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I believe I just tweeted five seasons’ worth of Power Rangers history…

July 29, 2011, 10:27 PM

My, the things that one will do when one has (A) a Metro ride to the suburbs and (B) a few drinks. I was tweeting about whatever this evening, and then broke into a thirty-minute Twitter stream talking about what I thought about various seasons of Power Rangers.

First of all, realize that this evening was pretty interesting. I went out with a few of the guys from work after work, and we had a few beers together. Then after we all parted company for the evening, I caught the Metro for home from Shaw, with a transfer from Green to Red at Fort Totten.

While I was riding on the Green Line and then waiting on the upper level at Fort Totten, my tweets were pretty typical of me:

Alstom 6046, Green Line to Greenbelt. #wmata
July 29 8:39 PM

Has anyone considered that the MTPD signs going up all over the Metro system are a form of fearmongering in themselves? #wmata #fear
July 29 8:48 PM

So I have some more Web building to do this weekend. #schuminweb #wordpress
July 29 8:52 PM

Red Line train spotted in the distance. It will be here soon. Servicing Brookland-CUA now from what I can tell. #wmata
July 29 8:53 PM

Then I got on Breda 3123, and got myself settled into a rear-facing seat in the blind end of the car, to the right of the bulkhead door, sitting sideways in the seat (the car wasn’t crowded by any means). And apparently my mind started to drift. I’ve been on a bit of a Power Rangers kick lately, and so I started tweeting about that. I apparently had a blast, as my first Power Rangers-related tweet was at 9:00, and my last one was at 9:32. That made for 32 minutes of Power Rangers-related tweeting. Apparently, I was on a roll.

It started out innocuously enough:

Why do I have this tremendous urge to watch Power Rangers this evening? #powerrangers
July 29 9:00 PM

I kind of wanted to watch Power Rangers right about then. But this being the Metro, I wasn’t likely going to be able to right away. Then I started getting chatty about it.

And for the record, MMPR season 1 is almost unwatchable. Seasons 2 and 3 are much better. #powerrangers
July 29 9:02 PM

And I will defend this statement. The first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was just about unwatchable. The acting was bad, Bulk and Skull were one-dimensional bully characters, the dialog was cheesy (“Morphinomenal”? Puh-leeze.), and due to the producers’ using Japanese footage for the villain scenes, you ended up with a classic Hong Kong dub on Rita Repulsa. Same thing happened much later with Mystic Mother, also played by Machiko Soga – that’s what you get when you dub humans with real mouths, I suppose. Meanwhile, I still find it amazing that some people actually hold the first season of MMPR up as something sacred. I consider it nearly unwatchable, and can’t believe that they picked that season to re-version in 2010 (which made the first season even worse than it already was). I think I would have picked the second season if I was going to re-version an old season. The acting was better, as were the storylines, plus Bulk and Skull actually had a purpose in life (that season, their goal was to discover the Power Rangers’ identities) besides just being bullies. Maybe they could have even hired Austin St. John and Walter Jones back to record the lines that their characters said during those episodes after the actors abruptly left the show and before their characters were written out by being sent to that peace conference.

But I digress. I continued…

Saban did a lot better when they introduced Lord Zedd, and even more so when they made Zedd more comedic. #powerrangers #mmpr
July 29 9:04 PM

Zedd was at his best when he was saying silly things with that serious-sounding voice. #powerrangers
July 29 9:07 PM

Let’s admit for a moment – Lord Zedd had a very serious-sounding voice. Anyone on television with a deep, gravelly voice like that is likely designed to say serious things. And Lord Zedd was exactly that in much of the second season. He was all business, and according to what I’ve read, he was considered too scary for the intended audience, and so Saban toned him down. I personally think Lord Zedd was a better villain once they toned him down and made him more funny. One of my all-time favorite Zedd lines is, “You can’t be a better bad guy! You’re not even a guy!” I love it when the villains are card-carrying villains. They’re the bad guys, and they know they’re the bad guys (and proud of it).

