How I Will Be Covering Rick and Morty Season 3

If you are currently unaware, Adult Swim hosted an April Fool’s Day stream in which they looped the long-anticipated season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty. Although we will tragically have to wait until summer for the remaining nine episodes, I thought now would be an appropriate time to discuss how I will be covering the upcoming season.

If you remember back to late summer/early fall of 2015, when season 2 was in its prime, I was writing weekly episode reviews. Similar in style to my current One Piece chapter reviews, I would analyze the episode, and speculate its implications on the overall narrative.

For season 3, we are going to be doing something a tad bit different. I will still be covering each episode, conducting the same thorough analysis. It is the medium, however, that will change.

Over on my YouTube channel (the link to which you can find under the YouTube Channel section of this blog), my friend Zack (123zc1) and I have been podcasting for almost an entire year. Our main show is The Two Fine-Looking Brothers Podcast, in which we discuss whatever we wish to on our own schedule. When RWBY Volume 4 debuted, I was working in Washington, D.C. I would not have had the time to write weekly episode reviews. In order to still cover the show, I decided to create a spinoff podcast titled The Fine-Looking Brothers Talk RWBY. Along with our friend Alberto, Zack and I covered each episode with the same level of detail and care I would have used in my text reviews. This podcast blew up in a sense, quickly becoming my most popular creative product to date.

In order to fill the void on my YouTube channel that the RWBY hiatus has created, we have decided to start a spiritual successor podcast. That’s right, The Fine-Looking Brothers Talk Rick and Morty is on its way! In other words, I will still be sharing my opinions on a weekly basis, just not on this blog. If you’re sick of hearing just what I have to say, the opinions of my co-hosts Zack and Alberto should tide you over. Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel in order to ensure you don’t miss an episode.

The premiere podcast on S3, E1 will be uploaded this week, while the rest of the series will coincide with the airing of the remaining episodes this summer. I hope you all enjoy this change of pace, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Advertisements

Thoughts on the 2017 Oscars

The 2017 Oscars were unique for me in that I had a stake. Unlike in years prior, I had actually seen (and enjoyed) roughly half of the films nominated for best picture. I was also pretty well-versed in a hearty chunk of the other movies awarded.

I did feel cheated in the sense that Arrival, my hands down favorite film of 2016 (as well as one of my new all time favorites) was, in a sense, snubbed. However, with 2016 being such a strong year for movies, I understand why. The Academy has a certain taste in cinema that can be better reflected through works such as La La Land and Moonlight (both of which were also great). I’m not going to take the time to dive deep into why Arrival is such a masterpiece here. Once I manage to get a copy of the DVD and give it a few more watches, I will definitely be writing an in-depth analytical review. If you would like a brief excerpt of what’s to come, check out my HIGHLY OUTDATED top 4 films of 2016 list.

Overall, the award choices this year were a mixed bag. Some I strongly support, while others I severely disagree with. However, as I said, with so many great movies in 2016, I was prepared for disagreement.

The animation awards were, as usual, highly misguided. Piper, while a beautifully animated short film, was a bland and sub-par romp, vastly overshadowed by its companion feature Finding Dory. Inner Workings, one of my all time favorite short films, wasn’t even nominated. This trend of neglect oozes into the animated feature department with Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name in English) not even receiving a nomination. Kimi no Na Wa was an international sensation, becoming one of the most renowned Japanese films of all time. How it didn’t receive a nomination was beyond me; the irony is that it definitely would have won. Without Makoto Shinkai’s magnum opus in the frey, it was down to Zootopia and Moana. Deep down, I knew Zootopia would win. Its timely allegorical narrative clearly struck a chord with audiences and the Academy alike. In my opinion, however, the timeless Moana was the vastly superior film in story, character, and message. Zootopia preys on the current political zeitgeist, but I’m sure Moana will go on to inspire a generation of creatives.

