Solar Opposites Season 1 Review: Star PUPA
Hulu gets in on the Rick and Morty action with Solar Opposites, a new series from the brains behind the smash-hit Adult Swim series. But are these dysfunctional alien antics only for loyal R&M fans, or is there something here for everyone ranging from replicant to pupa?
We jump right into one of alien Korvo’s master plans: he’s building a giant earth drill so he can harvest the nickel needed to repair his broke down spaceship. Oh, and he’s getting ogled by a thirsty neighbor while he tinkers.
Korvo (Justin Roiland) and Terry (Thomas Middleditch) voice a mismatched, quasi-couple of aliens that fled their exploding planet with a pair of replicants (Sean Giambrone’s Yumyulack, Mary Mack’s Jesse) and a cuddly pupa in tow. They crashed on Earth, an overpopulated garbage planet that Korvo detests and Terry has grown to kinda like—after all, Earth has Price Is Right and Frasier!
The first episode splits the cast up for two plots: Korvo and Terry use their alien tech to create a fur and blood simulacrum of a kids’ show character Funbucket (not to be confused with Fuzzbucket), while Yumyulack and Jesse deal with a hellacious bully that they, uh, shrank down to action figure size.
Solar Opposites comes from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland and writer Mike McMahan and you can tell the shows are related right from the jump. But if Rick and Morty is a cartoon packed with existential dread that asks the big questions, Solar Opposites seems to be Roiland and McMahan’s opportunity to just cut loose and tell some damn jokes.
Never is that more evident than in the pilot; instead of killing time with backstory on the planet Shlorp, Solar Opposites drops you in the deep end and fills in the gaps with stray jokes along the way. Like, it comes as a complete surprise when Terry and Korvo start gooblering (no spoilers) because we didn’t spend an episode—or, Shlorp help me, a whole season—getting into the nitty gritty of their species. Why waste time with setup if the whole point of the show is to be stupid funny? And Solar Opposites is stupid funny. The script is as packed with jokes as Earth is with people, and you’d have to be an IRL alien to not find at least one thing to laugh at in this episode.
It also helps that the lead quartet are all characters you leave the pilot wanting to spend time with, a commendable feat considering that they’re aliens enacting a hostile, albeit very gradual, takeover of Earth. Of course, the writers make it easy to like these aliens because all the human in the show are absolutely terrible. Everyone from parents to teachers and even newscasters are downright nasty, so much so that it makes you root for the away team!
The episode ends with our quirky quasi-family, one with two father figures BTW, eating KFC and revealing their grand mission. Semi-spoiler alert: the pupa is more than a cute critter.
In a just world, the pupa would get just as much meme attention in 2020 as Baby Yoda did last year. The pupa is cute, the pupa is cuddly, and the pupa just might led to the complete destruction of humanity. But did I mention the pupa is cute?
The way Solar Opposites works in vital exposition into stupid jokes is masterful, like this Korvo line in the opening: “Oh, oh, is the dog park more important than mining nickel alloys so we can repair our spaceship?”
All in all Solar Opposites is weird enough in its own unique way to separate it from all the other animated comedies out there, and its anarchic vibe might be just the ridiculous distraction you’re looking for right now. It's not as smart as Rick and Morty but it finds itself to be more funny and that makes the whole show worth wild!