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SMACKDOWN: Rick and Morty vs. Solar Opposites Is Just Like Simpson’s vs. Futurama

SMACKDOWN: Rick and Morty vs. Solar Opposites Is Just Like Simpson’s vs. Futurama

Katey & Adam on 16th May 2020

First, we’re not entirely in love with the idea of folks comparing Rick and Morty and Solar Opposites as they are on social media. The two shows were not intended to be the same - and why would they be?

HOWEVER, we do agree it’s tough to ignore the similarities and resist the need to view the two shows with the same lens. The tone, the animation style, the association of Justin Roiland and head writer of Rick and Morty Mike McMahan - it’s natural to compare, but also unfair.

This is also not the first time something like this has happened. Too young to remember The Simpsons and Futurama?

Photo Creds: WhatCulture

We’ll get to the Simpson's vs. Futurama debate and the similarities to this Rick and Morty vs. Solar Opposites in a sec...

Rick and Morty (Currently) Rules The Multiverse

Let’s be real folks, Rick and Morty is in a league all its own. Plus, we have three complete seasons of Rick and Morty that came well before Solar Opposites so the sample size for comparison is WAY off ATM.

Yes, Rick and Morty has brought us some ups and downs. It happens with any show. Plus, we all have our favorite and least favorite episodes. Normal stuff. It’s like a mixtape, it needs ups and downs (unless you’re Barny Stinson).

What MIGHT be having an impact on negative reviews of the latest Rick and Morty episodes MIGHT have something to do with these long interludes leaving us all grumps. 

Being in love with Rick and Morty has been kinda like being in a bad relationship. It’s fuckingn amazing in the moment, but they keep slipping off and disappearing. Then all of a sudden you find out they’ve been cheating on you with someone else on social media (Solar Opposites)?! 

Rick and Morty Love Potion #9 Jessica and Girls Fight Over Morty

Photo Creds: CultSub T-Shirts

We can’t lie, we were getting a little tired of these never-ending disappearances and when new episodes came along we pouted on the couch as we watched. Yet, once we started watching again, we remembered why we fell in love with Rick and Morty in the first place and all was forgiven.

Shame on us we guess, but we just can't say "no."

We’re thinking all this COULD be a contributing factor to viewers having a more critical lens of late. for instnace that 9/11 joke got people all riled up, but we think people are trapped and bored inside with Covid19. Rick and Morty should continue to push and shock us, it's why we adore them in the first place. 

DOES EVERYONE FORGET how Rick and Morty shook the shit out of the world when it was released and on many occasions after. 

Remember this shit?

Unreal. Let one joke slide or don't watch it if you don't like it. T

Think of the countless Rick and morty Reddit threads, YouTube videos, memes, fan social accounts, artwork and dance videos of Rick and Morty fans getting schwifty. They've upset so many in so many ways. 

Anyway, our point is that it’s obviously tough to compare this hardcore and emotional love affair we’ve all had with Rick and Morty for years with 8 episodes of Solar Opposites. 

Perhaps it’s just a booty call for Roiland and McHanan? Or maybe it’s more! Time will tell. 

If so, we’re totally OK with them cheating on us and Rick and Morty with Solar Opposites - it's been a fun side adventure! 

Solar Opposites COULD Be Futurama

Now, don’t misunderstand. We’re die-hard Rick and Morty fans that enjoyed the shit out of Solar Opposites. These 8 episodes were a GD delight and the timing was perfect with the Covid19 stay at home order.

Thanks, Hulu!

Watching Solar Opposites we felt like Roiland and McMahan stopped asking questions and just had fun (fistbumps for those who get that reference). It was probably needed after a super intense relationship with Rick and Morty and crazy fans like us.

Solar Opposites Red Goobler Birth Get Fucked Terry and Korvo

In fact, we’d love to think Roiland and McMahan just went out for a few beers to blow off some steam and recounted some of their favorite and/or unexplored Rick and Morty moments. Then, continued to pour some beer on those moments turning it into something else almost entirely - Solar Opposites.

