As Adult Swim’s animated darling Rick and Morty continues its third season on July 30, the creators of the series are thankful for a more diverse writers’ room that’s opened up new avenues for their sci-fi adventure storytelling. They credit the newfound diversity with making this upcoming season the best one yet, and it has a lot to do with having an equal number of male and female voices writing the show.
The simple product of their newfound gender-balance in the Rick and Morty writers’ room?
Fans get to see “cool stuff happen with Beth and Summer this season,” according to co-creator Dan Harmon.
In an interview published Thursday with The Daily Beast, Harmon and fellow co-creator Justin Roiland spoke about the value gender balance has brought to the writing for the show. They teased “a bunch of great couplings of characters we haven’t seen go on adventures together before,” which includes a Rick-Jerry brocation, more stories for Beth, and making Summer a much larger presence overall.
For the first time ever, Rick and Morty’s writers’ room has a gender balance of three males and three females. “I’ve always thought with writers’ rooms,” explained Harmon, “the hat trick is not oh, getting women into the writers’ room, it’s having it be gender-balanced.” With that dynamic, “nobody represents any gender because if nobody outnumbers anybody else, then nobody’s an ambassador to anything.” Equity allows everyone to objectively examine where the show was previously lacking.
Such areas included the oft-ignored or at least underutilized Beth and Summer. “I thought the results [of the balanced writers’ room] were really good,” Harmon explained, “because it meant that both the men and the women could increase their attention on Beth and Summer.”
Harmon also indirectly credits one of the “new writers” for the idea to give Beth and Jerry their much-needed divorce, a decision that empowers Beth and will also have a lasting impact in Season 3 and beyond:
“We had a lot of new writers in Season 3 that [had ideas] once we opened the hood on Beth and Jerry’s relationship by saying, “Let’s have them split up instead of continuing this running gag of their dysfunctional marriage.”
Sarah Chalke, the voice actress behind Beth, teased to Entertainment Weekly Thursday that as a result, her character is “going wild” this season, adding, “You’re gonna see more of what happened with her and Rick, you’ll dive into her childhood, and you see why she is the way she is and can’t fill this bottomless hole in herself.” Does that mean some flashbacks are in order?
Similarly, after taking on a more assertive role in the Season 3 premiere, Summer will continue to be a veritable badass in Episode 2:
Furthermore, as Harmon also teased to EW, “It’s safe to say that Summer has a story where her body image issues take a sci-fi turn.”
Hmm. We wonder what that could mean?
Expanded roles for the female characters on Rick and Morty are slated to make Season 3 the most balanced, thoughtful, and best one yet.
Rick and Morty Season 3 continues on Adult Swim Sunday, July 30 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.