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New Escapist Column! On “Rick and Morty” Embracing Exponentiation Over Escalation…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. The fifth season of Rick and Morty is currently airing, a the most recent episode has been greeted as a modern classic, so it seemed like a good time to take a look at what makes the show work.

Rick and Morty is a science-fiction comedy. Both comedy and science-fiction thrive off the dramatic principle of escalation, of extrapolating from one iteration of an idea to the next. What is so interesting about Rick and Morty is how the show adopts an exponential approach to that philosophy. The comedy and the stakes of Rick and Morty often derive from starting with a straightforward science-fiction concept and then doubling down on it repeatedly.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On Harley Quinn and Brand Conscious Self-Awareness…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine this evening. I don’t really have anything major to tie this one to, aside from the fact that I’ve been watching some television.

The DC Universe cartoon Harley Quinn is a fascinating piece of television. It’s immediately recognisable as belonging to a certain kind of adult-focused animation, shows like Rick and Morty or The Venture Bros. However, it’s rare to see this approach taken with an established brand, let alone an established brand tied to a blockbuster shared universe. After all, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law was hardly working with a smashing success and Deadpool didn’t emerge in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As such, it’s interesting to see a television show in which Diedrich Bader can reprise his role as the Caped Crusader from The Brave & The Bold, which also includes fans wearing “Release the Snyder Cut” t-shirts. You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.