Fandom for a Hedgehog

SatAM Sonic the Hedgehog: Evolution of an esoteric Obsession
April 26, 2007
Greetings fellow nostalgiholics and retro junkys! I've been lurking this site for a couple years now and I was enthralled by the amount of childhood memories that have boomeranged back to me. It actually inspired this first article of mine since it relates to one of my favorte TV shows, Sonic the Hedgehog aka SatAM. So without furthur ado on to the entry!

Its surprising with the amount of reviews I do on childhood memories is that I've never expounded on the origins of my fandom for the speedy blue hedgehog. Many have inquired about it through email and I just never had the time to fully explain it since I had to be in a certain a mood to write about it. So relax, grab a chili dog and immerse yourself in the early stages of Sonic the Hedgehog and how I became the fan I am today!

Around the remaining weeks of summer vacation, in the glorious year of 1993, I remember watching a teaser ad regarding ABC's new Saturday Morning Lineup and it showed Sonic and some "chipmunk girl" for a brief 5 seconds.

Now at the time, I was already anticipating another Sonic show that UPN was going to air, so of course I became more curious on how the 2 would differ. Now at the time, I was still a Nintendo loyalist, but occasionally played the Sonic games when the opportunity arrived. I can be at a friends house and if Darren asked me if i wanted to play Sonic, I'd apathetically reply "um........ok."

Now this may become a shock to a few people, but I didn't really care for the games. It could've been due to the Nintendo conditioning over the years, but Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was practically the only game that won my attention. I mean come on, that Chemical Plant Zone music rocks the 16bit sound! When I heard there were 2 shows of the blue blur, my lust for video game adapted cartoons started to expand beyond Mario, Captain N, and Zelda. The games were fun, and I was interested to see how it would pan out as a cartoon series. Adventures of Sonic started to air on UPN weekday mornings. It was entertaining and the slapstick jokes were a guilty pleasure, but I was contemplating on what this "other" show would be like. So finally one Friday night, TGIF aired a special featuring the cast of one of my favorite sitcoms.

Corry Mathews and crew introduced 5 minute clips of each show that was scheduled to air the next morning. That alone already indicated how awesome saturday mornings were going to be pertaining to ABC's new lineup. NOTE: I still have the tape of this somewhere in a sea of VHS tapes, so hopefully I'll be able to youtube that sucker when I find it. I woke up at 5am the next day and endured the news segments ABC would show before the lineup would officially start. At 6am, Sonic the Hedgehog aired for a solid hour. The episodes were Sonic Boom and Sonic's Nightmare. Considering that it was relatively dark outside, it created the appropriate atmosphere and tone for the show. While watching the first 10 minutes, I started to question who the other characters were since they weren't in the games. Now since I'm anal about something being canon, I would complain and dub that the show was devoid of anything relating to the games. But even at the age of 12, it didn't matter since I was captivated by the emotion, characters, and overall plot. I don't know what convinced me at the time, but after watching the first hour of the series, I adapted a weekend ritual of recording every episode.

Even at its infancy, I knew that somehow this Sonic cartoon would be relevant in the future and man was I right! Though I continued to record Aosth episodes and watch them after I came home from school, it was the Saturday Morning version of Sonic that became the cafeteria banter of Monday's lunch period. Each week, I gradually became obsessed about it. It was apparent when I started to doodle characters on my notebooks and even draw pictures that I would hang on my wall. It was truly the best show of my Jr high years. In fact, it convinced me to get a Genesis which I strongly opposed since it wasn't Nintendo. I bought all the Sonic games at the time, nothing else. Almost as if the justification of owning a Genesis is to strictly play Sonic games. In Dec of 1994, when that infamous Doomsday Project episode aired, my fanboyness soared higher than ever imagined. What a fucking ending, and it left the door open to another season!

My friends and I just couldn't wait for the following year, and we knew the story would advance into darker territory. It was going to be big; something awesome was going to unfold knowing Snivley vowed revenge and had a mysterious new cohort. I thought it was Knuckles and some of my friends speculated that it was Metal Sonic. Using Mario Paint and alot of free time, I would actually try to animate supposed scenes from Season 3. Most memorable one is Knuckles slamming down on Sonic while Snivley laughs in the background. Fall of 2005 eventually came at a slow pace, but surprisingly there were no ads for Sonic. Of course upon waking up at 6am and switching on ABC turned out to be a huge shock when the beloved hedgehog was replaced with a disobedient whale based from a crappy movie.

(couldn't find still shots from the cartoon, since the webernet apparently despised the show as much as I did by erasing it from existance)

That's right. Free F***king Willy the animated series had replaced Sonic the Hedgehog! WTF?! At first I thought it was the network going through a rescheduling period, but after about 2 weeks of waking up with delusional hope, it was confirmed that the show was cancelled. My heart literally sank, since it's still a haunting moment of my life. An epic show ending on a cliffhanger with no verification of what Season 3 would involve. Fortunately, the show returned in 1996 on the USA network. Only stipulation is that it was butchered to the point where it was mostly commercials leaving less air time for the show. And here's where I'll end my tale since I can practically write a novel about this subject and the topic here is pretty much elaborated. To this day I still remain optmistic about a possible 3rd Season since the fanbase is constantly growing especially with the new release of the DVD boxset.
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