Rick and Morty Writer Details Parodying Hellraiser's Cenobites for Season 5


ComicBook.com 19 July, 2021 - 10:47pm 11 views

Is Rick and Morty Season 5 Episode 5 out?

Rick and Morty returns to television tonight with a fresh chapter from Season 5 dropping on Sunday, July 11, with episode 5 airing at 11 p.m. on Adult Swim. oregonlive.comRick and Morty Season 5, Episode 5 free live stream, time, TV channel, cast, how to watch online (7/18/21)

How can I watch Rick and Morty Season 5?

You can watch Rick and Morty season 5 for free on Hulu + Live TV (free trial). And, for only $10 during the first month of streaming, try Sling, and enjoy weekly episodes of this hilariously bizarre space-age cartoon. mlive.comHow to Watch ‘Rick and Morty’ season 5 ‘Amortycan Grickfitti’

The writer behind Rick and Morty's newest episode detailed parodying Hellraiser's Cenobites for Season 5! The Adult Swim animated series has now crossed the halfway point of its fifth season, and with it showed off its most pop culture heavy episode yet. While not the wildest episode of the series (or even season when compared to what happened in the fourth episode), it did feature a wild slate of adventures as not only did it showcase the death of parodical takes on the Transformers and Marvel's Galactus, but on Hellraiser's Cenobites as well.

With the Cenobites playing a central role in the story for the episode, writer behind Episode 5, "Amortycan Grickfitti," Anne Lane and Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon opened up about tackling the irony behind the franchise and taking it to an exaggerated level (as one might expect from a cynically comedic series such as this one) for the Adult Swim show in a special Behind the Episode video released by Adult Swim. You can check it out in the video above!

As Harmon and Lane explained, the central conceit of having Rick use Jerry's awkwardness to fulfill a debt he had to the Cenobites began with a take on Dinner for Schmucks where Jerry was going to be unaware of that. Adding Hellraiser's Cenobites, who Harmon describes as "dripping with irony," to the mix was something the writers wanted to tackle and twist their simplistic take on happiness and pain into something fitting for the series.

But as Lane notes further, and as fans had seen in the episode, Rick does feel guilty about using Jerry in such a way. That's why the episode shows that Rick will literally go to Hell and back just to rescue his daughter's husband. Lane even notes that there are solutions Rick has that could outright take Jerry out of the picture entirely, but he refuses to do so. So that also means that there's a potential there for a much deeper connection, and maybe even friendship for them in the future.

What did you think of Rick and Morty's take on Hellraiser's Cenobites in the newest episode? What did you think of the episode overall? What are you hoping to see from Rick and Jerry before the season comes to an end? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!

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Rick and Morty Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Amortycan Grickfitti

Den of Geek 20 July, 2021 - 09:01am

With sitcom and sci-fi in equal measure, this is the most well-rounded episode of the season so far.

It’s not like I ask for a lot out of my favorite sci-fi sitcom. I just want there to be some sci-fi as well as some sitcom and a problem that pops up often in Rick and Morty these days is it forgets about the sitcom part. Sometimes an episode gets lost wayyyy up inside its butthole, Morty (as yammered about in the opening of last week’s review), with a sci-fi puzzle box premise that gets so convoluted it feels like you’re in the writers’ room, listening to them work out the machinations of their plot. But the more pervasive issue is that all the protagonists of this show seem to hate each other.

Sure, it makes sense that they hate each other; their obvious, escalating dysfunctionality has been on display for over four seasons now. But that doesn’t change the fact that it can get exhausting watching the Smith family chew each other out all the time. You want to find something to love, or at least root for, in a sitcom family, so it’s off-putting when the Smiths show such disdain for one another they barely seem to care whether the family they came with is the one they’re leaving with.

