Mike McMahan interview: ‘Solar Opposites’

The epic saga of the society of shrunken people that live in Yumyulack’s bedroom wall was always something that Mike McMahan wanted in “Solar Opposites,” but the approach to the story changed once the show found its home. “When we ended up at Hulu, we made the show-within-a-show the headline instead of something we would sneak in,” McMahan explains to Gold Derby in our Meet the Experts: Television Animation panel (watch the exclusive video interview above). The way that most people watch shows on streaming, including sometimes bingeing an entire season in one sitting, meant they could tell this side story in a much more compelling way. “We knew we had a captive audience and we could write it totally different and we really wanted to embrace that.”

“Solar Opposites,” which is currently streaming on Hulu, centers on two aliens: Korvo and Terry. The duo fled their home planet when it was destroyed. Accompanied by two young replicants, Yumyulack and Jesse, and a baby pupa, the crew ends up crashing on Earth and are forced to live in American suburbia. While Terry absolutely loves everything about Earth, Korvo is much more cynical and awkward and cannot wait to leave the horrible planet. The series was co-created by McMahan and Justin Roiland (creator of “Rick and Morty”). The duo both claimed Emmys in 2018 in Best Animated Program for the episode, “Pickle Rick.”

One of McMahan’s favorite things to write for the show are the little riffs that Korvo goes on about stuff on Earth he doesn’t understand during the show’s opening that changes in each episode. “Those little things where you know we live in an era where everybody’s hitting the ‘Skip Intro’ button but if you really love a show and you know there’s these little things that are buried in the opening, that’s us having a good time.” The dialogue is actually based on things that McMahan and Roiland like and don’t like about Earth. “Writing non-stand-up jokes like that for Justin to ramble about truly is a blast.”

There’s a lot that’s coming up for the show. A Christmas episode will be premiering later this year that McMahan describes in a very striking way. “It’s almost like that scene in ‘Office Space’ where you watch those guys just kick the shit out of a copy machine. It’s a Christmas episode where we’re kicking the shit out of a Christmas episode.” He also reveals that the third season of the show has been written. Among what we can expect is seeing Korvo try to figure out how to have fun and why people like being on Earth, more major happenings within the wall and even a bit of a surprise that McMahan hinted at. “We introduce another show in the show that springboards off of events that happen with the aliens that you don’t expect to grow and snowball into something that becomes more important and bigger.”

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UPLOADED May 26, 2021 4:42 pm