Five seasons into its run—and with a sixth, of god knows how many more, set to debut this September—Rick And Morty is still going strong, powered by a continued commitment to science-fiction chaos, a loose (but cunningly deployed) approach to its own continuity, and the voice talents of co-creator Justin Roiland as both of its title characters.
IGN has a new(ish) interview with Roiland today, recorded while he was at Comic-Con earlier this month, in which he reflected on the show’s most recent season, describing it as “a weird one.” That’s largely due to a behind-the-scenes loss: The death of line producer J. Michael Mendel, an animation veteran who was a key part of the Rick And Morty creative team. “It was tough,” Roiland said during the interview. “We were thrown for a loop. That was... yeah. If I talk anymore, I’ll start crying.”
Roiland clarified that he “didn’t particularly think season 5" (which drew typically positive reviews and decent ratings for the series) “was bad,” but did note that he thinks Season 6 will be better (or, in his terms, “fucking amazing,” “a fucking quality season,” and that “I think we’re kind of finally back into the rhythm of Rick And Morty.”) He also described the new season as “more canonical,” which we presume means more serialized storytelling, an interesting choice for a show that’s always treated its own backstory as a tool to be picked up and put down at will, rather than a set of hard, fast rules.
Roiland also expressed, not for his first time, his preference for the show’s earlier outings; when asked to list his five favorite episodes of the series, every single pick (“Total Rickall,” “Rixty Minutes,” “Big Trouble In Little Sanchez,” “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” and “M. Night Shaym-Aliens”) comes from its first or second season, when, in Roiland’s words, the episodes were “Rubiks Cubes,” elaborate little puzzles for the show’s writers to solve.