“Amortycan Grickfitti,” therefore, is refreshing in how the characters display a bit of heart. Yes, they also did this in “Mortyplicity” and “A Rickconvenient Mort,” but it was so brief in “Mortyplicity” that it almost felt inconsequential and so forced in “A Rickconvenient Mort” that I don’t think anybody bought the emotionality it was selling. It’s not like “Amortycan Grickfitti” is a feel-good lovefest or anything, nor does it come anywhere near plumbing the dark, emotional depths of something like a “Rick Potion #9.” Much of the episode is still dedicated to hyper-violent, carefree dispatching of background characters. Regardless, Morty, Summer, Rick, and (to a lesser extent) Beth all have believable arcs that present them as not totally irredeemable murderous sociopaths, and that’s good enough for me.

If nothing else, this series having turned all its protagonists into overpowered mass-murderers (well, maybe not Jerry) allows them to do a little bait and switch when Rick’s (also overpowered and mass-murderous) ship suggests they throw new-kid-at-school Bruce Chutback under the bus. I completely expected Summer and Morty to take the easy way out and sacrifice Bruce to the intergalactic justice system, so it was a nice surprise when they instead showed him mercy.

The Rick, Beth, and Jerry plot is mostly one big running gag about demons from Hell who find bad things good (much like “Oscar the fucking Grouch” as Rick puts it, which is one of the episode’s best jokes). This pays off at the end when Rick is forced to (through some confusing, circuitous logic) have a moment of 100% sincerity, which means he actually has to admit he, in some way, loves Jerry. I know being the lamest is Jerry’s whole jam and all, but there have been episodes where the shitting on him gets so excessive that I really do just feel bad for the guy, so a whole plot in which the moral is basically “be a little nicer to Jerry” suits me fine. It also doesn’t feel too unreal that Rick admits some love for Jerry, as, afterwards, he ensures him this will never happen again.

So, “Amortycan Grickfitti” has a solid plot that still squeezes in its fair share of sci-fi violence while not forgetting to do some decent sitcom character stuff. However, a problem it has that has been persistent this season is it’s not all that funny. There’s some decently chuckle-worthy stuff in there, most of which comes from Jerry being charmingly lame (the third time in his life that Jerry shit his pants from eating too much soup was because, “to be fair, it was cold outside and the soup was warm”). Still, nothing got a big laugh out of me.

I don’t know if it’s anything different about the way jokes are being told in these new episodes. Sometimes it feels like they’re rapid fire but not that many are all that great, like a quantity over quality situation. However, I’m willing to allow for the possibility it could just be down to me getting too familiar with the Rick and Morty comedy rhythms over four and a half seasons, so that gags have to really stand out to make me laugh. Whatever it is, I tend to find the comedic premises clever or funny in concept, but not often laugh-out-loud funny.

Season five has so far been comedically weak and the plots have been either clever yet somewhat tiresomely convoluted or just plain dumb (i.e., the last two episodes). “Amortycan Grickfitti” is still not consistently funny, but it’s well-plotted and it finds time to give the characters decent arcs. In other words, it’s the most solid episode of season five so far.

Joe Matar |

Joe Matar loves TV shows, but hates advertising. Cartoons and sitcoms are his favorites. He likes other media too, but who cares about that? Joe is…

Rick and Jerry Summon Cenobites for “Guys’ Night” in ‘Hellraiser’-Themed Episode of “Rick and Morty” [Video]

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Rick and Jerry had a guys’ night from hell in last night’s episode of Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty”, which gave homage to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser.

In “Amortycan Grickfitti” (season 5, episode 5), Rick and Jerry use a demonic puzzle box to summon several “Cenobites” to join them at a karaoke club where Jerry plans to sing Smash Mouth songs.

“We love suffering, therefore we love hanging out with Jerry…his lameness is our candy,” they joke.

You should be able to watch the episode on Hulu today.

Co-founded Bloody Disgusting in 2001. Producer on Southbound, the V/H/S trilogy, SiREN, Under the Bed, and A Horrible Way to Die. Chicago-based. Horror, pizza and basketball connoisseur. Taco Bell daily.

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Anne Rice was recently shopping around a massive television and film package for both The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, you may recall, with AMC Networks acquiring the package last year and therefore landing the rights to all novels in both series.

