The Big Picture: You Are Wrong About Pickle Rick

PsychedelicDiamond

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I'm not gonna go as far as to say that Rick and Morty is a show for idiots and assholes but one thing I will say is that Rick and Morty is a show about idiots and asshole, a lot of which see themselves in it because they feel like it's portraying them sympathetically. As someone who actually pay attention to the things he watches I'm well aware that Rick isn't supposed to be an inspirational character by any means but on occasion I feel like it's something the writer tend to forget. Not always, mind you, when they do play off of that is when the show comes closest to being more than shallow parody of various science-fiction properties whos defining feature it is to be worse at it than Futurama. But most of the time it's hard not to roll my eyes at it.

The reason why it's so dang tempting to miss that Rick is actually an awful person is because of how rarely he ever faces consequences. In any other show he'd make a really fun villain. A competent but ruthless and irresponsible mad scientist who's given in to his most selfish urges, coming out acting like... well, an overgrown fratboy with a god complex. In Rick and Morty he's a protagonist and he gets away with most of what he does.

Let's take one of my favourite cartoons for comparison: Venture Brothers. One of my pet opinions I like to annoy people with is claiming that Dr. Venture is Rick done right. They're pretty different characters in a lot of ways for sure but they do cover some common ground. Both are mad scientist with questionable ethics, both act as the parental figures to two teenagers which they recklessly endanger, both have major substance abuse issues, both never learned to take responsibility for their actions. The key difference is that Rusty Venture is a failure. His entire life is pretty much the logical and realistic consequence of his actions. He's a washed up, bitter loser in the shadow of his much more talented (though, as a person, even more awful) father and his even more talented (and, as a person, much better) younger brother. Being a failure is what makes Rusty likeable. When he does manage to score a victory you're actually somewhat sympathetic because, as bad as a person he may be, he does deserve a break once in a while. Rick, most of the time, is portrayed as an escapist character who gets away with most of what he does. There are a lot of people who are very eager to idolize an awful person if that person does the things they wish they could do. That makes him an inspirational character for assholes and very dislikeable one for people who actually want to see him get his comeuppance which he practically never gets.
 

CaitSeith

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Thank you for the spoiler warnings. I can see how some nihilistic people may idolize Rick (and they really should seek help).
 

CaitSeith

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Aiddon said:
Rick can best be described "If you're capable of doing things that are this revolutionary and amazing, why don't you use them for the betterment of others?" Really goes to show that Rick is also a waste of his own talents.


Now THAT's a villain I can relate to...
 

McElroy

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Saelune said:
I think being an asshole qualifies someone as stupid, personally.
I'm just glad the other way around isn't true.
Saelune said:
Sure, we can learn a lot from Rick, but he is a horrible selfish person who despite being able to fix seemingly any problem ever, wastes his time being selfish instead.
Rick's nihilism is justified. He would never run out of problems to fix while every other time he would make them worse. The Eternals in The End of Eternity are much like a "good" Rick would be, but that didn't turn out well in the end.

Rick even "fixes" the purge-world...

Xsjadoblayde said:
If some are merely mid-intelligence sociopaths/assholes who share aspirations for high-intelligence manipulative bullshittery towards others? Like, this could be an intellectual power fantasy for them as long as they don't actually experience empathy for others.
*drools*
 

webkilla

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Gizen said:
webkilla said:
I think I'll have to disagree with some of the claims and assertions made in the video:

1) Claiming that there's a "tragically oversized" population of nerd culture fans who think they're free to be colossal pains in butts about their fandom

I just watched a youtube that actually addressed the topic of toxic fandoms, and the logic it has is quite sound - even if I don't agree with the examples it used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCKF2_-Zsw0 - the "pains in butts" Bob is talking about, are but loud minorities.

2) The rick & morty fandom's sauce incidents... as with the above - that was AFAIK a tiny minority of R&M fans who were insane enough to do that.
Everyone knows they're loud minorities, but just because they're the minority doesn't mean there isn't still too many of them. Even one person starting a riot at a Mcdonalds over fucking chicken nugget sauce is entirely too many. In this case, a population of one would still be tragically oversized.

I get that it has given the entire fandom a bad rep - but someone as "fandom-savvy" as Bob has to know that you do actually have the option of simply dismissing such episodes, instead of apologizing for it. "Ya that was some fringe crazies, so what?"

