Well, it took quite a bit of time, but we managed to make it through the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers…60 episodes in all. Compared to most shows, that’s an awful lot of episodes for just one season. Remember, though, at this point in the show’s history it was a daily program, airing every weekday afternoon. The first season proved to be very popular with kids. By Christmas of 1993, Power Rangers toys were all in huge demand. I was working at a department store at the time and any time Power Rangers toys came in they would be gone within just minutes of being put on the sales floor. There was controversy, as well. Many parents felt the show was a bit too violent for its target audience. What do they know, though. I sure had a lot of fun checking out this series. Before we move on, let’s take a look back at the first season.
I think one of the things that certainly stands out about this show is the very appealing young cast. Yes the material they had to work with was a bit goofy at times, but I’ve got to give it up for Austin St. John, Thuy Trang, Walter Jones, Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, and Jason David Frank for always giving it all they’ve got. Think about it, these actors were all in their early twenties at the time this was made, which is quite a bit older than what their characters ages were supposed to be. They could’ve easily rolled their eyes through this whole thing and none of the kids in the audience would’ve cared. This cast, however, certainly seems to be earning their paychecks from episode to episode. Now, certain cast members do get more attention than others. The writers did tend to rotate through the cast with episodes that focused on each individual ranger, but certain ones tended to rise to the forefront. Amy Jo Johnson as Kimberly is certainly one of the standouts. It makes sense given that she’s probably the strongest actor fo the group and her gymnastics talents lent themselves well to the action sequences. Plus, not long into the first season it became clear that many of the pre-pubescent boys in the audience were developing serious crushes on the pink ranger, so it’s understandable that a lot of focus woudl be put on her. The flip side is that Thuy Trang as Trini is probably the ranger who most gets the short end of the stick. It’s a shame since she is a strong character who could easily step into more of a leadership role in the group. Sadly, she isn’t given as much weighty material to work with.
Outside of the main cast, I did also get a lot of enjoyment out of the perennial comic relief, Bulk and Skull, portrayed by Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy. These guys are the classic sort of doofuses that often show up in kids programming. They actually succeed in being quite funny and have a real knack for falling into food. After just a few episodes I realized that one of the things I should’ve been chronicling along the way was what foods these two end up making violent contact with in each episode.
Of course, the wildest aspect of the show is the monsters. That was probably one of the biggest draws for the young viewers in 1993, raging hormones directed at the pink ranger aside. We hit all extremes with these creatures. Some were quite intimidating, like King Sphinx or the bizarre Pudgy Pig. There were also some really ridiculous ones like when Trini’s doll, Mr. Ticklesneezer, came to life. There were some that were just plain creepy too, like the demonic kabuki mask lady Madame Woe. Tops on my list though was Pineapple the clown, which was actually a creature called the Pineoctopus in disguise. Yep, half octopus, half pineapple. Somebody in Japan got paid big bucks to come up with that, folks.
As we look forward to season two (only 52 episodes this time campers) there are some changes on the horizon. First, there’s a new baddie who sets out to terrorize Angel Grove. Get ready to meet the evil Lord Zedd! We also have some changes on the side of the heroes as some new rangers are recruited. It’ll be quite an adventure. May the power protect you.