The Power Rangers Project: Revisiting a Childhood Obsession After 20 Years on the Air

Entertainment, The Blog
Photo Credit: Saban Brands

Photo Credit: Saban Brands

We all had our obsessions growing up. Some were Trekkies. Some collected a lot of Beanie Babies. Some wanted to be a Pokémon Master and catch ’em all.

Me? I was obsessed with Power Rangers.

Yes, the Power Rangers! The candy-colored superhero teams who fought bravely to save the world from evil witches and monsters. The series that featured earnest lessons about public service and staying in school in the same episode as a fight between a giant dragon mecha and a sphinx beast. Power Rangers was cheesy, earnest and awkward, and it was The Best.

Then I saw the above photo somewhere online, celebrating the Rangers’ 20th anniversary with a collection of every Red Ranger in series history. Said discovery made me feel a wave of emotions: “Why am I so old? Wow, I can’t remember the last time I watched an episode of Power Rangers. God, I’m really old. Some of these suits look ridiculous. Wait, there was a female Red Ranger? I’m SO old!”

Then I started doing some digging, and wow, this show has been through some production struggles. Originally a Saban Entertainment property, Disney bought the rights to produce and air the series during the Wild Force season, then moved production to New Zealand because it was cheaper. They also tried to cancel the series at a couple different points. After  Power Rangers RPM, Saban bought the rights back, and since then, the show has been airing on Nick. During all that drama, there were tons of teams, tons of Rangers and so much I missed out on!

Inspired by the series’ 20th anniversary, and the presence of every single episode on Netflix Instant, I’m going to spend the next month-plus revisiting the Rangers, one season at a time. Some of these seasons I know well – Power Rangers in Space was my absolute favorite back in the day – while others I never saw (basically everything past when Disney took over producing the show) or can barely remember (apparently I watched Lightspeed Rescue? I’ve no idea what that was about).

To do this, I will be watching one episode of each series and doing a write-up on it. I’m hoping the commentary will be in the same spirit as the series: fun and goofy, but with heart and a sincere enjoyment of what I’m watching. Couple things:

  • I’m gonna try to stick to very typical episodes – nothing with new Rangers being introduced or battles with major villains. This isn’t going to be easy in later seasons, since I don’t really know what’s important or not, but I’ll be going off episode descriptions.
  • I’m not treating Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers as its own season. It was 10 episodes long, it was basically a miniseries in the middle of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season 3 and I remember hating it when I first watched it.
  • I won’t be publishing on any sort of schedule – expect a lot of posts early, then petering out as we get into seasons I don’t know.

All that said, I’ll also update this post with links to all the others as I go. This should be fun – I love a good blast of nostalgia, and I hope y’all do too.

With that said…

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S1: “The Yolk’s On You!” (Episode 33)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S2: “Forever Friends” (Episode 37)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S3: “Another Brick in the Wall” (Episode 26)
Power Rangers Zeo: “Another Song and Dance” (Episode 45)
Power Rangers Turbo: Cassie’s Best Friend” (Episode 38)
Power Rangers in Space: “Silence is Golden” (Episode 35)
Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: “The Blue Crush (Episode 8)
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: “The Fifth Crystal” (Episode 21)
Power Rangers Time Force“Time Force Traitor” (Episode 26)

UP NEXT: Power Rangers Wild Force: “Three’s a Crowd” (Episode 20)

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