Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

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Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby O.Supreme » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:17 pm

Sit back kiddies, enjoy the warmth of the campfire and let the old man tell you a story. A story about myself who was just on the cusp of being “too old” when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers first came to the U.S. and my observations of it ever since.

I remember well the year 1993. I was 17. My summer vacation consisted of going to the San Diego Comic-Con with two friends. Fox’s TV lineup for kids cartoons was a smash hit with Batman: TAS, X-Men, and a new Spider-Man coming soon! I had picked up my VHS bootleg of Godzilla vs. Mothra along with other assorted Japanese Toku & Sci-Fi. I was collecting Bandai Godzilla figures like mad, and just starting to rediscover Transformers toys, trying to purchase used originals now that this new-fangled “Generation 2” thing was starting to come out.

Now along with getting Godzilla films I was aware of the existence of other franchises like Kamen rider, Metal Heroes, and Super-Sentai. But to me, none of them could compare to the original Ultraman, so I usually paid them little mind, besides since such things were not readily available at the time, I didn’t have enough money to invest in another franchise I thought.

So here is where it gets a little sketchy for me. The convention was August 19-22. The premiere episode of MMPR was August 28th, just a week later. Now my best recollection would be that I probably saw ads for this on Fox TV maybe a week or two before the premiere, maybe a months at the most, but I recall NO ads or promotion for it at SDCC. Of course it simply could have been that because I wasn’t interested or I wasn’t looking…but that sounds a little off to me because I do know I watched and recorded the very first episode, trying to keep an open mind, I would have thought I would have sought this out at SDCC…oh well to this day it remains a mystery.

Now on to the morning and world premiere itself. Of course being 17, I was a little old for the shows demographic, but the biggest blunder I think was in my mind, I thought this was going to be Ultraman all over again…In that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was just an American name, and the series was going to be a straight dub of the Super Sentai source material, despite seeing adds obviously with American actors, I must have been delusional to the extreme degree. Well I watched and a wave of shame, disgust, embarrassment and a host of other negative emotions filled my mind. The teenage actors were so bad, and the show felt so hacked to pieces. Admittedly the fight scene at the end with the Megazord and (I think Goldar was in the first episode…?), was the only redeeming quality. Even what little dubbing they did to with the Japanese villains was cringe worthy. But I like anyone else decided to give it time and see what would transpire.

Well the 2nd episode had a guy in a pig outfit and the only other friend at the time I convinced to watch this was done, and I couldn’t blame him. It was beyond stupid. Still something compelled me to keep going. Now as the season progressed, I think the thing that drove me was seeing the unique monsters and mecha which were part of the show. I usually just fast forwarded through all the teen garbage and watched the fight at the end (I recorded it and hardly watched it live). Then when I got wind that my cousin who was 7 was into the show, well that gave me a whole new perspective…Yes I would no longer watch the show for myself…but FOR HIM. Yes so we could converse on his level about what he liked (man was I crazy or what?)

So fast forward almost two years June 30th 1995. I was now 19, in College. I convince my girlfriend at the time to go see the MMPR Ranger movie with me in the theater (because none of my other friends will go with me). Needless to say, that relationship ended when the summer did. *(But that’s ok, I eventually found and married my beautiful wife and have two great kids…). But by this time I was well familiar with the Sentai source material, and was still confused at how the MMPR show was deviating from its source. I mean at one point you had Zords, costumes, and enemies from three different Sentai shows all going back and forth. To be a writer or editor on this show must have been agonizing.

Then when the Fourth season (Zeo) started, I actually breathed a sigh of relief. Though many fans were attached to certain characters, they started to follow the Sentai pattern of starting fresh each season with new actors and the correct corresponding mecha and monsters etc… I hung on for a couple more years until the end of “Power Rangers in Space”. I really don’t remember what this season was about, but I do remember Zordon dies at the end, and all the villains the Rangers ever fought are either finally defeated…or are no longer evil, or some such thing. I saw this as my opportunity to make a clean break, and so I did. It was late in 1998. I was 22, had completed college, had my first good job in the Mortgage Industry and could finally put Power Rangers behind me. Sure I still love Godzilla, Ultraman, Transformers etc… but those things were with me in my formative years. Power Rangers was just a failed experiment that hung on a little too long. It’s funny that years later, my wife found an old box of the VHS tapes that had Power Rangers episodes. When she questioned me about them I just said “I was taping them for my cousin, I just never sent them to him”, and that was it. They found their way to the trash.

