Secret Pleasures #7: Power Rangers

26 Jun

How many 90’s kids can honestly say they didn’t love Power Rangers?  The answer: very few.  Words cannot express how cool the Power Rangers were and still are.

The ones that started the craze.

First, your history lesson:

There are 17 seasons, 16 generations, and a total of 99 different Power Rangers.  The latest Power Ranger season Power Rangers RPM premiered in 2009.  All in all, the Power Rangers have been one with dinosaurs, mystic powers, and natural elements.  They’ve been to space, the past, the future, and the apocalyptic future. They’ve been high school (and one middle school) students, cops, and cyborgs.

Second, my disclaimer:

Yes, I have watched at least a few episodes from every season of Power Rangers; however, most seasons I’ve seen every episode.  I even spent my last winter break catching up on season 17.

Bright colors + chessy pose = love

Third, why we love them:

Mighty Morphing Power Rangers (MMPR) was the knock off of some Japanese show but what the Japanese lacked was the divine cast of Tommy (green/white), Jason (red), Zach (black), Billy (blue), Kimberly (pink), and Trini (yellow).  They all had their interesting quirks but as a young white girl I loved the pink ranger (Kim) and had a crush on both the green/white and blue rangers (Tommy and Billy respectively).  Two other constant characters that made the show so great were Bulk and Skull.  They were absolutely hilarious.

Bulk kinda looks like a fat version of Tommy - at least in the long hair

MMPR rangers taught important lessons about being nice, playing fairly, and most importantly being active – every ranger had some sport they excelled in.  When Kimberly left the show because of a gymnastics competition I was disheartened, but the rangers supported her dream so I did, too (turns out the actress did some naked Playboy shots and never did anything worth while again).

But, when MMPR ended it wasn’t the end of the world; more good seasons followed.  Excluding the original, Power Rangers SPD is my favorite.

The numbers on the costumes are cool but for a season with two strong women they still get jipped with numbers 4 and 5

They’re police officers from the future and each has some genetic ability.  The green ranger, Bridge, was my favorite and could see auras which was good for tracking people or investigating crime scenes.  Bridge was also humorous, rambled, and had an obsession with buttery toast.  His character is probably why I love the season so much but it had its other good points. The rangers didn’t just defeat the bad guy, they went all democratic about it and judged whether they were guilty or innocent based on the evidence.

However, my biggest problem with SPD is the dog commander.  Really, a giant dog?  A giant dog named ‘Doggie’?  He stood on two feet and talked like a person so why couldn’t he be a person?  His assistant, Kat, was human with cat like features; why couldn’t it be like that for both of them?  I don’t get it.  Then again I’m not 10 years old anymore.

He's blue, too. WTF.

As for other seasons, Mystic Force and Operation Overdrive were okay.  Ninja Storm was interesting because they did unique sports that matched their element (skateboard/air, surf/water, motocross/earth).  The girl was also an aquamarine blue color instead of  stereotypical pink or yellow.

Some of my favorite episodes from all the seasons are the reunion episodes.  Whether the current rangers go back in time to visit old rangers or the old rangers are brought to the present it’s great to see different characters from different seasons coming together.  It’s also a good time to compare costumes and the ages of the actors (the MMPR are so old now).

These aren't all of them.

One thing I have yet to mention is the Zords.  Some people may argue that that’s what made Power Rangers so cool: giant robot fighting things.  I am not one of them.  I admit to still watching Power Rangers but of the 23 minutes per episode I only watch about 10-15 minutes of it.  Frankly I just skip all the Zord fights.  To little kids the Zords and explosions are way make the show so good.  To me it’s a little boring.  Yes, the terrible one-liners and puns are amusing but I feel like I’ve heard enough already that I’m not missing anything.  So, while Power Rangers is a secret pleasure I don’t enjoy every aspect of it, but don’t get me wrong – they’re great toys.

How many of these did you have?

Another thing worth mentioning in this post is that Power Rangers isn’t always all happy-happy, joy-joy.  They touch some crazy issues like Armageddon.   In Power Rangers RPM someone created a virus that made computers go all wack and start killing humans.  The few remaining members of the human race live inside a bubbled city.  Even more wack is that the robots have made slave camps where they experiment on turning humans into machines.  The green ranger, Ziggy, also used to be in a gang/mafia and the boss tries to kill him in a few episodes.  Watch the season and you’ll discover how dark Power Rangers can be.

Overall, Power Rangers is something I love because it reminds me of my childhood.  It’s bright, explosive, and the good guys always win.  Even for an adult like me it’s nice to believe in absolute good and evil, and redemption.  The show was great, the toys were great, it was simple great.

My Secret Pleasure: watching a group of ill punning kids take on the world’s greatest problems with pizazz.


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