The Hulu animated comedy from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland often feels like a riff on his hit show, says Samantha Nelson. "Successful musicians can sometimes feel stifled by fan expectations, or by and what their own bandmates want out of the band," says Nelson. "So it’s common for members of bands like Blink-182, Nine Inch Nails, and Pearl Jam to take on side projects, so they can take creative risks without threatening their main gig. Solar Opposites, which launches on Hulu May 8, seems to be serving that same purpose for Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland. And it shares the same problems typically associated with musical side projects. Rick and Morty’s sometimes toxic fandom has been less than enthusiastic about Roiland taking time to do something else, given Rick and Morty’s slow release schedule. That disappointment is understandable, given that Solar Opposites is often so similar to Rick and Morty that it feels more like a cover band than a creatively refreshing side project. But the show is at its best when Roiland and his Solar Opposites co-creator, Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan, move away from the adult animated science-fiction sitcom genre and actually show off their range as writers."
Solar Opposites is a looser, lighter Rick and Morty: "It may seem odd to claim that a show that ends multiple episodes with the imprisonment of people in a miniature Escape From New York-esque hellscape is a more humanistic and genteel outing than the previous brainchild of its co-creator, but when comparing a series to the one-of-a-kind Rick and Morty, the usual metrics go out the window," says Alex McLevy. "If Solar Opposites demonstrates that the warped comic sensibility of Justin Roiland hasn’t strayed too far from the template he helped establish with his wildly popular Adult Swim program, it also suggests he may have a softer side, one that enjoys indulging in (and yes, often perverting) some of the more classic sitcom tropes. These main characters aren’t even human, but compared to the Smith family, they’re more humane."
Solar Opposites is Rick and Morty without the depression: "Solar Opposites triples down on the silliest moments in Roiland’s first show, replacing Rick and Morty’s depression, nihilism, and existentialism with a lot more humor, says Kayla Cobb, adding: "As predictable as these beats are, they work. In this way Solar Opposites feels a bit like other antihero sitcoms such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Better Off Ted. You know the series’ formula, but these four are so funny and chaotic as they grapple with the world that overarching predictability becomes a strength, rather than a weakness. The more episodes of Solar Opposites you watch, the more fun it is to see the increasingly bizarre ray guns, robots, and sneakers in this quirky family’s arsenal."