Ranger Ranker! #1 – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (Season One)

The One with Teenagers with Attitude

Welcome to my new series: Ranger Ranker!1 I recently started watching all of Power Rangers from the very, very beginning. Did you know that there are like 30 seasons or something? I did! And I decided to watch all of them in a row anyway! I make good decisions.2

Naturally, the first question one might ask about this rewatch is: Why?Which Season is Objectively the Best One Based on an Arbitrary Rating System?

Well isn’t it fortunate that I am here to answer that! Behold! My completely incontrovertible system that will not need to change at all ever!

Let’s Talk About Power Rangers

Power Rangers, as a production plan for a show, is about laziness. It’s about taking this Japanese robot show about revived ancient warriors trying to stop an evil witch who is trying to feed children to Great Lord Satan and blending up all the footage from it to make a show about some wholesome teens (with attitude) who solve problems around their community that often turn out to be thematically tied to whatever monster is attacking that week. It’s like this because someone figured “hey, we’ve got this cool fighting robot footage, what if we just use that footage instead of paying to make it ourselves and then clumsily shape everything else about the show to fit around it.”

And then it went on for 30 seasons.

You don’t get to 30 seasons of something without a reusable template and formula. Fortunately, the source series for the footage, Super Sentai, is part of a whole genre of Japanese superhero team shows, and has already made some basic decisions on how to do that, so the Power Rangers writers get to just take that and ignore most of it.

At its base, each season of Power Rangers has:

  • A team of 5 or more Rangers
  • A giant Zord that makes a good toy
  • A villain
  • A whole bunch of monsters

There are also many things that tend to be echoed across different series, including

  • Combining weapons
  • Red being the leader and,
  • Red getting special powers that no one else does
  • A mentor for the Rangers

And other stuff that I haven’t decided on yet.

But the great thing about having the same basic backbone is:

I get to decide which one did the thing in the best way.

I’m going to be scoring every series based on 3 categories:3

  • Adaptation: the behind-the-scenes stuff – all the things about the creation and production of the American side of the show, including: 
    • Overall plot
    • Original music
    • Original fight scenes
    • Juicy facts that I think are interesting/funny
  • Good Guys: The Forces of Good, all the people in cool colored suits with the big robot, including:
    • The Team
    • The Mentors/Support
    • The Zords
  • Baddies: The Forces of Evil, all the big foam suits and scheming kings/queens/emperors/pirates, composed of elements such as::
    • The Big Bad
    • The Plan
    • The Henches
    • The Fodder
    • The Monsters

And so it begins: The first Ranger Ranker! in a series of 30-some or however many it takes until I get distracted and/or lazy:

(Season One)

(I bet it gets the 1st place ranking in this article)

Adaptation

Adaptation is a misleading word, because the plots of the Power Rangers seasons and Super Sentai seasons are never ever ever the same. Rather, they are their own stories, created around the mangled bits of the source material, changing some or many details wholesale. In no particular order, let’s examine:

Plot

Ignore the extremely recognizable rock formation

The plot of the first season of Power Rangers is pretty simplistic to begin with: A team of random high schoolers (who look like they are 20) are chosen by a floating head and his robot to defend the Earth (mainly centered around this one town in California) from the evil space witch, Rita Repulsa. Each episode generally has an A-plot involving the monster and a B-plot involving some kind of Teen Problem or Charity Work that is somehow either causally or thematically linked to the Monster Problem.

This pattern continues until Episode 17, part one of the Green with Evil story. This will add another Ranger – Tommy, the Green Ranger – to the show, first as a brainwashed enemy and later as an ally to the Rangers. Midseason entries such as this are referred to as “Sixth Rangers”

Obviously there can’t actually be more than 5 episodes of sustained plot though, so we’re back to episodic Teen Problems until the next thing that involves Tommy, which is that he loses his power and then hangs around until something else happens to him. 

