The aliens of Hulu’s Solar Opposites—who fled to Earth after the destruction of Shlorp, their home planet—have been hanging out in the suburbs for three seasons now, and they’ve all evolved as characters. That said, the show’s ruthlessly bawdy and snarky sense of humor remains fully intact.
And by the way, “evolved” doesn’t necessarily mean in a positive way, at least from the point of view of mission leader Korvo (voiced by Justin Roiland, who co-created the series with Mike McMahan). While Korvo remains committed to repairing the crashed spaceship they arrived in, the rest of the Shlorpians—Terry (Thomas Middleditch), Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone), Jesse (Mary Mack), and the Pupa (Sagan McMahan)—have grown fond of their lives, stuffed full of American values like prioritizing fun over productivity, the pursuit of silly hobbies, and running elaborate scams to get what they want.
This disconnect causes an urgent crisis in the season premiere. But it also sets a big theme of the season in motion, as the aliens begin to realize they’re far more functional when they act like a family (which they’re not bad at) rather than a specialized team on a sci-fi mission (which they are terrible at). We see this especially in the relationship between Korvo and Terry, who feel more like a married couple this season than ever before, albeit a freakishly competitive one, but teens Yumyulack and Jesse also have some nice moments of sibling bonding too. The Pupa is mostly left to his own devices, but Solar Opposites has great fun imagining his solo adventures while also reminding us that even though he looks like a baby, he’s by far the smartest Schlorpian in the group, not to mention a stealth doomsday weapon.
We obviously won’t be revealing specifics in this review—much of the fun of Solar Opposites comes from the rapid-fire and highly surreal escalations that come from a seemingly simple starting point, like standing in line, going on vacation, dealing with an annoying neighbor, or having a soft spot for a certain cheesy 1990s action movie. But in its third season, the show feels as energetic and clever as ever as it explores the often mundane yet hilarious realm of its core characters, as well as the high drama of its prominent subplots.
The latter chiefly includes the latest developments within the Wall—a population of tiny humans unfortunate enough to cross paths with Yumyulack and his shrink ray (the Solar Opposites aliens are very fond of sci-fi rays), and who’ve built up a tumultuous society inside his bedroom wall. Let’s just say things get sticky this season for those characters. But season three also introduces a new storyline involving the Silvercops, a squad of intergalactic police officers whose dynamics might remind Rick and Morty fans—who are no doubt well-represented among people watching Solar Opposites—of the Vindicators, who happen to be getting their own digital series spin-off on Adult Swim. If the Silvercops don’t feel as original as the Vindicators (themselves a deliberately obvious riff on the Avengers), or nearly as fascinating as the characters in the Wall, it’s a given we’ll be learning more about them in Solar Opposites’ already-confirmed fourth season, and hopefully they’ll become more compelling in the process.
And by the way, about season four, you’ll be glad it’s coming when you get to season three’s finale, which ends things on an unsettlingly grim note. If that feels again like another tactic borrowed from Rick and Morty, at least we likely won’t have to wait as long between Solar Opposite seasons.
Solar Opposites season three arrives July 13 on Hulu.
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