#TypesTuesday – Rick & Morty: Excitement and Imagination
by Guest Contributor Oscar Harding
Much like the Netflix show Bojack Horseman, the animated sci-fi comedy Rick and Morty is one of the funniest, most intelligent and most original shows on television. Despite the jokes and the out-there concepts, the show works because at its heart are genius scientist Rick, a Power of Excitement character, and his grandson Morty, a Power of Imagination character.
Morty has greatness thrust upon him more often than not because of he is forced into an adventure by his reckless Grandfather. This show is an excellent example of how different character types can support each other. Morty is a Power of Imagination character and paired with Rick because Rick is Power of Excitement. Rick is a constant, forever seeking adventure with or without Morty by his side. But Morty, more often than not, would have no need to save the day if Rick hadn’t put him in that position. He is just seeking a normal life as an earthbound teenager with no aliens or high concepts. He is reluctant about pretty much everything, and Rick exploits that to his own benefit constantly.
Power of Excitement characters can never settle, and as the smartest man in the universe with access and understanding of infinite dimensions, all that drives the suicidal alcoholic Rick is exploring every part of his reality and others. There is even a citadel where every single alternate version of Rick have banded together, and they deem our version of Rick to be reckless and dangerous- he is the Power of Excitement agent of chaos character. Moments of personal or emotional revelation are few and far between, and they only ever come from the intervention of his family.
Rick is a nihilist who understands everything is meaningless, so rather than search for meaning he embraces having a good time, because he believes that’s all there is. Introspection is a waste of time for him. So he has both philosophical and scientific justification for his worldview, not just a stubborn belief. He knows the only sane way to act in a chaotic world is as a Power of Excitement character. This makes him a perfect foil for Morty.
Reluctant heroes are always Power of Imagination types. They are never willing, and not always responsible, for the quest on which they find themselves undertaking. Rick is directly or indirectly the cause of Morty’s epic quests, which his sister and parents get wrapped up in as well from time to time. Morty has a desire to maintain normality and balance and usually has to undo Rick’s mistakes.
Power of Imagination characters aim to restore harmony to that which has been disrupted, and this seems to be Morty’s constant struggle. Despite Rick seeing him as weak and stupid most of the time, Morty has been forced to grow up as the show has progressed, and is normally the one person who will protect his family from both the dangers of the universe and the dark truths that Rick exposes through his worldview.
The show would not work as well if Rick and Morty weren’t Power of Excitement and Imagination characters- the former is our catalyst for every episode’s events, and without the latter cleaning up Rick’s messes, then the universe would have ended a long time ago and there would be no show. They need each other. There are other combinations of character types that could make the show work, but it wouldn’t be quite as satisfying or as entertaining.
Here’s a taste of the madness you can expect from Rick and Morty, currently available to watch on Netflix UK:
If you’re looking for more examples of Power of Excitement or Power of Imagination characters, or any of the “Power Of…” types, 9 pinterest boards full of character examples are online. Check them out and let us know at ETBHelp@gmail.com if you have any other suggestions.