There’s no real Dramatic Arc to the season, no climax or ultimate battle, it just goes on for 60 episodes, 10 of which are part of Tommy’s story, and then it’s over, ending on some kind of bland teen romance plot involving a character who will never appear again.

Score: 10 points (not that I’m going to use a consistent scale or anything. 10 is 10 out of nothing because I said so)

Music

I’ll definitely get around to the theme song, but I just have to say that I had forgotten that there was SO MUCH music. Nearly every fight scene has some kind of rock-adjacent track behind it with lyrics and everything. Some of them are comfortingly direct (Go Green Ranger Go or Fight!) whereas some seem like they have meaning somewhere in there but I can’t tell (like 5-4-1 which is like a pun or something? I guess?) They are generally fun and campy, I’ll count it as a mark in the Positive column, but reluctantly.

As for the theme song. It’s simple and repetitive. It’s high-energy. It starts off with the awesome voice-acting talents of Shrieking Barbara Goodson, which is always great. All of this makes it very memorable. Horribly memorable. So memorable that I can’t stop humming it as I write this and also at random times throughout the day. It is my life. It is everywhere. It is all-consuming. It cannot be stopped. No one can ever take it down. The power lies on its siiiiiiiiiiiiide.

Score: 53 points

Fights

All the actors here are very capable, with David Yost and Amy Jo Johnson being gymnasts and Austin St. John, Thuy Trang, and Jason David Frank being martial artists, and Walter Jones being a dancer. These skills all are conveniently carried over to the characters, except that Billy doesn’t really get to do anything too action-y because he’s smart and smart people can’t fight, obviously. That said, a lot of the fights in this season are disorientingly shot and very shaky and choppy, especially toward the beginning. It gets better over the course of the season, and there are high points, like some of the Jason vs. Tommy fights, but I do wish that these fights were shot more cohesively. That said, each Ranger has their own fighting style, like Kimberly’s gymnastic style4 and Zack’s dance-inspired karate5 which is neat and really takes advantage of the actors’ strengths.

Score: 67 points

Miscellany

Power Rangers was not supposed to be a success. The plan was to end after 40 episodes with Doomsday Part II, and it was with that in mind that they used the available original footage.

Then it was doing so well that Fox wanted 20 more episodes.

Obviously there wasn’t any more footage of the Rangers, so what could the American creators do? Make their own monsters and action scenes? Haha of course not, they had the Japanese studio film some more footage specifically to be adapted into Power Rangers. 

Another fun thing to notice in retrospect is that Alpha 5 is voiced by Richard Horvitz (under a variety of pseudonyms), so you can pretend that it’s Invader Zim in a disguise. And of course, Bryan Cranston, the Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, is the voice for the Snizzard and Twin Man, because sure. And also a bunch of the Rangers’ civilian names are just based off of people who were around at the time, so “Brian Cranston” inspires the name “Billy Cranston”. In another universe, Billy is doing much different things in his garage lab.

Cumulative Score: 130 pts!

The Good Guys

The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers! The first, the legends, the extremely 90s wardrobes, they’re all that and also they have attitude. Also they are surprisingly buff school students. Who do community service and charity work. You know, relatable. Their powers come from “dinosaurs” – Tyrannosaurus6, Mastodon7, Sabertooth Tiger8, Triceratops9, and Pteradactyl10.

The Rangers

Jason Scott (Austin St. John)  

The Leader. Strong. Stoic. Boring.

  • Color: Red
  • Zord: Tyrannosaurus
  • Signature Weapon: Power Sword
  • Strength: 20
  • Smarts: 5
  • Coolness factor: 1

He’s a karateman with a rectangular face. Out of all the original five, he’s the best fighter, and he’s tough and boring. He teaches karate classes for kids on the side at the Youth Center.

Billy Cranston (David Yost)

The Brains. Smart. Awkward. Sesquipedalian.

