Tuesday 3 January 2017

Shut Up and Watch This: "Letterkenny" and "Rick and Morty"

Letterkenny is one of those shows. You know, those shows. The show that is only on a subscription service, and you see the commercials and you think it looks mildly entertaining but you don't have that Crave TV thing so you just never bother.

Then, one night you're laying on your couch and it suddenly comes on a random channel. You watch the cold open of episode one. Your mouth drops open. You rewind it five times because it is just that funny. You can't go to bed because they're showing all of season one and you think you'll watch just one more. It's 3 am and you work in the morning. You PVR them all. You are the hero at Xmas when you show it to everyone. YES.

The show takes place in the small town of Letterkenny, Ontario, and follows the simple lives of Wayne, his sister Katy, and his bestie Daryl. There's also Jonesy and Reilly, Katy's two hockey player boyfriends (yes that's right, she openly dates both of them and it's amazing), Stewart, the leader of the local goth meth dealers, Pastor Wayne, Squirrely Dan, and Gail the horndog bartender. Each character shines and there isn't a dud in the batch.

The writing is snappy, clever and so full with lightening fast wit that you'll find yourself rewinding the show over and over to catch the zingers you've missed while laughing. I had to put on the closed captioning at one point to appreciate the gibberish pouring out at lightening speed from the mouths of Jonesy and Reilly as they went on one of their many goofy slang spiels.

Season one has 6 episodes, each one as funny as the last. As I watched I was positive I wouldn't like the episode 'Fartbook.' How wrong I was. Who knew that I would laugh so hard at the concept of a website that was "like 'Facebook'. But for farts."

The show is an instant classic, and in the same manner of The Simpsons and South Park, one that will be quoted for years to come. I know that all I want to do now is throw a Super Soft Birthday Party for my bestie, and after you've watched that episode, you will too. Pitter patter, let's get at 'er!

Favourite quote: 

Jonesy: Nice onesie. Does it come in mens? 
Wayne: Oh, I think you come in men enough for all of us. 
Jonesy: You better come in my - I mean, you better come - 
Riley: I think you better come and say that to his face you fuckin' hicks. 
Daryl: Nice execution. 
Wayne: Yer doin' terrific.

If you like: SCTV, Arrested Development, Trailer Park Boys, you'll love this show

Rick and Morty is a show that everyone who has ever seen, loves. It's an adult animated series following the adventures of Rick, his grandson Morty, granddaughter Summer, and their eternally bickering parents Beth and Jerry.

Rick and Morty's characters originally were based on Doc Brown and Marty McFly from Back to the Future, but aside from Rick being a mad scientist and Morty's name sounding like Marty, that's where the similarities end.

The show is something that you've never experienced before. It messes with your head. It sticks with you. It's all you can think about after watching it. You can't stop shouting awesome quotes at your co-workers, and when they shout one back you embrace that co-worker and bond as one forever as you babble to each other how incredible the show is.

Rick is an alcoholic genius scientist that comes back into his daughter's life after many years of being an absent father after abandoning his wife and child. He's a drunken, drooling, burping disaster of a man who is, quite frankly, disgusting. But oh, he is funny. Not 'slapstick, fall down drunk' funny. He's more of a 'fuck you, life!' cynical kind of funny.

Morty is Rick's granson. He's a simple kid who get dragged on all sorts of insane science adventures with Rick in all sorts of alien planets and alternate dimensions. Every other show ever made with this concept has these kinds of adventures be the most wondrous experiences ever, but not the creators of Rick and Morty. Travelling the multiverse, using love potions at the dance, making their dog intelligent and able to communicate, buying a sexbot, going on a medieval quest, all these things end up with real repercussions. One minute you're cry-laughing as Beth and Jerry's attempt at freeing an alien they found chained up in a secret lab under their garage, and the next you're taken aback by the crushing sadness at Rick's attempted suicide.

The animation is filled with details and characters. It's ambitious to say the least. One episode has Rick trying to convince the family that an alien parasite is reproducing within the household every time they tell a story through flashbacks, and every time they show the family afterward there's more and more crazy characters. Reverse Giraffe, Photography Raptor, Sleepy Gary, Ghost in a Jar, Tinkle, Amish Cyborg, the list goes on and on and on.

As for the writing, it's hard to praise without sounding gushing. All the characters are fully fleshed and interesting. The story lines have relationships grow, issues surface, and sinister plot twists that you will never see coming.

This is a show literally brimming with quotes. The internet is filled with them. But the show is more than that. It's clever and funny and sad and mean and disturbing. It's sweet and touching and crude and gross and hilarious.

Favorite quote (and there's so many...so, so many....):

Morty: Oh, man. I mean, you know, I-I don't want to shoot nobody.
Rick: They're just robots, Morty! It's okay to shoot them! They're robots!
(Morty shoots)
Glenn: Aaaaah! My leg is shot off!
Other Gromflomite: Glenn's bleeding to death! Someone call his wife and children!
Morty: They're not robots, Rick!

Rick: It's a figure of speech, Morty. They're bureaucrats! I don't respect them! Just keep shooting, Morty. You have no idea what prison is like here!

If you like: The Venture Brothers, South Park, Futurama, Clone High, Archer, Bob's Burgers, you'll love this show.

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