Rick and Morty Season 1
Finished on February 25th, 2016
This is a show that I knew was on the air but thought it was something for kids. You get enough recommendations from friends and you decide it's time to finally take the dive.
The series is bizarre, no doubt. The basic premise is this: Rick, a drunken super-genius, is aided in his inter-dimensional quests by his hapless grandson, Morty.
The characters and their relationship are a pretty bare riff on Doc and Marty from Back to the Future. But they just use that as a jumping off point for an insane ride through pretty much every pop culture reference possible.
They do such a good job of slowly easing you into the insanity, waiting until the next to last episode to fully introduce the concept of the multiple Morty's and Rick's.
But what makes the show really worthwhile (especially in the context of my reviewing long form television alongside movies) is the ongoing study of the family dynamic. This show is really about relating with people. Forming and maintaining personal bonds, even though your own personal issues make that difficult or unpleasant. In that way, this is very much a sister project to Community.
I love the Dan Harmon impersonation that Justin Roiland provides as his Rick character. As a long time fan of Harmon's work (that finds Harmon himself often problematic and irritating) this is very rewarding. Morty's evolution over the first season is much better drawn than you might imagine for a show so full of poop jokes. But such is the dichotomy of R&M.
I hope there's a bit more serialized storytelling in season two, but the bits they do include so far are fine on their own.