I remember when the original 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' show came out and, at the time, I was too old for it. It was on 'Fox Kids' right after 'Batman: the animated series', which I love (and still do, owning all the DVDs as a grown man) and the TV in my room didn't have a remote control...and I was too lazy to get up. So, I watched with judgmental curiosity the adventures of these small town kids who fought monsters every time one or more would be sent to their quaint little burgh.
I guess I was at that age where I thought my fandom was too cool to watch something aimed at too young an age group. I scoffed at the opening sequence, where Zordon labeled the Power Rangers as "teenagers with attitudes". Clearly, if you watched the show, these kids were straight-A students who helped old people, younger kids and did volunteer work. I went to school with teenagers and the ones who did that stuff didn't have "attitudes". None of the Power Rangers were sneaking alcohol or girls into their rooms (or lives). Obviously, this was done to keep positive messages in the show for the younger fan base. So, what kept me watching (privately) this "kiddie" show that I had pronounced "stupid" in front of my peers?
I had read in a pre-Internet 1990s movie fanzine that MMPR used to be a Japanese show where the American actors were edited into pre-existing footage. Being a fan of 'Godzilla' at the time and realizing that this same thing was done to the American Raymond Burr version of the original 'Godzilla' in a racist, post-WWII USA (so that the main characters would not be "those people"), part of my brain viewed it as a kiddie version of the kaiju flicks that I loved. It was still in the "so bad it's good" MST3K territory and I never bought any merchandise from the show, but I did enjoy watching robot dinosaurs knock down small buildings...in that "revert back to a five-year-old" kind of way.
All the while, the teenager part of my brain was wondering why this Rita Repulsa lady wold be spending all her time and energy trying to conquer Angel Grove, a small town no one's ever heard of and that only had tall buildings when the movie came out and the budget went up. Was there oil underneath this town? Did Rita work for the Carlyle Group? Is that why she was waging war on a small place and killing innocents during monster/robot battles? And where did the Zords come from? Why would Zordon bury WMDs underneath this small town? All these questions were shoved aside as I laughed and quipped at this colorful show, like I would see Tom Servo and Crow do all those years later. Also, I thought Kimberly was hot, one of the perks of every show casting 20-somethings to play teenagers on TV.
Then, I saw the trailer for the 2017 version many years later. Well, they fixed the teenagers with attitude thing, one kid is on parole, the other has to take a drug test. And the special effects are way better. And they fixed the racial connotations to the colors of their uniforms. The blue ranger is black, the black ranger is Asian. I think the yellow ranger is Hispanic. The pink ranger is still a girl, but one kid is autistic like me, so that's diverse too. I like being represented.
Anyway, I'm going to check out the new movie, shutting off my brain and enjoying the giant robot dinosaurs. I won't have the nostalgic baggage that I had when Michael Bay ruined Ninja Turtles, because I didn’t grow up loving the franchise. But I do like superhero movies and I plan to go into this one like it's something new. Obviously, Hollywood would have never made this film if it was an original idea, because they don't do that with sci-fi...so, thank you, cheesy show, for the closest thing I'll have to watching something truly original at the movies this year.
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