‘Solar Opposites’ Valentine’s Day Special Is Game-Changing for Season 5

Television

Imagine a world without love. Then imagine a world without love, as imagined by the Solar Opposites team. Now…make it at least 75 percent more effed-up than that, and you might get close to An Earth Shatteringly Romantic Solar Valentine’s Day Opposites Special.

Not that it should surprise anyone that Hulu‘s adult animated comedy is off-the-rails. In its four seasons, the show’s central Shlorpians — Earth-stranded aliens Korvo, Yumyulack, Terry and Jesse — have gotten into some situations protecting a Pupa destined to evolve, devour them, and take over the planet that even Rick and Morty would find TV-MA. And this special, set between Season 4 and the upcoming fifth edition, is designed to really change course for this crew — way more than its past Halloween and Christmas-themed outings.

“Our guiding light is, if we’re going to do a special, what’s a special done by people who have seen [holiday] specials and are just calling them out and having fun with it?” says Mike McMahan, who co-created the series (with Rick and Morty‘s Justin Roiland) . “When it’s special, you get to change the format a little bit and there aren’t a ton of Valentine’s Day specials.”

Most, adds McMahan’s co-showrunner Josh Bycel, are “usually very standalone” episodes tucked into a show’s current run. “So we love the idea of [this one] tricking people into realizing like, ‘Oh my God, the end of the episode is actually the biggest thing that’s ever happened to these characters short of landing on Earth!’”

Hulu

Opening with the quartet coming up with a way to eradicate the idea of Valentine’s Day by getting rid of all of the love on the planet, the tale immediately and hilariously resets Earth as the strangest, Tiki-est dystopian world where Jimmy Buffett and Tommy Bahama are gods and sci-fi queen Linda Hamilton is heard narrating a very Terminator-esque explanation of how we got here.

Without spoiling any more, McMahan continues that “it was really important for us that this episode, unlike the Halloween or Christmas episodes, really change the dynamic of the characters a little bit [and] you’re going to see the way that the Valentine’s Day special ends really changes the storytelling for all of Season 5.”

“It’s a springboard for things to come,” reveals Mary Mack, who voices Jesse, the more logical of the replicants. “I am allowed to say that.”

“Part of the fun is about the sort of coaxing the romance,” hints Thomas Middleditch, whose Terry may hate Earth but is, well, fond of his assigned bedmate Korvo (voiced by Dan Stevens). “The show has been the pushing and then pulling it back like, ‘Oh, they’re just sort of like they’re friends’ or it’s working-relationship friends and then they’ll cut to them doing all kinds of stuff,” he laughs. “It is weird to be in the recording booth with a microphone just making audio-erotica as an alien. I can tell you it’s one of the weirder things to do.”

For Sean Giambrone, simply working on a show so (sorry) opposite to his 10-season run on The Goldbergs has been equally out-there. And since his Yumyulack is such an aggressively anti-Earth rageball, it has allowed the young actor to add new layers to his very distinctive voice that so many folks recognize from the lovable Adam on ABC’s comedy. “Some stuff that comes up with different episodes where I got to try and figure out a way, a different way of talking…the emotions are so different.”

As is the content. “Yeah, my family watches Solar Opposites and they just look at me sometimes,” he confesses with a laugh. “They enjoy it but I do say some stuff where I am like, ‘Whoa, this is next level stuff.’”

And do any of the actors contribute to these insane ideas?

“I think that they would tell us to go jump in a lake,” Mack replies instantly. “There’s so many brilliant writers on the staff that if we said something, they’d be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, okay, kid.’ They don’t need us. They’re so talented. They got it all under control.”

Guess the gang didn’t get rid of all the love, after all.

An Earth Shatteringly Romantic Solar Valentine’s Day Opposites Special, Monday, February 5, Hulu



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