Hulu’s “Solar Opposites”, which premiered yesterday, is not explicitly a “Rick and Morty” spinoff show, but it might as well be. The show follows a family of aliens who escaped their dying home planet with a Pupa (Sagan McMahan) that is meant to terraform an abandoned planet into a new home for them. Unfortunately, they crash-landed on an already overpopulated planet (Earth), and must learn to live with their human neighbors until Korvo (Justin Roiland), one of the adults in the family, can fix their space ship. Roiland, a co-creator of “Rick and Morty”, helms this show with “Rick and Morty” writer Mike McMahan, and it also has the same animation style of that show, so if you like “Rick and Morty”, you’ll be right at home watching “Solar Opposites.”
The alien family is made up of adults Korvo, who is obsessed with ship repair and chores, and the nonchalant slacker Terry (Thomas Middleditch), who is the Pupa expert of the group; as well as their replicants, or children, Jesse (Mary Mack), the only girl in the group, and Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone), her reckless brother.
The episodes clock in at around 20 minutes, and the show is structured very much like “Rick and Morty”, as each episode is centered around its own sci-fi misadventure on Earth. The only difference is that the alien family is very amoral when it comes to the humans they come into contact with, which allows them to pull off adventures Roiland couldn’t get away with normally.
“Solar Opposites”‘s alien family regularly kill humans, either for minor transgressions or through negligence. And when they try to solve an issue, they often make it ten times worse, resulting in massive casualties. The key difference between the characters in this show and “Rick and Morty” is that there are no characters who are the voice of moral reason; the family essentially does whatever they want with minimal consequences, which can be funny, but its four leads suffer because of it as it leaves them no room to grow and change.
The alien family is so removed from what happens to Earth and their neighbors that the only thing that can present some sort of stakes is when someone in the family comes into danger, or is about to be killed off. All the characters are entertaining enough, and I predict the Pupa will come out of this show as the most popular thing about it (it’s a child character that is like a cross between Stewie from “Family Guy” and Jack-Jack from “The Incredibles”), but they are unable to hold onto any real drama, and as a result, they often get overshadowed by the show’s B plot.
The B plot centers around a glass wall Jesse and Yumyulack have in their room in which they put shrunken humans into who crossed them. Some were just mean to them, but others are in there for no fault of their own (a waitress, for instance, gets put in there because a cook messed up their order). Society in the wall starts out very much like Mad Max, in which it’s everyone for themself, but eventually a society evolves, led by a dictator called The Duke (Alfred Molina), who hoards all the best resources for an elite ruling class, while giving everyone else barely enough to get by. The people start to revolt, led by a waiter-turned prophet named Tim (Andy Daily), who does everything he can to overthrow the Duke, and make society better. And it’s honestly the best part of the show.
“Solar Opposites” Season 1 is 8 entertaining, silly episodes of adult sci-fi comedy that come nowhere near close “Rick and Morty,” but they go by fast. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a Season 2 that elevates it to be one of the best adult animated comedies on the market, but I also would not be surprised if goes no further than where it is now, as a “Rick and Morty” curiosity. It’s very decent, but not great.
“Solar Opposites” Season 1 gets an 7.5/10