‘Solar Opposites’ is zany, philosophical animated extravaganza

tv review on hulu animated series solar opposites
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Grade: 4.0/5.0

From “Rick and Morty” co-creator Justin Roiland, “Solar Opposites” is yet another futuristic sitcom that adds to the slew of recently successful animated comedies aimed at an adult audience. With similar animation and humor, “Solar Opposites” has the potential to be just as much of a success as “Rick and Morty,” but it isn’t quite there yet. With eight episodes available on Hulu, the show is extremely bingeable and delightful, begging the question of what the series still holds. 

After an asteroid hits their home planet of Shlorp, cynic Korvo and loveable optimist Terry escape with their “replicants” Yumyulack, Jesse and The Pupa. Once their spaceship lands on Earth, the show follows the aliens’ wacky adventures as they seek to understand and live among humans.

The show really shines in its displays of interpersonal relationships between the aliens, more specifically between the pairs of Terry and Korvo, and Yumyulack and Jesse. Both pairs feature a mean-spirited and cynical character with a more loveable sidekick, naturally inspiring hilarity in their differing views of how both themselves and humans as a whole behave. Terry, in particular, is amazed by the antics of humanity — fascinated with jet skis, college campuses and sleight of hand magic — often pushing Korvo to fret over Terry and the humans’ stupidity. By setting up these relationships so firmly, it is hard not to root for the loveable aliens, who initially despise humans but slowly warm up to their many quirks. 

Even though the show focuses on aliens, it does a great job of tackling uniquely human issues, such as gender roles, popularity and rampant anxiety over everyday life, often poking fun at the distinctive stupidity of humanity even in everyday life.  

The concept of aliens living on Earth seems far-fetched, but the show gets even wilder, continuously splicing the main plot with scenes from a survivalist conglomerate of humans. These humans reside in Jesse’s wall, held captive for mistreating her in some way during her time on Earth. While Jesse feeds them and treats them like hamsters, the society within the wall is soon taken over by a strict and oppressive dictatorship, quickly shifting the show’s tone to dystopian, yet still comedic, allowing for human relationships to be examined in yet another lens through our dependence on one another in a time of crisis. The contrast between the aliens’ complete disregard for human life and the humans’ willingness to do anything to escape the oppression of the wall and survive is rather dark, but it creates an opportunity for many comedic moments and shocking plot reveals, keeping the audience on its toes. 

As the two shows share a co-creator, it is impossible not to draw comparisons between “Solar Opposites” and “Rick and Morty,” especially because of the latter’s hype and success as a popular, yet creative animated show for adults. Both shows have the same animation style and sardonic humor, making them an excellent pair for those who already enjoy “Rick and Morty.” 

In contrast to its predecessor, however, “Solar Opposites” follows a much more linear plot structure, each episode taking place almost directly after the other and following the same central plot. In this sense, the setting simply isn’t as imaginative or zany as that of “Rick and Morty,” lacking parallel universes and explanations of life on multiple planets. Nevertheless, the plot is never dull, but rather constantly surprising with the characters’ antics, and ending on a jaw-dropping twist for both the subplot and main plot, making the possibility of a second season very enticing. 

But because it is significantly less mind-boggling, “Solar Opposites” may even have the chance to entice a larger audience, filling a wider spectrum of adults on Hulu and not just those in the nerdy niche that “Rick and Morty” caters to. With only eight episodes, it is hard to see whether the show will become more abstract as it unfolds or whether it will become more off-the-wall. Either way, the show has proven to be enticing and incredibly humorous, making it an enjoyable watch for all fans.

Contact Caitlin Keller at [email protected].