James Cole Clay has been working as a film critic for the better part of a decade covering new releases, blu ray reviews and the occasional drive-in cult classic. His writing is dedicated to discovering social politics through diverse voices, primarily focusing on Women In Film and LGBTQ cinema.
James Clay//Film Critic
RICK AND MORTY have become synonymous with edgy internet fandom that is toxic in some spaces. Some circles of the show’s fanbase seemed to absorb the ego of the titular Rick Sanchez, becoming galaxy-brained bros with a nonexistent ax to grind against softies and soy boys.
The way creators Justin Roiland (voice of Rick and Morty) and Dan Harmon have worked around that in the show’s past two seasons has taken some leaps and divergences. It became clear they didn’t want to sacrifice the bite that gave the show its distinct voice and address the actions that (some) fans choose to celebrate in real-world behaviors. The point is that RICK AND MORTY season five has brought on some changes to the show’s moral compass, but when you have a solid writer’s room, change is good.
Coming in at ten episodes that wallop the audience with one high concept genre riff after another, season five has some of the best episodes the series has ever structured. The season’s overarching theme is Rick’s vulnerability towards his grandson Morty and becoming more empathic towards his family. Harmon and Roiland have always hinted at these arcs, but character growth never seems like a possibility with animated shows. If the show’s creators continue this path, it will be one of the more radical approaches to animation in television history.
Each episode is a random movie title with a mashup of the names of the titular characters. My favorite episodes were MORT DINNER RICK ANDRE that brought back the god of the ocean Nimbus for a dinner party. A RICKCONVENIENT MORT has Morty falling in love with an environmental superhero, and RICKTERNAL FRIENDSHINE OT, THE SPOTLESS MORT, is Rick recounting a special friendship in his life.
Season five of RICK AND MORTY sets a tone for what is to come with a genuinely intriguing cliffhanger. This special season of the show shows that sometimes change can be hilarious.
SPECIAL FEATURES: As I reviewed in my summation of the RICK AND MORTY SEASON 1-4 box set, the special features on these releases are fantastic. We get into the writer’s room that becomes infectious with silly energy and creativity. While behind the scenes looks at animation prove to be fascinating, the writers’ room is where the show finds gold. Any fan will be pleased with the number of special features and the depths Adult Swim was willing to go to show their audience how the show is made.
|BONUS FEATURES”Fighting Gravity”: The Making of Season 5 (Exclusive to Set): In this deep dive discussion, co-creator Dan Harmon and the crew reflect on the challenges of completing this season in the middle of a pandemic and the creative process behind the story’s biggest revelations.“Inside the Episode”: For every episode from Season 5|
B-Story Generator Vol. 1: Co-creator Dan Harmon and writer Rob Schrab reach into their box of random ideas to conjure up hilarious side stories.
B-Story Generator Vol. 2: Co-creator Dan Harmon and writer Rob Schrab return to brainstorm even more ludicrous side stories.
Backgrounds: The show’s artists give us a jaw-dropping look at the amazingly detailed environments packed into every episode.
Animation and Compositing: Crafting the show’s visuals is a complex process and the crew is here to show us why.
Coloring Rick and Morty: Get an in-depth look at how the crew uses vibrant color to create fantastic alien worlds.
Directing ‘Mortyplicity’: An inside look at the evolution of this ambitious and action-packed episode, from initial storyboards to final product.
Directing ‘Rickmurai Jack’: A behind the scenes look at one visualization of one of the most ambitious episodes in the series’ history.
Season 5 Hype: Dan Harmon and the writers give you a taste of what’s in store for Rick and Morty’s wildest season yet.
RENT/BUY: This is a definite buy due to the show’s sheer rewatchability. While the show has a tone and storyline each season, somebody coming into the play cold can pop on a random episode and have a great time. RICK AND MORTY Season five comes with the standard packaging uniformed from previous releases, but a fantastic-looking steel book is also available. These things sell out quickly each time a new season drops, so act quickly the artwork looks fantastic.