The rambunctious wholesome adventures of Rick and Morty continue with Season 6 on Blu-ray. The series is just as crude, rude, and grotesque as ever, but the expected episode bumps are bumpier as the bookends episodes are again the saving graces of the season as some episodes struggle with repetition and tired dried-up gags. The series continues its winning streak on Blu-ray with an excellent A/V presentation for each episode and a smattering of bonus episodes. Worth A Look
Just when it looks like the interdimensional adventures of Rick (Justin Roiland) and Morty (also Justin Roiland) are over, somehow they manage to survive. With deep cuts into past seasons and episodes to Die Hard and Jurassic Park references to Panda Express, Rick, Morty, Jerry (Chris Parnell), Summer (Spencer Grammer), and Beth (Sarah Chalke) endure another series of grotesque encounters. The gang will have to face any number of obstacles and any number of possible outcomes if they ever hope to return to their “normal” lives.
I think I may have hit my wall with Rick and Morty - which frankly kinda sucks. While I don’t think it’s been in peak form since the excellent first two seasons, I thought the show was reliably entertaining the last couple of years. It was something to get a little excited about at the end of a long day with the assurance of some good deep-cut pop culture referential laughs. At least I thought that used to be the case.
The first episode of the season Solaricks is a great start. Once again the show picks up on the mortality of the final episode of last season and jumps throughout the canon of the series. It was crude, gross, and hilarious as Rick, Morty, and the rest of the interdimensional time-hopping Smith family try to figure out how to get to a new reality where they can try to live out their lives. A solid start. Then the season went on, and my laughter faded.
That isn’t to say the middle episodes of the ten-episode season are unwatchable, but the gags are starting to feel a bit tired. Sure, Beth starting a lesbian relationship with Space Beth was damned funny, and I found Jerry avoiding having sex with his mother was amusing, but the constant callbacks and references to pop culture highlights are wearing thin. I equate it to Family Guy where the once hilarious irreverent cutaway jokes just started feeling more desperate and obnoxious. I still had some laughs throughout the series, Dwayne Johnson at the Oscars gave me a laugh, and thankfully the season’s final episode Ricktional Mortpoon’s Rickmas Mortcation brought everything together. Just the same I'm starting to feel like my time with this show is coming to an end. It just didn't really do it for me this year.
After the revelations and fallout of Justin Roiland’s volatile and still unfolding legal status, Rick and Morty Season Seven is about to undergo a serious creative shakeup. I’m not going to try and unpack and analyze Roiland’s current issues, but suffice it to say the loss of the most important voice actor of the series is a big ’un! Can the series survive? Or would this have been the right time to pull Rick and Morty’s teleporting plug? I guess we’ll find out in a few months.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Rick and Morty Season Six travels the cosmos to land on Blu-ray in a single-disc release. For this review, we were sent the SteelBook option, but a standard edition is available if you’d rather have a standard case. Pressed on a BD-50 disc, the set also comes with a small leaflet with a list of episodes and bonus features. No digital code was included for this round.
True to form for the series on Blu-ray thus far, the season scores a solid 1080p 1.78:1 transfer for each episode. Fine lines are crisp and clear, colors are bold and vivid, and the image as a whole offers a nice sense of depth. Given this was produced during the height of the pandemic, the series was completed remotely but that doesn’t seem to have impacted the overall visual appeal of the show. The wild creatures and locations are still a lot of fun to look at.
And like past seasons, Rick and Morty Season Six enjoys a strong and fully-engaged DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track. With all of the laser battles, creepy creatures, multiple Jerry’s, or family of Night People - each episode is a sonic delight. Scoring for each episode remains solid filling out the soundscape nicely. Obviously the more action-packed the episode, the more engaging the 5.1 track is, but overall each episode is another strong example for the series. Dialog is again clean throughout so you’ll never miss a deep-cut reference as Rick belches his way through a diatribe.
While this might not be the most robust or in-depth selection of episodes, what we get here is at least somewhat informative. The little featurettes may be damn brief but they’re worth a gander if you’re curious about the creative process of the show and also learning more about how they did it all remotely this year due to the pandemic.
I still enjoy Rick and Morty overall, but the series has entered that precarious phase like so many shows before it where the best laughs may have already been had. The series still offers up wild visuals and stories with a penchant for unexpectedly hard-hitting deep emotional notes, so I have some hope for the future. But with this being little better than a 50/50 season for me of intermittent hilarity, I hope the creative shakeup with Roiland no longer part of the team works out (it probably won't). Otherwise, it may be time to pull the plug and move on completely. Maybe bring back Joe Pera Talks with You to fill the timeslot? Worth A Look