The first to get a small-screen adaptation is “Interview With the Vampire”, which was ordered to series earlier this summer.

Many of AMC’s series have been heavily director-driven (see “Preacher” for example), which is what makes this announcement so juicy.

Variety reports that Alan Taylor will direct “Interview With the Vampire” for AMC.

What kind of vibe can we expect? Well, Taylor, who will helm the first two episodes of the vampire series, also directed multiple episodes of “Mad Men,” including the pilot, as well as “Game of Thrones,” “Sex and the City,” “Six Feet Under,” “Deadwood,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The West Wing,” and “Lost”.

The “Interview With the Vampire” saga of course centers on vampires Louis and Lestat, characters played by Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the 1996 feature film directed by Neil Jordan.

“Interview With the Vampire” will be an eight-episode series with an eye toward a 2022 debut on both AMC and AMC Plus. Rolin Jones will serve as writer, executive producer, and showrunner on the series under his overall deal with AMC Studios. Mark Johnson will executive produce under his overall deal with AMC Studios as well, with Anne Rice and Christopher Rice also executive producing.

Copyright © 2021 Bloody Disgusting, LLC

Rick and Morty: Dan Harmon & Anne Lane on Rick & Jerry's Relationship

Bleeding Cool News 19 July, 2021 - 08:12pm

This past Sunday's episode of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's Adult Swim series Rick and Morty was an effective exercise in exposing the pain/pleasure irony of the "Hellraiser" films. Directed by Kyounghee Lim and written by Anne Lane, "Amortycan Grickfitti" also tackled teen took two distinctly different storylines and wove them into an overall message about fitting in and how "being cool" is in the eye of the beholder- and a very, very fleeting thing (check out our review here). Now, viewers are getting a chance to go behind the scenes to see how the episode came about.

In the following featurette, Harmon and Lane break down the confusing psychology of underworld dwellers (which is a nice way of saying that ur Cenobites-wannabes are stuck in an ironic pain/pleasure paradox) as well as the ever-evolving nature of Rick and Jerry's relationship:

In the following clip from "Amortycan Grickfitti," Rick's spaceship blackmails Summer, Morty, and Bruce Chutback, and takes them on a murderous joyride:

Kicking off with the season-opener "Mort Dinner Rick Andre," the titles for the fifth season include "Mortyplicity," "Forgetting Sarick Mortshall," "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort," "Rick and Morty's Tanksploitation Spectacular," "Rickdependence Spray," "Amortycan Grickfitti," "Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion," "Rickmurai Jack," and "A Rickconvenient Mort." Now as we head into the second half of the fifth season, here's a look back at the final official trailer for Adult Swim's Rick and Morty:

Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram (with an official launch on June 19): Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).

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Rick & Morty: Who Voices Bruce Chutback? Where You Know The Actor From

Screen Rant 19 July, 2021 - 06:46pm

The voice of Bruce Chutback in Rick and Morty likely sounds familiar: he's played by a notable actor many would recognize from his other TV roles. Rick and Morty season 5, episode 5, "Amortycan Grickfitti" follows the exploits of Morty and Summer as they try to befriend the mysterious new kid in school: Bruce Chutback. After Morty invites the teen over, Morty and Summer make it their mission to get him on their side — at any cost. The teens take Rick's ship for an ill-advised joyride, spoofing various '80s pop culture tropes in the process.

The Adult Swim animated series often features celebrities in notable guest roles, such as Christina Hendricks playing Unity, or Susan Sarandon providing the voice for family therapist Dr. Wong. So far, Rick and Morty season 5 has been full of guest stars: Michelle Buteau, Kyle Mooney, Christina Ricci, and Keith David all appeared in the action-packed episode 4, while Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Coolidge and Alison Brie appeared in Rick and Morty episode 3.

