Anyone who knows me know that I am a huge fan of Rick & Morty, a cartoon on Adult Swim detailing the outrageous adventures of an alcoholic, mad scientist, Rick Sanchez, and his grandson Morty Smith, throughout time and the universe. Every now and then they bring the family along, but the series is essentially Dr. Who meets Super Jail. Crass & vulgarity aside, the show is almost like South Park in the way that it challenges current events and social issues. That is, the social commentary is unapologetically real and provocative, touching on subjects from masculinity, religion, and even race. But it's so subtle, you might overlook the commentary. Therefore, below, I give you 5 times (even though there are plenty more) Rick & Morty successfully kept it real.
1. The Struggle Is Real
Towards the end of the Total Rickall (Season 2, Episode 4), Morty learns that the parasite that's infested the Smith house (explaining the ridiculous new characters) can only produce positive memories of the Smith family. Therefore, anyone or anything that doesn't have bad memories of different family members, should be destroyed. It just goes to show that everything that glitters isn't gold, and sometimes it's the struggles that bring us together. It gets real here.
2. Shoulda Coulda Woulda
In Rixty Minutes (Season 1, Episode 7), Rick gifts the Smith family with Interdimensional Goggles to show how their lives look in alternate timelines. While Morty's parents, Beth & Jerry, initially were intrigued by their seemingly perfect lives outside their dimension, they soon realized the dangers in learning "what might've been." Just remember, if 'if' was a fifth we'd all be drunk. And you can't be stuck on the "what if's" of life. It's always best to move on with the bullshit you've been given, and make the best of it.
3. Burqa or nah?
In Raising Gazorpazorp (Season 1, Episode 8), Rick, alongside Morty's sister, Summer, learns not only that the males of the Gazorpazorp species mature within days, but that they are hypersexualized and highly destructive barbarians, ready to attack anything female! As protection from the brutes, Summer is (briefly) forced to wear a burqa against her will. What if wearing a burqa was the difference between life and death in your world? I know-- another lil' something to think about. Check out Rick & Summer's argument around 5:14.
4. Jedi Mind Control
Would it be better to have one organism control the minds of all life on Earth just for the sake of human expansion and improvement? That's what Auto Erotic Assimilation (Season 2, Episode 3) asks as Rick, Morty and Summer encounter an 'assimilating hive-mind,' a supreme alien who uses her ability to take over a planet, unify its inhabitants, and improve the quality of their lives at the expense of their free will and individuality. While you may argue for a free mind, Unity, the hive-mind, brings up a very good point around 7:04. I'd rather be a controlled member of Congress that an uncontrolled prostitute any day!
5. Give Thanks to "Da Lord"
Finally, in Get Schwifty (Season 2, Episode 5), planet Earth is entered into an intergalactic musical competition, hosted by the Cromulons, aka the giant heads. While Rick & Morty have been summoned to represent Earth's musical talent (all of our prominent musicians and artists were killed during an earthquake at the Grammy's), the rest of the world begins to worship the Cromulons as their new deity, replacing their belief in God with a belief in an oversized head. I mean, what would you do if your world was being destroyed by supreme heads? Principle Vagina has his own, passionate, answer for you around 4:27.