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The Real Reason Some Rick And Morty Fans Find Season 5 Off-Putting

While most shows have a hard time hitting things off the bat, it seems that Adult Swim's "Rick and Morty" was able to dodge that problem with flying colors. From the debut of "Rick and Morty" towards the end of 2013 on Adult Swim, the show's unique style of humor and sci-fi antics have earned it an almost instant place within our pop culture. And with every subsequent season, "Rick and Morty" has continued to entertain, scoring high with both critics and audiences alike and even being ranked amongst some of the best animated TV shows of all time from such outlets as Indiewire and Vanity Fair. However, things have taken a more polarizing stance recently. 

When Season 5 aired from June to September 2021, "Rick and Morty" brought about a new batch of cosmically kooky adventures. Unlike its more acclaimed predecessors, the season saw fans and critics split right down the middle. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds a 95% Tomatometer score from critics, while the general public was less fond, with a 55% audience-voted score. But how can that be? With such a strong, established formula and set of characters, Season 5 should have only gotten better — right? Well, as some fans see it, that's not how things played out. 

Fans were not impressed with this grab bag of a season

A Reddit thread created by u/crazykidsbite911 asked fans for their opinions on "Rick and Morty" Season 5, with the user feeling that the season's creative decisions felt out of place within the rest of the series. Others were quick to comment on their strong opinions regarding the show's fifth season, with many agreeing with the sentiment. Redditor u/samus12345 believed "the writers/creators ran out of good ideas and are mostly phoning it in now." Similarly, u/Sanchopanzoo felt that the season went too loose with its world-building, losing the clear line between the grounded and fantastical elements of the earlier seasons. 

Others were willing to give the season more leeway, such as u/RobbyTheRobit. The user, despite feeling that the episodes were more disjointed than usual, was aware that the pandemic likely made the writing team's process very different, as the show's writers usually shoot ideas off one another in a writer's room. Additionally, one of the show's most prominent producers, TV alumni Mike Mendel, passed away in 2019 and proved to be a crushing loss to the team. 

Justin Roiland, one of the show's co-creators, expressed in an interview with IGN that the fifth season of "Rick and Morty" was certainly not up to the normal standards set by the show previously. However, he promised the show's sixth season would be up to par with fans' expectations.