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As sad a realization as it is to consider, Rick and Morty Season 4 is almost complete, even though it seems like the long wait following Season 3 never really ended yet. Part of that feeling is tied to the fact that Season 4 was split in half, with a months-long hiatus separating the first five episodes from the bonkers second half of the season. At this point there's no telling when Season 5 will debut, but co-creator Justin Roiland has a bizarre idea for how to schedule Rick and Morty episodes in order to minimize giant gaps between episodes.
Justin Roiland is more than aware that tons of Rick and Morty fans imbibe on the show through streaming methods, and that not everyone is attuned to showing up for live airings on Sunday nights. However, his Season 5 idea is partially a way to inspire more people to get invested in communal viewing. Here's how he put it to SlashFilm:
I’ve been saying we should drop an episode each month, just make it a big event. I like the idea of thinking outside the box with how any show is delivered to the masses. If you do one a month, the show is alive the whole year and you’re still buying us all the time we need to make them as good as they need to be. I’m not saying that’s ever gonna happen, but I have brought that up in the past. That just goes to the point that I have no idea what the plan is for Season 5. I’m sure whatever it is will be the right decision.
How interesting and bizarre would it be if Adult Swim set up a specific date each month for a new Rick and Morty episode to debut? The idea obviously has some potentially negative attributes going for it, with the biggest one being that fans would no longer get to watch new Rick and Morty eps on a weekly basis. (At least outside of personal binges.) A lot of people depend on Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon's twisted points-of-view to keep them laughing from Sunday nights into Monday mornings, so having to wait three weeks between each episode might get kind of frustrating.
That said, Justin Roiland does make decent points about why the one-episode-a-month plan is a good idea. That rollout would keep Rick and Morty alive and well in everyone's minds throughout the entire year, and would feasibly make life a little easier on the creative and animation teams, and might allow for more topical references to come up. The writers wouldn't necessarily need to pump out excess ideas all in one swoop, and the anticipation between installments could very well drive more viewers to show up on Sunday nights.
Just think, that idea could potentially allow Rick and Morty to transcend the idea of seasonal releases by having a continuous stream of episodes flowing from year to year. Adult Swim's massive renewal order, which was meant to lessen wait times for Rick and Morty's fans, only dictated how many new episodes were confirmed, but without any arbitrary seasonal separations.
Following Season 4, Rick and Morty is still on the hook for 60 more episodes, which would equal out to five full years of monthly installments, as opposed to six more years of staggered half-season releases. Which route sounds better to everyone else? (Let us know in the poll below!)
Perhaps if Rick and Morty ever did shift to releasing episodes once a month, Adult Swim might be able to regularly give fans Blu-ray-worthy extras via YouTube and social media. By that, I mean more interviews with the creative team where we learn interesting facts about the gross-looking Plumbus, as well as more deleted and/or extended scenes, and possibly even more (presumably bloody) short-form videos that don't tie in with any particular episodes.
For example, check out the scene below, which I'd assume was cut from the recent mind-bending episode, "A Vat of Acid," which featured one of Rick and Morty's most meta pop culture references ever.
Rick and Morty airs Sunday nights on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. ET. Be sure to enjoy it while its still here, and also check out Justin Roiland's new animated sci-fi comedy Solar Opposites on Hulu. Bookmark our 2020 Summer TV schedule to take note of all the other new and returning shows heading to the small screen in the coming months.