So…I ask myself, do I “Like” Powers Rangers, and honestly I can so, no, I don’t. I was just too old for it. If it had started when I was younger, I may still be a fan to this day, but time and circumstances just didn’t work out on this for me. Now of course my son sees these shows all over Netflix. I have indoctrinated him with my likes, so the idea of Power Rangers isn’t foreign to him, but he just hasn’t chosen to take it up, and that’s fine. He turns 11 soon, and I just took him to see his first big-time sci-fi movie in the theater Kong: Skull Island, which he enjoyed. The trailer for the new Power Rangers movie played, and a few years back I would have been dead set against seeing it, but I told him—If YOU want to see it, I’ll take you. He said no, and that’s fine, he has other interests aside from some of the things I’ve shown him.

Now I will make this concession. I do appreciate that Shout!Factory is releasing the Super Sentai series on DVD. I’d actually like to see some of the older “Pre-Rangers” (1975-1992) shows but I understand S!F has to release what they think will sell well. If they ever do a deep discount on these, I may just pick them up. Also if YOU are of the age that grew up and loved Power Rangers as a kid, then kudos to you. It is not every franchise that has such longevity, and never let anyone tell you that you are too old-enjoy it for as long as you can.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Dr Kain » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:56 pm

Define deep discount because the Sentai sets are on sale for Amazon for $28 a piece. That is as deep discount as you are going to get. Hell, that's barely $1 for 2 episodes.

I don't understand the concept of being too old for something. As far as I am concerned, you can enjoy something you want regardless of the age. Hell, my dad loved Power Rangers too.

I was 11 when the series came out and I instantly fell in love with it just by a magazine article that showed off the toys (and they also said there was going to be a green ranger, so I was already excited for that before the show even hit). It was like Voltron, but with dinosaurs, in live action, with awesome fights. That was good enough to get me hooked. As for dubbing, that would have been the dumbest thing ever and the show would not have been the success it was had it been dubbed over.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby lhb412 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:28 pm

I never watched PR as a kid. I actually only watched it when I was in high school and college when Disney was making it and, more importantly, reran all the classic series on Disney XD (which is where I learned Power Rangers in Space is awesome). I've actually never seen any of the new Saban era shows, though.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Tom R VanSlambrouck » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:53 pm

I really enjoyed the original power rangers myself. I was 10 though when the show started almost 11. I do remember seeing ads for it and scoffing at it but then I caught the second episode or maybe it was third and I was instantly hooked on the show. Sadly though as I go older I grew apart from it. I think the last season I watched religiously was Turbo and even then I did watch it fully just because I couldn't get into the characters.

For me Power Rangers is and always will be the first three seasons with Zack, Billy, Trini, Kimberly and Jason and later episodes Tommy.

That being said the new movie looks like crap to me.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Dr Kain » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:54 am

Tom R VanSlambrouck wrote:For me Power Rangers is and always will be the first three seasons with Zack, Billy, Trini, Kimberly and Jason and later episodes Tommy.


Um... you do realize that Zack, Trini, and Jason were only in the first season and the first half of the second season, right? In fact, it's not even really the first half since a lot of episodes they had to get other people to impersonate their voices for them and then use stock footage for the characters.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby O.Supreme » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:02 am

Dr Kain wrote:Define deep discount because the Sentai sets are on sale for Amazon for $28 a piece. That is as deep discount as you are going to get. Hell, that's barely $1 for 2 episodes.


That's getting pretty close. I may end up getting them after all

Dr Kain wrote:I don't understand the concept of being too old for something. As far as I am concerned, you can enjoy something you want regardless of the age. Hell, my dad loved Power Rangers too.