Considering I just kind of professed that I enjoyed Lord Zedd so much as a comical character, the next series of tweets follows just perfectly…

This is why I didn’t like King Mondo. Too serious. He didn’t do anything fun. And he got rid of the bad guys that I liked. #powerrangers
July 29 9:08 PM

I was so happy when the Super Zeo Megazord destroyed Mondo. And good riddance to him. #powerrangers
July 29 9:11 PM

I loved seeing Louie Kaboom make Queen Machina’s oil start to boil in frustration. #powerrangers
July 29 9:13 PM

I also enjoyed seeing Prince Gasket and Prince Sprocket argue. #powerrangers
July 29 9:14 PM

Last thing I wanted was to hear Mondo say, “I’m back! Did you miss me?” I wanted to shout “NO!” back at the television. #powerrangers
July 29 9:15 PM

Let the record show that I was never a fan of King Mondo. I disliked him from the moment I laid eyes on him, and not because he was the enemy of the Zeo Rangers. Mondo was not funny. Mondo would go around and discuss how he was going to send his army down and then do it. Every other character was better than stupid King Mondo, but when Mondo was around, no one else really got to develop as characters. It wasn’t until the Power Rangers finally offed Mondo (or at least we had hoped) that we saw any character development on any of the other Machine Empire characters. It wasn’t until Mondo was gone that we saw exactly how spineless Klank was, and it wasn’t until then that we saw the nature of the relationships between the other members of the Royal House of Gadgetry. Who knew that Sprocket was willing to deliberately place his older brother in harm’s way in order to get rid of him? The phrase, “A tisket, a tasket, no more brother Gasket!” put that quite well. The other characters were just plain better characters than Mondo, but Mondo basically drowned them all out when he was around. I wish that Saban would have followed the plot of Ohranger just a little more closely, and dumped King Mondo for good after the Super Zeo Megazord got him.

My dislike for King Mondo also reaffirmed my enjoyment of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd’s antics. They disliked Mondo and the Machine Empire as much as I did, and also wanted them gone. And Lord Zedd was clever in his schemes, while Mondo was just a pompous pain in the chrome-plated behind. And Zedd proved that he could reason, while Mondo was less so. Zedd had to decide who he disliked more – the Power Rangers or the machines, and decided on at least one occasion that he disliked the machines more than the Power Rangers. I was delighted to see Rita and Zedd finally (or at least for a season or so) finish Mondo off at the end of Zeo. I’d say that young Sprocket certainly did get a “bang” out of his present, all right. And good riddance to them.

Don’t think that the other bad guys got a free pass from me, though, and don’t think that the good guys did, either. See, the next series, Power Rangers Turbo, left a lot to be desired on many fronts. First, there was no really good closure given for Zeo. They just gave up this very impressive Zeo arsenal, as I think they had the most individual zords there at once than any other “Zordon era” series. They had five Zeo Zords. Then they had five Super Zeo Zords. They had the Red Battlezord. They had the Warrior Wheel. And they had Pyramidas, that could form an ultrazord with both the Zeo Zords and the Super Zeo Zords. That’s thirteen zords. Even the third season of MMPR had at most twelve at once – six Ninjazords, five Shogunzords, and Ninjor (not really a zord, but he could grow to be zord-size). But they just dropped it, and for what – cars. Yes, they were switching source material, but still… to let such impressive powers go to waste, ya know. Zordon probably sold the Zeo Crystal for a dollar at a garage sale somewhere in Angel Grove after the Turbo movie. And if that actually happened, that would have been really cool, because knowing the way Power Rangers worked, it would inevitably be bought by Bulk and Skull, and hilarity would ensue.

So here’s what I had to say about Turbo. First the villains:

Divatox was better than the machines, but still not as good as Rita and Zedd. #powerrangers
July 29 9:19 PM

Though Elgar and Rygog were no substitute for Rito and Goldar. #powerrangers
July 29 9:20 PM

Though the fact that Divatox would also place a detonator somewhere each episode made things more exciting. #powerrangers
July 29 9:21 PM

First of all, let’s admit it – Divatox was a very good-looking villain. She was human, unlike Mondo and crew, she was funny, and she had some attitude. Still not quite the same as the old team of Rita and Zedd, but she had a lot of that special something that the Royal House of Gadgetry lacked. I liked Divatox and crew. And after the way we suffered through stupid Mondo, we deserved some decent villains for a change. Don’t get me wrong – Zeo was a great season for many reasons, and possibly the best of the Zordon era, but that doesn’t mean that the Machine Empire sucked any less.