  • Color: Blue
  • Zord: Triceratops
  • Signature Weapon: Power Lance
  • Strength: 2
  • Smarts: 1000
  • Coolness factor: 20

Unlike all the others, Billy did not really have any fighting or athletic skill before becoming a Ranger. He picks it up quickly with Trini’s help, and he has an improvisational fighting style. He’s really really really smart, which you can tell because he talks with big science-y words, and he invents a whole bunch of tech for the Rangers, including the wrist communicators.

Trini Kwan (Thuy Trang)

The Talent. Smart. Strong. Get you a Ranger who can do both.

  • Color: Yellow
  • Zord: Sabertooth Tiger
  • Signature Weapon: Power Daggers
  • Strength: 10
  • Smarts: 100
  • Coolness factor: 1000

While not as smart as Billy or as strong as Jason, she’s a trained martial artist and a skilled fighter, and she’s the only one smart enough to deliver the expositiontranslate Billy’s technobabble. She’s cool and confident, and generally the calmest in the face of danger. She’s also got a mishmash of different Asian cultural indicators, because Thanks, the 90s.

Kimberly Hart (Amy Jo Johnson)

The Valley Girl. It’s an archetype. Blame the 90’s. But also she gets the most focus episodes..

  • Color: Pink
  • Zord: Pterodactyl
  • Signature Weapon: Power Bow
  • Strength: 10
  • Smarts: 80
  • Coolness factor: 90(‘s fashion)

She’s cheery and fashionable, the most outgoing of the original five. As a skilled gymnast, she does not originally have fighting skills, but she is able to translate her gymnastic moves into different attacks. Her parents have recently divorced, which might be the first interesting character decision that this season makes that isn’t “Tommy evil but now good.” Everyone else gets stuff like being afraid of heights, fish, or bugs, or being a boring brick wall, but Kimberly gets something that has any depth at all, which is fun.

Zack Taylor (Walter Jones)

The Clown. Funny. Cool. Not the President.

  • Color: Black
  • Zord: Mastodon
  • Signature Weapon: Power Axe
  • Strength: 15
  • Smarts: 50
  • Coolness factor: 100

Zack is enthusiastic and inventive. He’s not a dedicated martial artist per se, but he does develop his own special mix of dance and martial arts, called “Hip Hop Kido” because puns, get it? Like Jason, he occasionally teaches classes in *sigh* Hip Hop Kido. He tends to be the most emotional and impulsive, and he’s the *sigh* ladies’ man with all the charm that the mid-90s had to offer. He pursues a relationship with Angela, until she eventually never appears or is spoken of again. Continuity!

Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank)

The Himbo. Forgetful. Late. Ridiculously OP.

  • Color: Green
  • Zord: Dragonzord
  • Signature Weapon: Dragon Dagger
  • Smarts: 1 (oh no Tommy is real real dumb)
  • Strength: 25
  • Coolness factor: 137

Tommy shows up as the new kid in school, and at first has positive interactions that will define much of his character’s future: He fights to a tie with Jason, and then flirts with Kim but can’t follow through due to random circumstance. He often doesn’t arrive at the fight until later, either because he’s off somewhere else, or has forgotten something, or is otherwise just not there. Like Jason, he’s a skilled martial artist and does teaching at the Youth Center, but he tends to be more impulsive and emotional, and his hotheadedness causes conflict between the two of them competing for leadership until they go on a friendship-affirming solo mission together.

The Team

They. Are. So. Wholesome. They are always doing some kind of charity thing or teaching or helping someone. I’m not sure what “attitude” is but if it’s a sense of camaraderie and community spirit, these are teens with it. 

As a group, they all generally have their own voice without too much overlap, and the personalities play well off of each other. Zack is the funny to Jason’s seriousness, Billy and Trini can play off of each other’s smartness, and Kimberly and Tommy are… well they’re there and that’s what counts. The outfits are those clean solid colors with diamonds made up of nice straight lines. The helmets are…. well they are something. They all generally resemble the matching animal, except that the facehole is where the mouthhole would be. Like it or not, this is the team that all other teams are inevitably going to be compared with. Because I’m going to do the comparing.