Rick and Morty season 5, episode 5 features a notable guest star: Darren Criss in the role of Bruce Chutback. Although he doesn't get many lines, Bruce's presence is a key component of the story, as winning his approval is the primary motivation for Morty and Summer's actions. Chutback is new and exciting, making him a social target for Morty and Summer; however, as episode 5's post-credits scene reveals, Chutback has his own flaws. Although in many ways he's playing against type, the cool teen boy is a perfect fit for Criss, who first rose to prominence in a similar role on the popular TV series Glee.

After Glee ended, Criss continued to work with Ryan Murphy (who created Glee, as well as several other hit TV series). Criss impressed critics with his turn as serial killer Andrew Cunanan in Murphy's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. More recently, Criss played the character Raymond Ainsley in Netflix's miniseries Hollywood. It's unclear what Chut's future is in Rick and Morty, but if Criss does return to reprise the character, audiences will get to see how he's adjusted to the new school (and if Morty and Summer won him over after all).

Rick & Morty: Every 80s Reference In Season 5, Episode 5

Screen Rant 19 July, 2021 - 04:12pm

There are several nods to '80s pop culture in the Rick and Morty episode "Amortycan Grickfitti." First airing on July 18, 2021, the episode continues the season 5 trend of splitting the narrative between the Smith family, allowing the titular characters to have individual stories in which they pair off with different family members. In episode 5, Rick, Beth and Jerry have an adventure involving pleasure-seeking demons, while the primary storyline follows Morty and Summer teaming up to win over "new kid" Bruce Chutback.

The Rick and Morty episode is named after American Grafitti. Like the George Lucas movie, which takes an anachronistic, nostalgia-viewed look at the '60s, "Amortycan Grickfitti" combines elements of '60s, '70s and early '90s pop culture into its '80s-fuelled story. For example, American Grafitti came out in 1973, and Rick references the 1993 film Jurassic Park. The Hellraiser spoof includes a nod to the Addams Family (a cartoon that was adapted into a popular film in 1991) via the inherent contradiction of taking pleasure from pain. The ship even takes on a dangerous personality that echoes HAL 9000 — another Rick and Morty reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which came out in 1968.

The majority of Rick and Morty season 5, episode 5 is parodying distinctly '80s properties, and the episode takes on a throwback feel. This is particularly true of the Morty and Summer plot, which combines various tropes associated with that decade in pop culture — from teenagers breaking the rules to go on a joy-ride to the ship's mission to lose her virginity.

‘Rick & Morty’ Review: Embarrassment Is the Key to Survival in Surprisingly Sweet ‘Amortycan Grickfitti’

IndieWire 19 July, 2021 - 01:30pm

Jul 19, 2021 2:30 pm


To start off, a performance note: The vocal stumblings of Justin Roiland, playing both halves of the “Rick and Morty” title duo, has become so ingrained in the show’s foundation that it’s easy to overlook just how well they fit both characters. Rick’s drunk slurring may be as variable as individual viewers’ tolerance for belch sounds, but there’s a very specific way that Roiland speeds Morty into Awkward Mode whenever confronted with something dangerous or unfamiliar. As someone who’s had to restart many a sentence like that, I recognize the specific way that Morty eventually spits out “Feel free to have some grapes” to new kid from school Bruce Chutback (Darren Criss). Paired with what he’s offering up, that delivery kind of says all you need to know about Morty as a person: eager to please, often incapable of doing so, but still trying with his own particular brand of middle school gusto.

In a way, that honing in on quintessential parts of the series’ main characters is visible all throughout “Amortycan Grickfitti” (and “Rick and Morty” Season 5 so far). After going through a seasons-long cycle of pushing these people to their breaking point and trying on different genre templates for size, “Rick and Morty” is at a point with the Smiths where it can treat them as an animated family. Instead of being an extension of some hair-brained Rick Sanchez scheme, there’s enough here to let them be a whole unit. “Mortyplicity” wisely kept them all together (at least until another version of them got fried by a quantum laser beam or incinerated in a living room explosion). “Amortycan Grickfitti” splits up the kids and the parents for parallel tales that prove just how well each of the Smiths can succeed on their own if given the chance.

