April Absurdity: ‘Rick and Morty’ makes long-awaited return

Rick and Morty

Nolan Hovell

“Rick and Morty,” an adult cartoon comedy follows the misadventures of a mad scientist, Rick, and his naïve grandson, Morty, as they travel throughout multiverses meeting and battling all sorts of cosmic horrors, has returned for a long anticipated third season.

With its mix of animated humor and deeply scientific and philosophic themes such as purpose, “Rick and Morty” appeals to a wide range of viewers especially college-aged individuals. In college, much like in the show, there are moments when things can become too real, be scary and too complex.

Fans of the show’s absurd and existential nature were more than elated to find that after a year and a half since the cliff-hanger finale to season two, the third season premiered, without advertisement, on April 1, of all days, on Adult Swim.

Many believed this last second announcement was intended as an April Fool’s joke; the real punch-line was that after a highly anticipated wait the creators, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, released the premiere on a whim. This unexpected blessing fits the shows and its creators’ style of presenting information in strange ways and often without warning.

Many others joined in the festivities as well, playing their own unique and hilarious hijinks. Netflix released a live stream featuring Will Arnett narrating what he sees. There is nothing special about the things Arnett sees or how he talks about them, but watching a well-known entertainer describe the process of a burrito being microwaved is so absurd it can be considered comedy or if nothing else a funny prank at our expense.

Fans of the show know it is silly to hold onto expectations when viewing “Rick and Morty.” The concept of cosmic horror present in the show asks us to view ourselves as the universe does; utterly insignificant. What is terrifying about this particular genre is it breaks the common way of thinking about human life as the center or purpose of the universe.

Where we place value and purpose in this world is greatly a result of the time and space in which we grew up and for that reason many struggle to go beyond themselves and imagine a reality that regards them with the same significance as a grain of sand or speck of dust.

Much like the announcement of the third season, the show toys with common conventions and beliefs to break down what we think we know in a humbling and hilarious sequence of events. This concept is something the creators of “Rick and Morty” play with often and even reference “Cthulhu,” H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror symbol of the genre, in the opening title sequence for the show.

Another interesting aspect of creating the show is that the dialogue  is recorded without a final script leaving space for improvisation and natural speech tendencies like stuttering,  which Morty often does, or burping,  which Rick often does (mostly because he is an alcoholic). This imprecise dialogue  makes for some interesting and honest scenes between characters.

For a day that is meant to celebrate the ridiculous and nonsensical nature of jokes, what better way to pay homage than to do something people will see as a joke only to have them fool themselves into not believing it when in reality they were telling the truth.

As Morty explains in the episode “Rixty Minutes,” “Nobody exists on purpose; nobody belongs anywhere; everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV.” So,  if you haven’t had the opportunity to watch the show, give it a go,  and you might just find the appeal in such a strange, interesting and questionable show.