I switched off the Vizio and sat there a moment in the quiet.
I’d just been filled with 18 hours of heartbreaking imagery, stories from people still shattered by a world’s shameful actions. I looked down at the dog, and she looked back at me but would not come close for a scratch: probably pissed that she, too, had to endure those horrific images painted by an inferior breed.
That was some necessary Television, once again reminding us of the very power that the glowing screen can have.
But later that night sleep is impossible, and I whisper for Alexa to play Straight to Hell for the eighth time in a row before giving up and switching on the tube once again.
Let’s tune into SportsCenter, see what’s going on in the good ‘ol NFL for some lighthearted fare, shall we?
And then it seems Dear Leader has taken to the airwaves yet again, like a drunken Uncle commandeering a Thanksgiving table with his vast repertoire of racist knock-knock jokes, and turned our mindless escapism into a political shitstorm–Nice!
I’m in need of some comfort food from the Cathode Ray at this point.
What I wouldn’t give just to see Lucy stomping grapes or Gilligan getting bonked on the head with a coconut, yeh?
Television has changed to the point we can’t even call it TV any more.
We are now all isolated in our own video bubble, with personal playlists backing up the DVR, Netflix series watched in narcotic marathon sittings.
The next episode starts in 10,9,8–o shit.
Well, maybe just one more episode, just one more hour of life surrendered to the couch.
Might as well order up some fucking Papa Johns and give up the last of the dignity.
We haven’t watched a commercial at normal speed in four years, and suffer the anxiety of being left far behind if we’re not careful, ashamed we haven’t even watched a single episode of Game of Thrones.
Gone are the days of reporting to the den on the hour for a shared evening of family entertainment. Just try to make your daughter sit down and finally watch Caddyshack with you as it is rerun yet again on TBS.
It’s not 25 minutes into it, you cracking each golden quote aloud in sync with Carl the Groundskeeper, before you turn to get a reaction and find you are alone on the couch. She has silently escaped upstairs to catch up with her beloved Housewives on Bravo on Demand.
I get it.
It’s a real commitment of time and effort to take on a new show with all this content, but there’s something you need in your life, one golden corner of actual cable that is punk rock in animated form:
Awwww yeah! Rick and Morty, son!
We finally have the anti hero we need in these dire times.
Forget about Tony Soprano and Walter White, the central characters with Character, who you gotta root for regardless of their horrors.
It’s an animated show, sure. And the late night time slot on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim may have you writing the show off as just another crudely drawn yuckfest for the dabs and Jack in the Box crew. But it is a lot more.
Rick and his goofy grandson Morty have taken us along on a magical journey all right, though a lot of the realities we visit seem to have a lot to do with fart jokes
But Rick Sanchez does Not. Give. A. Fuck.
While we think we need the answers to the daily problems that seem to be cursing us all, the racial strife, the world disorder brought down on us by dotard maniacs, Rick has bigger fish to fry.
Rick stands guard over the very construct we call reality, and is probably the only thing that keeps us from being absorbed by some grasshopper corporation or slipping into a dual reality where people have butts for faces, but what ya gonna do?
Rick stands on the very ledge of the existential void, has seen and done it all.
And it apparently is not pretty. He stays drunk most of the time, not wanting to ponder the meaninglessness of each reality, the horrors of every plane of existence that he visits or creates.
He is GG Allin with portal gun. Take a shit on the floor, indeed!
Besides, Rick has that hair favored by so many of your more mature punk rock stars. Hell, put him in a Propaghandi tee and cargo shorts and he’s ready to rock the RiotFest yo!
Each episode finds some nugget to melt your mind, and will have you feeling along the drywall as you walk the hallways, lest you fall through a portal to woogy oogy land or some goddamned Cronenbergian nightmare.
We are dealing with the very fabric of time and space here, but that doesn’t keep R&M from also dealing with very Earthbound issues like family dynamics and haunting regrets.
And fart jokes. So many fart jokes.
Can it really be time for the Season 3 finale already? Oooo weee!
But what will we do without Rick’s bitter lessons, how will we get through the madness of this absurd existence without his reluctant leadership?
Are we left alone to make sense of a war fought for so little that costs us so much? Can we really be this close to global destruction again, the fates of innocent youth in the hands of egomaniac imbeciles?
Perhaps it is Morty who put it all in perspective for us, finally, with this heartbreaking speech to Summer from Season one.
I’m better than your brother. I’m a version of your brother you can trust when he says “Don’t run.” Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV.
And with that, I turn off the box and finally sleep.