It starts — as so many of these ill-advised adventures do — innocently enough. Rick and Jerry set out for a Guy’s Night with all the usual trappings: beers, karaoke, a mystical cube that summons skin-flayed demons through a portal leading directly to Hell. All is going according to plan when Beth shows up (after a mass foal delivery night, naturally). Jerry has somehow turned the Yello song from “Ferris Bueller” into a bar-wide hit and the handful of demons are slurping up their Helltinis, feasting on Jerry’s lack of self-awareness.

Even though Jerry is the butt of these demons’ particular joke, the show has had an interesting seesaw approach to how he’s used on the show. Rick is quick to ridicule (“I love her. She loves you. Those credits don’t transfer” is maybe the most succinct sum-up of any interpersonal relationship on the show), but “Rick and Morty” has gradually given Jerry a weird level of dignity in letting him be so unabashedly himself. Even when it leads to him cowering in a closet or getting his wooden chest used as a nesting ground for a colony of beavers, he’s achieved a certain level of self-acceptance that lets the show have it both ways.

So when Jerry overhears a conversation (classic unintended bathroom oversharing) that these demons and Rick and Beth are taking advantage of that pride in being uncool, he’s understandably shaken. Turns out that his two kids are facing a bit of a similar dilemma with Bruce as they both do their best to soup up their own charms to win his friendship. Sensing that a bit of Interdimensional Cable and a Story Train callback won’t be enough to win him over, the three set out on a joyride in granddaddy’s space Jaguar. (Summer is awfully cavalier invoking it, but it’s telling how much “Keep Summer Safe” primes anyone watching for the ship-induced bloodshed to come.)

What starts as a jaunt through dimensions, where Mailboxians (and Femailboxians) become target practice and other aliens get blown up for sport, becomes much more dire as the Space Cruiser takes control. Looking to assert some autonomous control, the vehicle leads Summer, Morty, and Bruce on a far darker tour through a “Changeformer” resort destination called Space Tahoe. After annihilating the Autobot ski getaway and momentarily taking the nominal form of a cast member from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the Cruiser deposits the trio back at home.

Quick tangent: With “Loki” now going off into the great hiatus in the sky, here’s our last chance to take stock of what overlap (planned or intentional) there is between the Disney+ series and the show so many people have been (incorrectly) quick to claim it’s the live-action version of. Here, as if to one-up the “man behind the curtain” reveal of that other show’s Season 1 finale, “Rick and Morty” takes Galactus, a long-gestating Marvel villain, and offs him within 20 seconds of reeling him in with a planet-cluster lure. You want to get weird? This is the show that proves how it’s done.

Meanwhile, Beth recognizes the error of her Helly Mary-induced ways and makes the demons upset enough to head back to Hell. They take Jerry with them, leading to another case of a three-person struggle against forces preying on their pathological need to be liked and testing their trust in each other. The Opposite Day logic of pain and pleasure in, well, Hell makes the whole trip worth it. Before long, Rick devises an escape plan that involves harnessing sincerity to overcome their captors. A little on-the-nose thematically, but it’s executed well enough that one last dose of self-awareness slides right in alongside everything else in the episode.

It’s another strength that, even though it’s riffing on Transformers and Hellraiser, the episode isn’t beholden to either. It doesn’t fall into the “Independence Day” trap from last week — these parody scene-setters are just ways to tackle the Beth-Jerry dynamic and to show that Summer and Morty are messing with a force beyond their control. “Amortycan Grickfitti” (honestly, one of the show’s hardest episode titles to type correctly on the first try) could easily have kept Space Tahoe to a single ski lodge, but that aerial look at the lift and the slopes is just one example of director Kyounghee Lim’s ability to mange the frame. (As a veteran of “Bob’s Burgers,” it only makes sense that an episode she directed would have a chalkboard gag. Keep an eye out for some background jokes at that karaoke bar if you didn’t see them the first time through.)

