video games. They don’t know or care who their politicians are—because they don’t trust them. The system has let them down in every way possible and they are well aware of it. They will likely support Rand Paul for president, but otherwise have quit the real world—because to them—it sucks—and lacks opportunity. They are not like Bill O’Reilly’s generation, and have no desire to be.

Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network traditionally puts out cartoons intended for adults, and it is a favorite channel in my house. Cartoons I find are able to tackle complex adult problems without the pretense of serious drama—so I find them very enjoyable. I was a fan of The Simpsons until the direction of their show moved too far to the political left, I enjoy The Family Guy in spite of their obvious progressivism, and I love Robot Chicken. There is a lot of imagination and creativity in adult oriented cartoons that speak honestly about the direction of human civilization. But I have a new favorite it’s called Rick and Morty and aside from the gaseous expulsion jokes, I absolutely love it.  

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.[1]

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 works at a low-level advertising agency.
  • 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 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.




Of course I relate most with the grandfather Rick, except when he belches, farts, and drinks. The kind of physics stories that the show is tackling correctly identifies the topics of concern that America is currently facing. I have covered here the predictions that the world will experience over the next 20 years, and Rick and Morty is right on track to help the minds of this new generation deal with those complex issues.

I simply love the story lines. They are some of the cleverest topics I have seen attempted by a television show with the exception of Doctor Who, only this show goes a few steps further. There is an episode where Morty convinces his grandfather to buy him a sex robot while traveling to an intergalactic pawn shop which was truly bizarre, but as I watched it I couldn’t help but think that the future of the sex trade industry was being shown. The human race is only a few decades away from these very issues, and that same episode dealt with extremely difficult subject matter centering on problems with feminism—and the nature of life. In spite of the crazy over-the-top conduct of the show, it was very intelligent and well written. If it wasn’t so controversial, it would be nominated for an Emmy because it is actually dealing with hard topics that most writers would avoid like the plague.

It doesn’t happen often, but Rick and Morty is one of those rare exceptions on television that is well worth watching. It certainly took me by surprise. The goodness of it is not so much in what it is now, but in what it will be as the Bill O’Reilly generation fades off into the sunset with all their 60’s hippie rhetoric, big spending debt, and labor union stagnation—yielding to a new generation that will have to solve cures for cancer, their own mortality, and new issues involving the mind-bending discoveries about our universe that will come directly from the computation services of modern artificial intelligence being hatched before our very eyes. Many of the problems that Bill O’Reilly deals with nightly will soon washed away like high-tide striking a sandcastle on a Florida beach. This is the attitude of Rick from the show, where he protests to his granddaughter, Summer that now he has to take over a planet because of her boobs. I don’t understand Bill O’Reilly’s support of Tesla Motors. But I do understand the grandfather Rick, and that is why Rick and Morty is a breath of fresh air seen only on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network.

Rich Hoffman