"So I failed once. Big deal. Rita and Zedd have tried to conquer the Earth over a hundred times, and they've never come close." - Master Vile
As kids growing up in the 90's we were big fans of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when it originally aired. It has since had many different seasons and casts, but we've really only seen Mighty Morphin, Zeo, a few episodes of Turbo, and the movies. There is just something about this show that is so nostalgic and memorable. I remember playing Power Rangers with the other kids in our neighborhood, watching the show after school, and having Tommy and Kimberly become one of the first ships I was ever a fan of. I still like it when someone has the morpher tune as their ringtone, and I was very excited to see Jason David Frank and Johnny Yong Bosch's panels at Otakon. The show is of course incredibly cheesy, but it is just a lot of fun and I still really enjoy rewatching the episodes. Judging by the number of people that still cosplay as the rangers at conventions, we are definitely not alone in this.
Power Rangers basic premise was that five teenagers were given special powers to defend their town of Angel Grove from the intergalactic force of evil known as Rita Repulsa. Their powers enabled them to morph and gain control over their animal Zords which could transform into the Mega Zord to aid them in their fight against Rita's monsters. This show had a lot to like about it, from the catchy music, likeable characters, friendships, fight scenes, choreography, and comedy. And of course, like most kids who were into this show, we were huge fans of Tommy. Looking back now I kind of feel bad for Jason for getting pushed to the side, but I still love Tommy's character and enjoyed seeing him take charge of the rangers. With the characters, one thing I thought the show did well was the transition between Jason, Zack, and Trini and the arrival of Adam, Rocky, and Aisha. Even without the actors in the original group to shoot scenes, they did a nice slow transition to get the audience used to the new characters and even had a slight twist where other characters could have even potentially become the new rangers.
As the first few seasons went on, the show just became more and more appealing and I really started to enjoy the scenes with Rita and the other bad guys. Along with the addition of Zedd and Rito, the show just eventually found it's way with the villains and really hit their stride. Instead of just having to get through the same old scenes with Rita and the monsters she was getting created, I started to not only enjoy, but also look forward to the scenes with Zedd and the other enemies since their moments were so fun and refreshing. The show started to have the characters acknowledge that they were always on the losing side and occasionally have issues with one another, and watching their struggles was entertaining. Zedd and Rita also made a surprisingly cute couple and the scenes when he had to deal with his father-in-law were very comical. As the show went on I also enjoyed watching Bulk and Skull's characters grow and try new things. One of my favorite scenes was when Adam discovered Skull's talents as a pianist and he gave him the encouragement to tell Bulk his secret. And Bulk, much to Skull's surprise, was so supportive and proud of his best friend's abilities.
When we bought the series box set, we watched the making-of documentary and it really changed my opinion on the series as a whole. I knew that a lot of the action scenes were from the sentai version of the show, but I didn't realize just how restricted the writers were by the footage that they received. It was really interesting to learn that they had to write around the scenes they were given, and it was amazing that they didn't even know that the green ranger (who had gained a huge fan following) was just going to disappear in a later episode. Their creativity and resourcefulness was really incredible with what they were able to put together. I also gained a much greater appreciation of the actors and characters of Billy and Kat, and although I always liked Bulk and Skull, it also made me realize the extent of their comedic genius.
There is a lot to like about this show and I still love to collect figures and other items of memorabilia. Jen has given me a new Power Rangers figure each year for Christmas for the past few years, and she even got me a bunch of awesome pogs and slammers to go with our trading card collection. It's just so much fun to reminisce about the show, and each time I watch it back I find something else to enjoy.
||Tommy, Kimberly, Adam, Billy, Skull
||Tommy, Rita, Adam, Skull
||The Green Candle, Wild West Rangers, Ninja Quest, Instrument of Destruction
||White Light, Instrument of Destruction, The Wedding
||Tommy/Kimberly, Rita/Zedd, Bulk and Skull
||Rita/Zedd, Bulk and Skull, Tommy/Kimberly