If there's one thing Adult Swim's learned this week, it's that there are some lines you just can not cross without suffering the public's wrath. What sacrilege did the network commit? Was it a joke about people with cancer? Was is a joke mocking a dead celebrity? Or was it some joke about a recent national tragedy? Oh no, my friends…it was something far, far worse.
Adult Swim dared to be funny to let people know that they didn't like the writing on Game of Thrones this season.
Two things to keep in mind: (1) Adult Swim has a long and hysterically funny history/reputation for taking shots at a wide variety of topics across the pop culture landscape with their "bumper" ads between shows; and (2) putting aside "fan emotion" for a moment, once the dust settled on Season 7 there were a number of Thrones fans and television critics who called into question the show's use of "forced coincidences" and questionable timing to advance storylines that seemed to lean more towards high-quality "fan fiction" as opposed to a natural progression of what came before it.
That said, Game of Thrones has a rabidly faithful fan base that the show has to thank (and keep happy); one that helps Thrones remain the biggest show on television and around the world, smashing ratings records, and pretty much owning social media talk when it airs.
But while Adult Swim was most likely expecting some push-back, I'm not sure they were expecting it to come from their own backyard: Rick and Morty.
Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon took to Instagram to strongly push back against the idea that his show had anything to do with the joke that Adult Swim posted after Rick and Morty's latest episode, Rest and Ricklaxation; and to make viewers aware that he doesn't agree with their opinion:
The confusion over Rick and Morty being "in" on the joke is understandable when you consider the similarities in the show's and Adult Swim's respective senses of humor; and that the "bumper" ad appeared immediately after the episode aired.
While Harmon took the time to fully elaborate on his views of what he considered a "tragically tacky card," he wasn't the first to distance Rick and Morty from the joke as both the show's official Twitter account and co-creator Justin Roiland addressed the issue almost immediately:
Season 3 of Rick and Morty airs on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on Sundays at 11:30 p.m. EST.