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Published Time: 27.04.2024 - 09:05:59 Modified Time: 27.04.2024 - 09:05:59

Bereft of his tribe and warriorly duties, Knuckles turns into the unwitting scourge of blue collar workers everywhere in Green Hills as he tries to protect his new home from intruders who dare work on the family yard or deliver the mail. Knuckles show, Knuckles

Bereft of his tribe and warriorly duties, Knuckles turns into the unwitting scourge of blue collar workers everywhere in Green Hills as he tries to protect his new home from intruders who dare work on the family yard or deliver the mail.

Knuckle’s escapades ultimately get him grounded, which is quite the ironic term given how echidnas like digging. A fateful encounter with a ghost from his past, however, gives the last warrior of the echidna tribe a new goal to aim for. 

That would be training Green Hills’ bumbling deputy sheriff Wade Whipple and blast processing his courage so he can become a proud warrior just like Knuckles.

Yeah, that’s gonna take some time.

For folks who haven’t watched the Sonic movies, Wade Whipple is what you would call, um, a work in progress.

How much progress are we talking ?

Well, the guy starts out the TV series by losing his spot in a bowling championship team to a 5-year-old girl. To be fair, though, Little Susie is a fearless, stone-cold killer in the lanes.

To reclaim his place on the bowling team and play for the championship in Reno, Wade comes under Knuckle’s tutelage. What follows is the Sonic equivalent of a buddy cop movie as Knuckles whips Whipple into shape while both rediscover themselves and their purpose in this world.

Although the TV series is named Knuckles, its narrative is as much Wade as it is the show’s namesake. Wade’s redemption story is a big part of the show’s plot, which essentially chronicles his growth from a person with low self-esteem stemming due to his abandonment at a TJ Maxx store as a child to someone who bravely faces the very source of those childhood demons.

Granted, the focus on Wade won’t be for everyone. 

If you’re the kind of person who thought the 2019 Godzilla movie showed humans too much and did not have enough Godzilla, then the split focus on Knuckles and Wade might rub you the wrong way. There will be times in the series, including some pretty long sequences, where Knuckles does not show up, for example. If you decided to watch the series because you’re a big fan of the Knuckles character, the lack of Knuckles for long stretches of the show likely will be disappointing.

Personally, however, I prefer adaptations such as this that try to tell a coherent story as opposed to just jamming in characters all the time for fan service. Viewers who don’t know the Sonic characters, for example, and pick this up because they just want to watch a family-friendly movie, will likely be more appreciative of Wade’s story, which makes Knuckles’ limited appearances also more impactful.

When Knuckles does show up, the little red guy certainly pleases.

Knuckles is quite the likable character and actor Idris Elba does a great job once again in bringing the character to life. As someone who has seen various iterations of Knuckles in games, animated shows and even enchilada memes, this version of Knuckles is arguably my favorite — and I was actually unsure at first when I initially heard that Elba was voicing Knuckles in the Sonic 2 movie.

Like the movie, the TV series portrays Knuckles as more than just a two-dimensional character, exhibiting great strength at one moment while also showing a soft and, at times, vulnerable side, too.

It speaks to why the Sonic movies have been quite successful, which is a credit to their writing. Like the movies, the Knuckles TV series doesn’t dumb down its story just because it’s based off of a video game. At the same time, it’s also self aware of how silly it is and unapologetically embraces its inherent cheesiness.

Nowhere is this more apparent than The Princess Bride actor Cary Elwes, who just hams up his Pistol Pete persona as the bowling king of the greater Reno area. The colorful Elwes is a hoot in the role and looks to be totally enjoying himself in the process.

Elwes is not alone either.

Heck, as a Reno resident, I can also say that the show really did its homework, not just the location but some of the inside jokes typically only known to Reno-Sparks natives. This show is definitely not just some side project but a full-fledged effort of its own.

Don’t let the fact that it’s a spinoff from the Sonic the Hedgehog movies fool you. The Knuckles TV series exhibits just as much work, action and charm as its big-screen counterparts while also boasting an excellent cast that helps drive its story forward. The lack of appearances by Knuckles during some long segments of the six-episode series might disappoint some fans of the Sonic franchise. The story, however, has a lot of heart. The minds behind the project also truly care the IP and the world behind it, which shows in the final product. If you loved the Sonic movies, checking out the Knuckles TV series is a no-brainer. It will definitely fill you up while you wait for the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie to finish cooking.