Sometimes, TV adaptations manage to take famous characters and give the public a brand new way to enjoy them. Other times, particularly when those shows are adapted from videogames, producers shove a money-shaped funnel into something beloved and suck the joy out of its lifeless husk. This Dorklyst explores the 8 worst TV shows that came from amazing videogames.
8. Sonic Underground
It might be difficult to recall after a decade of Sonic turning into a werewolf, starring in Arthurian RPGs, and ritually disemboweling your childhood, but there was a time when Sonic was a generally well-regarded franchise. The year was 1999, and the addition of a true 3D platformer to the series' winning formula was keeping hedgehogs lodged firmly in the public eye. DiC Entertainment had made two Sonic cartoons before, and wanted a fresh one for the Dreamcast generation. The new show would have all the classic aspects that Sonic fans had come to love about the series: royal siblings, a lizard priest, and enchanted shape-shifting instrument-weapons.
DiC carved out their own little Sonic universe where Sonic was a prince with a royal brother and sister. Together they formed an illegal rock group called "The Sonic Underground." And since everyone knows absolute monarchy beats despotism, the plot revolved around finding their mother, the Queen, so their family could overthrow Robotnik. Notably, they also had amulets that became instruments. Jamming together in 'harmony' would weaponize their songs.
To top everything off, veteran Sonic actor Jaleel White portrayed all three protagonists. For most of the show, it's just Steve Urkel with a microphone, pretending to be three musical hedgehogs of mixed gender. Inexplicably, reception was chilly, and Sonic lent his incredible speed to the rate at which the show was canceled: after one season.
Hey, remember that game from the 1990s starring a bunch of green anthropomorphic lake-dwellers that had the minds of ten year olds and beat up bad guys for fun? No, not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The other one. Battletoads.
A wildly successful video game, these totally-not-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles tried their luck at a TV show. From a doo-wop inspired theme song to the corny catchphrase, "Let's get warty!" Battletoads was the embodiment of everything middle-aged marketing executives thought kids liked about cartoons.
It starred three clichÃ©s of high school outcasts -- the nerd, the punk, and the fat kid - who are so utterly uncool that they are literally sent to the principal's office for being losers. Later, they're randomly offered the ability to become legendary intergalactic warriors by a talking goose professor. The trio accepts without any remote hint of hesitation and are given the alter egos of the valiant heroes of yore. In other words, they're turned into talking toads.
DiC was so embarrassed by the fact that the phrase "I'm a psychoranic skull crushing supertoad, man!" was ever uttered that the show never went beyond a single episode.