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Dan Harmon Warned Viewers That Character Development May Be The Worst Thing For Rick And Morty

As dedicated fans of the show are likely aware, "Rick and Morty" maintains a complicated relationship with its developing canon. On one hand, the majority of storylines throughout "Rick and Morty" stand on their own, typically calling back to past episodes with winking references rather than impactful connections. On the other hand, the "Rick and Morty" team is unafraid to revive certain story elements that may have remained entirely absent from seasons prior. For example, "Rick and Morty" Season 6 calls back to Season 4 in its first episode with the inclusion of a board game that was previously the focal point of a brief comedic bit.

Some fans, as a result, are vocal about their desire for more forward canonical momentum, in light of the series, rather, focusing predominately on telling self-contained stories. In fact, executive producer Scott Marder addressed fan backlash to how "Rick and Morty" treats its canon, promising more of an overarching story in Season 6 and beyond. Shortly after that, Dan Harmon spoke about his influence on "Rick and Morty" Season 6, revealing that the tendency for the series to shy away from long-term storytelling is largely the result of his decision-making.

On a similar note, Harmon shared in an interview published after Season 6's premiere that he thinks significant character development may not be in the best interest of "Rick and Morty" as it progresses.

According to Dan Harmon, Rick's changing dynamic with Morty may destroy the show

A little over a week after the "Rick and Morty" Season 6 premiere, Digital Spy interviewed Dan Harmon, who shared his thoughts on the show's present state and how he sees it changing in the future. During this conversation, Harmon spoke mostly about the show's predominately episodic structure, sharing that he finds serialized storytelling to be a byproduct of commerce, and self-contained storylines to be a greater challenge comparatively.

With that in mind, Harmon mentioned that Season 6 sees Rick (voiced by Justin Roiland) confronting some of his thornier characteristics and changing as a result. "Rick is a changed man, but he keeps changing, and he doesn't really want to," Harmon said. "We continue to take whacks at him. As we move forward, Morty becomes less and less just a punching bag or a foil, and is becoming more and more of a partner to Rick. Which may destroy the show."

Harmon, then, seems to think that excessive character development might derail what viewers enjoy about "Rick and Morty," which is unsurprising given his interest in episodic storytelling. That said, in an earlier Screen Rant interview, Harmon further credited his resistance to dramatic change to a general commitment-averse disposition.

How Rick and Morty (voiced by Roiland)'s dynamic weathers Rick's character development, then, may well be worth following as new episodes of "Rick and Morty" continue to air.