Nautilus

How Science Makes “Rick and Morty” Great

“Rick and Morty” explores both profound or wacky what-ifs, and more humanistic concerns, like dealing with a divorce or failing high-school. Adult Swim / Turner Broadcasting System

he season finale of “Rick and Morty,” the Internet Movie Database’s fourth most-popular TV show of all-time, runs tonight. What started as a graphic parody of (minus the headache of time travel) is now a critically acclaimed series with a devoted fan base. It follows a prototypical mad scientist, Rick, and his grandson, Morty, on adventures in alternate universes. David Sims, of , summed up the show’s premise as “essentially—what if Doc Brown was a demented drunk? And what if Marty McFly was a lonely kid who got dragged around with him on terrifying and strange adventures through space and time?” The show’s episodes riff on classic sci-fi tropes—from watching interdimensional cable to visiting a miniature theme park inside a human body—and explore profound and

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus6 min read
Why I Traveled the World Hunting for Mutant Bugs: A researcher who works through painting tells her story.
When Chernobyl happened, I knew it was time for me to act. Nineteen years earlier, I had first drawn malformed and mutated flies while working in the zoological department at the University of Zurich as a scientific illustrator. Zoologists had fed po
Nautilus5 min read
Why Working-Class New Yorkers Drop Their “R’s”
In George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, professor Henry Higgins says: “You can spot an Irishman or a Yorkshireman by his brogue. I can place any man within six miles. I can place him within two miles in London. Sometimes within two streets.” British
Nautilus9 min read
Let’s Play War: Could war games replace the real thing?
In the spring of 1964, as fighting escalated in Vietnam, several dozen Americans gathered to play a game. They were some of the most powerful men in Washington: the director of Central Intelligence, the Army chief of staff, the national security advi