JG Quintel is saying goodbye to his Emmy Award-winning Regular Show, but after six years and eight seasons, the creator of everybody's favorite slackers Mordecai and Rigby is ready to let go. The show which tells the story of park groundskeepers Mordecai, Rigby and their friends has been a staple at Cartoon Network, with the anthropomorphic blue jay and raccoon being seen on all kinds or merchandise and being promoted at big banner events such as New York Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con.
The announcement came through last week that this upcoming season, which starts tonight at 8 ET, will be the last and hit fans pretty hard, but talking to ComicBook.com about the series, Quintel revealed he feels like he's gotten to tell the stories he wanted the way he wanted and for this season, they will actually have sequential storytelling episodes.
"It's been a long run and with something like 264 episodes, we were getting to the point where were like 'we can't do that, already done that'. We've done so many stories and also I know for a fact that all television shows end. That's inevitable," he said. "The fact that we ran, along with Adventure Time at this point, as their longest-running show it was bound to happen sooner than later."
Talking about his relationship with Cartoon Network, Quintel mentioned that he always wanted a heads up from them if they were going to get canceled so they could wrap up accordingly, but that notice never came and the seasons kept coming. Quintel decided to end with this season so he could do it his way and is "really excited" for people to see it.
Looking back at this most recent season, Quintel and company put the park underneath a dome and the employees were more of science projects being observed, with being launched into space at the finale. He stated that he was just as surprised as fans were when he decided to go down this route, but he never had any original intentions to.
"I was so concentrated on working 'in the now', but as time goes on little ideas start popping in your head like let's send them to space, but that's dumb. Yet as things started moving forward and the way the movie turned out and how it was revealed that their future selves are already super cool space rangers. So they have this falling out and we realized that [going into space] was part of their story."
Wrapping up six years of stories wasn't the easiest thing to do, especially for Mordecai who having been involved with Margaret, a robin, and CJ, a humanoid cloud, was left confused and spent some time figuring things out. Quintel hints that not just Mordecai will have proper closure, but doesn't want to say too much about it.
"Mordecai, at this moment in the show is just bad at this kinda stuff. I don't feel like anybody really starts out really good at talking with girls. It's an awkward start, especially for him," Quintel said. "The episodes towards the end where Margaret came back he really messed up and made some poor decisions. I know it was painful to watch, but I think that meant that it was a little too real."
"We'll see what happens with him in season 8. We're going to see a lot of things with a lot of characters have things wrapped up," he said.
Taking these characters into space is a far departure from the rest of the surreal nature of the show that despite its main stars being animals and mythical creatures, there remained a universal story of friendship, even though the setting never changed. With putting this cast into space changes the rules and Quintel talked about how he feared he had jumped the shark early on.
"Yeah, we were concerned about that, especially when it came to early on with this idea floating around the writer's room. I kept thinking though that we can do this and actually make it kinda cool. It will be hard as other shows might have gone done a different plan and just reboot it in space, but this is the same show. It's all part of the canon of what we've been doing for the past few years." Quintel, feeling confident in his work, suggested it will be anything but regular. "I think we pulled it off and it's going to be very deep as people watch it as it goes on. It won't be a typical space...thing."
Looking back at what Regular Show accomplished including Emmy and Annie nominations and wins, Quintel says he never saw the show blowing up as big as it did and only thought it would run for maybe "two or three" seasons. Afterward, he could catch a break and move on. Eight seasons later, that break never came and the show only got bigger and bigger, becoming a merchandising machine with video games, clothes, and even Halloween costume. Quintel mentioned this one time he saw a Skip costume in a place he never thought was possible.
"Every year the White House holds a Halloween party so there's this picture of the President and behind him is a kid in a Skips costume. I never, ever thought that would happen, or people getting tattoos. That still blows my mind."
Going over the 250-plus episodes of the show, Quintel doesn't have a definite favorite episode but lists "Eggcellent" (which won the Emmy for Best Animated Short) and "The Power" as two that he's most proud of, including the Halloween and Christmas specials.
"It's just really hard to choose as I'm talking to you right now there's a list right next to me of all of the episodes we've ever done and I can't believe we made all of those."
When talking about the longevity of the show, Quintel described it as something that everybody can relate to with friendship and relationships. He says that Mordecai and Rigby are just a "classic pair" and were fun to watch if they were going to be getting long and was "so different" than other shows. He mentioned that he strived to push things as far as animation could go within their budget.0comments
Quintel started working for Cartoon Network working on their popular Misadventures of Flapjack, but after six years of Regular Show, the creator talks about what's next in his career and unsurprising given his body of work, he wants to stay with animation.
"I definitely want to keep making television shows. Right now, Regular Show is still taking up a lot of my time, but after that, I want to make another TV show. I've always been a fan of telling shorter stories, maybe even in prime time, so hopefully that'll be the next thing for me."