CultSub T-Shirt Solar Opposites Hulu Original Mega Fan Collection

Yes, they obviously stayed in the same vein of what’s working, but divorced themselves of the complexities, storyline and expectations of Rick and Morty - not unlike Futurama after The Simpsons.

Much like Futurama and The Simpson’s, we see the obvious similarities between Rick and Morty and Solar Opposites including; animation style (even those hangdog lips we love), goofy names, space travel, time travel, aliens and so on. However, we’ve also noticed some concepts and chunks of writing support our theory. 

“The Wall” in Solar Opposites vs. “The Menagerie” in Rick and Morty

If you put some beer on the concept of Rick and Morty trapped in The Menagerie where an alien houses his collection of alien species - you have “The Wall” in Solar Opposites.

Rick and Morty Trapped In Menagerie Tiny People The Collector Morty's Mindblowers

You also get awesome cross-over memes like this from @SolarOppositesMemes (FB Group)!

Rick and Morty Lil Bits and Solar Opposites The Wall Crossover Meme Oh Shit We Got Tiny People

No, the menagerie in Rick and Morty didn’t have an ant-farm feel as it did in Solar Opposites, but the idea of creating their own civilization, religion and rebellion is a genius next step.

The menagerie appeared in Morty’s Mindoblower (after THE PINK memory tube mention everyone missed BTW) making it a perfect chunk of great writing to break off and play with (we’re really leaning into the relationship stuff I guess).

CultSub T-shirts Rick and Morty TShirt Collection for Mega Fans

Funbucket Is Like Morty Jr. And Love Potion #9 Had A Fucked Up Baby

First, Korvo creates a Funbucket clone much like Morty creates Morty Jr. (half human have Gazorpian), although Morty humped Morty Jr into a sex robot and Korvo used more Rick Sanchez-esque means. Rick also loves himself some clones, so that’s also similar.

More importantly, when we watched Funbucket and Funbucket 2 merge on a molecular level we felt like we were watching Cronenbergs being formed as Monster Funbucket’s inside parts became outside parts.

Also, Monster Funbucket looked as though he had some Cronenberg AND Gozorpian genes as he went to town on the town like Morty Jr., yeah?

Solar Opposites Funbucket is Rick and Morty Cronenburg and Gazorpian

Photo Creds: CultSub T-Shirts

Not a perfect match, but similar AF and potentially a fun drunken mashing of concepts between Roiland and McHanan. Watch the whole Solar Opposites scene and see what you think...

Ugh, isn't that whole seen is so funsies? We love that Terry and Korvo had roadies. 

Rick Could Be Korvo and Terry Could Be Jerry 

There’s no doubt Rick and his grandson Morty have a classic smart/dumb dynamic at the start of the show that reminds us of Korvo and Terry. 

However, as the show has progressed, Morty has come into his own quite a bit which has created more of a partnership than where the show originally started. There is much less irritation between the two characters these days. Rick and Morty are more equals and less easily irritated with one another than they were at the start of things.

Sure, they bicker...but no one gets under Rick's skin quite like Jerry. 

Rick and Morty Jerry Smith and Rick Sanchez on The Whirly Dirly With Monster Hunting Killing Them

Photo Creds: CultSub T-Shirts

Yes, we obviously see Morty in Terry. Yet, there is this level of naivety in Terry that reminds us so much of Jerry. Also, Korvo tends to be constantly irritated by Terry which reminds us of how Rick feels about Jerry at-all-times. There is almost an "Odd Couple" vibe between Korvo and Terry which reminds us of those few moments watching Rick and Jerry interact where they actually get along like in The Whirly Dirly. 

Rick/Korvo is a classically smart, gumpy jerk who pairs well with an oblivious, easily amused and positive personalitie of Jerry/Terry. 

Korvo and Terry definitely get along better than Rick and Jerry, but the irritation feels familiar. 

We also love how Rick (Justin Roiland) can only say Jerry’s name with complete disdain. It makes us wonder if that’s why they went with something similar in Solar Opposites. Seriously, listen to how Rick snarls every time he says, “Jeeerrry.”

