So today I’m going to tell you about my new late night obsession… The Aquabats! Super Show! I’d like to say that I’ve been living under a rock and that’s why I haven’t heard of the Aquabats before now, but truth be told despite the fact that this group has been around since 1994, I don’t know anyone who really knows who these guys are. I’ve seen posts about them on forums and then watched as hundreds of people post in unison responding, “who?” in relation to them.
That means it’s not just me, who hasn’t heard of them. I suppose if you live in So-Cal and are connected to the indie rock hipster scene, you’ve probably heard of these guys. They’re an underground band who do crazy pop rock songs. But let’s just put aside the music for a minute, because the music is irrelevant. Yes, the Aquabats are a real band who perform as superheroes, sort of like Gwar but without the mindless gore and gratuitous sexual repulsion. The Super Show is a much broader expansion of that concept and it’s freaking brilliant.
I think the best way to describe the Aquabats Super Show is Space Ghost meets Scooby Doo meets Josie and the Pussycats meets Pee Wee’s Playhouse meets Adam West’s Batman meets 70’s Sentai. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, check your pulse. Each episode features the band getting into hijinks with villains and monsters, plus a brief cartoon that has the vibe of an old Hanna Barbera superhero toon. There’s also funny fake commercial breaks advertising absurd products interjected in-between.
Seriously, it’s an insane show about this band of superheroes traveling around in their giant superhero tour bus (dubbed the BattleTram and it’s bigger on the inside) fighting giant floating eyes, mummies on motorcycles, ghosts who love burritos and just about everything else awesome you can imagine. It’s in the same vein as the 60’s Batman TV show, done with the same sort of camp, only turned up about 15 notches.
The special effects are actually pretty awesome if you love old school Sentai-type stuff and despite the low budget nature of things, nothing actually looks cheap. As it turns out the leader of the Aquabats, the MC Bat Commander, is also the guy responsible for Yo Gabba Gabba, so the costumes are good and the irreverence is right along that same sort of mentality. Every scene has some kind of new sight gag and ironic homage to everything you loved if you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons.
It’s just insane, in the most awesome of ways. The show currently airs on The Hub, Hasbro’s TV network. I discovered it late one night by staying up too late and flipping through the channels. I thought it was going to be dumb, you know like kid’s dumb, but instead it turned out to incredibly entertaining. The first season has 12 episodes and I’ve only seen a few so far, but each one is just trippy, awesome and zany.
Apparently there hasn’t been a second season confirmed yet, because Hub isn’t sure on it. This show is a million times better than any of the goofy live action stuff that Adult Swim has produced and is right up there with the Venture Brothers in managing to parody a genre and still be creative and original on it’s own. I almost think the show is missing it’s target audience by being marketed to kids. It’s definitely okay for children, but it’s a show that’s humorous to adults.
Hub, if you have any souls, you’ll renew this show for a second season. It should be paired up with reruns of Batman or something. Seriously, check the show out when it reruns on Saturdays and see if you dig it.