We really need a word for this.
There are many phrases for this kind of show; ‘adult animation’, ‘savage humor’ and ‘edgy content’ all come to mind. However what we really need is a word. One that encompasses the spirit of a series that leans hard into its M rating and doesn’t so much break the fourth wall as it proudly camps out on it. A word for a show that mocks its own audience as viciously as any of its other targets and earns their praise for it. A show which exhibits the kind of ruthless, cheerful, energetic nihilism that leaves the rules of politeness in a bloody heap on the floor within the first sixty seconds before moving on to more challenging targets like your prudishness, your pride, and your illusions.
Solar Opposites is not subtle, it is a gleeful, vicious wrecking ball that recognizes only one sin: pretentiousness. The show’s title sequence openly mocks its own premise, most episodes savagely dunk on the Hulu streaming service for having the show on their platform to begin with, and the dialogue is openly contemptuous of the audience.
It is essentially perfect.
For those who haven’t watched, Solar Opposites is about four refugee space aliens from the planet Shlorp who crash landed on Earth only to discover that nobody very much cared. Their job is to terraform the planet for themselves, but they have a tendency to get distracted or obsessed by human cultural quirks. The leader, Korvo, is a neurotic, rules obsessed, pedantic misanthrope who openly despises humanity, Earth itself, and his own alien crewmates. Those crewmates include two (theoretically) high school aged clones Jesse, and her “brother,” Yumyulack (the Shlorpians are genderless but still exhibit some gender-typical traits), a pupa who will eventually evolve into a weapon that wipes out all human life on Earth, and Terry, the “pupa expert”, who knows nothing whatsoever about the pupa.
Like season one, season two spends a significant amount of time in The Wall, a terrarium like environment where Yumyulack has miniaturized a large number of humans so he can observe them building a new society. The first season saw the downfall of a cruel dictator (of The Wall) and the rise of a new leader…who quickly became a corrupt dictator. This functions as a B plot in some episodes and is also the entire plot of episode seven. And whereas the main Solar Opposites setting serves to butcher one pretentious human tendency or another, The Wall setting is focused on takedowns of overused TV tropes from the post-apocalyptic genre.
The jokes are savage, consistent, and effective. The voice acting is superb. The animation is what you’d expect given a high budget and the subject matter it tends to cover; it won’t be winning any awards, but it works very well for what it needs to do. The pacing of the episodes is difficult to describe because the plots tend to aggressively wander off topic while the characters point out the fact that the plot is wandering off topic.
It’s an eight-episode season so you can polish it off in one or two nights. If you have more self-control than I did you might be able to parcel it out to an entire week, but good luck with that. This one is very, very hard to stop once you start it. And no, I didn’t think of the word yet. I only said we needed one, not that I knew one we could use.