Had I been in the age demographic when PR first started, I'm sure I'd be a fan to this day, but I just wasn't. My father loved the Universal Horror Monsters, Ray Harryhausen etc..., but when it came to Ultraman & Godzilla, he just thought they were "dumb". He would have been in his early 20's however when these films were prominent in drive-ins, and Ultraman started airing on US television.however I look at things like PR, Pokémon etc... I have no interest in them really, but had I been a kind when they came out, there is little doubt I would have.

Basically just consider very closely a popular kids show now that you have zero interest in...and ask yourself if you were age "X"...would you still not like it?...

Dr Kain wrote:As for dubbing, that would have been the dumbest thing ever and the show would not have been the success it was had it been dubbed over.


That's quite possibly true, but consider this. The original Ultraman was dubbed. Do you know why most fans who haven't seen it in decades always say "I thought there were way more episodes"... There were only 39. Yet it aired continually in syndication for about 16-17 years by my estimate---Think of that, the same 39 episode OVER and OVER for almost 20 years! That would be like airing only season one of MMPR until 2010 or so... do you think it would have held it's popularity for all that time with no new material?...I doubt it. and it's not like there were no other Ultra series to draw from, The entirety of the Showa era could have been dubbed and broadcast in the U.S....but it never did, only the original series. That still blows my mind to this day. If Ultraman had been "recast" with American actors, I'm certain it would be as nostalgic or popular with fans as it is today.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby canofhumdingers » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:34 pm

I was 10 or 11 when PR came out and even then, despite really wanting to like it, I couldn't STAND how intensely corny and poorly acted it was. I hated all the stuff with the "high school" kids. And the villains were just so... so dumb! The whole thing just felt overtly juvenile, in a bad way. I've always felt like someone who never grew up (I still love most of my obsessions from my childhood) and I can still enjoy lots of things that might be corny or juvenile to many people. But Power Rangers just never clicked for me and I really just can't stomach it.

FWIW, I've never tried watching any other sentai shows but every time I see clips from them I have much the same reaction as I feel towards PR. Something about the aesthetic of sentai really puts me off.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby EricDent » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:13 am

I was a bit older than you at the time (pretty sure I turned 21).
I liked the old show, sure it was goofy as heck, but like the '60s-'70s Godzilla/Gamera films it was a good goofy.
I even bought some of the toys (the combined Zords were cool).
I saw the movie in theaters, and thought it was fun (I recently re-bought the DVD & it's still fun).

When I watched the recent "reboot" movie trailers, I was simply shocked that they would totally change the fun factor into the usual "Twilight" teen-agnst stuff that seems popular now.
The Zords look bad, the monsters look bad, and the Rangers look bad.
The only good things are Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Banks looks hot.

So most likely not gonna see it, until maybe Redbox has it, or maybe the discount theater.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Dr Kain » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:32 am

canofhumdingers wrote:FWIW, I've never tried watching any other sentai shows but every time I see clips from them I have much the same reaction as I feel towards PR. Something about the aesthetic of sentai really puts me off.


The thing about Sentai is that with 41 series currently under their belt, there's at least one series for everyone. Mine are Dairanger and Kakuranger.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Tom R VanSlambrouck » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:10 pm

Dr Kain wrote:
Tom R VanSlambrouck wrote:For me Power Rangers is and always will be the first three seasons with Zack, Billy, Trini, Kimberly and Jason and later episodes Tommy.


Um... you do realize that Zack, Trini, and Jason were only in the first season and the first half of the second season, right? In fact, it's not even really the first half since a lot of episodes they had to get other people to impersonate their voices for them and then use stock footage for the characters.


I'm thinking of when Lord Zed took over. I could have sworn they split Rita up into two seasons and Lord Zed into a third.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Dr Kain » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:55 am

Tom R VanSlambrouck wrote:
Dr Kain wrote:
Tom R VanSlambrouck wrote:For me Power Rangers is and always will be the first three seasons with Zack, Billy, Trini, Kimberly and Jason and later episodes Tommy.


Um... you do realize that Zack, Trini, and Jason were only in the first season and the first half of the second season, right? In fact, it's not even really the first half since a lot of episodes they had to get other people to impersonate their voices for them and then use stock footage for the characters.


