Finally get a day where I can write whatever I want…and I get writer’s block! What is even…
Lucky for me YouTube suggested this commentary by The Disney Brain, who seems to be Power Rangers reviewer even though Disney no longer owns the franchise since Saban created a new company and took the show back. However, it’s a video that emphasizes a mistake among kids show critics, that it’s just a kids show so it doesn’t have to be competent. It’s a stupid way to think and this video gets most of the reason why. I do have a few thoughts of my own.
I don’t know his direct thoughts on Ninja Steel (you can find them yourself on his YouTube channel) but I don’t compare it to other shows. If they handle the parent angle in a different way from how Time Force did (Time Force being my favorite season although it didn’t do everything right, either) that’s fine. I rather enjoy the show for what it is. Except for Victor and Monty. They are the worst characters in Power Rangers history. Yes, worse than any character on Operation Overdrive, including Dax and Nog. And the pacing, while better than other recent “Neo-Saban” Ranger shows, could be better but Nickelodeon doesn’t give them as many episodes as Fox and Disney offered the seasons so they’re still struggling with that…for some reasons.
MegaForce however is hot garbage on a summer day and I’m so disappointed that THIS is the Red Ranger I share a name with! Now that this is out of my system….here’s what I wrote in the comments to the video:
This is coming from a 44 year old man who still watches Paw Patrol on occasion and is completely entertained so take my opinion how you will. Kids are more accepting of certain concepts than adults are. People turning into giants? Okay. Wings that according to science shouldn’t work kids don’t bat an eye at. However, kids are smart.
They do now when they’re being talked down to. They do know when characters are bad, and although they’re concept of boring is different than most grown-ups they know when a show is boring. You can’t approach a kids show the way you do an adult show and I don’t mean language and visuals. On the other hand, you do have to put effort into a kids show to make it good.
A kids show does not have to live up to adult logic. It has to follow kid logic, and the younger a kid is the more accepting he or she is of stranger concepts. They have a better imagination than most adults, even me. It also doesn’t have to entertain an adult, although it’s cool when it does. For example he mentioned Avatar: The Last Airbender, which did it well. I just couldn’t get into The Legend Of Korra though. And the current version of My Little Pony has a grown-up audience as well as the little girl target demographic. That’s because they’re good shows. I would put it to you, so is Paw Patrol, despite being a show about first response talking puppies with high-tech backpacks and various other scientific and technological questions.
An episode I happened to catch today involved bracelets that allow one wearer to be controlled by another wearer…to teach them how to play a puppy version of Dance Dance Revolution, which a little kid takes to be able to snowboard like a teenage daredevil who constantly gets in trouble because he only read half of Evel Knievel’s notes on how to be a stunt driver. In a more adult story there would be all kinds of concerns about this tech and its potential misuse. Here? Practicing DDR and snowboarding. Kid logic. The story was about how taking the easy way rather than actually learning to do it yourself is a bad thing.
I made a comment on Retroblasting‘s re-uploaded review of Silverhawks where I thought he overthought a few things, like why they were so willing to undergo cyborg operations to protect Limbo, or why they could breathe in space. (Like that ever stopped Space Ghost.) And it wasn’t because I like it. It’s because it stayed true to its own logic and was well-written. I did agree that Seymour the Space Hack was annoying but compared to his partner Zeek I’ll take him. The stories were also well written most of the time. The story structure was sound, the concepts fine for kids who are less demanding that grown-ups, but it isn’t insulting to kids, it doesn’t talk down to them, and it was fun to watch. Compare it to this movie my friend the Cartoon Hero reviewed, that had a good idea but was poorly written, poorly action, and poorly executed. It was insulting to little girls and showed just how little the creators thought of them, that just having something resembling Disney princesses was all they needed. See also my reviews of the Princess Of Power minicomics thus far, and that’s going to get worse.
Writing something off as “for kids” is an insult to kids. They are more accepting of certain concepts. They want good stories that don’t talk down to them. They aren’t stupid, just that they haven’t “seen it all already” yet and have their own general tastes. (You can easily point out exceptions. Like any demographic you can mention, kids do not exist as a hivemind nor should they. There will never be that one story that every man, woman, and child says is the ultimate story.) Kids shows do not have to cater to adults but crap is crap no matter what the age group. You can’t write off a negative critique as “it’s just a kids show”, because kids shows require just as much quality as an adult show. You can just get away with more stuff is all, and when you don’t have violence and boobs to hide your poor writing skills you’re forced to come up with interesting concept and ideas and stretch your imagination.
That’s what I love about kids shows. They’re more imaginative and upbeat than most adult shows today.