Sunday, 1 June 2014


And Hollywood just continues to piss all over my childhood. Good job guys! Good job!

Every country has that one particular show that seems to withstand the test of the ages. In South Africa, we have comedic filmmaker Leon Schuster who has been entertaining South Africans since before I was born. He's a treasure. Japan has Super Sentai, Britain has Doctor Who and America borrows a little from Japan in Power Rangers - the adapted version of Super Sentai!

It seems turning the Ninja Turtles into monsters wasn't enough for Hollywood, now they have to ruin another great childhood memory of mine. Earlier this month, Power Rangers owner Saban revealed that he's teaming up with Lionsgate (responsible for The Hunger Games and Saw franchises), for a new film. The reports made it sound like this will be some kind of 'reboot', a horrible word we nostalgic audiences use to describe when someone takes something that used to mean the world to us and just crap all over it. According to the press release, the movie will “re-envision the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” the original incarnation of the series.

Mighty Morphin synopis:
"Long ago, Zordon sealed the evil Rita Repulsa away in a space dumpster on a passing asteroid, but some careless astronauts accidentally free her. Taking up residence on the moon, she declares war on planet Earth. Unable to fight her himself due to being trapped in a time warp, he asks his assistant, Alpha 5, to summon five "teenagers with attitude" in order to stop Rita. He gives them the Power Coins, allowing them to morph into superheroes and proceed to teach lessons of many kinds."

Now back in 1993 when I was three years old, my mother sat me down in front of the TV because I wouldn't shut the hell up and turned on Power Rangers. According to mother, my mouth closed and my eyes widened for that twenty minutes. That's my Ranger story. English is my second language and I am expertly skilled in writing and speaking it, but back then, I could barely speak a first language. When I asked my mother years later if I only watched for the cool fights and moving pictures, she corrected me and said that somehow I could follow what was being discussed. This surprised me and at the same time, reminded me just how special this show is to me as a person.

I grew up a Ranger fan and grew out of it by the time Power Rangers' ninth incarnation - Power Rangers Time Force - appeared. After that, I grew up and only went back to watch the last season in 2009 - Power Rangers RPM - and I was just blown away by how they decided to end the franchise after seventeen years. RPM was dark and mature and awesome.

RPM synopsis:
"In an alternate present to the main Rangerverse, the Venjix computer virus has taken over nearly all of Earth's technological systems and built robotic forces to subjugate mankind. Humanity's last stronghold is the domed city of Corinth, as well as its own elite team of Ranger Series Operators that take down whatever raids make it through the shield. But Venjix technology is growing at an exponential rate, and without more forces even the Rangers may not be able to hold on for much longer..."

Then they restarted Power Rangers in 2012 for the new generation of children with some garbage they called Power Rangers Samurai, followed by Super Samurai, Megaforce and now Super Megaforce. Yes people. It was actually called Super-Mega-Force. Hearing this killed me inside as it was panned by the new generation (and the old generation). Out of respect, I tuned in for the first episode and felt my childhood just crumble away under this toss! Now they want to go back to 1993 and destroy the original rangers - MY POWER RANGERS! By re imagining the nostalgic nineties feel of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Turning something into a movie version with better effects doesn't mean it'll be good. Why not just do something Power Ranger-ish and call it Super Power Ranger Team Hyper Mega Force Something Go.

Why kill my childhood? Because Super Megaforce sucks and you want to relive the glory days? I'm not that extreme as a person, but there are so many other 'hard' hardcore fans that will reign hell on you if you screw up this movie. Actually, I'm sure some will reign hell on you if you MAKE this movie. Seriously? Mighty Morphin was great and all, but it's past. Reboots most of the time don't work and you've already proven that MM can't be recreated. Remember? You said you tried that with Samurai! I believe wikipedia lists that as 40 episodes long and it still couldn't do it. Copying the theme song, character archetype, the cheesiness? Now you want to fit 64 episodes of pure nineties magic into 100 minutes? You want to use the original characters, but not the actors? You want the awesome music they had in MM, but you want to evolve it 20 years? I understand why you don't use the original actors of course. It's obvious and understandable. That's not much of a bother.

Officially, Power Rangers has 20 seasons (going on 21 next year). Unofficially, even if I didn't watch seasons 10 to 16, I still consider Power Rangers to have ended in season 17 with RPM. That's just me though. Again, because I grew up with Power Rangers and because Power Rangers taught me all those life lessons that your favorite childhood shows taught you when you were growing up, I somehow know I'll end up watching the movie out of respect because I respect that eventually everybody grows up and this new Samurai, Super Samurai something whatever seasons may appeal to kids who don't know Power Rangers, but I also know that if something stays this long, then you try and make it appeal to the past, present and future. I just don't know how much damage this movie might do to my Ranger spirit. I'm a huge Doctor Who and Law & Order fans, shows that have existed almost as long or longer than Power Rangers and from those shows I know they try their hardest to expand their fanbases without alienating 'old timers' in favor of new blood.

Clip from 1993 in which the Power Rangers take on three opponents at the same time:

I also can't help but feel that by choosing to 're-imagine' this first incarnation of Power Rangers, that that's just what Saban and Lionsgate are doing. Now if they decided to do like an origin story of Zordon or make a movie with a completely new set of Rangers, new story in movie format, then this article wouldn't exist as there wouldn't be a problem. All I know is that this lack of originality Hollywood seems to possess by rebooting and re-imagining old ideas is really starting to piss me off - especially when they pick on characters that I looked up to when I was a kid.

Every Power Ranger Opening up to Super Megaforce:

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