Spoilers below for episodes from Hulu's Solar Opposites, so be warned!
For the Hulu animated comedy Solar Opposites, creators Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan distanced themselves from their other super-popular animated series, Rick and Morty, with a story about an alien family, their highly dangerous "pet," and an entire mini-ecosystem known as The Wall. Solar Opposites features tons of surreal and absurd humor throughout Season 1's eight episodes, and two particularly strange pop culture gags include an appearance from a near-perfect replica of Jerry's apartment in Seinfeld, as well as appearances from very imperfect replicas of Mickey Mouse, Paddington, Donald Duck and more.
CinemaBlend spoke with both Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan about the sci-fi excellence of Solar Opposites, and I had to ask about both the Seinfeld nod and the bizarre Disney shout-outs. Read on for their answers!
Where Solar Opposites' Seinfeld Reference Came From
Episode 7, which features the misdirect title of "Terry and Korvo Steal a Bear," takes place entirely within the micro-universe of The Wall, easily making it the standout of the season. (Check out what Roiland and McMahan told us about that episode.) As viewers can probably remember, one moment early on introduces the idea that those rebelling against The Duke formed their headquarters within a replica of Jerry's apartment in Seinfeld. Not only did that scene feature a winking knock on the iconic sitcom's polarizing finale, but we even later got to see a psuedo-Kramer join the fun (which seemingly proved that the replica had a working refrigerator).
Here's what Justin Roiland told me when I asked what the idea was being adding the recognizable Seinfeld setting to the dystopian Wall setting.
Just in case anyone thought that creative people always get their ideas from complicated and extremely deep places in the mind, sometimes it all comes down to what's pop culture memorabilia on a nearby shelf. It definitely helps if the thing that's being written also happens to contain a slew of miniaturized hubs in need of tiny furniture.
For Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, just about anything can be flipped on its comedic edge, be it the murderous intoxication of pubescent pheromones (See Episode 4, discussed below) or one of television's most recognizable living rooms. Here's what else the Solar Opposites bosses had to say about the Seinfeld bit.
To recap: the replica's scale being slightly off is a subtle joke based on a real-world observation told within a meta pop culture reference that is itself within a genre-reversing bottle episode of a relatively broad sci-fi comedy. And it all started with Justin Roiland spending a lot of money on a tiny room. That's just how it goes with a show like Solar Opposites.
Why Solar Opposites Referenced Mickey Mouse And Other Cartoons
Before the Seinfeld apartment made its glorious appearance, Solar Opposites featured a sub-plot in Episode 4, "The Booster Manifold," that centered on the Pupa's adventure outside the house during the family's Goobler conundrum. After visits to the dump and a sketchy ship, the Pupa found itself up for bidding as part of a "rare collector's academy" auction selling off real animals dressed as famed fictional characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, some of the 101 Dalmatians crew, Paddington and more.
When I asked about the Pupa being part of this bizarre plot point, which felt like a weird mix of Amazon knockoffs and Disney worship, here's what Mike McMahan told me:
I can't tell you why it's so damned funny that the adorable Paddington lookalike appears to be emotionally invested in having the Pupa around for the rest of that train ride and beyond, but it definitely earned a laugh from yours truly. As did Korvo's rage fit about blue ice cubes just before excreting that red Goobler, as well as the violent massacre later on. Man, I loved these two episodes, not to mention every other one.
Solar Opposites is currently available to stream in full on Hulu. Keep your fingers and tentacles crossed for Season 2 news coming soon, but in the meantime, our Summer 2020 TV schedule should help you find more awesome shows on the way.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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