Solar Opposites S3 Hulu Interview: Co-Creator Mike McMahan

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The aliens of Solar Opposites in their ship.

Image: Hulu

Solar OppositesReturns Its third season next week on Hulu, bringing with it some wild and surreal new adventures for its alien characters—as well as its tiny-human characters and its regular human characters, to boot. This is from one of the creatives. Rick and Morty Star Trek: Lower Decks, you’d expect a lot of sci-fi influences go into its creation. How about… a beloved HBO show on cops from the middle of 2000s?

Let’s get it! Mike McMahan explain. Recent Solar Opposites press day, io9 asked him about “the Wall”—a storyline in the series that follows the humans who’ve been trapped in a bedroom wallAfter being randomly targeted by shrink rays, one of the alien replicants was killed. They build an entire society in there, and it’s full of drama as huge as they are miniscule. “The original version of the Wall was when we thought Solar OppositesWas going to [be a regular network series]Like airing across from Family Guy The SimpsonsWe were going to sneak in occasional episodes, where we would go back to it. [Co-creator Justin Roiland]I [wrote]A little joke about replicants shrinking someone and putting them in a wall. You think you’re never going to see it again,” McMahan said. “And then weirdly, like how Simpsons I would Itchy and Scratchy, we’d start an episode and visit it. We pitched it to Hulu. [as a streaming series]We modified the formula. We told the Hulu execs in the pitch, ‘We want to do this thing with the Wall. It is our goal for the show to be taken over by it. We want it to be a big thing first season, and then second season, we’re going to do it again with a new sci-fi concept. We won’t go back to the Wall, we’ll do a little sci-fi bit and then we’ll go running with that.’”

Of course, as McMahan explained, that’s not what ended up happening. “Then we made the first season and we had [voice actors like] Alfred Molina, Christina Hendricks, Andy Daly, we had all these funny people, and we were like—why would we stop doing the Wall? We love this story. It changes the tone of the series from the first season. Escape New York Mix with War of the Roses, Game of Thrones. The second season featured a murder mystery ending in the backyard. It was like a Furiosa moment. The third season, as you all know, is here. [starts off by] closing off some of the storylines in the wall from the previous two seasons, and then it opens up into a creature feature.” He stopped himself there, not wanting to spoil season three. But there’s more to say about the Wall, including that HBO reference!

“As comedy writers, if we went in and pitched Simply that show to Hulu, they’d be like, ‘OK, thanks, bye.’ You know what I mean? That sounds ridiculous,” he said. “But it’s almost like, Solar OppositesHulu has the Wall and Hulu has the Wall Solar Opposites network. We are almost allowed to greenlight our own strange things that we find exciting. In season three, because we got a couple of additional episodes, we were like, ‘Wait a minute, we have room for the Wall, we have room for the family of aliens. We also have the space to continue with the original idea, which is that Other little moments start turning into more epic storylines.’”

In season three, that’s the “Silvercops”—intergalactic space police who are no fans of Shlorpians, the race that the Solar OppositesAliens belong to. They’re also not especially fans of humans. “We have a four or five season arc with Silvercops,” McMahan reveals. (Solar OppositesAlready renewed by Hulu for a fourth season. “We’ve written season four, the Silvercops return, the Wall returns—we’re getting to do these worldbuilding things that you usually don’t ever get to do. But because it’s inside of a show, because we’ve given ourselves a creative allowance to build in unexpected, heavily dramatic, frankly ludicrous stories with tiny little people, or pseudo-Green Lantern-y, crooked, The Wirestyle cops. And that’s where it all came from, in the very beginning—Justin and I like it in that in The WireYou would think they would alter the B-story. So, there was dockworkers season, reporter season, school season. This mechanism and this structure are the basis of The Wire was so intoxicating that we were like, ‘How do we do the comedy version of that? How do we change things, but always make it feel like it’s the show?’ It feels like we’re doing it, because we have a blast doing it. It’s great to see the audience enjoy that aspect of the show. But I also love the aliens. It should be for everyone. [fit] together or the distribution of it will be counterbalanced and it won’t feel exactly right.”

Solar OppositesThe series returns to Hulu July 13th for its third season. We’ll have more on the series coming soon!


More io9 news You can find out when the latest news is coming. Marvel Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe Film and TVAll you need to learn about. House of the Dragon Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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