While bloggoscoping the web recently, I chanced upon a debate regarding an extremely important topic, more pertinent today, in our world of frivolous media and cheap knock-off television, then ever before. The hot topic these media pundits were dissecting was regarding children's television and specifically was asking: What is the most important children's program of all time? While many fine examples were brought forth, I was shocked to see that not a one could grasp the importance and sheer magnitude of the unequivocal dominator of all youth programming. While bantering about the merits and detriments of TMNT or the thundercats, they almost seemed to miss the point of children's television entirely, which leads to my next blegture (blog-lecture?)
The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers (the original!) was, and always will, the greatest piece of entertainment media ever fabricated.
Mind you, this incorporates ALL forms of media and could even be considered a culmination, a coming together if you will, of all such media. Take the humor of television's Conan O'Brien, the wit and cynicism of Jack Kerouac, the visual imagery of Salvador Dali, the direction of Roman Polanski, the soul and spirit of Pachelbel and the brevity of the Taco Bell dog and you may start to get an idea of how important Power Rangers was to a generation of children seeking a cultural identity.
Now, "Xvi," you're probably thinking, "what's Power Rangers got that any other show doesn't?" to which I will roll my eyes at you, calmly sit you down and attempt to inject some sensibility in the entertainment cortex of your brain, so traumatized from television-refuse like The OC or Masterpiece Theatre.
Allow us to go down the checklist of vital elements a show must have to truly be considerd a classic.
- Monsters: Check
- Ninjas/Martial Arts: Check
- A culturally diverse, sexually deprived group of twenty-somethings acting like mid-teens: Check
- Slaspstick humor: Check, and how!
- A city skyline that is destroyed every episode and miraculously reconstructed before the start of the next: Check
- Semi-imaginative, color-distinct costumes, garish in the marriage of pink spandex and biker helmets: Check.
- Comic relief in the coupling of an abusive fat guy and his bumbling, thin, shockingly-stupid companion: Check.
- Robots: Check.
- Giant Robots: Check
- Swords, nunchaku, lazer guns and dragons: Check, Check Check and Check.
- A killer soundtrack by Danny Elfman: Well... You cant have it all.
As you can now tell, the adventures of Zak, Kimberly, Billy, Trini and Jason (Mastodon, Pterodactyl, Triceratops, saber-Toothed Tiger and Tyrannosaurus respectively) exist as a parable for the issues facing all youth today. The show was not afraid to tackle such topics as "what to wear to the dance" or "friends hurting the feelings of, and later apologizing to, their friends." Topics which children's television was so afraid to attack before the brave rangers killed those topics with their lazer beams. In fact, prior to Power Rangers, only the oft-censored Full House seemed to have any gumtion whatsoever in providing Americans with a window into the issues encircling its inner-city youth. And Power Rangers did it all, with a killer theme song to boot.
"GO GO Power Rangers!
GO GO Power Rangers!
GO GO Power Rangers, the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers!"
The repetition of the single affirmation, a support for their bravery, a request that they continue their public services and a well-earned pat on the back for saving the city and America's moral decline yet again. Indeed, GO GO Power Rangers. Save our youth from the Rita Repulsives and Lord Zeds of the world. Teach us how to deal with the Bulks and Skulls of the world. Fight the good fight. You truly are the mighty ones.