Do you like Rick and Morty? Well, there's more(ty) where that came from. Solar Opposites is a new animated comedy from two of the creators of Rick and Morty, and the two shows are definitely not opposites -- solar or otherwise.
Even if you've never seen Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites is worth a look for its sci-fi craziness, relentless gags and surreal shenanigans.
Created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, the new series premieres May 8 on Hulu. It follows the adventures of a family of aliens marooned in the suburbs following the destruction of their home planet, Schlorp. Grumpy Korvo and goofy Terry are the parents, with two kids fending off bullies (and teachers) at the local high school. A sluglike pupa is the baby of the family -- and could also spell doom for planet Earth.
The setup is pretty recognizable from a million suburban sitcoms about a family that puts the fun in dysfunctional. Indeed, Solar Opposites takes on comic situations like making friends at school, building a man cave, buying a Jet Ski, shrinking your enemies, going back in time, battling a murderous red goblin spat out from inside your alien body -- y'know, everyday stuff. Vaguely real-world problems almost immediately blast off into insanity as a combination of astoundingly advanced sci-fi technology and astoundingly advanced stupidity warp-drives each story toward a dizzyingly epic climax.
So yeah, it's not a million light years from Rick and Morty. Not only do surreal storylines spill out of the unintended consequences of technological overreach, but the animation style is also the same -- right down to the blobby eyes -- and the voices ring a bell too, as the grumpy lead character is once again brought to life by the freewheeling barking of Justin Roiland.
The show also shares Rick and Morty's obsession with TV, creating crazy fictional shows-within-the-show and winking at the fourth wall as the characters admit they're teeing up life lessons for each other or demand to be featured in a montage.
Oh, and there's a lot of blood.
Like, a lot. Just as in Rick and Morty, the cartoon red stuff gets splattered everywhere as Solar Opposites grotesquely murders secondary characters left and right -- and sometimes lead characters too. Both shows can get away with the innovative, excessive and frequently hilarious splatter because they're cartoons, but it's also part of a general philosophy to treat serious stuff flippantly while applying real thought to apparently frivolous nonsense. What starts off as a goofy bit often continues on unexpected tangents that turn out to be surprisingly and comically well thought out.
So an almost throwaway gag in the first episode is revealed to be a major and disturbing subplot that ends up taking over an entire episode. In fact, for a show about aliens throwing keggers, it's often mind-bendingly audacious.
If there's any difference between Solar Opposites and Rick and Morty, it's that the new show is probably less insane. While the stories do go to wacky places, Solar Opposites largely remains earthbound rather than spilling across the further reaches of the multiverse. The locations don't go as far, either, and neither do the philosophical questions raised. Underneath the sci-fi craziness, the emotional arc is about what it means to be a family. So it doesn't have quite the level of bleakness of Rick and Morty, which goes to some pretty dark philosophical places. All in all, Solar Opposites is probably the more accessible of the two shows.
While still being utterly crazy, obviously.