Dan Harmon has conflicting feelings about judging which episodes of “Rick and Morty” should be submitted for Emmy consideration. “I’m just going with kind of a gut about whether it feels like a worthwhile use of the money and time that goes into making 200 people do something and making a million people watch it,” explains Harmon in our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above). Ultimately, he and co-creator Justin Roiland, decided on submitting the eighth episode of the fourth season, “The Vat of Acid Episode.” Harmon goes on to say that if the show is being considered for an Emmy, that their submission should represent the best of what the show is on a creative level. “Even though the viewer might not know the story behind the episode’s process it feels like ‘the magical episode of the season.’”
“Rick and Morty” has been a massive hit for Adult Swim since the show’s premiere in late 2013. The animated program follows mad scientist, Rick Sanchez (voiced by Roiland), as he comes back into the life of the daughter he abandoned several decades ago. As Rick embarks on insane adventures through different galaxies and dimensions, he often brings along his dim-witted grandson, Morty (also Roiland) to assist with any grunt work that might need to be done. While the project was snubbed for the show’s first two seasons, the show managed to get nominated and win the Emmy for Best Animated Program in 2018 for the episode, “Pickle Rick.”
The show’s future is on a certain but unorthodox path. In 2018, Adult Swim announced that the show had been renewed for 70 episodes over an unspecified number of seasons. “It was simultaneously what we always dreamed would happen and in success and tenure, you manage to have this strange panic about the potential of panicking that sets in” says Harmon. He elaborates that behaviorally, this decision marks the difference in how Justin and he approach the show. It allows them to account for what they enjoy doing on the show rather than facing huge pressure to “carve a retirement plan out of the show by making it perfect.”
Harmon also acknowledged the surprising developments that we’ve seen in Morty’s sister, Summer (Spencer Grammer), as the show has gone on. “I remember making the case that if Morty is going to have a sister, since we don’t have a writing staff yet, let’s just make her a prototypical adolescent girl and make her a blank canvass.” This decision gave the character the greatest amount of potential in terms of what she could be as the show progressed. “Summer was given a unique opportunity to flourish. She provided an entirely different dynamic between her and Rick and she has the ability to get under Rick’s skin.”
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