Thomas Middleditch, Sean Giambrone, and Mary Mack sat for a rather unconventional interview to discuss their ‘An Earth Shatteringly Romantic Solar Valentine’s Day Opposites Special,’ premiering today, February 5, on Hulu.
What’s a Valentine’s Day episode without killer birds? It’s a question Solar Opposites creator/EP Mike McMahan and EP Josh Bycel needn’t ask as their Season 4 V-Day special includes just such a flock.
Releasing on Hulu Monday, February 5, the special episode features alien family Korvo, Yumyulack, Terry, and Jesse as they declare war on Valentines Day… then immediately regret their decision. After removing love from the world, Korvo and crew realize that their actions could have planet-destroying consequences. Accompanying a parrot revolution and flaming riots, however, there may be one upside. Korvo and Terry may finally get together. Like, really get together.
Cover your eyes, Pupa.
For those who have been living under a rock – or in a terrarium built for miniature human prisoners – 20th Television Animation’s Solar Opposites centers around a team of four aliens – the Shlorpian family – who crash land on Earth. Zany fun (for viewers, not their hapless human targets) ensues as they negotiate the variegated charms of Middle America, with often raucous and chaotic results. Evenly split on whether Earth is awful or awesome are Korvo (Dan Stevens) and Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone), who only see pollution, crass consumerism, and human frailty; and Terry (Thomas Middleditch) and Jesse (Mary Mack), who love TV, junk food, and fun stuff.
AWN sat down with actors Middleditch, Giambrone, and Mack for an unconventional interview full of laughs and insight into “An Earth Shatteringly Romantic Solar Valentine’s Day Opposites Special.”
And we apologize in advance for ruining Pinot noir for any wine lovers out there.
Enjoy the crazy trailer first… forbidden love has never been more… choose your horrific metaphor.
Victoria Davis: The last time we all spoke was in 2022 for the third season so congrats on Season 4!
Thomas Middleditch: Thank you! And it’s great to talk with you again.
VD: The upcoming V-Day special is certainly “special.” It's got a lot going on. There are killer birds, planet-ruling satellites, cupid asteroids, Molotov cocktails… lots of stuff is happening. What did you enjoy the most about working on this episode?
Mary Mack: It’s the Jimmy Buffett references for me, just because it's not something you would think we would talk about on the show.
TM: Yeah, I'll second that. I've been to the Universal CityWalk Margaritaville restaurant many, many times. I think it's kind of funny and a great time to go there. So, when it got included in this episode, it was like when you do something as a joke so much it becomes real.
Sean Giambrone: Lots of family love and fun has always been my experience at Margaritaville, so I feel like it really matched the episode.
VD: Along with the explosive events – both literal and figurative – happening in this special, it comes with some really amazing animation. What were some of your favorite visuals that you guys saw come to life?
MM: I liked the parents a lot. That's my short answer this time.
SG: Yeah, there's that cinematic shot that they have in there with the metallic statue of the bird. That caught me off guard.
TM: Honestly, I haven't seen it yet. I'm getting to it.
VD: Are you waiting for Valentine's Day?
TM: You know what? Yes. I’m so sentimental, Victoria. I love Valentine's Day and I love the expression of love. I'm just a real celebrator, so I'm just going to cozy up with my party of one and three bottles of a nice local Cab.
VD: You’re really leaning into that Hallmark holiday.
MM: I might drink my Pinot from Season 1, from Yumyulack’s Napadoodles who would pee out the wine. I managed to save a bottle, so I’ll finally open mine on February 5.
VD: I'm amazed you've saved it for this long.
TM: Yeah, I gobbled mine up a while ago. Wine doesn’t last long around this house.
MM: Well, I'm aging my Pin, as I like to call it.
VD: If any quote makes it into the article, that's going to be the one.
MM: I almost took that a step too far. I’ll dial back now.
TM: Yeah, you don’t need to actively talk about aging your Pin.
VD: Well, let’s reel it back in. Not to abruptly turn left into a more serious discussion, but plenty of specials out there on different series serve as standalone episodes and it doesn’t always matter where you place them in the series. But, for this one, there’s a lot of character and relationship development going on. How do you feel the special helped to further the characters and grow the characters for Season 4?
TM: I think one of the things that Solar Opposites does well is that, yes, it's a classic adult animation that’s pretty wacky with cartoon characters dropping F-bombs and doing ridiculous stuff, but it doesn't completely reset every episode. You've got serialized moments, not only with the characters, but with things like Yumyulack’s human terrarium, The Wall, and the galactic law enforcement SilverCops. The specials take the opportunity to further those stories. And, on Terry's side in this special, there are certainly defining moments in the will-they-won’t-they Ross and Rachel relationship that he has with Korvo. But then there's bigger stuff with the Pupa, and these guys have stuff as well.
MM: I like that this episode is like a bounce board for Jessie, because maybe Jesse gets really serious about getting relationships, even more so than how horned up she's been in previous seasons. She's going to get very organized now with her love interest.
VD: And with aging her Pin and all.
MM: Oh god. Yeah.
TM: It's a lesson for all of us, girls.
VD: And Sean, what about Yumyulack? How do you think he grows in this episode?
SG: Yumyulack is still testing the waters of life and figuring things out. He acts poorly sometimes, and this is another moment he's acting poorly, but he might be learning how to be a better Yumyulack.
VD: Especially with the world-devastating consequences of some of his inventions. The consequences become a bit more real.
VD: So just before we wrap up, I have to say I appreciated some of the pop culture references in this episode, including the foggy handprint we all know from Titanic. Are there other Easter eggs like that that viewers should keep an eye out for?
SG: There is some Planet of the Apes stuff going on. I was a big fan of those films, so that was fun to play around with.
MM: I'm sticking with Margaritaville for my final answer.
TM: I second Margaritaville
MM: It is Thomas’ second home. Either in Margaritaville or the Rainforest Cafe is where you’ll find Thomas on any given night.
TM: Or wasting away, eating Bubba Gump shrimp.
VD: Maybe Terry needs a stand-alone special in Margaritaville?
TM: Maybe. Although he’s… Yeah. Let’s leave it at maybe.
MM: You’re really fun to be interviewed by, Victoria.
VD: I do try. Thank you. And thank you all for talking today! And, Thomas, let us all know what you think of the special when you watch it.
TM: I’m so sorry. I promise, I will watch it.