Solar Opposites is entering its third season making it one of the longer running original series on Hulu. As it reaches this milestone, it is safe to say the Justin Roiland co-created animated comedy is establishing itself separate from his other, more popular science fiction related show.
There is comfort in watching the family of Korvo, Terry, Yumyulack, and Jesse continue to get into sci-fi shenanigans. We receive eleven more random and nostalgia filled adventures where they can take banal activities such as model trains and waiting in line for new exclusive kicks and blow them out of proportion in mostly entertaining ways. The jokes don’t always hit and the references can be deep cuts, but at least there is plenty of dysfunction that you can’t turn away from. Also, the jabs at both Hulu and Roiland himself provide an amusing self-awareness.
As much as the different mischief the characters get into is fun, it’s their growth that fuels this season of Solar Opposites. We have early on, Korvo giving up his hopes to returning to Shlorp and accepts setting roots on Earth although this only makes up slightly less of a wet blanket. There is also an openness in the relationships of the family reflective of making the unconventional conventional. Their group dynamic demonstrates how much they love each other despite their uniqueness.
Even the Pupa is maturing and hitting the rebellious stage of its life. The little guy even has some attitude and quarrels with Yumyulack like a sibling at times but still finds heartfelt ways to express its adoration for its caregivers. The Pupa is becoming more involved than a mere side story and plot device and feels like a member of the family. It also is responsible for a serious and unforeseen change in tone that shakes the foundations of the series placing it towards a curious path next season. There will be some who might not like the shift.
That’s only one of the ways the new episodes of Solar Opposites are willing to take chances. “99 Ships” further explores the Shlorpian culture and provides added details on the groups mission. This type of world building brings additional insight of their previous planet. In addition, this episode, along with “The Rays That Turn People into Various Things” paint the main characters in a more positive light and show how they aren’t always screw-ups. It’s both admirable yet also alarming considering the over-the-top way they go about proving their point.
One of the darker aspects has to be related to the Wall. Once again, it’s a captivating overarching tale this time combining the political maneuvering for power with monster horror. Tim’s reign isn’t the only thing threatening the citizens. There is violence and perverse twists leaving you to wonder whether there is any hope in the miserable place.
If you enjoy this connected microscale storytelling, Solar Opposites thinks bigger and more ambitious by incorporating another spin-off and third location. It happens so organically and seamlessly that you don’t even realize it until your midway through its narrative. This portion already has a relevant, dumb but catchy name and has an entirely different feel. It’s an exciting way to expand this universe but juggling these different tales could be tricky moving forward. Unless the new one receives its own show.
The third season delivers the comedic sci-fi antics we’ve grown to expect. However, it evolves through their characters’ maturation taking it to a different path and by adding a new and thrilling part of the universe.
Binge the entire third season of Solar Opposites beginning Wednesday, July 13, on Hulu.
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