Rick & Morty co-creator Dan Harmon is strongly pushing back against the assumption that his show took a cheap shot at Game of Thrones. After Rick & Morty’s latest episode, ‘Rest and Ricklaxation’, a promo aired mockingly commemorating the death of Game of Thrones’ writing quality.
Game of Thrones just wrapped up its seventh season as the biggest show on television, smashing ratings records and dominating the cultural conversation on social media. Despite its ever growing success, the show has never been without its critics. Season 5 was widely derided as too often indulging in the show’s nihilistic impulses, and the recently wrapped season 7 was criticized for the show’s spotty internal logic and plot lines that often seemed like fan service.
And while Dan Harmon has never been shy about voicing an unpopular opinion, he’s clarifying this one was not his idea. In a post on Instagram, Harmon states the jab was made by Adult Swim, and it’s one he doesn’t agree with.
Harmon’s rejection of the joke is the third high-profile instance from the Rick & Morty crew, as both the show’s official Twitter account and co-creator Justin Roiland disavowed the gag almost immediately, though with decidedly less colorful language than Harmon, who became a notoriously caustic spokesman during his tenure on the dearly departed NBC sitcom, Community.
It’s not hard to see where the confusion would come from. Adult Swim has a long record of poking fun at pop culture behemoths, and Harmon’s history of publicly sharing his opinion is well documented (just ask Chevy Chase). The fact the ad aired immediately after Rick & Morty only added to the misunderstanding.
It’s refreshing to see Harmon as something approaching a cheerleader for a project he’s not involved in, especially one as culturally omnipresent as Game of Thrones. Harmon has room to be charitable: Rick & Morty’s third season is enjoying the best critical reviews it’s ever had, and it’s consistently one of Adult Swim’s biggest ratings champions. It’s a far cry from Harmon’s Community, which was seemingly always on the brink of cancellation.
Maybe it’s the grace that comes with success, or the tempering effect of aging, or maybe he just really likes zombie dragons. Whatever the reason, it’s nice to see Harmon standing up for a show he, and a significant portion of the television viewing world, loves so much, storytelling warts and all.
Rick & Morty’s third season is airing Sunday nights at 11:30 on Adult Swim.
Source: Dan Harmon
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