Various sports fans riot accross the globe on a weekly basis - and yet its some cartoon fandom who's the weird one, prone to violent outbursts? This just seems like making a mountain out of a mole-hill.
The issue is that nerd culture is still too new to being mainstream, and hasn't fully been accepted yet, to the point that a couple of people being douchebags over a cartoon will have a larger impact on how the broader culture looks at a fandom than it would for something more established. Hell, all you need to do is look two posts up from yours, and you'll see someone who's so disgusted by that minority of Rick & Morty fandom that it actively makes them hate the show despite never even having seen it. You can see similar things regarding Undertale and its fandom. By contrast, how many people do you see exhibiting disgust towards Soccer as a whole because of some dumbass starting a Soccer riot?
I don't see anyone blaming or tarnishing Soccer or all soccer fans because a minority of them occationally start fights and riots.

I'm just advocating that the same logic applied to geek fandoms
 

Darth_Payn

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I thought Season 3 was the show's most hateful and mean-spirited, and it was directed at pretty much everything. That also made it the least funny, and a comedy that doesn't make me laugh is a failure. The reason so many people (in this case, douchebags) emulate Rick (an Alpha Douchebag) is because he almost never faces the consequences of his actions and most people around him really are dumber than him, giving real-world douchebags the idea that they can do it too.
And once The Venture Bros.' 7thh Season is over, can Bob give us an analysis of that? Please?
 

CrazyGirl17

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CaitSeith said:


Now THAT's a villain I can relate to...
Ooh, I want to be a raptor! Doesn't matter if it's like the ones in Jurassic Park or a fluffy death chicken!

Darth_Payn said:
And once The Venture Bros.' 7thh Season is over, can Bob give us an analysis of that? Please?
Seconding the desire for an analysis of the Venture Brothers. C'mon Bob, that's waaaaaayyyyyy overdue!
 

Kajin

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Jacked Assassin said:
I have never watched this show & the more I here about it's toxic fan base I hope I never do. Also hearing MovieBob describe it reminds me that I was a straight D student who enjoyed Mind Of Mencia.
Never allow yourself to be put off of something you might enjoy simply because other people who like it are assholes. Most people are assholes. That just ruins all kinds of things you might enjoy.

Also, sweet. Moviebob is back. Maybe this place isn't as terrible as I thought it would be.
 

schwegburt

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I watched Rick and Morty for 2 seasons and was luke warm about it. It's wonderfully creative and entertaining. But I found the pitch black nihilism that Rick espouses and that the show validates to be insufferable. Bob and others will claim Rick gets his comeupance but the Pickle Rick episode is the epitomy of why subtle take downs fail so often.

Why? Well there's the old saying "Any community that gets its laughs by pretending to be idiots will eventually be flooded by actual idiots who mistakenly believe that they're in good company." Rick and Morty is rather low key about Rick's self destructive habits. Often to the point of undermining itself. In otherwords it's an ineffective satire and critique when it validates those it seeks to criticize.

How? Because Rick and Morty suffer from the War First Person Shooter syndrome. As in despite an attempt to criticize war itself (The original Call of Duty tried to), the inherent fact that they make their game fun and exciting, means it actively undermines the message. Most kids after playing CoD end up dreaming storming the beaches, saving their buddies lives and being heroes instead of horrified at the cold arbitrary nature of the game killing you over and over as a stand in for the fact that WW2 was won with real humans sacrificing their lives for that objective marker on your screen.

In this case, the show's character Rick, kicks ass and does awesome things. He's often "right" even when he's doing the wrong thing. You can't have a moral lesson when the butt end of your point is actually validated through the action of the show. That's a contradiction that breaks the back of any message.

Another example: Jerry the dad. He's always painted as an idiot. Well meaning but when you're always the butt and source of problems, the audience will treat you accordingly.
 
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Is Rick and Morty really that intelligent of a show? I'll admit I've only seen a couple of episodes, but the sci-fi tropes it uses are fairly mundane by this point and the attempt at depth just comes across as Baby's First Nihilism. It seems more like its acting as justification for people who want to believe they're geniuses rather than actually providing anything particularly smart
 

Gizen

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webkilla said:
Gizen said:
webkilla said:
I think I'll have to disagree with some of the claims and assertions made in the video:

1) Claiming that there's a "tragically oversized" population of nerd culture fans who think they're free to be colossal pains in butts about their fandom

I just watched a youtube that actually addressed the topic of toxic fandoms, and the logic it has is quite sound - even if I don't agree with the examples it used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCKF2_-Zsw0 - the "pains in butts" Bob is talking about, are but loud minorities.

