Two fresh-out-the-womb cartoons conceived by creators with a successful pedigree. Midnight Gospel was parented by Pendelton Ward (creator of Adventure Time) and Solar Opposites was spawned from the seed of Justin Roiland (co-creator of Rick and Morty).
For Hulu, Solar Opposites represents uncharted territory in the way of originally created animated series. While Netflix has boasted many original cartoons (Bojack Horseman, Big Mouth, etc.), but none quite as trippy as Midnight Gospel. Did experience prove to be victorious or did breaking new ground set a precedent unmatched?
Two Bromunity members, Sam Menke and Mario "Sex Mex" Garza have taken sides and presented their case for each show. Which show do you think is better? VOTE BELOW and share in the comments!
Midnight Gospel - Sam Menke
The Midnight Gospel is unlike any show I’ve ever seen. Hi, my name is Sam and I’m a huge dork who watches a lot of TV.
The Netflix animated series premiering this past 20th of April, combines the minds of Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward and comedian Duncan Trussell. The show follows Clancy, a chill dude who’s just trying to make a “space-cast” and collect cool shoes. Aren’t we all?
The reason this show is so interesting and unusual isn’t because it doesn’t take place on Earth. We’ve seen that before. It’s not because Clancy transports to other planets through his “universe simulator.” Big whoop. It’s because this show actually combines podcast audio from The Duncan Trussell Family Hour with scripted dialogue. Duncan and his guests cover a range of topics on his show, from drugs to the acceptance of death. It’s funny. It’s philosophical. And none of it makes any sense paired with the action-packed animation in The Midnight Gospel. And yet, somehow it does.
The concept of having a deep and profound conversation with a stranger while they fight off alien-zombies just doesn’t make sense in even the most experimental of shows. But somehow the creators of The Midnight Gospel have crafted this show so well that you start to believe that it’s the only thing that makes sense. Why wouldn’t a prisoner’s soul bird talk to a rainbow with legs about the fabric of reality?
Now listen, I know what you’re thinking, ‘but Sam, isn’t this show for people who do drugs?’ And the answer is yes. It definitely is. But even if you’re the straightest person on Earth, I think you could enjoy this show. I would watch this show with my 57-year-old sober, libertarian father. Because it’s honest, it’s pure. It’s not controversial or offensive, it’s just real. Clancy, voiced by Duncan, is interested in enlightenment. He asks questions, he listens, he shares. You get to hear a lot of cool life stories from people with really wild experiences.
Even if you’re already familiar with the podcast, this show has a lot to offer. The animation is incredibly colorful and imaginative. I would still be reasonably entertained with no sound at all. On top of that, there’s a compelling B-story for our protagonist. Outside of his “bio-computer” Clancy is avoiding his sister, he’s ignoring his responsibilities, he’s trying to become the person he wants to be and he’s having some trouble with who he is right now.
The complexities of this show are vast, but they all orbit around the concept of the human condition. We can all relate to these themes because we’re all living through a common experience. I, for one, am so invigorated by this show because it’s truly fresh. It’s not the same old recycled characters and jokes in a slightly different setting. It is a completely different kind of TV show altogether.
The show is only in its first season with no promise to renew, but I could re-watch those 8 episodes over and over with no complaints. Highly recommend.
Solar Opposites - Mario "Sex Mex" Garza
To the massive fan base of Ricky and Morty; rejoice another show from half of its creative Justin Roland: Solar Opposites has recently hit Hulu. With the wave of success that Rick and Morty has experienced the past couple of years, it was no surprise that the creative team behind the monster show has been given another chance to spread his creative wings with this new show.
The show quickly sums up its entire premise in its 40 second opener. Solar Opposites follows a group of aliens whose home planet of Schlorp was recently destroyed by an asteroid. We accompany our now homeless we our new favorite Schlorpians are forced to search in a new home for themselves and their entire race, that is if they don’t screw it all up first. Somehow our schlorpians end up crashing on Earth, where they are forced to adjust to their new home.
The main cast consist of Korvo (Justin Roiland), Terry (Tomas Middleditch) and their two child replicants Yumyulack and Jesse. Although I love Yumulack and Jesse, who cares about who plays them. The all-star cast does a superb job with the characters, quickly getting you to love the misfits, almost as much as they pretend to love each other. Tomas Middleditch’s character especially shines as one of my favorite TV idiots of all time, Terry. Although the cast constantly causes their own misfortunes it’s hard not to relate to their laziness and complete lack of knowledge of the human race.
Borrowing from its successful cousin, Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites' almost improvisational tone quickly carves out it’s own voice. While the show misses the comedic genius of Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland proves he is not just a man standing on a giant’s shoulder. As Justin Roiland was the creative mind behind the original concept of Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites bleeds the creativity that Justin is known for. Justin especially shines in his trademark naming conventions that sound like someone just dumped out scrabble tiles to see what sticks.
Solar Opposites also surprised everyone with it’s rather strange and deep continuity. Although mostly episodic the show cuts rather deep with it’s ongoing plot of “The Wall”. No this isn’t some weird satire on President Trump's famous border wall but instead a wall in Yumulack’s room he has populated with shrunken down humans he has deemed to be annoying. Due to being cut off from the rest of the world, the residents of The Wall create their own society, government and even religion. At first this seems to just be an ongoing joke but eventually evolves into a full heroic arc for one resident of the wall. He goes from a new member of the wall struggling to survive, to the face a revolution, and eventually the very thing he swore to abolish. Yeah I didn’t really expect that from this show either.
All in all, Solar Opposites is an easy 8 episode watch that can easily kill an afternoon. While some might be a little disappointed by constantly comparing it to its older sibling, Rick and Morty, it’s creative storytelling and hilarious situations I recommend checking it out.with a large legacy to live up to solar opposites leaves yearning for more and endless potential of what is to come. I personally look forward to how Korvo and his family unit screw things up in the future.
Overall Score: 8.5 Fun out 10 Buckets