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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Power Rangers. Yes. Really.

Not the most likely candidate for a first post I know, but I figured I'd need at least one proper post up before I started directing people here and this is what I happened to watch this morning. I suppose in a way it's a good thing. At least it illustrates that I'm serious about watching every show.

So, I've been watching Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (MMPR) for a while now, a couple at a time, courtesy of a Youtube user calling himself powerrangerguy. He's a big fan and has the first 5 or 6 years worth of episodes up there. His channel has been a big help to the quest, because as far as I can tell, these very early episodes aren't available on DVD and are rarely repeated, especially on terrestrial television.

Now, adolescent me had pretty good taste when it came to television. Or at least, all the shows I've remembered as being great have in fact, when rewatched as an adult, been great. Dangermouse anyone? What about ReBoot, Press Gang, or Thundercats?
Exactly, stone classics every one. Though the less said about the female voice talent in Thundercats the better. Don't know what was going on there.

Anyway, MMPR is an anomaly. I have HUGE affection for this show, with many a school hols morning spent cheering them on in my jim jams, but this definitive, chronological rewatch has revealed some things I hadn't considered back then.

1) Every episode is pretty much exactly the same.
2) Every episode is pretty much shit.

I'll admit to having a sneaking admiration for the way they handled the walkout of 3 of the 6 main actors - including the nominal lead, although he'd pretty much had that honour stolen out from under him by a hugely popular late addition - halfway through the 2nd season. They pretended the characters were still there, just offscreen until they 'morphed', after which the Japenese footage kicked in of the suited characters, dubbed with stock dialogue from previous episodes. Genius. They kept it going for a good few shows too, while they seeded both the eventual replacements and the explanation for the departure of the originals. It was carried out pretty seamlessly.

The situation had arisen, so far as I can tell, when 2 of the cast had complained about money. They felt that they were not being adequately compensated for the fact that they were required to do all their own stunts in the unmorphed action scenes, which had resulted in, amongst other things, broken bones and an amputated finger. Yes, someone sacrificed a finger for MMPR. I think I'd have walked there and then.
Anyway, they ended up quitting and a 3rd guy went with them out of solidarity.* Good for him. I bet they were all kicking themselves when they saw the new guys up on the big screen months later in the movie, cashing in on the show they had built. Oh well.

I was curious to see how long it took the new characters to bed in but the question is pretty much academic when you consider they are essentially exactly the same characters playd by new meat puppets. In all honesty, I'd guess the scripts were already written and they just changd the names.

So there you are, a show with very little in the way of redeaming features onscreen, - unless you count Amy Jo Johnson, mmmm pink ranger - but a somewhat kinda sort of vaguely interesting offscreen story.

*Facts based on about 10mins wikipedia reading so could be bollocks.

Next time : Some other show. Your guess is as good as mine.

1 comment:

  1. Ah power rangers....

    exactly as described inexplicably love the show even if it is "shit"