2) The rick & morty fandom's sauce incidents... as with the above - that was AFAIK a tiny minority of R&M fans who were insane enough to do that.
Everyone knows they're loud minorities, but just because they're the minority doesn't mean there isn't still too many of them. Even one person starting a riot at a Mcdonalds over fucking chicken nugget sauce is entirely too many. In this case, a population of one would still be tragically oversized.

I get that it has given the entire fandom a bad rep - but someone as "fandom-savvy" as Bob has to know that you do actually have the option of simply dismissing such episodes, instead of apologizing for it. "Ya that was some fringe crazies, so what?"

Various sports fans riot accross the globe on a weekly basis - and yet its some cartoon fandom who's the weird one, prone to violent outbursts? This just seems like making a mountain out of a mole-hill.
The issue is that nerd culture is still too new to being mainstream, and hasn't fully been accepted yet, to the point that a couple of people being douchebags over a cartoon will have a larger impact on how the broader culture looks at a fandom than it would for something more established. Hell, all you need to do is look two posts up from yours, and you'll see someone who's so disgusted by that minority of Rick & Morty fandom that it actively makes them hate the show despite never even having seen it. You can see similar things regarding Undertale and its fandom. By contrast, how many people do you see exhibiting disgust towards Soccer as a whole because of some dumbass starting a Soccer riot?
I don't see anyone blaming or tarnishing Soccer or all soccer fans because a minority of them occationally start fights and riots.
Exactly

I'm just advocating that the same logic applied to geek fandoms
In order for that to happen, it needs to finish being absorbed into the mainstream, which, for as much as people like to talk about how much more mainstream geek culture has become, that transition is not yet complete. Sports is still considerably more mainstream than a cartoon about a scientist. It probably always will be. And until such time as that changes, people in geek fandoms acting like douchebags are only going to pull more negative attention that makes it harder to simply write them off as that idiot that every large group has.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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I'm a big fan of the show but I learned one thing over the years - don't over-analyze this shit. Bob has to because it's his job, but I'll be damned if I'm going to psychoanalyze Rick's behavior. As much as I love it and the characters, it's only a cartoon after all.
 

Darmani

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Palindromemordnilap said:
Is Rick and Morty really that intelligent of a show? I'll admit I've only seen a couple of episodes, but the sci-fi tropes it uses are fairly mundane by this point and the attempt at depth just comes across as Baby's First Nihilism. It seems more like its acting as justification for people who want to believe they're geniuses rather than actually providing anything particularly smart
There's a lot of clever execution of this but yeah for the most part you're looking at a more mean-spirited or perhaps just more modern in its mean spiritedness Hitchhiker's Guide of the Galaxy then you are something all that insightful. The big problem is that the season 3 premiere basically reversed almost everything that happened in season 2 that's not revolutionary for a science fiction or show that's in fact very typical where they create ridiculous Cliffhangers for an episode to keep you invested on the edge of your seat and then when you tune in the completely negate them if not in the first opening minutes of episode or a recap of the episode then at the max amount the first four episodes of the season. After everything that happened with Earth the Smith family the only long-term consequence was Jerry getting divorced. And this was constantly played off as his fault because he actually insisted on getting rid of Rick when Rick was genuinely a problem for his family. To be fair season 3 does seed Rick's failure by pointing out that ultimately you don't have to be a perfect person you just have to constantly put in to try to better yourself and over time we actually see Jerry do this. Though for some reason apparently he has to apologize for getting fat pregnant?

3 Frank it seems most of the anti Rick and Morty sentiment is due to the big band explosion especially about the Szechuan sauce. Cuz I have no doubt whatsoever that Bob and many other people who are now telling us how awful fans we are was the exact kind of person who kept on talking and rode its coattails to intellectual elitism
 

