Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Episode 53: Fowl Play

Over the first season, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has grown quite a lot without having really grown at all.  It is still all about the monster fights from the Sentai shows being broadcast to American audiences in a way that doesn’t involve the Japanese stories.  That hasn’t changed.  And the show is still as goofy as ever in terms of the storylines.  What has changed is that the characters mental states aren’t being changed as much as in previous episodes.

Near the beginning of the show’s run, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had stories that involved personality changes and body switching.  It involved the characters acting like completely different people.  That has all but disappeared at this point.  Now it is the characters having problems in their everyday lives, and Rita picking up on these problems.  She uses them to plan her attacks, rather than attacking their personalities and hoping something comes from it.

I don’t know what the story of this episode is going to be.  I could end up eating my words by the time I finish watching it.  For now, I’m just ready to see what happens in Angel Grove this time.  Whose misfortunes is Rita going to try and capitalize on?  We’ll see in…

Season 1, Episode 53: Fowl Play
Zack is juggling and doing magic.  A girl kisses him.  This is a Zack episode!  Everyone is teasing Zack because he likes Angela.  They all go to hang out, but Zack stays behind to help clean up the Youth Center.

While Zack is talking up Angela, Rita attacks Angel Grove.  The other rangers fight putties while some sort of vulture monster attacks the city.  Zack uses his magic as a way to go help fight, and tricks Bulk and Skull into making him disappear.  Zack goes after the vulture monster by himself.  It kicks his butt and runs away.  Zordon tells Zack to go back to the Youth Center to avoid suspicion.

Meawhile, Trini, Jason, Kimberly and Billy are still fighting putties.  Tommy hasn’t even been mentioned this episode, though he was in the opening credits.  The putties leave and the Power Rangers go to the Command Center.  Kimberly asks why Tommy can’t help and Zordon says that Tommy needs to conserve his power.  Zack is staying at the Youth Center.

The Power Rangers are losing the fight against… I think the monster is named Peckster.  Zack is safe at the Youth Center when he figures out a way to win.  He shows up to the fight with balloons and challenges Peckster to pop them.  The black balloon is some sort of ball that traps Peckster’s beak.  Since Peckster is now losing, Rita sends down her staff to grow her monster.  Cue Zord fight.  The Power Rangers actually use a couple moves they haven’t before.  They use the mastodon head as a shield, and a laser shoots out of the head of the Megazord.  And then they win.

Back at the Youth Center, Zack is getting ready for a big date with Angela.  He’s all dressed up, he has the plans, and he’s telling the gang all about them.  There’s one problem though.  He didn’t know that he and Angela were taking all the kids out to a cartoon film festival.  Wah-wah.

Zack episodes are always at least entertaining.  They might not be the strongest episodes that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers produced, but they brought fun.  This episode brought a little more than fun, though.  It added a new layer to the Megazord with the laser that shot out of its head.  I don’t remember a time when I saw that move before.  I might just be forgetting one.  It seemed new, at least. 

This episode also saw Zack have the best chance yet of landing the girl.  He got to hang out with her for most of the episode.  He showed how good he was with children.  And he got to be compared to Bulk and Skull.  Almost anyone would look good when compared to those two guys.  It was nice to see Zack’s love life take a step forward after the theater incident in Lions & Blizzards.  Most everything went well this time, aside from the date not being a date.  At least it looked good in Angela’s eyes this time.

The next episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is the one I’ve been looking forward to since I started writing these posts again.  The Halloween episode is next.  I’ve heard only crazy things about it.  I don’t remember watching it as a child.  What will it be like?  I don’t know.  We’ll see next time.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Episode 52: Two Heads Are Better Than One

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a show about high school aged teenagers fighting off monsters sent by a woman who lives in a castle on the moon.  That’s a pretty crazy idea in itself, but having watched this far into the series, I am used to it.  It’s routine for me at this point.  A monster comes down, the teenagers fight it, everyone moves on with their lives.  Few things really stick around in the story of the series.  Most things that happen are simple, dumb, episodic fun.

This episode doesn’t seem like it will be any different.  Any change that happens in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers usually happens in the multi-episode story arcs.  Those stories usually carry the weight of the series while the single episodes bring the mindless fun that the series is known for.  They bring in cheesy stories that work well alongside the cheesy fights.  Everything blends together as one and is self-contained in the episode in which it happens.  That might change in the future, but for now it’s quite alright.

The episode I’m about to watch sounds intriguing from the title.  Again, what happens probably won’t be sticking around.  It would be weird if any of the material from an episode with this name did.  I mean, I’m expecting to see two of the Power Rangers using one body with both their heads.  I’m likely not going to get that and be a little sad.  It’s surely a two headed monster instead.  I can be hopeful though.  Here’s to seeing if I’m right.

Season 1, Episode 52: Two Heads Are Better Than One

I was not expecting this episode to start with Tommy and Jason teaching a women’s self defense course to a bunch of middle aged women, one of whom is very enamoured by them.  This feels more like a bad lifetime movie than Power Rangers right now.  They end their class with the title of the episode.  Rita takes that message to heart and decides to make a two headed monster.

Bulk and Skull show up because they want to join the self defense course and meet some MILFs.  Jason and Tommy agree to let them in, then head off to the park to get their next lesson ready.  Rita decides this is the perfect time to attack them, and sends some chicken monster thing after then.  So, this chicken monster… Its second head is a face in its stomach.  That’s weird.  It defeats the two Power Rangers and they flee to the Command Center.  There, the other Power Rangers meet up with them.

