Solar Opposites
Solaropposites.png
Logo
Genre
Created byJustin Roiland and Mike McMahan
Voices of
ComposerChris Westlake
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes29 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Justin Roiland
  • Mike McMahan
  • Josh Bycel
  • Anthony Chun (S2-present)
Producers
EditorLee Harting
Running time21–25 minutes
Production companies
DistributorDisney Platform Distribution
Release
Original networkHulu
Original releaseMay 8, 2020 (2020-05-08) –
present

Solar Opposites is an American science fiction animated sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan for Hulu.[2] Originally created for the Fox Broadcasting Company, the project was shelved before being bought by Hulu and given a two-season order consisting of 8 episodes each. The first season was released on May 8, 2020.[3] The second season was released on March 26, 2021 and a holiday special was released on November 22, 2021. In June 2020, the series was renewed for a third season consisting of 11 episodes that was released on July 13, 2022 and a Halloween special was released on October 3, 2022.[4][5] In June 2021, the series was renewed for a fourth season consisting of 12 episodes.[6] In October 2022, the series was renewed for a fifth season.[7]

Premise

Solar Opposites centers around Terry, Korvo, Jesse, and Yumyulack — a family of aliens who crash land on Earth and are forced to stay there, often disagreeing on whether this is a good thing. The family comes from Planet Shlorp, an advanced totalitarian world that sent out one hundred ships to colonize new planets shortly before its destruction. The show features parallel storylines, the most prominent of which follows a society of humans shrunk by the replicant Yumyulack and imprisoned in a terrarium known as "the Wall”.[8] Starting in the third season, another storyline follows a group of intergalactic corrupt police officers, known as the SilverCops, that routinely arrest and brutalize Shlorpians fleeing from the destruction of their homeworlds.

Cast

Main

Recurring

The Wall

SilverCops

Episodes

Main article: List of Solar Opposites episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
18May 8, 2020 (2020-05-08)
28March 26, 2021 (2021-03-26)
Christmas SpecialNovember 22, 2021 (2021-11-22)
311July 13, 2022 (2022-07-13)
Halloween SpecialOctober 3, 2022 (2022-10-03)

Production

Development

On August 28, 2018, it was announced that Hulu had given the production a series order for two seasons consisting of sixteen episodes. The series was created by Rick and Morty cocreator Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, who were also expected to serve as executive producers. Production companies involved with the series are slated to consist of 20th Television.[8][10][11] On June 18, 2020, Hulu renewed the series for a third season consisting of 11 episodes.[4] On June 22, 2021, Hulu renewed the series for a fourth season consisting of 12 episodes.[6] On October 6, 2022, Hulu renewed the series for a fifth season.[7]

Writing

The Wall in Yumyulack's room in which he keeps shrunken-down people as prisoners was, as Roiland has noted, one of the duo's initial ideas for the series, as they were interested in a "B-story" that lasted the entire first season.[12][13] Some of the animation is made with assistance from Film Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

Casting

Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Justin Roiland, Thomas Middleditch, Sean Giambrone, and Mary Mack would voice the lead characters in the series.[8][10][11] In September 2022, Tiffany Haddish, who voiced the recurring character of Aisha in the first three seasons of the series, confirmed she had lost "all [her] gigs" following allegations of child sexual abuse, implying that she would not return in future seasons as the character.[9]

Release

The first teaser for the series was released on March 25, 2020.[14] The official trailer was released on April 15, 2020.[15] On May 8, 2020, the first season was released. In January 2021, along with a second trailer, it was revealed that the second season would premiere on March 26, 2021, on Hulu.[16] Internationally, the series premiered on Disney+ under the dedicated streaming hub Star as an original series on February 23, 2021.[17][18] On June 18, 2020, ahead of the season two premiere, Hulu renewed the series for a third season consisting of 11 episodes,[4] which was released on July 13, 2022.[5] Executive Producer, Josh Bycel confirmed Season 4 has been written, although Hulu has not yet shared a release date, it will likely be revealed in early 2023.

Syndication

The series premiered on FXX on July 30, 2022.[19]

Other media

Music video

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateProd.
code
"WTF is Christmas? (A Solar Opposites Song ft. Darren Criss)"[20]UnknownTony FerrariNovember 11, 2021 (2021-11-11)TBA
Korvo tries to remember what Christmas is all about.

