Rick and Morty is Adult Swim's stab at making a narrative-driven, grown-up cartoon — if that grown up was a raging, eccentric alcoholic. From the minds of Community creator Dan Harmon and actor/writer Justin Roiland, Rick and Morty follows the relationship between scientist Rick — who also happens to be a drunk sociopath — and his hapless grandson Morty, who are sent on hair-raising journeys through space and time (Roiland voices both characters while Chris Parnell and Sarah Chalke play Morty's parents). Harmon, who just scored a second-season, explains why we should give Rick and Morty a shot.
TV Guide Magazine: I have time to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?
Dan Harmon: Because really good stuff tends to be made by people that have long since stopped caring what you think.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Harmon: The 15-year-old boy from 1987 that lives in all of us.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Harmon: You end up hearing from five of your friends that it's good over the next three years and start watching later.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for Rick and Morty.
Harmon: Doctor Who divided by Parenthood plus Willy Wonka times alcoholism.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Harmon: Someone just called it "the Breaking Bad of cartoons" on Reddit.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
Harmon: I think I once called it my "retirement plan."
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Harmon: Both. It's the Breaking Bad of cartoons and it's my retirement plan.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you prefer we forget?
Harmon: My only truly shameful work has been uncredited.
TV Guide Magazine: What are you still surprised Adult Swim let you get away with?
Harmon: Well, if you really look at Justin's art and start counting, you'll realize you're being exposed to more testicles per minute than in porn.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: Rick is to Morty as (blank) is to (blank).
Harmon: Rick is to Morty as a crocodile is to one of those little birds that pick the food from between its teeth.
TV Guide Magazine: With what show would you like to do a crossover episode?
Harmon: The old Transformers cartoon from when I was a kid. I guess Rick and Morty would end up divided between the Autobots and Decepticons. Like maybe in the beginning of the episode, Rick and Morty have a fight, so Morty's feeling very destructive and defiant and the Decepticons treat him with more respect than the Autobots, who have to team up with Rick in spite of how much he disgusts and intimidates them. But then Rick's attitude toward people would rub off on the Autobots and in the end Morty and the Decepticons would have to save Earth from them.
TV Guide Magazine: How will Rick and Morty change TV as we know it?
Harmon: I'm hoping it will re-glamorize drinking a little. I feel like TV's depiction of drinking has been gradually co-opted by people that can't hold their liquor.
Rick and Morty airs Mondays, 10:30/9:30c on Cartoon Network.