The first episode ends with a jumping freeze-frame, obviously

Ranger Ranker:

  1. Trini: Trini just is indisputably the best. If I were going to call any one of them “the competent one” it would be her. Because oh boy competence is not anyone else’s strong suit. +1000 pts
  2. Tommy: Evil is cool. It gives Tommy a chance to really chew some scenery in a show where the scenery is already salted and peppered. And then once he’s good, he’s cool and powerful and has an awesome ocarina flute11 that he can only play two songs on. Relatable! +200 pts
  3. Zack: He seems cool. Chill. A joy to be around. A guy who you could have a smoothie with. His unmorphed fight sequences are energetic and dancey and that’s fun. +69 pts
  4. Kimberly: Yeah ok, that 90s fashion has not aged well. But for real, Kimberly ends up being really interesting for the cool, fashionable, popular girl that usually is a villain in other genres. She’s compassionate and fun, plus she uses a bow and ranged weapons are the best weapons. +50 pts
  5. Jason:oh geez Jason is so boring and wholesome. He’s commanding! And honorable! And loves to help! Ugh. He gets to say all the cool things and fight with a sword, the most boring weapon of all. I don’t hate him, because he’s too bland to hate, but I sure don’t like him. +1 pt
  6. Billy: Well, he sure is a character who is smart and awkward. That’s…. That’s great Billy. You do you. -1 pt

Overall, Billy and Kimberly get the most focus, discounting Tommy because he is the Special One. Many episodes revolve around “Billy and Kim do a thing and then bad thing happens.” I think a lot of this is because they are the characters with somewhere to go. Jason, Trini, and Zack are confident characters who are essentially who they want to be. Tommy is pretty solidly into his whole Tormented Brooding thing. Billy and Kim are out of their elements with this hero thing; Billy feels like he doesn’t belong because he’s not strong in the same way that the others are. Kimberly has the most going on on the surface – she’s stylish, quippy, and graceful. Beneath that though, she doesn’t feel like she belongs in the same way that everyone else does since she’s also not a natural fighter, and she doesn’t have the kind of material contributions that Billy does with his sciencey stuff. Also it was the 90s and she was a girrrrrrrl so there was this unspoken stigma against strong young girls, which she shattered before Buffy did and I’m not mad you’re mad.

Overall Team Score: Let’s say 1000 because at this juncture it literally does not matter.

Gear

Being such a toyetic show, there are a lot of things in here that could be turned into toys. And many were. I can’t cover all of them, but I’ll point to a couple that I think work really well or really… not well.

Morphers

As with much of this season: Classic. Iconic. Memorable. If there is one image of Power Rangers to remember, it’s everybody’s bodiless head and hands holding a morpher while inside a larger morpher. Also I guess they are supposed to be keeping their morphers clipped to their belts while in civilian gear? That’s the implication?

+113 pts

Communicators

Imagine if you will, a time before smartwatches. Before smartphones, even. Or stupidphones. According to Google’s ngram viewer, 1993 was the year that the term “cell phone” only just began to appear. In that time, These. Were. The. Coolest. Plus they’ve got that infectious jingle. Doot doot do do doot doot. Just like that. I definitely have not looked into getting a high quality cosplay version just to have. Yup.

+527 pts

man that jingle was kinda annoying though wasn’t it

-459 pts

Power Weapons

They’re simple, practically archetypal. Anyone who plays Fire Emblem knows that there are certain traits that correspond to Swords, Axes, Lances, and Bows (and I guess swords just turn into daggers for thieves/assassins?).They combine into the Power Blaster, which in full Kids Playing With Action Figures fashion is mostly just all of the weapons in vaguely cannon-shaped forms, all stuck to a big bow and it shoots lasers and wins.

