Look, I’ll be upfront here: I hate April Fool’s Day. It’s a dumb holiday for dumb organizations to make dumb jokes, and I try my best every year not to be a part of it. Sure a few of these “gags” can lead to some entertaining time-wasters (this year’s Netflix: Live! was surprisingly enjoyable, and I’ve played way too much of that Pac-Man Google Maps game), but it’s simply not worth it for the amount of pointless, mean-spirited, and frankly idiotic crap that also comes out on the day.
Thankfully, Adult Swim’s prank this year wasn’t that at all. In fact, their big gag might be the most generous, awesome gift that fans of the outlet could have ever asked for — the long awaited premiere of Rick and Morty’s third season.
I am of course a massive fan of Rick and Morty (as this review will tell you), with the first two seasons of the show some of my favorite TV comedy of the last few years. Last season’s finale in particular was absolutely sublime, and the way the show progressed to that point was ingenious, funny, and heartfelt storytelling. The fact that the show’s notoriously long wait time between seasons happened with such a gob-smacking cliff-hanger was pretty torturous.
But now, completely out of nowhere, the wait is over. Rick and Morty returned to TV last night with little fanfare — just a tweet saying it was streaming on AdultSwim.com, and later confirmation from fans that, yes, it was truly the real deal. Adult Swim tricked us by NOT tricking us — if they posted a link to their website and it was anything but the actual premiere, I would have been pissed. But timing was really key for this “prank” to work. After a full day of reading dumb headlines and gritting our teeth through gag after gag, everyone’s guard was up. But the fact that it WASN’T a prank was, in a strange way, the best prank of them all.
It also helps that the premiere itself was fantastic, a slightly messy but completely enjoyable journey through what makes the show so wonderful. Meta jokes galore, bizarre asides (that Mulan szechuan sauce bit was a joke that kept on giving), surprising use of in-show continuity, and a decent helping of actual pathos mixed in with the hilarity — the season premiere had it all. It was a perfect reminder of what I’ve missed about the show in the 18 months it’s been gone, and an exciting look at what’s to come throughout the rest of the season.
That, unfortunately, won’t be coming until later this summer, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth here. Yesterday, I woke up not having seen a new episode of Rick and Morty in over a year and a half. Today, I woke up still giggling at the glorious line that was “He’s a spy, blow him up, I’m going to go take a shit.” For once, I laughed at an April Fool’s Day joke. But when said joke is a new episode of Rick and Morty, I’m pretty sure it’s impossible not to.