Debra Minoff and Susannah McCullough of Screenprism take a deep dive into the zeitgeist of Rick and Morty, specifically citing how the characters of the series constantly oscillate between the sincere sentimentality of modernism and the cynical nihilism of post-modernism. This specific fluctuation has all the components of meta-modernism as coined by authors, Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker.
It’s as if modernists say World War one was tough but we’re smart and we have awesome technology and innovation so we can make everything good. Postmodernists say we were wrong to think we could really change the world for the better. Let’s just play in the ruins because nothing means anything anyway these days. …Vermeulen and van den Akker call this new emerging way of thought meta modernism and they define it as an oscillation between the modern and the postmodern …what’s really fascinating is that this oscillation matches up very well with a key back and forth we find in ‘Rick and Morty’