In the realm of live action short films, I can’t say I had a stake. The only one I loved from 2016 was This House Has People In It, which wasn’t nominated. I knew it wouldn’t be, it had no Academy sensibilities whatsoever. Being of the horror genre and produced by Adult Swim, I guarantee you it went under the radar of every single Academy member. However, I can’t think of a more original and thought provoking movie to come out of 2016. I plan on covering This House Has People In It (along with the rest of Alan Resnick’s filmography) in some capacity in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

When it comes to cinematography, Arrival was, to put it simply, robbed. Don’t get me wrong, La La Land was a beautiful looking movie, but Arrival had some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen. I understand the impressiveness of La La Land’s long takes and camera movement, but it still felt like a movie. Arrival manages to use cinematography to break all possible disbelief, and transport you into the story. Everything feels crisply real, something a majority of movies fail to accomplish. People cite La La Land with having a dreamlike aesthetic. I can see where they are coming from in terms of the generic common sensibility. However, Arrival is shot like an actual dream; all of the uneasiness and fluidity that dreams bring was not neglected.

I’m not going to dive too deep into La La Land’s best original song victory. It was undeserved, plain and simple. La La Land had a fantastic story, message, and set of performances, but it did not have great music. At best, the majority of its songs were decent. My favorite song in the movie, Audition, didn’t even win. Further, Audition, while great, wasn’t even amazing to begin with. How Far I’ll Go from Moana is not only one of my favorite songs from a musical, but one of my favorite songs of 2016 period. It inspired and stuck with so many on such a personal level, including myself. I hypothesize that it didn’t win because not enough of the Academy saw Moana, while I guarantee you every single voter saw La La Land.

This same bias flows into the best director award, which was snagged by La La Land. Damien Chazelle is a fantastic director, especially for his age. However, his skill is much more apparent in 2014’s Whiplash. All bias aside from Denis Villeneuve being one of my favorite living directors, both Arrival and Moonlight were much better directed films than La La Land.

Perhaps my most positive takeaway from this year’s Oscars was Emma Stone’s victory as best leading actress. I do believe Amy Adams deserved it more for her masterful performance in Arrival. However, I am a huge Emma Stone fan. I have been following her career closely since my pre-teen years (thanks to Superbad). I have watched her mature as an actress, progressing from tertiary generic comedic roles to competently starring in intense dramas. Seeing her finally awarded after all these years was both heartwarming and satisfying, and I can’t argue with that.

Now for the gargantuan elephant in the room, best picture. We all saw the hilarious debacle; there’s not much to say on the matter that hasn’t already been said. However, it will go down in history as one of the funniest Oscar moments. I even made a joke before it happened, “What if they say the wrong movie?” I proceeded to follow up with “I personally enjoyed La La Land more, but I think Moonlight deserved the award.” Apparently I’m a foresightful genius.

All jokes aside, I knew Arrival had no chance of winning best picture. Despite being the far superior film, this is the Academy we’re dealing with. The true battle was clearly going to be down to La La Land vs. Moonlight. Again, despite my personal preference towards La La Land from an pure enjoyment perspective, Moonlight deserved to win from a technical viewpoint. I may end up writing a full analysis of Moonlight at some point, so I don’t want to delve too deep into the movie now. What I can say is that it is a very important film, and, despite its depressing nature, one everyone should see. It was a successful exercise in empathy, and truly helps you to put your life into perspective.

There you have it, my opinions on the 2017 Oscars in a nutshell. I’m really looking forward to what the rest of 2017 will have to offer in terms of film. With 2016 being such a great year for the medium, the coming ten months have massive shoes to fill.

Top 4 Films of 2016

I don’t get why people say 2016 was a bad year for movies. Yes, I can count the amount of great films that came out this year with my fingers. However, i’d much rather have a handful of greats than a slew of pretty goods. Although there definitely were more 2016 releases that I enjoyed, here are the four that stood out above the rest, proving that 2016 was an unforgettable year for the medium of film.

 

#4- Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I credit J.K. Rowling as the person who shaped me into the avid media consumer I am today. Without the story of the boy who lived, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this piece. When a prequel series was announced, written by Rowling herself, I was very hesitant to build hype. Especially with the transition of medium from novel to film, I knew I couldn’t allow myself to get too excited. There were so many opportunities for failure with this movie; I am so happy to say that Rowling didn’t screw it up. Fantastic Beasts was fantastic. It did everything a great prequel should. Despite having some subtle nods, it didn’t rely too much on the original work. It had intriguing, well-written characters that weren’t just cardboard cutouts or carbon copies of Harry and company. It managed to work as a satisfying, self-contained story, while still building the foundation for the rest of a five-part saga. Although this isn’t a full review, I couldn’t go without mentioning how much I loved the movie’s 1920s New York aesthetic. Although there were some jarring plot holes, everything else about the movie was so good that I can’t dwell on them too much. Far superior to the other piece of Harry Potter universe media that was released this year (i’m talking about you Cursed Child), Fantastic Beasts is a real treat for any potterhead.

