Way back when in 2013, Dan Harmon was still fighting tooth and nail to find the right avenue to finish his #6SeasonsandaMovie baby Community. His name was hot. His show was hilarious and weird, no matter how well the ratings were doing. So Cartoon Networks’ Adult Swim block offered him a Sunday-night comedy cartoon slot. Harmon recruited then relatively unknown cartoonist Justin Roiland and schlippity-schlop, gloobity-glop: Rick & Morty was born in a test tube of Apathetic-to-Mildly-Annoyed Scientist glee! Similar to Abed on Community, Harmon imbued lead character Rick Sanchez with the knowledge he was on a cartoon and the 4th wall jokes fired at us at a rapid pace. By the summer of ’14, all the kids were screaming, “Pluto is a fucking planet!” and looking forward to Rick and Morty forever a hundred times!
Then two years later, we finally got season two. And it was…okay. Episodes that brought us Mr. Poopy Butthole & Tiny Rick were immediate classics. But they were weighed against episodes in which the “Summer stuck in the car” B story was so much funnier than the Colbert guesting main story that I only need a 2-minute YouTube summary for the replay worth of that one. So when season three finally premiered last April Fool’s Day alongside Harmon’s teases of a 14-episode season for a change, I was interested if not confident. If I had the will to sustain interest in a show and its’ characters over 2.5-year-long hiatuses, then I guess I’d still care about The Venture Bros, right?
And if season two’s overall essence could be summarized as mediocre or adequate, then season three in hindsight was “meh” or “blerg,” at best. We suffered through a Gerry/Rick episode, two anthology episodes, a Beth episode that felt like filler, and an overall lower percent of funny this time around. And furthermore, Harmon let that rumor of 14 episodes linger right up until the season finale dropped last week. Amidst his efforts to scrub the show’s fandom of toxic masculinity that has the angry little MRAs doxxing R & M’s newer female writers and the failing quality of the writing, I have to wonder if it’s even coming back for season four.
And so I gotta ask. Why, Rick? Why are we even doing this anymore? You forced the Mr. Poopy Butthole season closer joke… You let Beth start breaking the 4th wall… It’s clear your concept itself is funnier than the writers you put in place to keep the show as weird and shocking as it was once funny. Now just being dark for the sake of it without context is the S3 motif, I guess? Maybe you need to babysit your writing bullpen a bit better, Dan. ’Cause I show up for the Harmon meta humor, not the Roiland ball-lick jokes. A lot of us do.
In summary? Get your shit together, Rick & Morty. Get it all together. And put it in a backpack. All your shit. So it’s together. And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere. You know, take it to the shit store and sell it or put it in a shit museum. I don’t care what you do; you just gotta get it together.
Get. Your. Shit. Together.