Dan Harmon, co-creator and showrunner of Rick and Morty, speaks to how he went about implementing change in the characters for season 5.
The season 5 premiere episode of Rick and Morty was just released and with a beloved show that has been on the air for a solid 5 years, comparing previous episodes or seasons is bound to happen. Fans are starting to ask questions as to what exactly the creators of the show strategically did in order to make this season distinct from the rest. Dan Harmon is no doubt the man with the answers since he is the producer, co-creator, writer, and even voice actor for the series.
Harmon has revealed how he maintains the illusion of time and age within the genre of animation. The showrunner mentioned that Rick and Morty season 5’s episodes are significantly less independent and are harder to watch as a standalone. Once you have been allotted a strong foundation and a loyal fan base, it becomes more challenging to not follow some version of a chronological timeline. The big task that Harmon had to take on with season 5 is how exactly do the creators implement change and growth in characters who are somewhat frozen in the present?
Harmon recently did an interview with Digital Spy where he brought up the ideology that visible aging is not the only way to communicate a transformation or maturation in a character. Elaborating, Harmon stated, “It’s really weird in animation because obviously, Morty has to be 14 forever. Summer is 17 forever. Rick is whatever he is forever. […] I’m firmly against that reset button hitting where there is no awareness of the present. I look at it as like smoking meat versus cooking. You kind of let the flavor of itself happen, and let that change things.”
In other words, the change in Rick and Morty itself is much more gradual than immediate, less forceful, and more natural. One thing that Harmon hinted at is that fans can expect Morty to push back more against his grandfather’s cryptic adventures. Morty is a 14-year-old teenager after all, so it was only a matter of time until his rebellious defiance would surface. Harmon stated, “Morty is getting sick of Rick’s crap. He should. We wouldn’t want to watch him wake up every day and go, ‘I wonder what my loving grandpa has planned for me?’” Rick isn’t one to put up with too much resistance, so Morty becoming less willing to go along with whatever plan he has conducted for the day could cause some tension in their relationship.
Meanwhile, it appears the relationship between Adult Swim and fans of Ricky and Morty couldn’t be better. On the day the fifth season premiered, the network celebrated what was known as “Rick and Morty Day,” an event that included allowing fans to create a version of themselves who would fit in the series through the use of a simulator called “Rick Yourself.”
All of this was to build the anticipation for Rick and Morty season 5, which appears to have an impressive slate of guest stars coming down the line. So, fans should have no problem with whatever changes might come to the series this year.
Rick and Morty season 5 airs on Sundays at 11:00 pm on Adult Swim.
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