 

#3- This House Has People in It

Director: Alan Resnick

Writer(s): Alan Resnick, Dina Kelberman, and Robby Rackleff

Genre: Horror

I was very tentative about placing a short film on this list. After all, a TV movie under 15 minutes long can’t possibly convey as much as a 2.5 hour theatrical epic, right? Wrong! This House Has People in It managed to do that and more. Alan Resnick has finally made a name for himself by producing one the most clever, intriguing, and genuinely scary horror stories of all time. If you are unfamiliar with Adult Swim’s infomercial block, it is a late-night home for experimental short films disguised as infomercials. You may have heard of some of its more famous products such as Too Many Cooks and Unedited Footage of a Bear, both of which I would also highly recommend. Despite its 12 minute run time, This House Has People in It is one of the most densely packed movies ever made. It is literally impossible to absorb every detail it has to offer, even with multiple viewings. For a fantastic analysis and in-depth explanation of the short and its expanded material, I would highly recommend checking out NightMind. Even if you don’t end up watching this film, I would still give him a look, he’s one of the best horror analysts on YouTube. This House Has People in It might not grab you upon your first viewing. In fact, you may initially find it funny like I did. With each subsequent viewing, however, you begin to pick up more on what is actually happening. Then you begin to think about it. The genius of the film is that this mental process is part of the movie itself, an essential component of its fear building. Hold onto your bed sheets, because you will not be sleeping after experiencing this horror masterpiece.

 

#2- Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name)

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai

Genre: Anime Drama

Kimi no Na Wa, or Your Name in english, would have definitely taken the number one spot if it weren’t for a last minute sneak up. Your Name is the definition of perfect melancholic storytelling. It fills you with such strong and potent emotion, but it’s very difficult to decipher whether these feelings are of happiness or sadness. The only other movie in recent memory that has made me feel this way has been Wolf Children, one of my all time favorite films and overall pieces of media. Although I can’t say Your Name is one of my favorite movies, I can say it is a must see. You may groan at the premise; yet another body swap movie. However, this is the seminal body swap story. Never has this trope been executed more perfectly and originally. Despite being centered around the oldest trope in the book, there truly is nothing like Your Name out there. It takes beautiful animation, relatable characters, and a phenomenal soundtrack, and puts them in a blender to give you an experience. Although an anime film, its medium is by no means a barrier to entry. I would highly recommend this movie to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of anime experience. If subtitles aren’t your thing, Funimation is working a dub that seems pretty promising. In whichever format you prefer, go watch Your Name. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll even get a bit turned on.

 

#1- Arrival

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Eric Heisserer, based on short story by Ted Chiang

Genre: Science Fiction

Arrival was a film made for me. As a fan of science fiction, relatable characters, and alien stories; this was a homerun. It was the only movie this year that managed to become one of my all time favorites. I can go on for pages about how much I loved Arrival. However, I don’t want to talk too much about it, as I do plan on doing exactly that in an in-depth analytical review in the near future. Arrival was directed by Denis Villeneuve, who you may recognize from his work on Prisoners and Enemy, two great movies. Arrival is by far Villeneuve’s best film to date, and what elevated him to one of my all time favorite filmmakers. However, we can’t give Villeneuve all of the credit. I recently discovered that Arrival is based on Ted Chiang’s short story Story of Your Life. Although I have not yet gotten a chance to read it, there is no way it will go unread before I write my full review. Further, science fiction is my thing; it’s probably my overall favorite genre of fiction. However, Arrival goes beyond the typical boundaries of what the genre has to offer. Its unprecedented storytelling method, excruciatingly gorgeous cinematography, and unforgettable characters make it one the best films of the decade. Although I can’t say it’s my favorite science fiction movie, it’s definitely my favorite “alien invasion movie.” That’s just it though, I can’t even bring myself to call it an alien invasion film without precautionary quotation marks. Arrival is just so much more than Independence Day or War of the Worlds. It’s the story of a woman, and the events that reshaped the course of her life. In Amy Adams’ best performance, we come to know the character of Louise Banks, befriend her, understand her, and even cry for her. If not an active consumer of complex fiction such as myself, it may take a few viewings to fully appreciate and understand everything this movie has to offer. But those subsequent viewings are well worth the price of admission. Arrival is a movie I just can’t stop thinking about, and that means something to me.

