Monday, June 20, 2011

Mighty Morphin' Mondays.

Alright, so my excitement for this outweighed my trepidation and I went and watched a few episodes of Power Rangers. It was not as bad as I feared, I actually found a good many things about it that I liked even now. It's amazing mostly since I didn't remember any of the positive messages of practice, teamwork, anti-bullying, health, nutrition.. none of it.. all I remembered was the Zords.

So Clearly even with all their efforts to produce a kids show with redeeming social qualities they didn't do it well enough to really make any of that stick out. But I give them credit for being far more subtle about it than another multi-coloured team of teenagers who combined their powers to fight evil. I'm looking at you Captain Planet.

This was another in a long line of Shuki Levy and Haim Saban productions. They have a history of sourcing material from Japan and reworking it to make it into relatively new product. It's another in a long line of such shows, But is relatively rare in that it dosen't just use the whole Japanese program, but has lots of new footage as well. It's some what of follow up to their Macron 1 program, also for Fox. Which was two totally unrelated Japanese anime edited together in the same vein as Voltron and Robotech. Like Robotech and Voltron, the stories are nearly totally re-worked and new music is added that makes the disparate pieces into a coherent whole. It's typically very memorable music, lots of people who haven't seen Robotech in 20 years will immediately recognize it as Robotech simply after hearing the background music, For me, it was exactly the same with Power Rangers.. It was extremely catchy.

I'm going to review several episodes each week, they are only 20 minutes long each, and there are at my count nearly 750 episodes. So expect about 3 per week for the next few years. Unless I forget, in which case.. I trust you to entertain yourselves.

Power Rangers ran on a 6 day schedule on local fox channel here. So every other weekend, when I went to visit my dad, I missed an episode. It didn't hurt power rangers, but really damaged my enjoyment of other shows from the era that were more serialized. Like X-men. So the first episode Day of the Dumpster, is oddly one I've never seen before.

It attempts in 20 minutes to set up the basic idea of the series. It introduces the main antagonist, Rita Repulsa. She's been trapped in a "Space Dumpster" on "The Moon" for 10,000 years. I've never seen the Super Sentai series that the Rita Repulsa segments are sourced from, but it clearly didn't take place on earth. The Planet that the "Dumpster" is on, clearly has two other bodies in his sky. But that quickly is glossed over and ignored. Rita it seemed tried to take over the universe in the past, and was trapped in the Dumpster as punishment. She responded by trapping Zordon in a time warp, which is the reason he is a floating face.

We are shown the kids, and their nemeses Bulk and Skull. at a health center (Something that even back in 1993 I considered some what ludicrous.. You see, to me, Health Center meant the place you went to see a doctor if you couldn't afford to go to a real doctor. I was positive no kids would want to hang out at a health center.)when an Earthquake hits. They are then summoned to Zordon's command center by Alpha the robot. Here they are given their morphers and power coins, and their communicators to allow them to talk to each other in case of an emergency, it is a kids show designed to sell toys after all. Before long they are putting their merchandize to work fighting one of Rita's minions. The sphinx like Goldar. When just the regular action figures fail to be enough, they call in the big guns, the Dino-Zords and Goldar retreats.

The second episode, High Five, Is the first of them with the random monsters, created by Finster, another of Rita's minions. It features the character of Trini attempting to overcome her fear of heights, and successfully doing so in order to save the team, and form the Megazord.

The third Episode, Team Work, features the girls attempting to get some environmental petition signed and the rest of the team going their own ways, The episode shows what comes of lack of team work, where Rita successfully divides the team to prevent them from the usage of the Zords. The team manages to regroup and summon the Zords but they aren't effective against the new monster. Zordon introduces the Power Weapons which gives the team enough of an edge with their respective mechanical help to defeat the monster. The episode of course ends with them learning how to work together as a team and defeating another of Finster's Monsters.

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