Let me preface by saying that I am almost 31 years old and I am still a fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and have been since the day they premiered in America. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Notice I said the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, not just Power Rangers. I prefer the originals (US originals, I haven’t seen much of the Japanese originals to properly judge). I haven’t been a fan of most of the other variations starting with Lost Galaxy. Although I wasn’t a big fan of Turbo because they replaced Rocky with a little kid (that little twerp pissed me off to no avail), but In Space wasn’t too awful. Tommy was always my favorite character, so after he left it pretty much stopped caring.
With every new series, the luster of the show faded more and more. It became quite uninteresting. Maybe it was because I was growing older and the show was geared more towards the younger generations, or maybe it had something to do with the fact that I felt like each new series was just a regurgitated version of the original. Just a copy of a copy of copy (and so on), each one weaker than the last. It could have something to do with the acting getting worse each time. I’m not saying that the original series was worthy of an Emmy or anything, but the acting in it was 10 times better than any in the later incarnations.
I’ve seen part of an episode of the new Power Rangers Samurai and it wasn’t half bad. I can’t say that it’s anything fantastic, having only watched like 5 minutes of it, but just in that brief viewing time it seemed to be an improvement from all the post-Turbo Rangers. Still, not enough to make me a regular viewer. They’re still marketed towards a younger crowd (preteen/teen), even though most teens nowadays are more interested in other things (Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.). Their target audience should actually be the people that were tweens/teens when the show first premiered. They were there at the start and some are still there but there yearning for something more. I know I am. A grown-up revamping is in order to breathe some new life into the series.
Hey, Haim Saban….hit the restart button and let’s get this show on the road!
Here are some suggestions for an upgrade:
1. Make it prime time. That’s right…Prime time. Turn it into an hourly action/sci-fi/drama and air it at night. I’m thinking the Syfy Channel might be a good place for it. They haven’t had the greatest history of quality shows in the past but they’ve gotten a lot better in the past decade. Battlestar Gallactica, Haven, Being Human, Alphas, Eureka, and Warehouse 13 are proof of that. And airing it during evening hours gives the show the opportunity to go beyond being a kid’s show and offer something more for the older crowd.
2. Blood. But not just blood. Bruises, cuts, scars, broken limbs…ya know, realistic battle damage. Make them look like they’ve actually been in a fight, not like they’ve been roughed a bit and got a little dirty. And cut out the sparks and flipping backwards. Take a hit like you’ve actually taken a hit.3. Armor up. Remember how badass they looked in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. They looked like they were wearing armor. That’s what they need, armor. No more spandex and motorcycle helmets. Sleek and redesigned with optimal mobility, kinda like Batman’s new suit in The Dark Knight.
4. CGI the big guys. Take away the stuntmen in rubber monster suits and Megazord costumes, throw away the cardboard cities, hire a highly talented CGI team, and make the colossal battles look awesome. I’m not saying they need to be Transformers or Pacific Rim quality graphics but something at least 3 or 4 times better than the CGI in MMPR: The Movie would be nice.
5. Fire the old writers. Hire a quality writing team and explain to them that they’re not writing for kids. They’re writing for the grown-up kids. Tell them to make it “realistic,” or as “realistic as you can get for the Power Rangers. No more cheesy dialogue, no more lame plots. Just solid character development and enthralling stories. Think Joss Whedon meets Zack Snyder meets Steven Moffat.
6. No floating heads and annoying little robots. Make Zordon more of a Dumbledore/Yoda/Master Splinter/Professor X character. A mentor and a teacher with a body, not just a floating head in a giant test tube. Show him training the Rangers to use their powers, even fighting along side them at times. Give Alpha 5 the “J.A.R.V.I.S.” treatment like they did in Iron Man. If not AI, than maybe something like an android like Data, not like C3PO.
I think all of these ideas would be a great start to rebooting the series. There are certainly other things that would need some tweaking (Putties, main villains, weapons, finding a place in the series for Jason David Frank and Johnny Yong Bosch, etc.) but these would be the main areas to start with.
A retcon is long overdue and much needed. I’d like to enjoy watching MMPR again and making some new memories with them, not just reliving the old ones. Let’s make this happen, Haim Saban.
And for your viewing pleasure: