A review from Hailey
After last week’s class discussion on the Many Worlds theory, I immediately thought of the fairly recent sci-fi series Rick and Morty, a subversive animated show that chronicles the adventures of Rick, an alcoholic scientist, and his grandson, Morty. Like most of the science fiction we’ve studies in class, Rick and Morty examines the correlation between advanced scientific technology and interpersonal relationships. In one episode, Rick and Morty enter the dreams of a math teacher to ensure that Morty gets a passing grade and the family dog achieves sentience.
One episode that most aptly spins the notion of alternate realities practically on its head, “Close Rick Encounters of the Rick Kind,” acknowledges that there are an infinite number of possible realities. As a basic plot summary, most realities have a Rick, and due to their superior intelligence a lot of people are out to get him (them?). As Rick puts it, “Wherever you find people with heads up their asses, someone wants a piece of your grandpa, and a lot of versions of me on different timelines had the same problem, so a few thousand versions of me had the ingenious idea of banding together like a herd of cattle or a school of fish or those people who answer questions on Yahoo! Answers…” So, there are an infinite number of universes with infinite versions of impossibly intelligent Ricks, who can not only move between these universes but also create a kind of union, a Rick-topia, run by the Council of Ricks.
The impossible idea of being able to move between alternate realities is explored in a full extent through animation, which allows for a suspension of disbelief as cartoons as a medium inherently allows for impossibility. This allows for the full development of science-fiction tropes, while maintaining self-awareness and a joking tone that permeates the episodes.
Self-aware and deeply disturbing at times, Rick and Morty pushes infinite universe theory (and a variety of other science fiction staples) to a hilarious extent, and succeeds in doing so through use of animation as a platform.
Here’s the promo for “Close Rick and Encounters”