A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rick and Morty is intended for mature viewers who can take the copious violence, alcohol consumption, and sexual content in stride. The show centers on a degenerate relationship between an anxious, socially marginal teen and his lunatic lush of a grandfather who drags him into absurd schemes through time and space. In other words, there are no positive role models here; in fact, the show's foundation is the sadistic emotional control Rick wields over Morty. Violence is graphic albeit in a cartoon way, so you'll see body explosions, gushing wounds, weapon use, and some death. Expect some sexually suggestive stuff as well, with hints at nudity (a girl flashes Morty, although only the top part of her breasts is visible) and some bawdy talk about sexuality.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
RICK AND MORTY follows the misadventures of a socially awkward teen and his alcoholic grandfather as they travel through various dimensions carrying out bizarre schemes. For Morty (voiced by Justin Roiland), high school is a minefield of social traps, from him hiding his crush on the school hottie to fending off pressure from bullies. Still, when it comes down to it, he'd rather be there than riding shotgun with his grandfather, Rick (Roiland again), a scientific genius who's dangerously off his rocker but determined to have Morty along for ride...and to do the grunt work for him.
Is it any good?
Nurturing, supportive, caring -– these are the markers of grandfathers at their very best, and they're polar opposites to those that describe Rick. He's narcissistic, indulgent, and crass, not to mention a raging alcoholic with no sense of moral judgment. His schemes always spell disaster in some form for his unfortunate grandson, who nevertheless continues to be victimized by Rick's verbal abuse and falls in line time and again.
Rick and Morty does a decent job of putting the fun in a dysfunctional relationship, but it comes at the cost of common decency. It boasts an impressive voice cast, including Sarah Chalke and Chris Parnell as Morty's parents. Still, obviously this isn't one for tweens, and its rampant sexuality and violence make it iffy for most teens. On the other hand, adults could find a guilty pleasure in the characters' bizarre adventures and sci-fi mishaps.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the market for shows such as this one. Is this the kind of entertainment adults want? What is the appeal of animated series for grown-ups?
Is this series controversial? Does any of its content cross the line? Do TV ratings do enough to warn viewers about a show's content?
How much of what we see in entertainment do we internalize? Is it important that the characters be good role models or not? What shows do you watch that have positive behavior models?
Themes & Topics
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