April 22, 2019  (Web Review)

Rick and Morty: Complete Seasons 1-3

Warner, 682 min., TV-MA, DVD: 6 discs, $69.99; Blu-ray: 3 discs, $69.99

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

One of the breakout hits of the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block of programming, Rick and Morty is a sci-fi parody animated series centered on Rick, a space-traveling, dimension-hopping, alcoholic mad scientist, and his grandson Morty, who is not the brightest sidekick in the universe but does offer some sort of moral balance to Rick’s amoral antics. The series lampoons everything from The Twilight Zone to movies such as The Road Warrior and The Purge and sci-fi conventions. Behind the wild ideas and surreal adventures, creator-producer Dan Harmon stirs in an often savage portrait of Morty’s spineless father (voiced by Chris Parnell), frustrated mother (Sarah Chalke), competitive older sister, and the anxious, easily intimidated Morty, while following the family through the separation and divorce proceedings of the parents (thanks to the manipulations of Rick). It is dark, weird, and perverse, but also creatively bizarre and filled with inspired writing and absurd humor that made it a cult favorite among adults. The guest voice cast includes Keith David, Dana Carvey, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, and Nathan Fillion. Compiling all 31 episodes from the show’s three seasons (2013-17), extras include commentary and animatics on all episodes, deleted scenes, and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Recommended. (S. Axmaker)