“Amortycan Grickfitti” sacrifices nuance for lazy parody

For a season that started so strongly, Rick and Morty sure has gotten very lazy very fast.

In this episode, Rick uses Jerry’s lameness to appease a group of sadomasochistic demons he owes a debt to while Summer and Morty steal Rick’s car to go on an intergalactic joyride to win over the new cool kid in town.

The demon storyline, which couldn’t be more obvious if it raised Leslie Nelson from the dead, was a straight and hacky parody of Hellraiser only without the nuance that makes parodies actually funny. It was an “A” plot that took one gag and ran with it past the point of it running thin and right into the area of breakage. Once they left the karaoke bar where the gag was actually funny and contained and went to Hell, it just felt like the same joke over and over again. “You have caused me pain, which makes me feel pleasure!” and countless variations. I feel like the episode was so lazy, it didn’t even bother to try and push the envelope with even cringey, edgy humor.

As for the “B” plot (or is this the “A” plot? Who even knows?), there were brief moments of inspiration in some of the car’s hijinks and psychopathy, but mostly it just felt like a scattershot of more easy parody and gags that would be worthy of the Family Guy writers room. There was nothing that was unexpected, no subversion… the episode ended pretty much how I expected it to. If anything, the only thing that surprised me was how unsurprising it was.

“Amortycan Grickfitti” wasn’t a terrible episode. It was completely passable and entertaining, but it was hampered by a lack of effort and without an ember of originality. I hate to sound like one of those “you have to be smart to appreciate Rick and Morty,” people, but I kind of expect more from this series and, for three episodes, it has not delivered.

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