I found myself genuinely sad, being suddenly confronted by the series finale of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Apparently, the internet has known for some time that the current season would be it’s last and that particular bit of news, somehow, slipped through my cracks. Or maybe I willingly blocked it out of my memory because I didn’t want it to be a reality.
If you hearken back to a previous post, you’ll recall my love for a tea analogy. Admittedly, Aqua Teen is not everyone’s cupa. It never has been. But, more often than not, you’ll either love it or not care that you don’t love it. It’s not a show you can hate, I don’t think. If you don’t love it, you feel as though it’s because you’re just not in the cool kids club, full of people who do love it. And if you do, in fact, love it… you’re in on the joke. You’re the Frylock (level-headed, taking the show at face value and enjoying it for exactly the nonsense it is) to the everyone-who-doesn’t-like-the-show’s Master Shake (straight up doesn’t get it, but pretends to… or doesn’t bother to give it a second thought). Also, you wish Meatwad (just the cutest thing!) was real so he could be your best friend/pet.
Oh, there’s also the folks who don’t like it, but watch it anyway because they really want to be in the cool kids club. (They’re Carl.) I digress.
So, we’ve got 10 successful seasons and one feature film, released over the course of 15 years, under the belt of Adult Swim‘s longest running animated series (the sixth longest running American animated series to date, by the way). Still, it receives an abrupt cancellation half-way through the production of it’s eleventh season. And the reason? Mike Lazzo (EVP of Adult Swim) was “ready to move on from it.” Insert bitch face here.
Rather than rant about how bitter I am about that, I’ll just get to the Proof of God moment. Picture it: I’m ho-humming along the way I normally do, watching all my DVR’ed shit when the latest episode of Aqua Teen pops up and 11 minutes into it… I’m struck with the realization that it’s not over. It was the first (and only, if I’m not mistaken) half-hour episode of the series. It was then that I Googled and found out exactly how late to the series finale party I was. Before my jaw could fully ascend from the floor, Frylock and Shake were both really dead, for real, and Meatwad had a full head of hair, a wife, and two human/meat kids (meatlatto, if you will). The credits rolled to Patti fucking Smith singing her sad song and boom… it was done. A book with fifteen years worth of pages very suddenly slammed shut.
To make it all the more sad, it didn’t feel very typical of Aqua Teen. Series finales often jump ship from the typical fare of their respective series, I’ll grant. I just didn’t want this particular series to end on such a somber note. But there it was. Death and old age and a Patti Smith ballad atop the Aqua Teen house and The End.
A second finale. A magical, internet-only, unaired second finale. There’s not a better meaning of “perfection” that I can think of for this show other than a big ol’ “j/k, you guys, here’s the final finale.” The final finale, indeed. Where characters are immortal (with or without magic shampoo), The Bibble (not a typo) cannot be questioned, boogers belong on tables, above ground pools are for bathing, Jimmy is Lord, Christopher “with sound mind and bitchin’ hair” Lambert is super bored, every minor character you wanted to see in the would-be finale is not only present, but join together to form the Last Aqua Teen Supper, and we get a conclusion befitting the ridiculousness that is and was and will forever be Aqua Teen Hunger Force a.k.a. Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 a.k.a. Aqua Something You Know Whatever a.k.a. Aqua TV Show Show a.k.a. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever.
I’m still bitter that it was cancelled. But I’m less bitter now that we were given a proper send-off. It was a true “Thank You” to the fans and a well-deserved “Fuck You” to the higher ups.