For a show that sometimes gets lost in the sheer tonnage of its explosions or its own internal arms race to wreak more and more destruction on unsuspecting worlds, “Amortycan Grickfitti” wisely cuts some of its own coolness off at the knees. This is Anne Lane’s second episode as a credited writer and, along with last season’s finale, she continues to illustrate a strong grasp on how this family responds to forced introspection. This episode doesn’t confront any characters with alter egos, but it does give each of the Smiths a chance to see how the person they want to be lines up with the one they are. Sometimes, that means taking on a beastly demon with forks shoved in their eyes. Sometimes, it means not being able to offer someone a bowl of fruit without revealing your own nerves. That this show can do both is always an impressive juggling act, when it manages to pull it off.

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This Article is related to: Television and tagged Adult Swim, Darren Criss, Rick and Morty, TV Reviews

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Rick and Morty Season 5: Bruce Chutback Gets the Show Back on Track - Den of Geek

Den of Geek 19 July, 2021 - 12:28pm

In Rick and Morty season 5 episode 5 “Amortycan Graffiti”, befriending new kid in school Bruce Chutback is the only thing that matters.

In the show’s first season, Morty had to bury his own mouldering corpse in the backyard. Just two weeks ago Summer accompanied her grandfather on a sex tour of literal apocalypses! This week, the duo appear to literally kill Marvel’s Galactus. As such, every now and then Rick and Morty likes to remind us that Summer and Morty are just teenagers with teenage concerns. Enter Bruce Chutback in episode 5 “Amortycan Graffiti.”

As voiced by Darren Criss, Bruce Chutback is perhaps the most powerful character introduced in Rick and Morty season 5 yet. Yes, this utterly normal teen (who appears to own only one pair of pants) is more significant than Mr. Nimbus, Planetina, or the entire masochistic forces of Hell, itself. And that’s because of what he represents to Morty and Summer: a potential high school ally. 

Rick and Morty isn’t always one for grand sociopolitical statements…unless you can somehow tie last week’s literal jizz fest to the dangers of climate change. One area of subtle commentary in which it’s consistent, however, is in its depiction of the youth experience as an utterly traumatizing affair. Morty and Summer have seen quite literally everything the universe has to offer. And yet, at least one or two episodes each season reveals that they care far more about fitting into the hierarchy of their school than exploiting a universe of infinite possibilities. 

Morty is a little weirdo and finally, definitively blew his chance with Jessica when she became an immortal, all-knowing being. Summer’s only friend, Tammy Gueterman, turned out to be a spy for the coalition of planets. As the new kid in town, Bruce Chutback is Morty and Summer’s only real chance at building a friend group and gaining a foothold in the vicious high school pecking order. Series creator Dan Harmon best describes Chutback’s potential in his opening song*: “Bruce Chutback! Newest kid in school! Hasn’t done anything embarrassing yet. Unlimited potential! Anybody’s guess! No credit is perfect credit, Chutback is the best!”

Whether Chutback is the best is certainly debatable. By episode’s end, he goes through a truly transformative experience with Morty and Summer and yet still isn’t ready to commit to being their friend until he does his research. 

“Just to be upfront about how I do this, I can’t really commit to a friendship for more than 24 hours,” Chutback says. “I need that time to get a general sense of your standing within your school’s social hierarchy. And if that’s solid, I’ll see you around. Otherwise, no news is bad news. 

Morty and Summer’s focus on the high school hierarchy isn’t unique to just them. Every teenager in this world is singularly focused on their status within the group. And no amount of life-affirming journeys in a sentient flying saucer can change that. Youthful, Earthly concerns will always supersede science fiction. Though Rick and Morty has a tenuous grasp on its own continuity and various moral stances, that is one area in which the show has been consistent.

Criss is an inspired choice for the role, not only because he gets how appropriate it is to underplay Chutback but also because of his own acting history. Though the actor and singer is in his thirties now, to many he will be forever young thanks to roles in StarKid Productions various musicals, Glee, and American Horror Story. It’s all a reminder that though we leave high school, it doesn’t always leave us.