 

Rick and Morty: S2 E10- Review

Season 2 of Rick and Morty has come and gone. While it definitely has had its ups and downs, theres no denying that this finale was not only the hands down best episode of the entire series, but one of the best season finales in television history. With major plot developments, character reunions, and the strongest emotional core of a Rick and Morty episode to date; theres no denying that this episode was a masterpiece on every level.

Due to the sheer amount of important content in the episode, this will be a spoiler filled review. Therefore, if you have not already seen this episode, I would highly recommend watching it before reading this review. However, make sure you have seen the rest of the series up until this point before watching, or else you will be very lost.

With the most important episode to the main narrative since season 1’s Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind, it is clear that this was a game changer for Rick and Morty. Rick, Morty, and the rest of the Smith family are invited to the wedding of Birdperson and Tammy on Planet Squanch. Rick, despising weddings due to his own failed marriage, does not want to attend. However, after Jerry is accidentally transported to said wedding, Rick must endure, and suffer through the event.

After intense hesitance, Rick finally decides to open up and enjoy himself after having a deep conversation with Morty. However, the second he does so, Tammy reveals that she was an undercover agent for the Galactic Federation the entire time, and assassinates Birdperson on the spot. The rest of the episode follows the Smith family, and their attempts to find a new home due to the newly forming Galactic Federation presence on Earth.

The episode concludes with what is hands down the strongest character development for Rick in the series to date. This also doubles as the most emotional scene in the show. Rick turns himself in to the Galactic Federation in order ensure the safety of his family. The episode ends with him being imprisoned for life, accompanied by the emotion triggering song Hurt, by Nine Inch Nails.

This episode not only developed Rick to an extent we have never seen before, it revealed a massive amount of previously unknown backstory. We now know that Rick, Birdperson, and Squanchy were part of some sort of failed rebellion against the Galactic Federation during their younger years. This explains why Rick was never there for Beth when she was growing up, and might explain why his wife left him. We also see Rick, an extremely self centered man, sacrifice himself for the safety of his family. Rick has truly changed as a character; this was a major turning point for Rick and Morty.

However, what could be either interpreted as hilarious nonsense, or the single most important scene of the episode, is the post-credits scene. Mr. Poopybutthole is sitting in an apartment of sorts, still healing from the gunshot wound inflicted on him earlier in the season. It is revealed that he is watching the episode we just finished on a TV. Once it ends, he turns to the camera, and explains how much he loved the episode we just watched, and how he is still healing from Beth’s attack. He then assaults a pizza delivery boy attempting to give him his dinner, due to the sheer amount of excitement he has for the episode. Left to twitch on the floor in a pile of pizza, he makes one of the best jokes in the series to date.

This scene could be scene as a random event used just for laughs, in typical Dan and Justin fashion. However, I think it has much larger implications for the series. I believe that Mr. Poopybutthole is some sort of overseeing figure, serving a similar role to the narrative as the Concierge in Bravest Warriors. This could be a major development for the overarching plot, and change the game that is Rick and Morty for good. Although this scene isn’t enough to make any grand conclusions, it is a major hint to the puzzle of deciphering this complex and dense narrative. Take this scene as you will, but I believe it will have major relevance to the end game of the series.

Evidently, this episode was a flawless masterpiece of a finale. I never expected an episode of this caliber, and almost never expect to see one again. It raised the bar for an already almost perfect series. I don’t think I can handle waiting a year and a half for new Rick and Morty content, but it is something I must do. This actually concludes my first completely reviewed TV season on this blog. I loved sharing my opinions of this show with you all, and I look forward to returning to the series in 2016.

