Everybody loves Rick and Morty. We love it so much that we can only really complain about two things: how long it takes for them to pump out a new season, and how few episodes those seasons contain. We’re getting extra twitchy right now on account of there only being one more episode left in season 3, bringing it to 10 episodes in total. There were originally supposed to be 14 episodes, but that number was pared down due to delays and what show co-creator Dan Harmon cited as a bad case of perfectionism.
In a new in depth interview with Entertainment Weekly, Harmon explained what he meant by that and whether Rick and Morty season 4 would suffer the same fate.
“I mostly blame myself for doing 10 instead of 14. I’m still learning how to do the show efficiently while catering to the perfectionist in all of us. I would like to think I’ve learned enough from my mistakes in season 3 that we could definitely do 14 now, but then I have to say, “Yeah but you’re the guy who says we can do 14 who turned out to be wrong so we’re not listening to you now.” The nice healthy way to approach this is I want to prove it with the first 10 of season 4 — prove it to ourselves, to production, to the network — that it’s so easy that we’ll earn additional episodes. Because I never got this far [working on NBC’s] Community. I felt apart in season 3 of Community and got fired in season 4. Now I’m about to do season 4 of Rick and Morty and want to prove that I’ve grown.”
Harmon can be a notoriously difficult guy to work with and doesn’t hide that fact, which is why you get refreshingly honest answers like the one above or when he explained why he was fired from The Sarah Silverman Show. It’s also why many fans of Rick And Morty were convinced some kind of behind-the-scenes shenanigans were delaying the arrival of season 3. But according to Harmon, it’s just that perfectionism again, which is extra frustrating given he references the excellent season 2 episode “The Purge” as an example of when he relaxes and allows things to be less than perfect.
“My obsessiveness is an enemy that needs to be fought … And that ‘Purge’ episode is fun and great. I can feel it’s “good enough” quality. I think the audience would vote unanimously for the idea of 14 episodes instead of 10 on the condition that 4 of them would be [‘Purge Planet’ level] episodes.”
We’ll happily confirm that thought. While we’re big believers in quality over quantity, we agree: not every episode has to be a “Ricklantis Mixup” level masterpiece. Sometimes a pit stop to get windshield wiper fluid on a random planet that’s holding a purge is more than entertaining enough. That being said, it’s hard not to appreciate Harmon’s commitment to excellence, especially since he considers season 3’s upcoming finale to meet his perfectionist standards.
The final episode of Rick and Morty season 3 airs October 1st, and we can’t wait. We’ll be doing enough of that for season 4.