Darmani

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Adam Jensen said:
I'm a big fan of the show but I learned one thing over the years - don't over-analyze this shit. Bob has to because it's his job, but I'll be damned if I'm going to psychoanalyze Rick's behavior. As much as I love it and the characters, it's only a cartoon after all.
My problem is at the think pieces seem to either sent around the same thing baby's first nihilism hey this is what this sci-fi concept references this is how it takes down that sci-fi concept that's starting to get popular I hate and never actually analyze the character as he is I mean the biggest most deliberate takedown of Rick is the fact that at the end of the day he's not a wise all-knowing figure or even that please a jackass Trickster. The problem is that he's an addict and ultimately that's the only thing you're can or should be learning about him and how addiction has a negative effect on those around you. But rather than take that idea actually explicated in the show no less it instead keeps turning to the same talking points of nihilism fans suck because they think they're smart and whatever they want to talk about as a tangent. And Bob doesn't have to for his job but he chooses to for his job he's a freelancer he can literally say I don't want to do this or change the subject of his video which was something that he did before he went on Hiatus and then he did while independent.
 

angel85

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Characters from Adult Swim shows ARE NOT ROLE MODELS! Rick, Dr. Venture, Harvey Birdman, any of them. A common theme among all original programming on adult swim is an underlying nihilism. All of the protagonists are idiots, drunkards, drug-addicts, lazy, pathetic, or even outright evil. Of course just because the main character is a POS doesn't mean the show has to be bad (like Squidbillies or Mr. Pickles) really good (like Venture Brothers or Rick and Morty) or somewhere in between (like Deathclock) but one thing they all have in common is that you shouldn't be trying to emulate or admire the character in the title role if you want to live a good life.
 

webkilla

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Gizen said:
I'm just advocating that the same logic applied to geek fandoms
In order for that to happen, it needs to finish being absorbed into the mainstream, which, for as much as people like to talk about how much more mainstream geek culture has become, that transition is not yet complete. Sports is still considerably more mainstream than a cartoon about a scientist. It probably always will be. And until such time as that changes, people in geek fandoms acting like douchebags are only going to pull more negative attention that makes it harder to simply write them off as that idiot that every large group has.
Transition is not yet complete - but its getting there...

I would argue: A lot of geek culture is mainstream - star wars, marvel superhero stuff... even crud like Big Bang Theory


What you have to keep in mind is that there are a lot of sports that aren't mainstream. A lot of sports that are really niche and relatively unknown to the public at large. Hell, some sports are very popular for a couple of years, then they fade again - just like specific geek fandoms.

Take Jai Alai for example - nobody today has heard of it, but it was all the rage in the 70s.

https://www.topendsports.com/sport/extinct/list.

Fandoms will come and go - some things will fade from popularity, new things will come in. I don't expect Rick & Morty to ever be as mainstream as Star Wars, but I don't expect expect Swamp Soccer to get ESPN coverage any time soon either. Not all cartoons, and not all sports, will ever become popular enough to garner mainstream attention or acceptance.


To this end, again, I re-iterate my original point: R&M is a small fringe element of the larger geek fandom that Bob talks about - its so small, compared to the larger more mainstream accepted franchise fandoms (star wars and whatnot) that I consider it silly and non-sensicle to paint all of geek fandom with a single brush, based on the actions of a small number of R&M fans. By this logic, I think that Bob's statement is wrong, even though I understand what his sentiment seems to be
 

Abomination

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I have always found Rick to be an incredibly tragic character. Blessed with cosmos shattering intellect but no true drive to use it for good.

Perhaps he knows so much that he knows when the universe will end and there is nothing he can do to stop it, or that anyone can do to stop it.

He is a complete asshole but that also doesn't mean he is always wrong.

He is reckless and a complete psychopath, he understands too much but inversely does not care about anything either.

I love the show, but I'm not going to scream "Pickle Rick" in a crowded mall or make a fast food worker's shift hell because they ran out of promotional condiments.
 

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PsychedelicDiamond said:
I'm not gonna go as far as to say that Rick and Morty is a show for idiots and assholes but one thing I will say is that Rick and Morty is a show about idiots and asshole, a lot of which see themselves in it because they feel like it's portraying them sympathetically. As someone who actually pay attention to the things he watches I'm well aware that Rick isn't supposed to be an inspirational character by any means but on occasion I feel like it's something the writer tend to forget. Not always, mind you, when they do play off of that is when the show comes closest to being more than shallow parody of various science-fiction properties whos defining feature it is to be worse at it than Futurama. But most of the time it's hard not to roll my eyes at it.

The reason why it's so dang tempting to miss that Rick is actually an awful person is because of how rarely he ever faces consequences. In any other show he'd make a really fun villain. A competent but ruthless and irresponsible mad scientist who's given in to his most selfish urges, coming out acting like... well, an overgrown fratboy with a god complex. In Rick and Morty he's a protagonist and he gets away with most of what he does.

