It may surprise you to know that I was an Aquabats fan long before they arrived on TV. They came out of Orange County in the mid-nineties with their own blend of ska and surf music. For their stage shows, they dressed up in spandex superhero costumes and needless to say, they didn’t take themselves too seriously.
I came to know them when my then, young-teen son fell in love with their music. We listened to their CDs on the way to school everyday and finally we got to meet them when they visited a local record store to sign their newest release. Shortly after, my son and his friends talked me into taking them to an Aquabats show. It was a long drive and I still can’t believe I agreed to do it, but I have to admit, I enjoyed the performance.
Unfortunately, the band’s record label folded and they were forced to stop touring. The band members began working on separate projects but briefly reunited for a second chance at fame in 2005. Not long after, Christian Richards Jacobs, aka The Bat Commander, sold his idea for a TV series called Yo Gabba Gabba. And here’s where it gets weird again. The series set up shop not far from my home in Orange County. At the time, I was desperately looking to work in the TV business and couldn’t believe they were going to film a show within an easy commute of my house. I saw an ad saying they were looking for help and I was brought into the fold as an intern.
I didn’t know that the show was connected with the Aquabats until I was given a tour of the office. What a great surprise! I fully expected to become a part of the project with my name in the end credits and everything. Sadly, two weeks in to my internship, I was told that only college students could be interns. If you’re not a student, you can’t work for free because it causes all sorts of legal issues. So I had to leave. A few months later, the show was an enormous success. And to this day, I wish that I could have stayed to be a part of that.
Fast forward another few years and I see a commercial on The Hub for The Aquabats Super Show! Wow, you really can’t keep these guys down.
Which brings me to today’s new release of the first season on DVD.
If you’ve never seen the show, it’s hard to explain. It’s like The Monkees Meets the Power Rangers – a lovely homage to the live-action, Saturday morning shows of the 70’s . Each week, MC Bat Commander, Crash McLarson, Ricky Fitness, EagleBones Falconhawk and Jimmy the Robot are called into action to defend Earth from some wild, rubber-suit monster. They do this in between musical gigs and eating. . . they love to eat.
Since the episodes are light on plot, they fill them out with Aquabats cartoons, which look like 1970’s Filmation toons, and other short sketches.
The Aquabats! Super Show! Season One is silly, cheap, and utterly nonsensical – but that’s exactly what they were going for. Kids will love the broad comedy and wacky monsters. Adults will appreciate the scifi winks and familiar guest stars such as Rip Taylor, Jon Heder and Lou Diamond Phillips.
The DVD contains 13 episodes, Bloopers, the original pilot and behind-the-scenes clips. There are also bat-commentaries on a few of the episodes. I loved these, mostly because they film the show around where I live so it was fun to hear them talk about the locations.
This show isn’t going to appeal to everyone but if you’re a fan of the band, you have to own it. If you enjoy Robot Chicken or anything on Adult Swim, give it a shot.