However, while we finally got some decent villains again, the good guys went completely to pot. I explain:

Though Divatox (a real hottie) and her bombs didn’t go near making up for Justin, a poor substitute for a *real* Blue Ranger. #powerrangers
July 29 9:23 PM

Even the other Rangers looked at Justin like, “Why did Zordon send this little s— to fight with us?” #powerrangers
July 29 9:26 PM

At least with the older Rangers, we could pretend it was really them in the suits. But with Justin, you knew it wasn’t him. #powerrangers
July 29 9:28 PM

Too short, you realize. #powerrangers
July 29 9:30 PM

Was so glad to see the other Rangers and Alpha 6 leave his sorry butt behind when they blasted off into space. #powerrangers
July 29 9:31 PM

Good riddance to bad Rangers, you see. Andros was WAY better. #powerrangers
July 29 9:32 PM

Yes, Justin. According to the interview that No Pink Spandex did with Blake Foster, he didn’t even audition for the role. And may I add that it shows. Justin will probably go down as the worst Power Ranger in the franchise’s history. Poor Blake Foster. The fandom hated him, and it’s not necessarily because of anything he did, but rather because we got an eleven-year-old kid rather than a real Power Ranger when Rocky left the show.

And unfortunately, Justin was just the tip of the iceberg. We also said goodbye to Zordon and Alpha 5, with their being replaced by Dimitria of Inqueris and Alpha 6, respectively. It says a lot when, at the end of the season, you bring Zordon back (sort of) and get rid of Dimitria without a trace, and Alpha 6, formerly a “yo yo yo” street-talking robot, got a new voice and started saying “ai yi yi” like the old Alpha in the next season.

Let me say this, though: they should have brought Dimitria back for “Countdown to Destruction“. That way, since they were already tying up every other loose end in the series, they could have taken care of the Divatox-and-Dimitria-are-sisters storyline. I could imagine how this would work: Divatox gets hit by Zordon’s energy wave, gets up wearing the white dress, says, “I’m alive! Alive!” like she did in the show, and then approaches a still-masked Dimitria. Dimitria unmasks, and the two share a big hug. That would have been a perfect ending for that, but instead they left it hanging.

And then you have the swapping out of the entire cast. That seemed too contrived, wiping out the entire cast, except for Justin – the one Ranger we all would have loved to have seen them fire mid-season. But no, we lost Tommy, Katherine, Tanya, and Adam. As I understand it, Jason David Frank and Catherine Sutherland wanted to leave, and then Saban decided to completely clean house while they were doing a cast change. Should have kept Johnny Yong Bosch and Nakia Burrise around, if you asked me. All of a sudden, there was no one left to love. The Rangers that had grown on us for years were all gone in one sweep. Zordon was gone. Alpha 5 was gone. The old MMPR suits in the Power Chamber were gone, too, for that matter, swept away when the Power Chamber set was redone for the second movie (and subsequently retained for the show). With all of the longstanding good guys gone, the show quickly became annoying rather than the old friend that it had become. I stopped watching after Turbo, and didn’t see Power Rangers In Space until 2010. That season was better than Turbo, but it certainly wasn’t the monster-of-the-week show that I had come to enjoy watching, though they did sew it all up nicely at the end.

So there you go. Probably more about what I think about Power Rangers than you ever wanted to know. But someone had to say it…

Web site: Power Rangers Unpatched - discusses the series and only the series, without all the fancruft that is rampant on other fansites

Song: Theme to Power Rangers Samurai. Good to see that Saban was smart enough to bring the classic theme back.

Quote: "I don't think they want to play with us! I guess maybe they think we're a little too big for them now! Well, they seem to be the perfect size for us! Walk this way!" - Lord Zedd from the blooper reel for "Rangers in Reverse", right after Zedd and Rita had made themselves, Rito, and Goldar grow to giant size.

Categories: Power Rangers