‘Rick and Morty’s’ Dan Harmon, Scott Mader Trust Season 7’s Progress

idea rick and mortyThe resident super-genius cynic is introduced as the kind of edgy cynic who openly mocks people for going to therapy, The show’s new seventh season Rick Sanchez is starting to embrace the idea of ​​talking about his feelings on a large scale. Rick is still an asshole who copes with his most difficult feelings by drinking heavily and/or using super science to eliminate them.

While Rick strives to maintain some distance from his friends, foes, and loved ones, he also knows there’s a lot of baggage to unpack within this dynamic—best handled by professionals and those with a deep understanding of science . of interpersonal relationships.

picture recast rick and mortynominal cluethis season’s focus is on Rick getting serious about therapy, which feels like one of the more explicit ways to satisfy co-creator Justin Roiland and his firing. Adult Swim plans to keep the show going without him.Roiland is a key part of this rick and morty’s creation, but he did not do it alone, just like his shameful collaborator, Dan Harmon is also a central figure of High-profile sexual harassment scandals almost seems prepared to jeopardize his career.

rick and morty It’s not quite meta yet, unable to turn its co-creator’s behind-the-scenes troubles into part of its own text. But as Rick goes to therapy, you can see the show grappling with what it means to be famous and self-destructive for the sake of glory but also trying to be in a better place emotionally.

When I recently spoke with Harmon and executive producer Scott Mader, they explained that it’s not just about taking rick and morty In a new direction, they hope Season 7 will be about how the two of them — and the rest of the show’s creative team — work to develop a healthier relationship with work. All the reflective, introspective work we’ve seen Rick do this season, he told me, was inspired by Harmon starting therapy herself.Although this may seem like rick and mortyIt’s a big joke about people working on mental health, and Harmon insists that’s not the case.

except get rick and mortyaudience Two new leadswhat is your larger creative goal for this season from a storytelling perspective?

Scott Mader: I think we just wanted to keep the tradition of Season 6 and feel like it was a more confident, well-built season from top to bottom.We want to show people that this is almost like a template for what we plan to continue to do moving forward, adding in some of the little things that I think make up a great season rick and morty.

Is that really a priority for both of you in terms of how you want to… I guess “evolve” the series, because one of the most impressive things about the episodes that have dropped so far is how a lot of Like classics Rick and Morty They all feel it.

Dan Harmon: I don’t think we have time to have these conversations because, behind the scenes, the show has been adjusting and dealing with an unexpected upheaval. Scott appeared on the show at the end of season four. Hired to start running things for season five, the first sign that his therapist couldn’t handle it, he had to help us get through season four, and that’s not what he was hired to do, you know?

SM: Then Our line manufacturers [J. Michael Mendel] died. A lot of things happened like that.

DH: Yes, the pandemic, the death of our patriarch Mike Mendel, the WGA strike, the recent incident of replacing voices on the show. Before that, there were problems with the show itself. The show itself was a turmoil for the network before Scott came on board because we were always over budget and over schedule.

Going back to your question, I don’t think we ever — not even in our wildest dreams — had that clarity and solidity between seasons six and seven of saying, “Let’s talk about our The tone.” The seventh season is about to begin. Since Scott came on board, we have been committed to creating a healthy work environment and producing a show that is both reliable, creative and productive in its attempts to transform a world where the underbelly is a reality, and the 10 episodes of this production can be followed Broadcast on a reasonably predictable schedule. We can make everyone involved in the production feel safe and happy so that we can continue to make the show and promote people from within without losing their chance at a Netflix series or Marvel.

SM: I feel like a lot of the success we’ve had is due to the fact that we have a staff that gets stronger every season. They’re so well-versed in the continuity we all strive for, and are such ardent fans themselves, that this selective joy keeps making its way into new seasons and new episodes.

Do you think Season 8 will be more obviously a product of these changes? rick and morty have Experienced?

DH: Season seven is just another brick in the road, and season eight is already written, and when it comes out, I think it’s going to be even more so.It’s going to feel like a return to form, kind of like, “We’re back, baby,” and hopefully Season 9 will feel like that, but, you know, even more so. But it’s going to be because it’s a gradual process, just trying to get us sailing again.

Dan, you have been very willing to go to therapy, reevaluate your relationship with work, and try to navigate the world differently. How has the personal process of moving into a healthier emotional space changed the way you create the world? You know, always had a nihilistic streak and a sick sense of humor?

DH: The funny thing is, when I started treatment, the scariest thing in the world was that I would get home from get off work at 5 p.m.; I would be miserable. Because it’s like saying, “We’re going to make the greatest movie ever made, but it has to be cast by all of us ostriches.” How do those two things sync up? How likely is it?

But it turns out that when you start working backwards from a goal like this, it starts to extend to your collaborators. You see, darkness, while still a storytelling tool and very important, still fills the human psyche, and that’s good.

How does your “good” state look and feel now after treatment?

DH: I can go home at 5pm and that requires trust, empowerment and acquiescence. I couldn’t stop on the show. I’m still the reason why the show doesn’t go as planned, but I’m no longer the reason why it actually stops when I finish the script or something like that.

Therapy taught me: Start with this simple step: Set your time. Because if you don’t, the city is going to suck the life out of you, and that’s going to cause you to get divorced, or you kill yourself, or you drink yourself to death, and the city is going to say, “Who’s the next workaholic? Put him there.” Bring it here.”

How do you protect against this?

DH: If you set boundaries for yourself, it actually starts to benefit the people around you because it means you have to trust them, you have to communicate with them, you have to accept their leadership. Scott is my boss, and at the end of the day, we rely on people like Heather Anne Campbell to sustain our darkness; she offers enough for everyone.

Dan, how much of that reality and your experience do you want to reflect in a character like Dr. Wong, and the emotional low point of Mr. Poop that we find at the beginning of the season?

DH: It’s like doing pantomime jokes originally in the 80s. We got it in the 70s; pantomime pissed us off, and then the 80s were full of hack jokes about pantomime and wanting to shoot them, like “everyone hates pantomime.”

But I was starting therapy in earnest at the time, so, just trying to be original, I wanted to portray therapy as valuable. At the end of “Pickle Rick,” it’s like, “Sure, let’s let Rick do his whole thing.” You expect and respect the edgelord’s monologue, but then let’s give her the last word. “Writing him from her point of view was an incredibly therapeutic experience for me because of course I had to play the role of a psychiatrist and call me out and not deny my bullshit. Just say, “Look, man, I think you need to come back. I want you to be happy. You pay me. You can pay me to make you happy. I’m not your mom. I’m not your tutor.” Member.” This was the agreement my therapist made with me.

In your opinion, did Dr. Wong and Rick reach the same agreement?

DH: I think an upcoming character like Rick is going to be fun and cool the more he takes it seriously and starts using it. I love that he goes to her to deal with his piss master issues and he still treats her like the huckster she is. He couldn’t cross the threshold of truly respecting her. But he acknowledges that treatment is a science over which he has no control.

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