Rick and Morty takes Existentialism and grinds it into a loveable Ayn Randian Scientist character. Creators Harmon and Roiland put him into a family of feeling people who could never live up to the uncontrolled genius of Science Uber-Jerk Rick Sanchez, and all of the characters ride the waves of his brilliant morally ambiguous adventures.
If you haven’t seen the show pour yourself a drink, sit down with the need to laugh, but get ready to have fundamental philosophy, religion, existence questioned as you follow the episodes.
My favorite scene:
To prove his superiority to Jerry, Rick improv-invents a robot to pass the butter while they eat. The robot performs the task, then asks Rick “What is my purpose?”
Rick: “You pass butter”
The robot looks down at his little hands and says “Oh my God.”
Rick: “Join the club pal.”
Sartre would have busted a seam at this I think. One could be depressed at the infinite absurdity of our existence at face value, but the butter robot has just accepted from his maker his sole purpose of being. This can inform our daily lives as culture, leaders, capitalists try to tell us what our purpose is; and we can like the butter robot dump the damn butter on the table as it does in a later scene.
Throughout the show there are moments of bleak reality or absurdity, and Rick in his intelligence eschews conventional logical or moral decisions to experience a short term high or re-make the world. This deepens the experience of our reaction to the show because out of its darkness there is a family, there are moments of humanity; and a lot of dirty jokes.