‘Solar Opposites’ – ‘Rick and Morty’ creators return with alien comedy
Fans of Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” will want to check out an animated offering from its creators that’s dropping on Hulu.
In “Solar Opposites,” a sci-fi comedy created by Justin Roiland and Mike Mahan that premieres Friday, May 8, we are introduced to four bickering aliens forced to relocate to Earth when their home planet is destroyed. But while Terry (voice of Thomas Middleditch) and Jesse (voice of Mary Mack) embrace the shallowness and crass consumerism of the culture, Korvo (Roiland) and Yumulack (Sean Giambrone) do not approve, seeing it as further evidence of human frailty and a civilization they consider inferior.
With them is the Pupa, an infantlike yellow creature that bears a vague resemblance to Maggie Simpson, but is actually a living supercomputer that will one day grow into its fully realized form and consume the Solar Opposites – and, eventually, everything on Earth. It’s a character that McMahan based on his experiences as a parent of two small children.
“Having a kid is equal parts full of love for them and being terrified of them at all times,” he explains. “And walking into a room and finding them holding something they shouldn’t be holding, like, ‘No! Drop that! Drop that!’ And so, the Pupa was specifically designed to be this thing that stands out that’s like bright yellow amongst these kind of green and blue aliens.”
“We say right at the beginning,” he continues, “the Pupa will one day evolve into its true form and consume the Solar Opposites family and all of Earth and transform it into the image of the home world where they came from. So, the aliens never know when that’s going to happen and that’s my feeling with having kids: You never know when they’re going to grow up and leave you, or when they’ll suddenly be into football when you’re into baseball. There’s this anxiety but also love at all times, so the Pupa embodies that.”
Inspired by a doodle Roiland did years ago, the series bears the unmistakeable look of the two men’s previous animated work, with vibrant colors and plenty of sight gags, cartoon blood and profanity, including F-bombs. For McMahan, the most fun comes from writing the bickering between Korvo and Terry, who are in opposite camps regarding their new home.
“I like them being kind of a classic two-hander odd couple, that the comedy gets to come from them kind of bouncing off each other,” he says. “And oftentimes, the trick is that we like to write it, that they technically want the same thing but they just go about it in completely different ways, and that’s where the kind of friction comes from. Then it’s not always two people who disagree on what they want. Which, if they both want it — like one of them is uptight and the other is freewheeling — that’s really fun to write. And then the Pupa is fun to write, because mostly, the Pupa is like mime work. Funny alien mime work.”