Video game

Solar Opposites were featured character players in the crossover racing game Warped Kart Racers, released to Apple Arcade on May 2022, along with characters from Family Guy, American Dad! and King of the Hill.[21]

Merchandise

On January 27, 2021, it was revealed at the 2021 Funko Fair that new figures based on the series would be made, which were released on June 25, 2021.[22] On November 17, 2021, Hulu launched an online storefront which featured merchandise based on select shows from its service, with Solar Opposites being one of them.[23][24]

On July 22, 2022, at San Diego Comic Con that a 192-page art titled "The Art of Solar Opposites" will be released in early 2023 for $49.99 and will be published by Dark Horse Books.

Reception

Audience viewership

According to Hulu, Solar Opposites was the most watched program and the most watched Hulu Original comedy show premiere on the platform, following its debut on May 8, 2020 to May 12, 2020.[25][26][27][28] According to Nielsen, Solar Opposites was the 10th most streamed original series across all platforms in the United States, during the week of March 22, to March 28, 2022,[29] and the 7th during the week March 29, 2021 to April 4, 2021.[30]

According to Whip Media's viewership tracking app TV Time, Solar Opposites was the 4th most anticipated returning television series of July 2022,[31] and the 7th most streamed original series across all platforms in the United States, during the week ending July 24, 2022.[32]

Critical response

Season 1

On Rotten Tomatoes the season 1 has an approval rating of 92% based on reviews from 37 critics, with an average rating of 7.60/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Charming, hilarious, and surprisingly sincere, Solar Opposites revels in the ridiculousness of life while finding a few fresh things to say about humanity along the way."[33] On Metacritic it has a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on reviews from 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[34]

Dan Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter praised the animation of the series, acclaimed the performances of the voice actors, and complimented the humor of the show, writing, "Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan's new Hulu animated comedy Solar Opposites has enough loopy sci-fi elements to appeal to Rick and Morty fans and a distinctly adult sensibility."[35] Alison Foreman of Mashable praised the dynamic and strong relationships between the different characters, drawing comparisons with other families coming from adult animated sitcoms such as The Simpsons while complimenting the humor of the show, calling it a "spectacular gem worthy of its own fanbase."[36] Joe Matar of Den of Geek rated the series 5 out of 5 stars, praised the show for its classic sitcom format, acclaimed the performances of the voice actors, and applauded the comicality, stating that despite the comparisons with Rick and Morty, the series manages to stand on its own.[37] Alex McLevy of The A.V. Club gave the show a B grade and called it "a mischievous cousin of 3rd Rock from the Sun" while saying it doesn't stray too far from the template Roiland set with Rick and Morty. McLevy feels the show is still finding its feet, but "Luckily, the humor is so reliably strong, the pacing so breakneck as it races from one plot to the next, that it's hard not to be won over by Solar Opposites' avalanche of charm."[38] Joyce Slaton of Common Sense Media rated Solar Opposites 3 out of 5 stars, writing, "Solar Opposites is an animated show by the brains behind Rick and Morty. It has the same style and vibe, including lots of edgy humor, cheerful gory violence, surreal visuals and plot twists, and wall-to-wall language."[39]

Season 2

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 100% based on reviews from 14 critics, with an average rating of 8.10/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Solar Opposites successfully shoots for the moon in an ambitious sophomore outing that manages to build on the first season while adding plenty of fun surprises."[40]

Jess Joho of Mashable found that the second season gives Solar Opposites its own identity, writing, "Roiland and other Ricky and Morty talent finally releasing themselves from the creative shackles of what works for that show, to find their own uniquely satisfying rhythm."[41] Joe Matar of Den of Geek rated the second season 5[42] out of 5 stars, found it to be a "bigger, crazier, and funnier" season compared to the first one, and gave praise for its cursed language, references to pop culture, and level of violence depicted across its episodes.[43] Davis Opie of Digital Spy rated the second season of the series 4 out of 5 stars, stating, "Everything that worked in season one is intensified here for the better," and claimed that Solar Opposites manages to be distinct from Rick and Morty across its humor and story lines, saying, "Solar Opposites is very much its own beast."[44] Ethan Anderson of SlashFilm gave the second season a grade of 8 out of 10, stated it brings back the humor of the first season with a dark storytelling, and claimed it manages to be "bigger, crazier, and even more confident" than the first season.[45]

