Rick and Morty Co-Creator Says Season 5 Was ‘Weird’, Promises Season 6 Will Be ‘f*cking Amazing’

Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland doesn’t have a lot of love for the fifth season of the animated comedy. In an interview with IGN during San Diego Comic-Con, Roiland admitted he had mixed feelings about last year’s season, although there were extenuating circumstances.

“Season 5 was weird. We lost Mendel,” says Roiland, referring to production manager J. Michael Mendel, who died unexpectedly in 2019.

Continuing the adventures of the messy Rick and his perpetually traumatized grandson Morty, the show’s fifth season put the spotlight on Evil Morty and his plan. As always, it was a mix of high-concept sci-fi, intelligent writing, and seriously dark humor.

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But even if the season largely lived up to the standards of previous seasons, Roiland still has mixed feelings about the circumstances of the show’s production.

“It was hard. We were thrown for a loop. That was… yes. If I keep talking, I start crying,” says Roiland.

Now in its sixth season, with a September release confirmed earlier this week, Rick and Morty has become known for its chaotic energy, quotable lines and occasionally wild cultural moments. Originally a parody of some sort of Back to the Future, Rick and Morty has steadily evolved into its own vast multiverse with an ongoing storyline.

But as much as it’s grown, Roiland continues to favor Rick and Morty seasons one and two, which he credits to the “silly and fun that happened in the creative process.”

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When asked for his five favorite episodes, Roiland ticked them off in no particular order: Total Rickall, the one in which the family deals with memory parasites; Rixty Minutes, the first cable episode; Big Trouble in Little Sanchez or the one with Tiny Rick; The Ricks Must Be Crazy, guest star Stephen Colbert, and M. Night Shaym Aliens, in which Rick, Morty, and Jerry are trapped in an alien simulation.

Roiland remembers these episodes as similar to “Rubiks Cubes” that the team had to solve. He describes a scene in which he, co-creator Dan Harmon, and the rest of the team were exhaustedly gathered around a white board, arguing over every possibility — “little things” like if Jerry would lose his suit once the simulation was over.

Later seasons were a little more formalized, Roiland says, and less likely to roam wild. “We didn’t want to just rip everything up and throw it away and start over.”

The death of Mike Mendel, who previously worked on The Simpsons, The Critic, and Roilands Solar Opposites, was difficult and tragic for the Rick and Morty staff. Roiland wrote at the time“My friend, partner and executive producer Mike Mendel passed away. I am devastated. My heart breaks for his family. I don’t know what I’ll do without you by my side Mike. I am destroyed. “

I think we’re finally back in the rhythm of Rick and Morty, and I think season 6 is… I didn’t think season 5 was particularly bad, but season 6 is freaking awesome. It’s a really damn good season.

Looking ahead to Rick and Morty season 6, however, Roiland seems more optimistic.

“I would say it’s a bit more canonical,” he explains, though he says there will be a good point of entry episode as well. “It’s really rewarding for fans of the show who’ve watched up to this point… So, I think we’re finally back in the rhythm of Rick and Morty, and I think Season 6 is… I didn’t think Season 5 was particularly bad, but Season 6 is freaking awesome. It really is a damn good season.”

As for his relationship with co-creator Dan Harmon, whom he once compared to Rick, Roiland says, “It’s good.”

“I mean, look, we work very differently and I don’t like working. His philosophy is perfection,” says Roiland.

Roiland himself is busy as ever, working on Hulu’s Solar Opposites and continuing to run his own game studio currently developing High On Life – an ambitious first-person shooter. Meanwhile, Rick and Morty Season 6 is slated to release on Adult Swim on September 4th.

There’s a lot more coverage from San Diego Comic-Con that wrapped up last Sunday, including our list of SDCC winners and everything announced during the show.

Kat Bailey is Senior News Editor at IGN and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have a tip? DM her to @the_katbot.

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