The plan is to get fruit to distract one of the heads.  Tommy goes off on his own into the park to find some fruit.  He’s ignoring his own lesson of the buddy system.  The other Power Rangers go to fight some putties.  Putties also attack Tommy and take all of the fruit he’s trying to get.  Tommy then goes to the Youth Center and gets some fruit from Ernie.

Tommy brings the fruit to the fight, and the two monster heads start fighting over the fruit.  Rita grows the monster.  Zords get called.  You know the drill.  Power Rangers win.  Fight over.

The episode ends with Bulk and Skull joining the self defense class.  Just the way Tommy and Jason had planned earlier in the episode, they put Bulk and Skull as the attackers for the women.  The guys get their butts handed to them as the women out-maneuver them in every way.  The end.

Okay.  So the episode didn’t go as goofy as I expected.  With past episodes like Switching Places, where Billy and Kimberly switched bodies, I was expecting this episode to have two Power Ranger heads on one Power Ranger body.  Alas, it was only a monster with two heads.  One of the heads was in the stomach.  Still a fun episode.

The only thing that got built up in this episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was the relationship between Tommy and Kimberly.  It was built up in a rather minor moment where Tommy was getting fruit from Ernie and said that he had gotten a pet parrot for Kimberly.  This reiterated that the two were a couple without beating the audience over the head with it.  The show isn’t known for being subtle, but this relationship isn’t as big a thing as I would have thought.

That’s it for this post.  I have eight more episodes to watch for the season.  One of them is the Halloween episode.  At this pace, I’ll have watched and written about that one in the next few days.  So that’s good.  It’s lining up with Halloween, sort of.  A few days before, but whatever.  The next episode is Fowl Play, so it almost certainly has a chicken monster of some sort.  Hoo-ee!  Let’s get this Mighty Morphin Power Rangers train a rolling.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Episode 51: Grumble Bee

After an extended break, I’m finally making my way back into the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episodes with this post.  This is the first episode after Return of an Old Friend and will likely dive right back into the monster of the week storylines that I have come to expect of the show.  The episode probably won’t bring anything new to the series’ overall story, but it will at least continue the show’s trend of being entertaining.  Unless it’s a Trini episode.  I think it’s a Billy episode, though, so we’re all good.

Another thing I expect of the episode is for the story to be ridiculous.  Why would I expect that?  We’re into that part of the first season where all of the Japanese footage is original footage shot solely for the American series.  The American adaptation of the Sentai series was longer than its Japanese counterpart, so extra footage was needed to fill the later episodes.  The footage from the Japanese show had been used up at this point, as I noted in earlier posts, including that episode where the pig monster came back for a second time and a bunch of the footage was reused footage from the first time.  What will this episode bring?  A bee.  I know that much.  Let’s see what the episode is.

Season 1, Episode 51: Grumble Bee
The episode starts in Angel Grove High School where Billy gets his first B grade ever.  Billy never gets Bs.  He’s going to now, though, as it puts the idea into Rita’s head that she should make a new monster that is a bee.  That’s right.  This is an episode about Billy fighting a bee because he got a B as a grade.

His name is Billy.  That starts with a B.  And he got a B on a test.  Because he got a question about a B wrong.  This might keep him out of Young Scientists of America or some club like that.  I think that’s the name of it.  While Billy and Trini are studying, the rest of the gang (Tommy excluded because he’s at a karate tournament) are playing basketball.  Then Rita sends some putties down to the court and they fight.  Goldar shows up to the fight and ties the three of them up in a magic rope that they can’t escape.  Rita chooses this time to send the grumble bee monster to Earth.  Billy and Trini are the only ones who can stop it.

The two Power Rangers don’t fare too well in their first fight against the grumble bee.  Billy gets injected with venom that causes him to weaken.  He can no longer kick properly.  Trini does some weird climb up a tree and then lands a kick only to be knocked away.  The grumble bee uses some sonic pulse and the two Power Rangers flee.

Trini and Billy go back to fight again.  The grumble bee shoots venomous silly string all over Billy and it’s eating through his suit.  Meanwhile, Alpha has freed the other three Power Rangers and they come to join the fight.  Now the big fight happens.  Alpha gives Billy a bug spray gun, Billy sprays the grumble bee, then Rita makes the bee large.  Cue the Zords, combine them for the Megazord, and fight away.  Sidenote: Scorpina is in Rita’s castle, but she hasn’t been a part of the episode.  Heh.  And when Rita is yelling at everyone, Scorpina is gone.  Weird.

So, now that the monster is gone, Tommy comes home.  He’s sad he wasn’t brought into fight, but he has to save his energy, so it’s all good.  And Billy comes in with good news.  He got an A+ on his exam and got into the Young Scientist Club.  And now Bulk is studying.  The end.

Like I predicted, this episode didn’t have any real weight on the rest of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.  It reminded the audience that Tommy needed to save his power since his power wasn’t as assured as that of the other Power Rangers.  He will need to be refueled by Zordon every once in a while which would weaken the entire team.  That is a serious problem but one that could be worth it if it saves the world from a giant threat.  That might come up in a future episode.  I don’t know.

This episode was exactly what I expected when I wrote about the previous episode.  I said I was expecting some dumb fun.  This episode was most definitely dumb fun.  The fact that everything was related to Billy, B, and bee… That was delightfully dumb.  It was the best and cheesiest way to use the material.  I’m not sure if Japan was making the footage based on the American story or if the American’s were making the story around new footage.  Either way, it worked.

I’m hoping to get to the Halloween episode by Halloween, so that’s at least three more posts that you can expect in the next two and a half weeks.  I didn’t intentionally hiatus for this reason.  It just worked out that I got back into the groove in time for this.  It’s coincidental.  As for the next episode, it has “two heads” in the title, so I’m expecting something weird.  We’ll see.