Rick and Morty: S2 Eps 6-9- Mini Reviews

Update:

Due to my laggard pace with regards to reviewing television content, as well as season 3 of RWBY having started this past weekend, I have decided to prioritize catching  up on reviews of Rick and Morty, Steven Universe, and Doctor Who. However, with regards to Rick and Morty specifically, I will be quickly reviewing episodes 6-9 of the season below, only giving a full length review to the finale. Again, I apologize for the hiatus of sorts, and hope this somewhat satiates your appetite.

Episode 6- The Ricks Must Be Crazy:

To my knowledge, this is the first episode of the series to not contain a B plot. I was happy about this; the A plot needed 22 minutes to reach its full potential. The episode explores the concept of micro-verses, or smaller universes within your own. However, in this instance, Rick has created a micro-verse, a entire civilization, just to power his car. A trickle down effect begins to occur when Rick discovers that scientists in his micro-verse have created their own micro-verse in order to get their energy and stop producing for Rick. One step further, the scientists of that micro-verse are on the cusp of creating a micro-verse of their own. Conflict arrises when Rick and one of the head scientists of his micro-verse begin to fight over the concept. I found this episode to be much stronger then its predecessor, Get Schwifty. It had unique and original concepts, some solid jokes, and was not bogged down by a forced B plot. While it wasn’t the best Rick and Morty has to offer, it definitely was a strong episode. Be sure to stay after the credits for a laugh out loud treat.

Episode 7- Big Trouble in Little Sanchez:

If you are looking for a slightly off-putting and creepy episode that subverts your expectations, this is the Rick and Morty episode for you. I do not want to go deep into the literal plot of the A plot, for you must watch it for yourself to truly appreciate it. However, I found the B plot, while entertaining, to be somewhat frustrating. It seems that Beth and Jerry are falsely solving their relationship issues at the end of each episode, bonding over some event and gaining arbitrary satisfaction. However, there is no progress with this development, for the next episode always begins with them in conflict with each-other, back to stage 1. Regardless, the A plot is the true meat of this episode. Disturbing in that just slightly off way, while leaving enough open for viewer interpretation leads to a truly eery episode overall. The episode also expertly subverts your expectations, building up a strong conflict, and solving that almost instantly, focusing the episode on an offshoot conflict instead. While not flawless by any means, this is definitely the most off-putting and creepy Rick and Morty episode, and I can see myself coming back to it many times in the future.

Episode 8- Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate:

Rixty Minutes, the first Interdimensional Cable episode, is unanimously considered to be one of the greatest Rick and Morty episodes of all time. Praised for its improvisation, variety, comedic timing, and surprisingly strong morals; it’s no surprise why it gained such popularity. Cashing in on that popularity, Dan and Justin had to have gotten really drunk or high one night, and attempted to write a sequel episode. That must have been the case, for thats the only logic that can explain the sheer garbage that was this episode. This was hands down the worst episode of Rick and Morty to date, and the only one I can confidently consider to be genuinely bad. The comedy was extremely stale, only one joke being satisfactory. With nearly none of the TV programs/commercials being interesting, funny, or cleverly improvised, it is clear that Dan and Justin put no effort into this episode. Justin even apologized for the episode on Twitter, proving its horridness. This episode doesn’t even manage to fall into the so bad its good category, it has almost no redeeming qualities. Final verdict: while there is one stand out joke, just YouTube search it, there is no point to watching this garbage.

Episode 9- Look Who’s Purging Now:

This episode was a return to true Rick and Morty form after the hands down worst episode of the series thus far. A direct parody of the Purge series of films, Rick and Morty end up on an old-west like planet inhabited by humanoid felines. The people of the planet are about to engage in their annual purge (all crime legal for a single night). A series of events causes Rick and Morty to have to stick around. Together, they must survive the night, and the viewers are treated to the hilarious situations they get into along the way. The episode introduces a great minor character in the form of Arthiricia. While she doesn’t have a massive amount of substance, she is interesting, well designed, and well acted enough to be engaging. This episode also takes a deep look into Morty’s psyche, revealing a side of him that we have never seen before. In other words, we get some of the strongest Morty character development in the series to date. While this episode was not perfect, and definitely not top tier for the show, it was still great. Honestly, anything could have been better than the previous episode, and this filled those shoes perfectly.

