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Rick Sanchez (Justin Roiland) is still living with his daughter Beth's (Sarah Chalke) family and causing more trouble than ever. This season the rest of the family, his son-in-law Jerry (Chris Parnell), grand-daughter Summer (Spencer Grammer), and grand-son Morty (Justin Roiland) are dragged into Rick's intergalactic adventures, as he faces new threats and the mysteries of his secret past are revealed. Can the family survive Rick's insanity and all the chaos that the universe throws at them? (From Adult Swim’s official synopsis)

 Rick & Movie: Season Two
Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s Rick & Morty returns for a second season of high concepts, hi-larity, and hi-jinx. Like most ambitious animated television shows, it has survived its first season growing pains (for my thoughts on the first season, click here) and grown into a well-oiled joke generator. Season two is an improvement on pretty much every level, beginning with the aforementioned high concepts. Roiland and Harmon’s show has prided itself on satirizing ‘hard sci-fi’ ideas alongside pop culture references since the beginning and, with many of the more obvious concepts already covered, the series’ writers are forced to dig deep for truly original narrative schemes. In Auto Erotic Assimilation, Rick corrupts a race of single-minded pod people with his hard partying, unleashing a violent race war. In Get Schwifty, aliens invade Earth as part of an intergalactic American Idol, forcing Rick and Morty to write insipid pop songs. Perhaps the most complex and involved episode of them all is Total Rickall, which spoofs the old sitcom tradition of the clip episodes (not an original joke in itself) by introducing telepathic parasites that implant flashback sequences into the minds of the characters. The writers assume that the audience is going to keep up with their antics and hide some of their most unusual jokes in backgrounds, like when the sequel to an existential videogame from episode two ( Mortynight Run), called Roy, appears in the post-credit sequences under the title Roy 2: Dave.

Arguably, the first season’s greatest weakness was its pacing, because the writers tended to spread their stories too thinly over 22-minute run times. Season two continues to split plotting tasks between A and B-stories, in most cases. However, this time, the B-stories rarely feel like filler and include such knee-slapping antics as Jerry’s adventures at interdimensional Jerry-daycare and Rick’s car protecting Summer from danger in increasingly deranged ways. Some episodes, specifically Big Trouble In Little Sanchez, are more directly divided between a Rick/Morty plot and an equally strong Beth/Jerry plot (the stories are connected by a theme, which Rick dismisses as cosmetic in a cleverly self-aware moment). In rarer cases, the entire episode is structured to hold the convoluted twists and turns of a single story, such as Total Rickall, which plays with conventions, creates its own internal conventions, then turns every convention on its head. Like Harmon’s other (now officially canceled) television series, Community, Rick & Morty began its life as a cynical antidote to the nauseating optimism of most mainstream sitcoms. In both cases, that constant stream of sarcasm acts as a Trojan horse for some real emotional responses and Rick & Morty season three ends on a genuinely somber note. There’s plenty of plain old weird, vulgar, and gross shit, too. Most of it relegated to the wacky catchall sequel episode Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate.

 Rick & Movie: Season Two

Video


Rick & Morty season two looks as good as its predecessor on this 1080p, 1.78:1 Blu-ray. All ten of the 22-minute episodes (one episode less than season one) have been squeezed onto a single BD50 disc, but there aren’t any significant compression artefacts. The animation isn’t necessarily better than season one in terms of cleanliness or complex movement, but the action is more dynamic and there’s definitely more going on in the backgrounds, all of which could have led to some major compression artefacts. While the iTunes HD versions certain suffered from blocking during these busy moments, this Blu-ray remains quite consistent. The previous Blu-ray collection also had minor haloing issues, which I didn’t notice here. Some of the darkest sequences (the night shots during Look Who's Purging Now, for example) feature slight low level noise within the more subtle hues. Otherwise, its colour quality is quite vivid and consistent.

Audio


Rick & Morty is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound and is more lively than most made-for-TV animation (especially comedy) in terms of multi-channel arena. The dialogue and basic effects are neatly centered, clean, and consistent. The atmospheric noises aren’t as limited during expositional scenes as they had been and are widely expanded during the action sequences. These are particularly full-bodied, from the gory, splattery carnage of Look Who’s Purging Now to the spaced-out laser battles of the season finale. Composer Ryan Elder’s music is punchy and continues doing a perfect job mimicking/mocking the themes and musical styles of the popular movies/TV shows that the episodes are parodying. It’s not all score, of course, we’ve also got Jemaine Clement’s “Farewell to Moonmen,” all of the silly pop songs from Get Schwifty, and the priceless use of Tony! Toni! Toné!’s 1990 ‘classic’ “Feels Good,” and they all sound great.

Note that the soundtracks are uncensored, meaning that f-bombs are no longer bleeped – just in case you were one of those weird people that are okay with testicle monsters and penius/butthole things, but not naughty words.

 Rick & Movie: Season Two

Extras


  • Commentary tracks:
    • A Rickle in Time with creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, actor/writer Ryan Ridley, and director Wes Archer.
    • Mortynight Run with Harman, Roiland, and Ridley. Second track with Portal writer/producers Erik Wolpaw, Jay Pinkerton, and Gabe Newell.
    • Auto Erotic Assimilation with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and writer Dan Guterman.
    • Total Rickall with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and writer Mick McMahan. Second track with WWE stars Sheamus and Abed Cheith.
    • Get Schwifty with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and writer Tom Kauffman.
    • The Ricks Must be Crazy with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and Guterman. Second track with Howard Stern performers Sal Governale and Richard Christy.
    • Big Trouble in Little Sanchez with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and director Bryan Newton.
    • Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and director Juan Meza-León.
    • Look Who’s Purging Now with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and director Dominic Polcino.
    • The Wedding Squanchers with Harmon, Roiland, Ridley, and Kauffman.
  • Deleted animatic sketches (2:10, HD)
  • Rick & Morty Season 2 Premiere Party (43:10, HD) – A concert featuring the band Chaos Chaos performed for the series staff and friends, and set against a live illustration backdrop.
  • Animatic reels for every episode, including an alternative version of A Rickle in Time
  • A paper Plumbus manual (insert)


 Rick & Movie: Season Two

Overall


I’d say that Adult Swim is past their prime era at this point, but that’s only because I haven’t been keeping up with the newer shows as much as I used to (and because they canceled Metalocalypse...). Rick & Morty proves that there’s still gas in the tank and season two sits among the studio’s greatest releases. This Blu-ray collection looks sharp, sounds great, and includes a Cromulon-sized plethora of cast, crew, and special guest commentaries.

 Rick & Movie: Season Two

 Rick & Movie: Season Two

 Rick & Movie: Season Two

 Rick & Movie: Season Two

 Rick & Movie: Season Two

 Rick & Movie: Season Two
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.


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