Let's take one of my favourite cartoons for comparison: Venture Brothers. One of my pet opinions I like to annoy people with is claiming that Dr. Venture is Rick done right. They're pretty different characters in a lot of ways for sure but they do cover some common ground. Both are mad scientist with questionable ethics, both act as the parental figures to two teenagers which they recklessly endanger, both have major substance abuse issues, both never learned to take responsibility for their actions. The key difference is that Rusty Venture is a failure. His entire life is pretty much the logical and realistic consequence of his actions. He's a washed up, bitter loser in the shadow of his much more talented (though, as a person, even more awful) father and his even more talented (and, as a person, much better) younger brother. Being a failure is what makes Rusty likeable. When he does manage to score a victory you're actually somewhat sympathetic because, as bad as a person he may be, he does deserve a break once in a while. Rick, most of the time, is portrayed as an escapist character who gets away with most of what he does. There are a lot of people who are very eager to idolize an awful person if that person does the things they wish they could do. That makes him an inspirational character for assholes and very dislikeable one for people who actually want to see him get his comeuppance which he practically never gets.
This. Everything you just said is awesome. It's my main beef with Rick and the show. Hell, it's partially why I haven't bought season 3 yet. Honestly, when season 4 does come out, I want to see Rick get punished more, and wrap up the storyline about Evil Morty. Once that is finished, I am going nowhere near season 5. And similar to Orel, I hope that Morty and Summer becomes better people than either Rick, Beth, and Jerry. Especially the former two. Season Three really made me hate her.
 

Anthony J Agnello

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PsychedelicDiamond said:
I'm not gonna go as far as to say that Rick and Morty is a show for idiots and assholes but one thing I will say is that Rick and Morty is a show about idiots and asshole, a lot of which see themselves in it because they feel like it's portraying them sympathetically. As someone who actually pay attention to the things he watches I'm well aware that Rick isn't supposed to be an inspirational character by any means but on occasion I feel like it's something the writer tend to forget. Not always, mind you, when they do play off of that is when the show comes closest to being more than shallow parody of various science-fiction properties whos defining feature it is to be worse at it than Futurama. But most of the time it's hard not to roll my eyes at it.

The reason why it's so dang tempting to miss that Rick is actually an awful person is because of how rarely he ever faces consequences. In any other show he'd make a really fun villain. A competent but ruthless and irresponsible mad scientist who's given in to his most selfish urges, coming out acting like... well, an overgrown fratboy with a god complex. In Rick and Morty he's a protagonist and he gets away with most of what he does.

Let's take one of my favourite cartoons for comparison: Venture Brothers. One of my pet opinions I like to annoy people with is claiming that Dr. Venture is Rick done right. They're pretty different characters in a lot of ways for sure but they do cover some common ground. Both are mad scientist with questionable ethics, both act as the parental figures to two teenagers which they recklessly endanger, both have major substance abuse issues, both never learned to take responsibility for their actions. The key difference is that Rusty Venture is a failure. His entire life is pretty much the logical and realistic consequence of his actions. He's a washed up, bitter loser in the shadow of his much more talented (though, as a person, even more awful) father and his even more talented (and, as a person, much better) younger brother. Being a failure is what makes Rusty likeable. When he does manage to score a victory you're actually somewhat sympathetic because, as bad as a person he may be, he does deserve a break once in a while. Rick, most of the time, is portrayed as an escapist character who gets away with most of what he does. There are a lot of people who are very eager to idolize an awful person if that person does the things they wish they could do. That makes him an inspirational character for assholes and very dislikeable one for people who actually want to see him get his comeuppance which he practically never gets.
This is so well put. Damn. I've never really thought about how the two shows are inversions of each other. Rusty should give the entire cast of Rick and Morty the speech he gave OSI and the GCI at the end of the most recent episode.
 

Zhukov

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Can someone love the show, not be an arsehole, and also not be smart enough to fully "get it"?

Because I'm pretty sure that's me. The arsehole part is debatable.

Anyway, one thing that often seems to go unremarked upon by people who consider Rick something to aspire to is that for all his basically superpower-level genius, he's fundamentally unhappy. Didn't one episode end with him making an earnest attempt to commit suicide and only failing because he was drunk?