Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: A family of aliens move to middle America, where they debate whether life is better there or on their home planet.
Review: From the co-creator of Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland and writer Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty/Star Trek: Lower Decks). That statement right there sets the bar pretty high for Hulu’s Solar Opposites, a series about a family of aliens that like Kal-El crash landed on Earth but unlike good old Supes they aren’t here to save the day. Yes, Solar Opposites main draw for me was based on my adoration and mild obsession with the critically praised Rick and Morty but what I expected wasn’t what I got. And strangely enough, that’s the best aspect of this frenetic show. Let me explain.
So, R&M fans know one of the main reasons the show is so beloved (besides all the sci-fi hijinks) is how it uses its “anything goes” and “all is possible” narrative to explore the complexities of human nature and society. That said, the humor found in the series can be quite subjective (then again, what humour isn’t) and the nihilistic views of its star Rick may not gel with everyone. But while Solar Opposites borrows heavily from Rick and Morty in a lot of ways (Korvo is a lot like Rick) the humour here is much more accessible to mainstream audiences.
The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, the cast of characters here are not just cookie-cutter replacements but are (for the most part) quite different from those of Rick and Morty. In the vein of all dysfunctional family comedies we have a couple and their two kids, or to be precise, their replicants. There’s Terry (Thomas Middleditch), one half of the adult alien couple who wears cheeky t-shirts (I can relate) and absolutely loves everything about Earth. There’s Yummyulack and Jessie, the replicants who basically act like all other middle schoolers except they have access to sci-fi gadgets that allow them to create all types of chaos (this is especially true of Yummy). And last but definitely not least is Korvo who like Rick is no lover of humanity (they’re also both voiced by the same person, Justin Roiland) and he’s constantly working towards getting them off the planet, but this is pretty much where the similarities end. Rick is a brilliant scientist. Korvo is a smarter than average alien who relies on existing alien tech to achieve his goals. Rick is a highly functioning addict. Korvo lives for rules and tends to fall victim to the teachings of his old planet and home world, Shlorp. And while Rick may go to great lengths to prove he doesn’t need his family, Korvo will go to great lengths to protect his, even when they drive him crazy.
So, while Rick and Morty may have laid the foundation for Solar Opposites, the latter stands strongly on its own as an insanely funny show with a fun cast of characters which also include what could be considered the family pet/baby but in actuality might just be the smartest and most empathic member of the group, the Pupa. A creature that’s meant to evolve and terraform Earth into Schlorp 2.0.
There’s also a B plot (or is it C?) that follow a group of humans who Yummyulack has shrunk down and made to live in a sort of ant-farm like colony in the wall of his bedroom. The Wall and its story of survival is so compelling it could actually be an entire series all its own.
So even if you’re not a fan of Rick and Morty but you do enjoy adult animated series, Solar Opposites is 100 per cent worth checking out. I must’ve rewatched seasons one and two (the third season was just released) at least a half a dozen times and it STILL makes me laugh out loud. The show may not be as cerebral as Rick and Morty but its fast-paced outlandish episodes, extremely likeable cast of characters and self-aware style of humour (they break the fourth wall constantly) is not meant to be taken seriously. Not to mention it’s a great juxtaposition to Rick and Morty’s pessimism and in a world full of negativity, an “Opposite” outlook might just be what the doctor ordered.
Score: 8 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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