Rick and Morty: S2 E5- Review

Preface:

Due to a somewhat cluttered college schedule, my reviews are starting to fall a bit behind. However, I plan to work extra hard to provide you with fresh content multiple times a week.

Review:

This episode of Rick and Morty was my least favorite of the entire show. However, that doesn’t make it a bad episode by any means. Get Schwifty, while being the weakest overall episode, is still a great one in its own right. The fact that I could still find a massive amount of enjoyment in my least favorite episode of a show proves that Rick and Morty is one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

The plot revolves around a race of giant head aliens gathering planets from throughout the universe to “show them what they’ve got” in a musical competition lampooning American Idol, and other shows of that nature. As I am not a big fan talent competition shows, or pop/hip hop music, I did not connect with the A plot of this episode as much as I would have liked to. Don’t confuse my lack of connection with a lack of appreciation, I could see that it was still cleverly written.

However, this episode was able maintain its quality status amongst its predecessors with its B plot. It takes a dive into religious cultism, as well as the illegitimacy of certain common religious practices. It provides an interesting commentary on the influence of religion throughout history, as well as in modern society, without mentioning any real religions. This B plot definitely has a plethora of material that can be deeply analyzed not in terms of show theory, but with regards to social commentary.

The best part of this episode was the post-credits scene. It was hands down the best in the series to date. Upon my first viewing, I laughed so hard that tears came out of my eyes. The simultaneous absurdity and imaginative nature of the scene created a perfect juxtaposition. There was also a surprising amount of buildup to it throughout the episode; it wasn’t uncalled for in any way. 

Evidently, I don’y really have much to say about this episode. While it was strong, it was still my least favorite episode of the show. I don’t enjoy talking about it as much as the rest, and, aside for the the B plot and the post-credits scene, I wasn’t deeply invested in it. Therefore, this review will naturally be shorter than usual. I appreciate the writing and messages it tries to get across, but it definitely could have been stronger overall.

Rick and Morty: S2 E4- Review

After the previous episode of Rick and Morty became my favorite of the series thus far, I wasn’t looking forward to this one. I knew that nothing could top the emotional and comedic high of it’s predecessor. However, what I failed to remember is that there isn’t a bad episode of Rick and Morty to date. Every single one is fantastic in its own right. Going in with that perspective, this episode did not disappoint.

While this episode was filled with outstanding humor, it was also terrifying. The concept of an alien race being able to transform themselves, enter a host’s home, and manipulate the host’s memories to make them think that they had been a part of their life for years is extremely unsettling to me. While I was laughing throughout the entire episode, a sense of fear and tension really began to hit me after the credits rolled.

While the topic of the episode was approached hilariously in the show, I came to the realization that this could easily be happening in reality, and I wouldn’t know any better. I don’t have an grandfather who travels the multiverse and knows all about different aliens and their cultures. I just have myself, and my personal beliefs about a massive universe that humans have yet to explore. Believe it or not, I actually had a hard time falling asleep after watching this chilling episode. Whether it be fear of the potential reality of its plot, or the existential crisis regarding the vastness of the universe that it caused, this episode really got to me.

While the twist ending was somewhat predictable, it still came off as clever. However, it ended up leading to more confusion than it did comedy. The only reasonable conclusion I could come to to explain this turn of events is somewhat farfetched, but ill do my best to help you readers understand it. Rick and Morty takes place in a multiverse. In each individual universe, there is a different Rick and Morty, and in some cases, a different Beth, Jerry, and Summer. This episode tips the theory that each individual episode, episode cluster, or even season may take place in a different universe in the Rick and Morty multiverse. However, knowing Dan and Justin, the twist could just be for laughs, and be completely forgotten about in the overarching narrative of the show.

Evidently, while this episode did not surpass its predecessor, that doesn’t matter to me. I connected with episode 3 of this season on a personal level. Therefore, I have unintentionally formed a bias; somewhat harming my critical perspective of the show. However, my reviewer’s eye is not even close to being destroyed in any capacity. I still found this episode to be well written, laugh out loud funny, and even disturbing. If an episode can pull off all three of those seemingly contradictory things with complete ease, it is truly a masterpiece.