Hulu series does for aliens what “Rick & Morty” did for Parallel Universes.
Coming on the success of Adult Swim’s hit animated series “Rick & Morty,” Justin Roiland (the co-creator and star) has crafted another project, this one on Hulu. His new adult series “Solar Opposites” involves a bunch of amphibian-looking aliens, whose planet was obliterated by an asteroid, and now they find themselves on Earth, where they struggle to adapt to their surroundings. It’s like if the Coneheads and E.T. didn’t stick to their alien dialogue, and talked like human beings.
It shares a similar love for mutations, carnage, cursing, pop culture references, and convoluted dialogue. Co-creators Roiland and Mike McMahan both deliver the goods without all those alien movie cliches (“E.T.,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” etc.) like governments or quarantines, and they both satirize the Hulu station the way Nick Kroll satirizes Netflix on “Big Mouth.” It’s mean-spirited and over the top, but it’s also hilarious and risk-taking.
The adult aliens are the intelligent Korvo (voiced by Roiland with a sober Rick voice) and the dimwitted and optimistic Terry (voiced by Thomas Middleditch), who find themselves in adventures involving magic, college, and man caves, among others. The youngsters would be the toughie Yumyulack (voiced by Sean Giambrone) and the spontaneous Jesse (voiced by Mary Mack), both of whom try to be popular, while dealing with their cruel principal and their own ambitions. And their pet, at least I think it’s a pet, is a slug-like creature, who sneaks off for its own adventures. They call it the Pupa.
On the side, Yumyulack endures shrinking people and places them in an exhibit. From their perspectives, in the style of “Escape from New York,” it’s a wasteland where they trade their pocket items for various items, while others kill others for higher power. But there are those who are willing to fight the system.
The voice work from Roiland, Middleditch, Giambrone, and Mack are all flexible and energetic in the ways they put effort into their characters. And you also get a variety of guest stars, including Tiffany Haddish, Christina Hendricks, June Squibb, Liam Cunningham, Alfred Molina, Rainn Wilson, Nat Faxon, and Jason Mantzokous.
Both shows, co-created by Roiland, allow the animation to have a trippy vulnerability. For example, I love how the aliens have wide mouths like those SnapChat mouths, and I love how the eyeball pupils are asterisk. Adult cartoons have their unique character styles like “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” and “Big Mouth,” and Roiland’s work isn’t afraid of appearances. In fact, his shows look cool.
So far, eight episodes have premiered on Hulu, and I hope the show gets renewed for a second season, especially since we’re given cliffhangers. I’m already anxious to see the next episode of “Rick & Morty” on Adult Swim. I may not always understand the shows completely, but I still have a fun time trying. But I have more fun seeing the ambition and nostalgia; and many other things I may or may not have seen before.
Available on Hulu