Review by Sean Boelman
The highly-anticipated new show from the minds of Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty), the new Hulu original series Solar Opposites is obviously trying to capture the same magic of that cult favorite. And while the similar premises will result in inevitable comparison, there’s still plenty here to make this feel like a unique vision.
The series follows a family of aliens who are sent to Earth in order to colonize and determine whether or not it is a viable home for their species, only to find themselves increasingly attached to the ways of the planet’s human inhabitants. In a way, this relatively simple fish-out-of-water comedy works as a parody of the sitcom genre.
Something that Roiland’s fans will notice is that there is a much more optimistic undertone running through this series than his usual work. Of course, the dark tinge is still very much there in the humor, and the TV-MA rating allowed to the series by Hulu’s more adult-oriented platform allows Roiland and McMahan to run wild without censorship. Yet since the show follows a group of characters with a strong lust for life, it doesn’t feel as depressed.
There’s a lot going on in this series, and the short eight-episode season introduces a lot of threads that will hopefully continue to be explored. This series is definitely a bit more streamlined than Rick and Morty, which is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it feels like Roiland and McMahan have a lot more room to work here, but they also can’t run as free as usual.
The characters here also aren’t as compelling. The two core relationships at the center of the series — one a domestic partnership and the other a sibling bond — are generic and conventional. While this does tie into the sitcom parody aspect of the series to an extent, the characters aren’t exaggerated enough to compensate.
The voice actors in the series are as great as expected. Roiland and Thomas Middleditch provide the voices for the two lead characters, and they’re both pretty charming. It is the guest stars that steal the show here, though, especially the hilarious performances by Alfred Molina, Andy Daly, and Jason Mantzoukas.
Additionally, the visual world-building here is pretty awesome. Since the series is mostly confined to Earth, there isn’t as much in the way of outlandish character design or background work, but the show still does a very good job of immersing the viewer. There’s definitely an undeniable visual energy to the series.
Solar Opposites takes a few episodes to really find its rhythm, but once it does, it’s a very funny watch. Audiences may be celebrating the return of Rick and Morty right now, but it’s worth the time to take a break and binge this hilarious new series.
Solar Opposites debuts on Hulu on May 8. All eight episodes reviewed.