Warning! The following contains spoilers for Hulu's original series Solar Opposites. Read at your own risk!
As Rick and Morty fans await the next episode with bated breath, some should be aware that there's an entire season of Justin Roiland's Solar Opposites just waiting to be streamed on Hulu. The series is all the comedy and wackiness viewers have come to expect from Roiland and, in my opinion, even manages to be better than Rick and Morty in some ways.
To be abundantly clear, I believe both shows are fantastic and a perfect complement to each other. Solar Opposites doesn't try to be Rick and Morty, and that's part of what makes it so great. For anyone looking to get into the series, there are some light spoilers below, but only enough to get the point across. In short, don't feel like reading this will sour your experience of the series in the slightest, but be warned if you'd rather go into the series totally unspoiled.
The Leads Aren't All Powerful Characters
When Solar Opposites first introduced Korvo, I assumed he'd be the equivalent of Rick Sanchez. A genius that, while he does have some moments of growth, very rarely lets anyone or anything get the drop on him. That couldn't be further from the truth here, as the alien family in this series is simply a gang of aliens trying to adapt, escape, and conquer human life while seemingly failing at all of the above.
Removing a "Rick" from the equation gives a different vibe to this Justin Roiland project, and removes a bit of predictability. Korvo and Terry's plans are about a coin flip at best in regards to whether or not they'll work, and Yumyulack and Jesse have about the same odds. Occasionally they can outsmart or out-science the humans they live among, but other times they're more clueless and made to look like fools. It's a mix I like, and a formula I'd love to see played with more going forward.
Earth Is Used Much More To Great Effect
When Rick and Morty wants to get weird, more often than not it's happening on Earth. With good reason, of course, as the two had to leave one alternate Earth behind already. If they're looking to do a Rick and Morty adventure, it's in their best interest to keep all that mess as far away from their home as possible.
In Solar Opposites, the endgame for the aliens is to have their Pupa consume the planet and terraform a new home world, so they don't give a shit about Earth. This more or less allows them to unleash whatever they want on the world without too much fear, though they do try to stop things that could be traced back to them. Personally, I like more stories being tied to Earth, mainly because the show can draw upon a lot more referential humor.
Solar Opposites Has The Superior Opening Sequence
Whether you prefer Solar Opposites, Rick and Morty, or like them both equally, one thing can't be denied. Both shows are better due to Justin Roiland's improv and rambling humor, which can make for the most bizarre references or random statements. Both shows go to that well often, but Solar Opposites has found a way to highlight it in a very Simpsons-esque way.
Towards the end of Solar Opposites' opening Korvo launches into a tirade of what he hates about life on Earth. Each one is entirely unique, and often some wild rant that takes an unexpected direction. It's the equivalent of a Simpsons couch gag, and a great way to kick off an episode when compared to the rather quick intro Rick and Morty does.
A Sub Plot Almost Worthy Of Its Own Series
Early on in the series, it's revealed that Yumyulack is shrinking down humans who annoy him and placing them in an elaborate storage container. As the series continues, we learn what life is like for the people living inside this enclosure, and the society they've fashioned having been forced to survive on what scraps and candy they're sent from Jesse every day.
It starts off as a fun bit, but continually becomes a story in and of itself as Solar Opposites continues on. This all builds to a standalone episode towards the end of Season 1 that, in my book, is almost good enough to warrant this premise getting a spinoff on its own. For now though, I enjoy it as a way of breaking up the hijinx of Korvo and clan, and allowing the show to jump between two very different genres organically.
I'm aware that Rick and Morty does release uncensored episodes, but because I'm a fan who usually watches premiere night on Adult Swim, I'm conditioned to the censorship. In fact, I've come to believe that swearing in shows is almost funnier with the bleeps, though I've reversed that statement now that I've watched Solar Opposites.
There's something poetic about the way Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan (who is working on Star Trek: Lower Decks as well currently) work cuss words into conversations. Right now, they've got the market cornered on obscene comedy that, despite its over the top nature, feels like it stays just above the line of coming off as cringey. The jokes land a lot harder when one doesn't have to do that brain processing to work around what was bleeped out, and it has inspired me to check out Rick and Morty uncensored to see if I still feel that way.
All Episodes At Once
It feels like a low blow to even mention, but man, I can't express what a joy it was to binge Solar Opposites from start to finish. Sure, it went by really fast, but after waiting literal years between seasons of Rick and Morty and even a solid stretch of time between this latest midseason hiatus, it was great to be able to scratch the itch for more Solar Opposites until it was over.
It should be noted that this isn't the typical Hulu model for originals, and given Solar Opposite's success on the platform, things may change in Season 2. If that's the case, here's hoping they at least have all the episodes of a season ready before premiering, because having to wait for more of Justin Roiland's comedy is something I've endured for too long.
Solar Opposites (opens in new tab) is currently available to stream on Hulu. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series, and for the latest news happening in television and movies.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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