Solar Opposites Episode 1 ‘The Matter Transfer Array’: Review
Solar Opposites is a HULU original, a limited American sitcom, created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan. It aired all six episodes on May 8, 2020, on Hulu. While the series was met with critical acclaim, we saw it as an umbrella from the whole Rick and Morty franchise. The same visuals, humor, and oh, Justin’s voice! For those of you who do not know, Solar opposites were created for Fox. Since they shelved it, it was then licensed to HULU.
Solar Opposites is about aliens who have stayed on the earth for a year now after their planet was destroyed. Pretty superman-ish, right? The alien protagonist Korvo finds earth uninhabitable, and humans generally bad people. The other three aliens are Terry, Yumyulack, and Jesse. By the by, if you are wondering, the aliens inhabit America where they try to adjust to life in various ways. Television shows, hitting neo-nazi bars, befriending humans–Travis and Avery, attending school and getting picked-on by humans. The man theme of the show, so far (in the pilot episodes), is to talk about human bigotry. The alien introduction has been given less attention; more focus has been laid on unearthing human discrimination and unkindness. The underlying theme is the use of sci-fi experiments to make life livable and fun on earth.
Like we said, episode 1 aired on the same day as other episodes. So we had the chance to sort of binge-watch the series. We can say with confidence that if you find the premise of the pilot ‘The Matter Transfer Array’ slow, please wait till you reach the second episode. That is not to say the pilot was bad or anything. We’re just telling you if you want to stick to the rest of the series, why you should do that. Alright, with that out of our way, let’s begin with the actual review. As you head into the first segment of the episode, ‘The Matter Transfer Array,’ you get a very Rick and Morty ish vibe. Very quickly, you realize that Korvo is Justin Roiland’s Rick. Mary Mack voices Jesse, Sean Giambrone, and Terry voice Yumyulack by Thomas Middleditch.
The first sci-fi activity that these aliens have done is shrunk a bully into a jar, kind like the mice in the jar visualization. The bully had it coming. The second thing that they do is try and replicate a television, fictional character by the name Funbucket. Having realized that watching Funbucket on TV wasn’t enough, they go ahead decide to create him. It’s a humanoid-cat thingy if you are thinking. This is just the very beginning, and it’s pretty clear that the rest of seven episodes of the series are headed for chaotic hijinks. But so far, so good!
Soon Funbucket gets bored with their antics and guffaws. The cat makes friends with two humans Travis and Avery. The younger of the aliens, Yumyulack and Jesse, attend school–hence their first interaction with the real world. School for aliens is just as how it would be for any unpopular kid–they get bullied on a lot! The teaching staff, their classmates, are all the same. Everyone fails to embrace a race different than theirs. That’s the first hidden meaning behind the show–that humans are inherently racists, and they will always fail to embrace those different from others.
The character introduction is slow for some, as Terry appears to be light humored, who is looking for fun. Korvo believes he is duller than the rest, and he makes excuses for work to commit time to science experiments. He has the attention span of a fly, and his interests quickly change from one to another. He is always suspecting of the human race, and he tries to ridicule them at every chance, including spying in the future on them. Yumyulack appears to be the jerk of the gang, and he won’t take a second to seek revenge. Speak words to him, and he will hurt you. Jesse is no different from Yumyulack, albeit a little better. By which we mean, he is slightly morally grounded than Yumyulack is.
Mouse in a bell jar experiment resulted in a schoolroom bully named Lydia shrunk into a bell jar and forced to become their guinea pig. Lydia, besides being a bully, is a tattletale, so when she threatens them with that, the aliens commit the next experiment to wipe her memory. They use a soda, the dietary kind on her exposed brain, and suddenly she is memory wiped, more so than Kate Winslet was in Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind.
In another science experiment gone wrong, Terry creates the second Funbucket. This humanoid-cat somehow fuses the first cat. The end product is a monster cat let loose in the city. Very quickly, it becomes clear that who so ever will inhabit the earth, sooner or later, be a cause of misery to others. But here lies the inherent differences between narcissistic humans and aliens. The aliens own up to their mistake. They reverse the whole thing, Funbucket goes back to the humans Travis and Avery, again.
Between the stick in mud boss, the naive person, the jerk, the lesser jerk lives their per, Pupa. Before the credits roll, we learn that the Pupa will supposedly unleash an earth-consuming and annihilating energy. In the pilot itself, we missed seeing the humor and fun given that it’s just the pilot, and character introduction were necessary. We would have liked it if the school kids, Terry and Yumyulack, had been given more attention. But we are not complaining at all since it was just the first episode. More importantly, since we’ve seen the rest of the series, we can tell you if you are slightly disappointed with the first episode, the second one will make up for the shortcoming like a breeze.
With that being said, welcome to the Solar Opposite universe. It is going to be a fun ride.