Ultimately, Chutback is not able to cut the chut and his lack of pants forever dooms him to high school obscurity. 

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Morty is one of the very few kids on Earth to ever be in a room of many variants of himself. Perhaps it’s telling that he still doesn’t care to find solace in his own company and seeks out the company of others so consistently. Hell might not be other people after all.

Alec Bojalad |

TV Editor at Den of Geek and Television Critics Association member. Based in Cleveland, Ohio. Very upset about various sporting events.

RICK AND MORTY’s Sincere Case for Being Cringe

Yahoo Lifestyle 19 July, 2021 - 12:14pm

Episode five of Rick and Morty‘s fifth season didn’t exactly hide what it thinks about those who mistreat the “uncool.” Jerry’s inability to recognize how the world sees him, and his naive trust in others, brought joy to literal demons who find pleasure in the pain of others. And Jerry’s general lameness is painful. Not that Jerry’s own family treated him any better than those Ceno-likes. They too used Jerry’s lack of self-awareness for their own gain: Rick to get out of a debt, Beth so she could feel superior to her husband while impressing her dad. Their disregard for Jerry’s feelings continued the on-the-nose analogy by leading all three to actual Hell.

It was there that Rick learned a hard truth about him and his son-in-law. “Cringe cannot exist in a vacuum,” because it’s a relative term. Something can only be square/geeky/awkward if something else is hip/happening/tight. And the other side of that cringe coin made Rick and Jerry a “package deal.” Because while Jerry is lame, Rick is “the lamest thing of all,” someone who thinks he’s cool.

That revelation has been and always will be true. People who mistreat others are actually just a-holes. It forced Rick to be the one thing he hates most of all: sincere. The emotional detachment Rick typically wears as a shield wasn’t going to get them out of Hell. Rick had to honestly, without a knowing wink, own his mistakes and tell Jerry how he actually feels about him. “I shouldn’t have kept you in the dark about the deal I made with these evil dickweeds,” Rick said. “You’re way less cool than me, but it’s not cool of me to celebrate that. If I’m genuinely cool I should be able to love you, which I, therefore, do.”

(Note: Rick’s threat to Jerry when they got back to Earth, about replacing Jerry next time, didn’t negate what happened in Hell. The machine worked because it killed the demons with “100% sincerity.” And it needed an “embarrassing level” of sincerity just to jumpstart the process. Rick told the truth down there. Yay Jerry!)

Rick’s approach to life is pretending he doesn’t care about anything. It doesn’t always work, but that general attitude is his defense mechanism. It protects him from feeling pain. If you don’t care about anything, nothing can ever bother you. And if you never fully commit to loving something, your sincerity can never be used against you either. You can’t be embarrassed by your favorite movie or book if you like them “ironically.” That way, if someone you think is cool, or someone who can make you feel bad about yourself, says a thing you like is dumb you can technically agree with them. You can play it cool by denying your own emotional attachment and sincerity.

But as this episode also made clear with its other subplot, that’s not a healthy approach to life. Caring about where you stand in the social hierarchy doesn’t lead to happiness. For Morty and Summer it almost resulted in them dying. And that detached attitude is how you end up ditching your new friends who gave you the “experience of a lifetime.” All for the constantly changing, nebulous moniker of being “cool.” But a Bruce that’s cool one minute can be a total Chut-pants the next. And that guy is not only uncool, he doesn’t have any friends either.

The entire Smith clan avoided calamity because they all acted more like Jerry: they were sincere with themselves and others. For Rick it was telling his son-in-law he really does love him. For Morty and Summer it was recognizing how their own quest for social standing led them to project their insecurities on an emotionally-distant idiot with great hair and a slacked jaw. There was nothing cool about any of them acting like they didn’t care. Or caring too much about what others think. Because while being vulnerable might end up with you being hurt, never being vulnerable definitely will.

But don’t say “byesies,” you know? That’s definitely cringe.

The post RICK AND MORTY’s Sincere Case for Being Cringe appeared first on Nerdist.

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