Judge David Johnson is the Puce Ranger. His Zord is the Diplodocus.
Our review of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Complete Series, published November 26th, 2012, is also available.
The year is 1993. Upon an unsuspecting populace, a new show is about to drop that would forever alter the landscape of kids' television and lead to an epidemic of amateur-karate-inflicted wounds on younger siblings.
Facts of the Case
That is show is, of course, the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, a series that blended shoddily-dubbed—and largely nonsensical—Japanese TV footage with a hammy plot about five American teenagers who spend every waking moment at the Angel Grove Recreation Center and Juice Bar. When the diabolical Rita Repulsa is freed from a space Dumpster (not kidding), she decides to conquer Earth. The only people who can stop her nefarious—and futile—plans are our spry post-adolescent heroes, who find themselves pressed into intergalactic space ninja duty by a giant authoritarian talking head.
Amy Jo Johnson. That's all I remembered about this show. Since it debuted while I was a sophomore in high school, and appealed to a demographic south of my age, I had only my raging hormones to occasionally draw me to the TV for a glimpse of the comely Pink Ranger leading an aerobics class in painted-on spandex. Everything else? A blur.
Thankfully, the good people at Shout! Factory have seen fit to release the first volume of the first season on DVD. And don't let that "first volume" stuff scare you off Morphin' fans: this three-disc set features 30 episodes!
Let's take a closer look at the players in this epic saga…
Jason the Red Ranger
Zack the Black Ranger
Billy the Blue Ranger
Trini the Yellow Ranger
Kimberly the Pink Ranger
Tommy the Green Ranger
Together, our heroes suffer through essentially the same episode, 30 times over. The moral lessons change (Toxic waste stinks! Teamwork is awesome! You know what else stinks? A fear of heights!) but the game-plan remains the same: the kids loiter around the juice bar until Rita dispatches her Putties, prompting them to turn into the Rangers and effortlessly defeat the invaders with a mixture of spin kicks and rabbit punches, prompting Rita to release her Monster of the Week, which is defeated once more by the Rangers when they use the Plot Device of the Week (usually a huge sword of some kind or a space crossbow), prompting Rita to use her sorcery to grow her monster into a skyscraper-dwarfing colossus, at which point the Rangers to summon their Zords in all of their environment-ravaging glory, culminating in an awkward battle between some interns in rubber suits.
Outside of Bayside High, you're not going to find a better time capsule of the excesses and ridiculousness of the early '90s than the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Laughably bad object lessons, batsh*t crazy Japanese creature designs, and inter-dimensional gender-swapping awaits!
Your brain cells will morph into cole slaw, but I'd be lying if I said I
didn't enjoy getting my Zord on.
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