Season 3

On Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has an approval rating of 100% based on reviews from 6 critics, with an average rating of 8/10.[46]

Lex Briscuso of SlashFilm called the third season of Solar Opposites "bright, bold, and, frankly, bananas in the best way," writing, "Solar Opposites has established itself as a spicy animated situational comedy that pulls from the best parts of its predecessor, Rick and Morty, yet doesn't get stuck looking for its place outside of the Adult Swim hit's shadow. The show is self-assured with a unique vibe and tone all its own, and that continues to shine in the third season. By leaning into the more human elements of what the series has to offer — both the base exploration of those concepts with the aliens and the desperate attempt at a reclamation from the wall people — season 3 of Solar Opposites reminds us that clever structure can give way to everything else you love about a story: clever writing, brash jokes, and pure cathartic connective tissue."[47] Anthony Orlando of BuzzFeed ranked Solar Opposites 10th in their "17 Shows And Characters That Absolutely, Positively Should Have Received Emmy Nominations," saying, "Sure, this show may not be as good as Rick and Morty, but Solar Opposites is very much its own comedic beast. Co-creator Justin Roiland and his team inject the same amount of hilarity and creativity into this alien-centric show as he did with the former series. Also, the side-adventures in The Wall should've garnered some nominations by themselves, as they made for an outstanding show within the show."[48]

Accolades

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2022 BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Streaming Series Awards Chris Westlake Won [49]

Notes

  1. ^ Known as 20th Century Fox Television for the first season.
  2. ^ The Pupa is voiced by Liam Cunningham in the Season 1 finale.

References

  1. ^ White, Peter (March 30, 2021). "Disney Launches 20th Television Animation, Promotes Veteran Exec Marci Proietto to Run New Unit Responsible for 'The Simpsons' & 'Family Guy'". Deadline.
  2. ^ Evershed, John (2020). Adult Animation Finally Breaking Free of its Comedy Shackles (PDF) (Report). High Concentrate, LLC in Squarespace. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  3. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 17, 2020). "Hulu Sets Premiere Dates For 'The Great', 'Ramy' And 'Solar Opposites' – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Solar Opposites/Crossing Swords renewed at Hulu". The Hollywood Reporter. June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Hulu Originals Summer 2022 Programming Slate". The Futon Critic. May 16, 2022.
  6. ^ a b White, Peter (June 22, 2021). "'Solar Opposites' Renewed For Season 4 At Hulu". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Rice, Lynette (October 6, 2022). "'Solar Opposites' Renewed For Fifth Season By Hulu". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (August 28, 2018). "Alien Animated Comedy From 'Rick and Morty' Duo & 20th TV Gets Hulu Series Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  9. ^ a b France, Lisa Respers (September 22, 2022). "Tiffany Haddish says she lost all her gigs after abuse claim". Warner Bros. Discovery. Retrieved September 22, 2022 – via CNN. Tiffany Haddish: "I lost everything. All my gigs are gone."((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ a b Porter, Rick (August 28, 2018). "'Rick and Morty' Duo Lands 2-Season Order for 'Solar Opposites' at Hulu". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (August 28, 2018). "Justin Roiland Animated Comedy 'Solar Opposites' Scores Two Season Order at Hulu". Variety. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  12. ^ Grobar, Matt (June 23, 2020). "'Solar Opposites' Co-Creator Mike McMahan On Following His Bliss With Subversive Alien-Centric Sitcom & What's To Come In Season 2". Deadline. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
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  21. ^ "New Kart Racer With Family Guy, King Of The Hill, And More Headlines Apple Arcade May 2022 Update". GameSpot. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
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  23. ^ "Hulu Launches New Online Shopping Destination Featuring Original Merchandise, Hulu Branded Swag, and Limited Edition Ugly Holiday Sweaters". November 17, 2021.
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  48. ^ Orlando, Anthony. "17 Shows And Characters That Absolutely, Positively Should Have Received Emmy Nominations". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
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