All the weapons become cannons mounted on the bow, and then the sword just sits on top and doesn’t contribute

+157 pts

Rad Bug

Billy made a Beetle car into a… “more rad”, I guess…? A rad car. It flies! And has an antenna or something? Sometimes it’s real unclear how smart Billy is and it feels not very thought through. Give me more realism, Transforming Hero Team And Giant Robot Show!

-128 pts

Zords

The Dinozords

Ancient Zords hidden in like, volcanoes and deserts and such, they are called by the Power Ranger that has the respective Power Coin. A Ranger could take the coin and do some laser magic to turn it into a crystal and then the crystal becomes a joystick or something when the Megazord forms.

They can do stuff on their own, but not really that much in the show because it would be expensive. Pretty much mostly it’s just the Tyrannosaurus going around like a big metal kangaroo. Rather, most of the action happens with them combined as the Dino Megazord.

Coolness of Animal

  1. Pterodactyl +381 pts pterodactyl goes woooooooosh
  2. Tyrannosaurus +319 pts Played out, but still pretty cool
  3. Triceratops +285 pts The fearsome herbivore that’s three times better than a rhino
  4. Sabertooth Tiger +150 pts Like a big cat? Sabertooth sounds cool though, like a mouth full of swords.
  5. Mastodon +10 pts come on that’s a big furry elephant

Megazord

Main Weapon: Power Sword (but different from Jason’s Power Sword)

Finishing Move: Power Slash – The Power Sword gets all lightningy and then the Megazord slashes it.

The classic Megazord. It’s got a bunch of different things, including the Mastodon Shield (above) that just appears out of nothing, and the Power Sword, which falls from the sky all the time for some reason. It also has a “cranial laser” and a Tank Mode, but none of this ever really comes up except for the sword.

Total score: +720 pts

The Dragonzord

The Dragonzord rises from the seas when called by the Green Ranger’s Dragon Dagger. It is usually not piloted, rather it is controlled by said dagger, sometimes while the Green Ranger stands precariously on its head. It often will fight on its own alongside the Dino Megazord, but it can also combine with the non-red Zords into Dragonzord Battle Mode in which it turns its drill tail into a drill spear or something. Oh by the way it has a drill tail. It also can turn into big shoulderpads to form the MegaDragonzord

The Dragonzord is the one I wanted to have. It’s got all the flashy lights and missiles and crap and you get to pretend to play one of two melodies on a flute dagger. And then it just gets cooler in battle mode! Big ol drill spear thing! Like, it’s a drill tail and then bam it’s a drill spear. That’s gold.

Coolness of Animal

Come on, it’s a dragon. Dragons rule.

Dragonzord Mode

Primary Weapons: Claw Missiles and Drill Tail

Finishing Move: N/A

Dragonzord Battle Mode

Primary Weapon: Power Staff (aka Drill Spear)

Finishing Move: The drill goes all lightning and drills the enemy, leaving a big clean hole. For comedy purposes.

In Battle Mode, the Dragonzord combines with the Mastodon, Triceratops and Sabertooth Tiger. Pterodactyl and Tyrannosaurus can beat feet. Or wings or talons or whatever.

Score: +1476 pts

Mega Dragonzord

Primary Weapon: A crapton of like lasers and stuff.

Finishing Move: It makes a big green ball with a Z on it and shoots it at the enemy and they explode.

It just kind of gets ridiculous once you start adding in All The Zords all at once. I mean, it’s still really cool in that Power Escalation way but like. More Dragonzord clonking around eating smokestacks please. Ok we get it you’re all the things together but this looks real unwieldy apart from all the firepower. You’re just gonna… wear the Dragonzord like a hat I guess? sure ok

Score: +308 pts

Titanus

A big white Brachiosaurus that acts as the Carrierzord. Which means that it can carry the Megazord on its back and then you call it the Ultrazord for some reason.

Coolness of Animal

I mean, yeah the long-necked dinosaurs are cool, but at this point I am pretty fuzzy as to what dinosaur is a species or not and also what species any given long-necked dinosaur is. I blame Science. Get your fossils straight, scientists.

