Rick and Morty is a sci-fi/comedy series from co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland. After making its Cartoon Network debut in 2013, the series became an instant cult favorite with audiences, as well as a critical hit. The show focuses on the adventures of the universe's greatest scientist, Rick Sanchez, and his meek grandson Morty (both voiced by Roiland). Episodes usually consist of Rick dragging his reluctant family into perilous multi-dimensional adventures.
Rick and Morty has aired two successful seasons (21 episodes) on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. Season 3 was expected to air in 2016 before getting pushed back to a tentative 2017 release date. Rick and Morty fans have been anxiously waiting for updates on the show. Unfortunately, viewers will have to wait a bit longer. This past weekend, Harmon spoke up about Rick and Morty's status.
Speaking at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Harmon shared some reasons for the show's nebulous release date. Harmon shouldered the blame for the new season getting pushed back to 2017. After apologizing for the delay, Harmon stated:
"I don’t have a release date for Season 3. It’s not that I know it and I’m not allowed to say it; it’s [Adult Swim’s] domain. What I will tell you is it’s late because of us, it’s late because of me."
Harmon also spoke on behalf of series co-creator, Justin Roiland. Harmon added,
"If Justin were here he’d agree. He and I would go, ‘Yeah, we f#*!ed up,’ and it’s hard to put your finger on how we f#*!ed up. ‘Rick and Morty’ keeps taking longer and longer to write, and I don’t know why."
Rick and Morty's first two seasons didn't air on a traditional schedule. There was a 17-month gap between the end of season one and the start of season two. Rick and Morty hasn't aired a new episode since October 4, 2015, and season three lacks a concrete air date. Harmon admits to having fights with Roiland while working on season three; however, animation can have much longer production schedules than live-action, even under ideal circumstances. To further complicate the show's production, Rick and Morty is created with a technique called retroscripting. The process allows voice actors the freedom to adlib lines. However, the voice actors' on the fly dialogue creates additional work for Rick and Morty's animators.
Rick and Morty's hiatus is bittersweet. From a fan's standpoint, 18-months between seasons is a difficult wait. On the other hand, the extended production schedule means that Harmon and Roiland aren't content to quickly churn out mediocre episodes. Regarding popular culture, 2016 was one of the most unusual years in recent memory. One benefit of the show being off the air so long is that it will return armed with loads of ammunition for its brand of pop culture criticism.
Audiences are living in an era commonly referred to as "Peak TV." Between network television, cable channels, and on demand services, viewers are constantly faced with an overwhelming amount of high-quality options. As beloved as Rick and Morty is, there is a chance that when the show returns it will get left behind, in favor of newer and trendier series. Should the extended hiatus last too long, the series' topical subject matter could trail a step behind what's happening in pop culture, making its material dated.
Screen Rant will have more details on Rick & Morty season 3 as they are made available
Source: Dan Harmon [via IndieWire]