Once upon a time, you could flip on your TV and enjoy almost any show without any prior knowledge of what you were watching. That’s certainly no longer the case. From hit fantasy epics like Game of Thrones and complicated hacking odysseys like Mr. Robot to CW’s constantly expanding universe of attractive and snarky superpowered heroes, it sometimes feels like you need to take notes just to be a casual television viewer. However, there’s no show more complicated than Adult Swim’s raunchy and nihilistic sci-fi comedy, Rick and Morty.
There’s a sinister element to Rick and Morty’s universe that derives from its deceptive simplicity. After all, Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s animated comedy is essentially a drunk version of Back to the Future with more penis jokes. How can it possible be complicated? The second you’ve asked yourself that question, you’ve already lost.
What makes the show’s universe so daunting is its scope. Though the series mainly deals with an unlimited number of multiverses, Rick and Morty has also been known to dabble in time travel as well, specifically in “A Rickle in Time.” That means the whole scope of space and time is fair game for this show. Typically when a show deals with such complicated topics, audiences are given a guide. People can follow along with the evils of F-society thanks to Elliot (Rami Malek). Dedicated Westeros fans have thousands of pages of lore, landscapes, and legends to accompany their Game of Thrones binges. Time may be wibbly-wobbly in Doctor Who, but the Doctor is always around to sort of explain what’s going on and why. Rick and Morty has Rick (Roiland), an alcoholic asshole who’s the smartest man in the universe and knows it. Rick Sanchez isn’t as confused as Elliot or as patient as the Doctor. He has his own plans in mind, and he doesn’t really care whether you understand or keep up.
As a result, trying to follow along with Rick and Morty is…