Solar Opposites Season 3 Pushes Animated Narratives to the Max

Solar Opposites Season 3 is out today on Hulu. Dan has already watched the season twice and is now here to give you his review.

Growing up in the ’90s meant that I was watching adult animated television way earlier than I probably should have been. Every day at 6:00 PM EST and 7:00 PM EST, I would watch The SimpsonsThat 70’s Show interrupted the block, and to this day, I will not watch it because of that. I would watch hilarious stories about a family like my own but so unlike my own. Every episode was unique and rewatchable to even this day. I don’t think I have felt the same way about a show like that until I watched Solar Opposites. There is so much about Solar Opposites that sets it apart; its family dynamic, approach to serialization, everything it does is unlike any other show on streaming or television. Season 3 only drives it home that Solar Opposites is must watch tv. With its release on streaming, you can watch the show on an endless loop as it deserves without Topher Grace ever showing up to ruin your fun.

As someone who has rewatched the first two seasons of Solar Opposites and the holiday special on repeat since the day they dropped on Hulu, I had so much hope that season 3 would live up to the standards I had set for it in my mind. How could it top scenes like the Pupa holding a revolver to fight Robocops? Well, it did. It topped it, smothered it in hot fudge & caramel, and put a cherry on top. The show pushed it’s storylines to new frontiers and introduced a new storyline that has years of potential.

Solar Opposites — “The Fog of Pupa” -Episode 311 — Sometimes alien life can be crazyyyyyyyyy. The Solars struggle to tame an out of control Pupa. (Courtesy of Hulu)

There were multiple times during my viewing of season 3 for review when I had to put my iPad down because I was laughing so hard I was crying. The humor is absurdist in the best way, with this season taking it to a new level. The reason this show’s humor works so much better for me than something like Rick & Morty or Bojack Horsemen is that it doesn’t have that thick veneer of cynicism. I don’t need a show reminding me that I am mentally ill all season, like, I get it, I am sad. Solar Opposites doesn’t fall into that trap of modern humor, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have anything to say. Almost the exact opposite, actually. 

Despite the show being hilarious, the writers find ways to slip in things like partners learning the best way to support one another and how to help those around you grow. It’s why I brought up the Simpsons: because at the end of the day, both families truly love each, which is why I think, at its core, I keep coming back. Everyone is constantly learning and growing together, but most of all are learning to love the people around them, which is such an important factor of a story for me. It’s something rare in an episodic show (even if the Solars are pushing some real serious serial meta stuff this season).

Solar Opposites — “The Fog of Pupa” -Episode 311 — Sometimes alien life can be crazyyyyyyyyy. The Solars struggle to tame an out of control Pupa. (Courtesy of Hulu)

Quick note: The Solar Opposites really drive the ACAB home this season in almost every episode without it being preachy. It’s generally in the world that cops are not your friends. Incredible that Hulu and Disney did not sanitize that out. There is a new storyline that is introduced that very much drives this philosophy home.

Solar Opposites — “The Rays That Turn People Into Various Things” – Episode 309 — Sometimes alien life can be crazy. Jerks overrun the town, threatening their chances at being featured in Parade Magazine’s 10 Nicest Places to Live. (Courtesy of Hulu)

The biggest thing for this season is the storyline dealing with the “Wall” where the kids keep their shrunken people. It’s such a brilliant narrative that hasn’t grown tired or ever feels like it was treading water even once. I am always excited to cut away from the Solar’s antics to see what’s going on with the politics and the people in the wall. It’s such a different type of story telling compared to the usual episodic nature of shows like these. For me, the best use of the animated medium in a show like this has always been “Treehouse of Horror” because it’s a very different form of storytelling than the Simpsons typically did. I don’t say this lightly, but I think The Wall is better than that and may be one of the best ongoing bits in animated television. This season of Solar Opposites bold meta take on serialization and 4th wall bending are unlike anything going on in other shows. There’s a level of tongue in cheek fun such as gags carrying over from one episode to the next that keeps you rewatching to catch things that have been building for multiple seasons.

Solar Opposites is the best-animated show, and anyone who isn’t watching is missing out on hours of tear-inducing laughter. If you missed the glory of what the yellow family on Fox once was, do a color palette swap for blue and green with the best-animated family on tv, the Solars. The best part is that That 70’s Show can never interrupt Solar Opposites.

Fuck you That 70’s Show.

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