The first season of Rick and Morty was an unpredictable ride full of laughs, excitement, and heart-breaking drama. Created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, the series featured the unusual pairing of a ratatouille-loving anthropomorphized raccoon and a delusional genius with a faulty memory. For better or worse, that’s how you might remember it.
The duo behind Rick and Morty are back with their sophomore effort, indicating that while they may not always see eye-to-eye on what constitutes a successful comedy, there’s no denying that they’re both experts in the field. The result is a Rick and Morty Season 2 that’s every bit as entertaining as its predecessor, if not more so. Let’s take a look at some of the finer points of the comedy classic and which unlikely characters and aspects I would most like to see return for another go-around.
Who Would I Bet On?
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. As much as I’d like to see Rick and Morty pick up where they left off last season, it’s important to note that it’s not going to happen. Season 2 premieres on Thursday, April 18, at 10 p.m. ET and marks the first time the show will air since the 2018 holiday season. The creators decided not to renew their pact with Adult Swim and instead chose to gamble on their own terms and struck out on their own. As a result, we’re going to have to wait until at least May 2021 for more Rick and Morty. Sigh.
That being said, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. For starters, Rick and Morty Season 1 was one of the most-watched series of the year, and that was before all of the post-pandemic bonus screenings. Since then, the show’s following has only strengthened. Forbes recently predicted that the series would become the fifth-most-popular show on the platform by 2021 and possibly even break the Top 10. That’s quite an endorsement, and it seems to bode well for Rick and Morty’s future on Adult Swim. As long as they keep making exciting and innovative content like they did in Season 1, Rick and Morty stands a chance of becoming a permanent fixture on the network.
On the subject of the show’s future, it’s also worth noting that the Rick and Morty writers’ room is back to working at full capacity. Between Season 1 and Season 2, Justin Roiland (the voice of Rick) and Mike McMahan (the series’ co-creator) juggled solo writing on the first season and then teamed up for the second. Even more impressively, they not only wrote and produced the entire season in just over three months, but they managed to keep the season’s pacing and structure remarkably consistent. Typically, TV shows tend to either drag on for far too long or lose contact with their audience between episodes, but not so with Rick and Morty. It’s as if the show’s creative duo tuned in to what was working and kept iterating on it. This is a rare skill for any type of show, let alone one that’s still in its early stages.
Which Characters Are The Least Bit Likeable?
While we’re waiting for Season 2 of Rick and Morty, it may be worth taking a quick gander at which of the show’s characters are the most lovable. This will, of course, depend on your perspective, but there are two sides to every story. From Miney, the super-puppy, to the eponymous Rick, there’s always at least one character that you can relate to. It may not always be the most sympathetic or likeable character, but you can at least see where they’re coming from. Let’s take a look at the top five most likeable characters from Season 1 of Rick and Morty.
What’s more interesting about this particular entry on the list is that it doesn’t feature any of the show’s primary characters. Pepe, the chubby purple dinosaur, first appears in one of the season’s opening scenes and quickly establishes himself as the kind of guy you want to hang out with. He brings his adorable naïveté and optimism that fuels his friendship with the insane genius Rick, and it’s never more apparent than in their dynamic around the campfire. That’s the sort of storytelling we expect to see from the show’s creators. It’s not just that they’re skilled storytellers, but they also understand how to engage an audience through compelling characters and compelling dynamics. In the case of Pepe, we see that their understanding of what makes a funny scene or character is twofold: first, they get the proportions right, but more importantly, they realize that the way a character or scene plays out is just as important as the content itself. In other words, they know what buttons to push and how to get a laugh.
Another odd place on this list is #3, the paranoid and delusional genius with a faulty memory, Morty. To be fair, this is one area where Justin Roiland’s Rick and Morty stand out from its predecessor, although the writers did have Shane Prada (the voice of Morty) in mind when they were writing Season 1. Morty is certainly a character that you wouldn’t want to cross, and it’s not just because he has a deadly virus named after himself that he’s obsessed with, it’s also because he’s a generally unpleasant person. He’s unpleasant, and it’s really quite fascinating, how much pleasure he gets out of being unpleasant. The good news is that you may learn something from Morty. The bad news is that you’ll probably also learn something from Morty. Take what you will from this list as it’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek, and not so much as an accurate portrayal of anyone’s actual friend or family member. Still, the point is to get a laugh, not to incite feelings of sympathy or empathy, so that’s something.
Chucky is, by all accounts, the breakout character of Season 1. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of his character is how charming he can be. For an unhinged killer doll, that’s perhaps the worst crime of all. If the writers of Rick and Morty want to keep up the suspense, let’s just say that Chucky never really is as scary as he seems. His catchphrase, “Don’t judge me,” is a tip-off to one of the series’ creative directors, Jessica McDonough, who voices Chucky. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she discussed how important it was for the character to have a sense of humor about himself, particularly in the face of all the horror that he witnesses. It’s that ability, coupled with a general air of self-deprecation, that makes Chucky such a lovable character. If the writers want to keep the audience guessing about the state of Chucky’s soul, they’re going to have to up the ante and give us more than a few hints as to his true nature. The key, as always, is to keep the funny: Chucky is one of those rare characters that you can both laugh at and empathize with. We all want to believe that the monsters are the ones with the problem, but it’s the ones that we trust the least that often turn out to be the monsters.
Shane is the muscle-bound friend of Rick and Morty. He appears to be the most violent character in the show, capable of holding his own against multiple assailants, whether they be animals or people. What’s interesting is how this seemingly over-the-top character can be the most lovable when played by someone other than the show’s creators. The series’ premiere features an extended sequence where Shane, Rick, and Morty search for treasure on an island, resulting in all three of them getting injured in the process. Even when they’re not physically fighting for their lives, it’s clear that these three guys are close friends and enjoy each other’s company. It’s not hard to see why, given how much fun they have together. The joy displayed by the three actors is infectious and makes you want to dive right into their hijinks. As with any good comedy, it’s the characters that make the comedy, and while there are plenty of violent aspects to Shane, they don’t take away from his air of friendly naiveté. All of this is to say that yes, it’s important to have the protagonists of your show resembleable, but it’s also important to have the antagonists as well.