Rick and Morty shot of Jerry Smith and Rick Sanchez on Couch

Photo Creds: CultSub T-Shirts

Giving A Gift/Curse Of Intelligence

How about the nanobots becoming sentient in Solar Opposites vs. Rick making Snuffles smarter for Jerry? Not identical, but we can see the potential "reswizzled" inspiration from Rick and Morty. 

Solar Opposites Nanobot Man Sentient Man HOA Meeting

Photo Creds: CultSub T-Shirts

Alien Ghost Baby Appearances 

When Rick's spaceship "keeps Summer safe" it drops what Summer refers to as an "alien ghost baby" to deter the police. In the Solar Opposites episode The Unstable Grey Hole, we see a very quick clip of Terry and Korvo on the street giving gifts to get people to like them where Korvo gives a man his son back. 

Rick and Morty Keep Summer Safe Alien Ghost Baby Hunter Kid Police

Photo Creds: CultSub T-Shirts

The boy even pops out of a duffel bag which looks very similar to the canister in Rick and Morty. Again, this isn't identical as the alien ghost baby fucking melts in the officers hands while Korvo's a truly a gift, but we can see the possible inspiration from Rick and Morty here. 

The Simpsons/Futurama vs. Rick and Morty/Solar Opposites

If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the response of some die-hard Simpson’s fans when Groening released Futurama. Overall it was received well, but many fans griped it wasn’t the same as The Simpson’s - and they were right.

Futurama was a great, yet very different show from The Simpson’s despite the two shows being created by Groening and revolving primarily around a dufus main character (Homer vs. Fry) and badass rebel side kick (Bart vs. Bender). 

Simpsons and Futurama Debate Which Show is Better Simpsons Sit on Couch opening Sequence but couch is Greek God From Futurama

Photo Creds: ScreenRant

Journalist Frank Lovece of Newsday put it perfectly;

"The Simpsons echoes the strains of American-Irishvaudeville humor — the beer-soaked, sneaking-in-late-while-the-wife's-asleep comedy … Futurama, conversely, stems from Jewish-American humor, and not just in the obvious archetype of Dr. Zoidberg. From vaudeville to the Catskills to Woody Allen, it's that distinctly rueful humor built to ward away everything from despair to petty annoyance — the 'You gotta do what you gotta do' philosophy that helps the 'Futurama' characters cope in a mega-corporate world where the little guy is essentially powerless."

We also noticed that two shows took place in revolving and expansive settings, Rick and Morty (space, alternate dimensions, etc) and Futurama (alternate planets, the moon, space flight, etc) while the other two are primarily based on Earth (Solar Opposites and The Simpsons). An environment switch up is a classic writing move. By switching up the environment, you allow writers to reswizzle the same characters, adventures and opportunities into something fresh yet familiar for the same audience.

“Cha-ching” for them and “YAY” for audiences. 

James Handcock Makes A Solid Point About Staff Writers

To James Handcock’s point in the following video, having someone on the writing staff of Rick and Morty like “Jeff Loveness who can balance fan service and nostalgia with amazing pop culture references,” you really can’t go wrong. This is why Loveness is being tapped for movie scripts like Ant Man in the MCU. Plus, if you don’t get the pop culture references in Rick and Morty the gag still works and the story still works.

...and we well know that the story is ALWAYS essential when it comes to good writing.

We also wonder if the genius of Dan Harmon and the dynamic between him and Roiland is essential to the beautiful balance of fart jokes, dark soul shit and deep-ass E.B. White references in Rick and Morty?

We think so as it seems magic is made when those two get together. However, we simply thing the dynamic between Roiland and McHanan on Solar Opposites creates something different. 

Soloar Opposites Pupa Pukes Gooblers Yumyulak and Jessie Taco Tuesday

Photo Creds: CultSub T-Shirts

If you haven’t given it a chance to stand on its own - you should. Solar Opposites is fun, gross, clever, dark and dare we say delightful. 

Also...

Solar Opposites vs Rick and Morty Rick Suicide Attempt vs Molly Mouse Death

Photo Creds: @SolarOppositesMemes

Yep, these are all adjectives we’d use to describe Rick and Morty, but we urge you to try and not compare the two or be a crab-ass as we look forward to more of BOTH shows.

Bring it, Roiland! And well done, broh.