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Sep 112009

When I first discovered Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1995), during its first season, I felt it was a great teen show, because I was a high school teenager at the time and the show was about high school teenagers with real teen situations while doubling as superheroes, who protect the world from the evil forces of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. The teens are Jason (Austin St. John) the Red Ranger, Zack (Walter Jones) the Black Ranger, Billy (David Yost) the Blue Ranger, Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson) the Pink Ranger, Trini (Thuy Trang) the Yellow Ranger, and Tommy (Jason David Frank) the Green Ranger.

As the series progresses, Tommy becomes the White Ranger and some of the other rangers get replaced. Jason, Zack, and Trini leave the town of Angel Grove to become peace ambassadors in Switzerland. Taking their places are Rocky (Steve Cardenas) as the Red Ranger, Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch) as the Black Ranger, and Aisha (Karan Ashley) as the Yellow Ranger.

It’s a well-known fact that the main reason teenagers watch teen shows or teen movies are because of modern relatability. Unlike many other teen shows, Power Rangers doesn’t rely on heavy drama or soap opera story line, which has always been difficult for me to watch. Instead, it has entertaining battle scenes against various monsters with the rangers out of uniform as well as in, while trying to lead normal lives. Lucky for them, their parents never get too suspicious with the whole secret identity issue.

In the scenes with Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, and their henchmen on the moon, I have noticed that the same footage tends to be reused very frequently, but with different audio each time. I don’t understand why. I guess it saves on shooting new scenes for each episode, just like clip shows do.

One of my favorite villains was Rito Revolto, Rita’s brother the skeleton warrior, who joined the team of villains in season three. He was hilarious, especially when he keeps calling Lord Zedd “Ed”. I wonder if he’ll ever get it right.

Other great villains include Goldar the armored warrior and Scorpina the scorpion woman. Oddly, after the first season, she had disappeared without a reason. She did make one appearance in season two, but after that, “poof”, she was gone. Scorpina wasn’t killed off, like any of the other monsters. So who knows what could have happened.

Power Rangers also teaches the values of martial arts and what it’s really all about, self-defense and not hurting others. When I took tae-kwon-do class, I heard that was the most difficult part to learn, especially for young teenage boys.

 Steve Cardenas and me

There was also a movie version, which premiered shortly after season two ended. It featured the same actors, but with awesome revamped special effects for the big screen. Surprisingly, it put my sister to sleep, but that’s beside the point.

Jason David Frank

At the FX Convention 2008, I met two of the Power Rangers. They were Steve Cardenas (Rocky the Red Ranger) and Jason David Frank (Tommy the Green Ranger and White Ranger). I was thrilled. In fact, for the very first time, I was star struck. I look forward to meeting other classic Power Rangers in the future.

The Power Rangers legacy has been around since 1993. After the first few seasons, the series started to drastically change with a brand new version every year. That’s when I lost track, but the original version still remains a classic even today.

Power Rangers had also inspired other shows like Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills and Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog. Neither series lasted more than one season. Sorry, but as open as I was to the ideas, there’s just no substitute for the real thing.

I would recommend The Best of the Power Rangers – The Ultimate Rangers and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – The Movie.

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