James McGlade spoke to Pegbar chairman Adam Kavanagh about their recent marathon screening of instant animated cult classic Rick and Morty in the Grand Social.
Following the embryos outlined by co-creator Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty adopted a noticeably looser feel for the episode entitled ‘Rixty Minutes’. Voicing both protagonists, his creative partner Justin Roiland lends his improvisational mitts to a plethora of ridiculous television formats from alternate realities, including an advert by ‘Ants In My Eyes Johnson’ and a buddy cop show which follows the adventures of Detective Baby Legs.
It’s strange to hear the voice actors burst into laughter at how ludicrous their made-up movie trailers get. A good kind of strange. The rough structure has been so well-received that it’s set to become the show’s very own ‘Treehouse of Horror’, a fixture in every season.
It could be said that this is a slightly narcissistic exercise by Roiland and Harmon but it’s one that works thematically and adds to the cohesive quality of the show.
While Rick and Morty sit, enthralled at a reality where Tyrion Lannister is adjudged to be a freak because he’s not a dwarf, the rest of the family are elsewhere.
Morty’s parents, Jerry and Beth, and his sister, Summer, decide to look at parallel timelines after catching a glimpse of an Oscar-winning version of Jerry on the newly-upgraded TV.
Rick advises against it but curiosity gets the better of them and they soon realise that their dreams would have been achieved had Beth decided to have an abortion when she was pregnant with Summer rather than starting a family.
One of the traits that makes Rick and Morty stick out from other animated shows is its continuity. It appears as though the story arc has been put aside for this outing until it catches you cold with two emotional haymakers.
The first sees Morty console a frustrated and angry Summer by referring to a previous escapade, assuring her that she wasn’t the only one facing tough questions about her existence.
The second is a beautifully concise outpouring from Hollywood Jerry to human surgeon Beth, in which he confesses how much he hates his life and thinks about what might have been. It’s an incredible sweet scene that causes viewers to well up. Quite a feat for something that originates from a pornographic parody of Back to the Future.
After their marathon screening of the show in the Grand Social, Pegbar chairman Adam Kavanagh gave his view on why the show is so popular.
“The characters are so out there but still strangely relatable as is the world they live in,” he said. “The show is also somewhat nostalgic, like the “zany” shows we group on as kids but for adults. Adult animated TV shows are becoming more and more popular as the ‘Just for kids’ label on animation fades.
“But with older audiences comes higher expectations which means a show really has to get it right to become popular and stand out, Rick and Morty certainly gets it right.”
Pegbar are an animation social networking event organisation based in Dublin. They organise talks and events solely around animation and the animation industry.
“Our intent is to inspire and innovate animation artists by organising events involving industry professionals in order for them to share their experiences and knowledge with our audiences,” Adam explains.
“The big change we are making is one to broaden our audience.
“At the moment we host events dedicated to animation professionals and animation students, of course we will continue to do this but we would also like to bring some of our events to a broader audience and events like the Rick and Morty screening is how we plan on doing this.”
The event certainly received plenty of attention online with over one thousand people saying they would attend. Those in attendance watched the first six episodes before a break too place at around 9:30 to conduct a raffle.
Among the prizes were vouchers for Skin City Tattoo Parlour and Eager Beaver as well as the first series on DVD. After the prizes were doled out the remaining five episodes were screened.
It’s feasible to imagine that fans would have been willing to part with an entry fee but, rather than charging 25 shmeckels at the door, Pegbar allowed people to come to the event for free.
“We are non profit, we’re not doing this to make a few shillings, any money we make goes back into the next event,” says Adam.
“We do this because we love animation and we love people who love animation.” Pretty sound.
Pegbar are no strangers to hosting events.
“We have hosted more events than we can count in the past few years, all of which relate to animation in one form or another,” Adam explains.
“Our main focus being the animation industry itself and inviting established animation professionals from all over the word to talk at our networking events. Our networking events usually happen two or three times a year in the Science Gallery Dublin.”
However, the Rick and Morty screening was their first screening event.
After its positive reception and good turnout, we can expect other events like it to follow every two months. Bob’s Burgers, Archer or Over the Garden Wall are other animated shows Pegbar would love to screen.
It was a great night. If you want to get riggity riggity wrecked at future events then make sure that you keep up to date with Pegbar and ‘like’ their page on Facebook by clicking here.
This article originally appeared on Campus.ie