Time again to look back at the “teenagers with attitude” as Lewis “Linkara” Lovhaug takes us to the second season, and the guy I still consider the best bad guy of the franchise, Lord Zedd!
I’m going to try something a little different this round. I’m going to do a sort of anointed version of Lewis’ review to make sure I get all my thoughts in this time without having to go back and re-edit from now until the time this posts.
- One thing I have to agree with Lewis here is just how many activities these kids do when they’re not fighting evil. Note also that these kids are depicted as all being grade “A” students (even Kimberly, although the early episodes have her just barely making it, so I guess being a Ranger was a positive influence on her study habits), on top of all the extracurricular activities, depending on the needs of the story. And if even they would be considered taking part in a certain activity, they always had a friend, relative, or someone they happened to meet at random to do it for them. I barely had time to draw a dinky comic book and keep up with my shows. Of course, our little town didn’t have all the activities that Angel Grove has, either.
- I have to also give Fox credit. Putting this show in prime time was something special. Usually, the only way a kid-targeted show aired in prime time would be if Christmas or Disney was involved. Later on we had episodes of Batman: The Animated Series air on Sunday nights, which was even awesomer.
- Ah, Lord Zedd. What an great entrance. I don’t remember when Goldar’s losing his wings was ever a big deal. Two other things I find interesting in that scene: They actually designed a Rita Repulsa costume, but the close-up still uses Zyuranger footage. I wonder if they had actually planned to bring the character back at some point or not? The other is how Goldar just kissed Zedd’s butt, which is even more gross when you realize that Zedd’s muscles are on the outside of his body.
- Also, Finster was dropped from the cast after this episode and not heard from again until Rita’s return.
- In addition to Richie there was another kid brought in whose name escapes me, and I wonder if they were meant to be replacements for Jason and Zach. They even wear the same colors (and the other kid was black, so you had the enforced racial dichotomy in place–no really, the whole multicultural thing was forced in for future changes, not just a coincidence) so why not? Instead we had three new characters show up later, Rocky, Adam, and Aiesha.
- One other note I have to give about the disappointing “Dark Rangers” story is connected to Saban’s other decent Americanized show, VR Troopers. Since two separate shows were used, the lead character and his friends never fought together. However, there were the occasional “Battle Grid” scenes where they did fight together, and instead of the usual VR armor, they had special suits.
I never understood the point of the Battle Grid, since the Troopers actually used weaker outfits than their usual suit, but anybody else notice a resemblance to the Ranger suits? They could have made better Dark Ranger costumes than poorly-made sock monkey outfits.
- Cute little Rita toy. Did she even get an action figure in the toyline?
- Oh, and that stuff about the source of the Morphin’ Grid? Apparently future writers didn’t get the memo. In Operation Overdrive, for example, one of the Alphas even goes into the grid, which looks like some kind of technological thingy, to fix a damaged area as if it were a physical place. Didn’t make a whole lot of sense. For that matter, was there a connection to the “Morphing Masters” mentioned in one of the Season 1 episodes?
- As far as Angel Grove having the biggest idiots? I would put either Gotham City (60’s Batman show) or Townsville (the Powerpuff Girls) in that position. He does make a good point that it’s seasons away before we see a military and at least one more season before we see evidence of a police force. But it does seem like it’s the teenagers who ever do anything other than teach or run a health club for teens.
- Of course, the real reason for Serpentera to not see a lot of usage comes from the source material, Five-Star Sentai Dairanger. Instead of being another Zord, Diajinryuu was a “dragon god” responsible for keeping the battle between the Dairanger and their opponent, Gorma, from destroying the world during their war. So he didn’t show up all that much, but Saban’s writers thought up an origin more in keeping with the Power Ranger narrative, so I have to give them credit.
- Question: Were the actors actually in Australia during the Rita’s return story? I never understood what the point was, unless this is where they found the actress who played Kat. (Ahhh, Catherine Sutherland. That voice can make me melt like ice cream under a sunlamp.)
- I think I know why Lewis may have had trouble with 1700’s Angel Grove, because it’s one that bugged me, more so after the later episode where Kimberly ends up in the Old West. Angel Grove (like most of the Ranger cities in the later years) is in California, while this looks more like colonial New England. That would make the aforementioned Old West Angel Grove more believable as the early days of the city.
- While Lewis sums up why I preferred Zedd as a villain, you should hear it from me or what’s the point of putting this part down here. Zedd is the one to have given the Rangers the most challenge and was the most clever. Using the Ranger’s personal interests (or those of their friends) against them, coming up with strange yet usable monsters (I remember once he actually used a TV camera when the Rangers were doing an interview to encourage kids), and showing a level of strategic brilliance that only a handful of future villains were capable of matching (including, oddly enough Lothor of Ninja Storm, otherwise the goofiest Ranger foe ever). He was also the most threatening-looking until Dark Specter of In Space and Dino Thunder‘s Mesagog, although that one could be debatable.
- While Lewis loves to sing the praises of Bulk and Skull, I always found Skull the more entertaining. But Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier made a great comedic acting team, and I would love to see them team-up again.
And that was that for season 2 of the Mighty Morphin’s. There’s one more season to go before the rebooting started, and with Lewis already up to Power Rangers Turbo as of this writing, I’m going to try to do a few more so I don’t fall too far behind.