I'm thinking of when Lord Zed took over. I could have sworn they split Rita up into two seasons and Lord Zed into a third.


Nope. Season 1 was 60 episodes and then Zedd came in the season premier of Season 2.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:18 am

^True enough, I know its all one season, but I do recall a significant gap between waves of episodes especially in the early years. Not sure how they do it now especially since it appears each season has far fewer episodes, but I remember some excitement in the spring of 94 as a whole wave of new episodes started to air (still in season 1)...also IIRC season 1 really didn't have a proper ending, when Season 2 started, there was an obvious change, but there was no official end to season 1 that I can remember, just a regular episode like all the others.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Dr Kain » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:45 am

O.Supreme wrote:^True enough, I know its all one season, but I do recall a significant gap between waves of episodes especially in the early years. Not sure how they do it now especially since it appears each season has far fewer episodes, but I remember some excitement in the spring of 94 as a whole wave of new episodes started to air (still in season 1)...also IIRC season 1 really didn't have a proper ending, when Season 2 started, there was an obvious change, but there was no official end to season 1 that I can remember, just a regular episode like all the others.


Okay, in that aspect, yes, they aired oddly.

The first 40 episodes aired on weekdays (with some Sat mornings) from Aug-Nov when they finished up with what was Zyuranger's finale Doomsday Parts 1 and 2. Due to the show's huge success, Fox ordered 20 more episodes, so Saban had to have Toei make them new costumes, new monsters, and new footage for them to use (in addition to using a few episodes of footage they initially skipped). Thus, they didn't have new episodes until Feb.

The final episode to the first season was the one with the Oysterizer and Zack using the green ranger shield. Remember, back then most children's cartoons didn't really have cliffhanger endings or major plotlines (unless you were X-Men). Even Batman The Animated Series didn't do anything special for their season finales. The second season finale to MMPR was one about Zedd creating a clone of Billy from a clay doll.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:29 pm

Makes sense. At least it wasn't as bad as Super-Human Samurai Cyber-Squad. When they ran out of material from the 39 episodes of Gridman, they would just have new teen/drama stories, then recycle the exact same battle footage form a previous monster fight to push the series to 53 episodes ugh...Unlike PR I actually made myself suffer through all of SHSCS because I knew its source was Tsuburaya's Gridman, and it basically was "Ultraman" in Cyber-Space. Man did I back the wrong horse on that one... :lol:

Still I'd definitely pick up the original Gridman on DVD if someone were to get distribution rights to it, although considering its probably wrapped up in TPC's Ultraman mess, I'm not holding my breath. Also I know Mill Creek released SHSCS on DVD in 2 very inexpensive volumes. I literally will watch only the battle scenes, and sometimes with the volume down so I don't have to hear the annoying kids talk all through it.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby kidnicky » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:38 am

I'm with the op. I was 13 when MMPR came out and appreciate the designs and the clips from sentai,but I don't love it. Its just too dumb.
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Re: Power Rangers - I was just "too old"...

Postby Kaiju_Ultra_Fan » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:34 pm

I was probably 15-16 when TMMPR came out on tv. I wasn't a "fan" but I definitely watched my fair share of it. The theme song was fun to play on guitar, and the pink and yellow rangers were attractive. Plus there was mecha.

All I remember is season 1 stuff though. I had no idea it had been on the air for the past 20+ years until recently.

Now that Godzilla has led me to Ultraman and Kamen Rider and turned me into a fan. I've picked up copies of DaiRanger and Shuriken Sentai that I'm saving for a rainy day. I still really have no interest in the American Rangers, but I'll give the Japanese Sentai a viewing and an honest chance one day. I've heard it's a lot better than the MMPR. More serious and dramatic, less cheese.

But yeah, Giant Robots, Pink and Yellow Ranger being cute, and a 'metal' theme song are about all I remember of the show. Even at 15-16 I thought it was really cheesy,..and not really in a good way.

But at that age I'd watch any show that had a girl I thought was cute on it.

...hell I've watched more episodes of Charmed than I'd like to admit just because of Alyssa Milano. :lol:
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