The alien trick from Solar Opposites is a brilliant difference between Rick and Morty. Justin Royland, along with Dan Harmon, created “Rick and Morty” for Adult Swim, and the success of the show prompted Justin Royland, together with Mike McMahan, to create “Sunny Opposites” for Hulu. Although both shows are animated, “Rick and Morty” and “Sunny Opposites” are not suitable for children. However, despite this tonal similarity, one narrative trick concerning the dynamics of an alien and a man of the Solar opposite helps to distinguish the show as something unique.
There’s no denying that “Sunny Opposites” and “Rick and Morty” have a lot in common. Both shows are animated, and they are also rude, silly, sci-fi series. The animation styles are very similar, the music was written by the same person (Chris Westlake), and even such a minor thing as the font in the end credits is the same. Co-creator Justin Roiland voices Rick Sanchez, Morty Smith, and Corvo the Solar Opposites, the designated leader of the titular Solar Opposites family. Humor is often similar to caustic, along with an insatiable need for references to pop culture. In fact, it’s not surprising that people wonder if “Solar Opposites” and “Rick and Morty” share universes, although officially this is not the case.
Related: Every Actor Voicing Rick and Morty in “Sunny Opposites”
Nevertheless, despite such a great similarity, “Sunny Opposites” must do something to really be different from “Rick and Morty”. Fortunately, the “Solar Opposites” pull off an ingenious trick with their narrative, which completely changes the world. In the Hulu series, the main characters are not aliens, but people in the “Wall”. “Sunny Opposites” uses detailed storytelling and the audience’s natural penchant for human stories to subvert Rick and Morty’s more straightforward approach. The result is a slightly different and possibly more personal tone compared to Rick and Morty.
Why is the difference between Rick and Morty from Solar Opposites so important for the series
The solar opposites and their crazy adventures are very episodic. Little is carried over from each episode and even from season to season. However, the reduced humans are dealing with a very linear story that now spans three seasons. The vast majority of comedy is carried by aliens, but “The Wall” contains all the drama, tension and resonating emotional appeal. It is no coincidence that the best series of “Solar Opposites” is the least funny. It’s also natural that people care more about human stories. There are plenty of aliens— and inhumans in general— in fiction, but only a few are given the opportunity to express themselves. There’s a reason why (recent) Godzilla movies always include nonsensical storylines about humans.
The most important consequence of the trick with aliens from “Solar Opposites” is that it makes the series fundamentally different from “Rick and Morty”. Undermining the narrative structure used by Rick and Morty is good enough, but the Sunny opposites get their cake and eat it, too. The main characters are not really the main characters, which makes the “Solar Opposites” as episodic as they would like, as long as enough attention is paid to the human storyline. This means that “Sunny Opposites” is the show that Rick and Morty want to be, and even more.
To be clear, this does not mean that “Sunny Opposites” is better than “Rick and Morty”. However, this means that “Sunny Opposites” is more than an imitation of Rick and Morty. The solar opposites can confidently say that they are blazing their own unique path, and all thanks to an ingenious storytelling trick that turns stranded aliens into stranded humans.