Rick and Morty Does Not Suck
I was surfing the internet today and came across this Wendy's Commercial:
I read the comments section and was stunned to see things like "Rick and Morty Sold Out" and "Rick and Morty Suck."
- First of all, Rick and Morty did not sell out, they are cartoon characters. You could argue that Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon sold out, but I would simply argue this, Wendy's is helping to pay for Rick and Morty's unprecidented 7 season renewal.
Adult Swim has had lots of great cartoons and live action series. What sets Rick and Morty apart from the rest of their animated peers is that the show moves MOUNTAINS of merchandise. There are Rick and Morty SECTIONS of swag at your local mall. You remember that Sealab 2021 Pringles Super Bowl Commercial? No, it was Rick and Morty. Even if Adult Swim runs on a slightly different business model than other cable networks (more streaming revenues), it still has a business model and I'm convinced that the commercial side of Rick and Morty helps keep Adult Swim afloat.
Do I own any Rick and Morty merch? Of course I do, I am a chump.
- Rick and Morty does not suck. I read dozens of bad reviews and, almost without fail, the reviewer is in their early 20's. "Season 4 isn't as good as the others." "Season 4 jumped the shark." "Bring back old Rick and Morty."
He's the problem. The first Rick and Morty was 7 years ago. I'm an old dude, so to me, the first season was a little uneven, but since then the series has been comedy magic. I was 43 years old when the first episode came out and I could possibly pass as Dan Harmon's less talented cousin. For very few things in my life I have said "wow, what was I thinking at 43?"
A lot of Rick and Morty fans fell in love with the show as Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers. Now, many of those same fans are simply different people. Do you still like the things you liked in Middle School?
But that line of thinking reveals a much different issue. Why is it so hard to create, and sustain, good television today?
The Addams Family cranked out 64 episodes in 2 years.
Gilligan's Island had nearly 100 episodes in just under 3 years.
Heck, before the Simpsons, it was the Flintstones that was the Gold Standard of network animation. The producers of the Flintstones churned out 166 episodes in 6 years. Now, granted, when the Great Gazoo showed up, the Flinstones took a creative downturn, but what was that, like episode #150?
Every "good" show today whines about how hard it is create content. Remember when the Sopranos set the patience bar by waiting 2 years before their last season, then they stretched that last season out across over a years time? Game of Thrones' 73rd episode was 8 years after their first. But in their defense, it was costing $10 million dollars an episode to produce by the end of their run. I KNOW Rick and Morty isn't costing $10 million an episode.
Rick and Morty will have 41 total episodes when it hits its 7 year anniversary, making their creators a little more prolific than the creator of Wallace and Grommit, but less prolific than nearly every other successful television series that has ever been created.
I don't think Adult Swim realizes that some of Rick and Morty's fans are "aging out." That will become more of a problem if Adult Swim doesn't tighten up their production schedule.