Primary Weapon: Like guns or something?

Finishing Move: Who cares???

Ugggghhhhhhhhhh

Score: +1

Mentors/Allies

Zordon

Good ol’ Headinatube. Mysterious, aloof, seemingly all knowing but only says stuff when it’s convenient for him. Classic mentor stuff. Zordon used to be a Space Wizard until he got zapped into a time warp by the Space Witch Rita Repulsa, which is apparently a thing she could do at one point. And then the tube is a receiver for some kind of connection with the time warp, which remains a thing that is not just a cool-sounding term, projecting Zordon’s big bald head into this world. And it’s all controlled by the flashy dials and buttons in the Command Center.

Score: ???? (because it’s a mystery ooooooooh and I’m definitely not just avoiding coming up with a number.

Alpha 5

Alpha 5 is a “fully-sentient multifunctional automaton”, or if you aren’t Billy, a robit. We’ll get more into his backstory (ugh) in later seasons, so I’ll save you that whole thing for now. He can make zappy sparks and runs the Command Center. Also he can be hacked through a disc drive on his back that he probably can’t reach on his own. So there’s that.

Score: +85 pts

Random Citizens Lightning Round!

Mr Caplan

The Angel Grove High principal and slapstick victim. He’s got a toupee and that’s hilarious.

+37 pts

Also he has no idea how to eat a sandwich

Ernie

I’m sure nothing bad will happen to those pies

He runs the juice bar and likes Hawaiian shirts. He is chilllllllllll.

+69 pts

Angela

Zack keeps trying to date her and eventually he does and then she disappears forever.

-1 pt

The Baddies

Ignore the big sign that says “Bandora Palace”

The forces of EVIL. Evil is bad you guys. Even if they end up being pretty incompetent overall. And tend to be weirdly obsessed with these specific teens.

The Big Bad: Rita Repulsa – Evil Space Witch

After 10,000 years, she’s free! She. Is. Iconic. I said it. Her costume is nonsensical, her voice is recognizable, and she is extremely, extremely camp. She can make spells, potions, and she can make her monsters grow. She’s petty, ruthless, and stubborn. She’s cunning while at the same time being short-sighted. She is the villain who, when she hears that someone is afraid of bugs or fish, will send them a GIANT BUG OR FISH MONSTER to go teach them a lesson. Which, inevitably, they do because whoever it is always learns to overcome their fear for the good of their friends and the world.

Rita is the best and she only becomes more best as time goes on.

Score: +6666 pts

Henches

Baddie’s little helpers. Sometimes they’re a threat, sometimes they’re comic relief. Sometimes they are sudden inevitable betrayers, it’s a great job and you only occasionally get big and explode.

Goldar

The part where he throws his head back and laughs.

The second-in-command, Goldar is a big gold monkey or something. He has wings in the first couple episodes, because what’s more evil than a flying monkey but then they disappear and aren’t mentioned until next season. He’s big, angry, dumb, and physical, in contrast to Rita’s more cerebral evil. They do both scream a lot though. He does get to do a fair amount of one-on-one with various Rangers, including a number of unmorphed fights in the Dark Dimension12. Also, for as much as he talks himself up as a Mighty Warrior, he sure loses a lot.

Score: +196.96 pts (it’s the atomic weight of gold haha get it im hilarious)

Finster

In the back of the castle, in the room that you know is a lab because there’s beakers and tubes and steam and stuff, Finster quietly makes monsters. Unassuming compared to the outsized personalities of the other villains, he comes off as somewhat refined – the artist who only wants to create. He’s not angry or vengeful or vindictive, he just really loves his job. Which is to use magic clay craft monsters who will destroy the Power Rangers and conquer the world. Evil is just a hobby, you know? Also, he’s a big ol’ Scottish Terrier and therefore is a good good boy.

Score: +2428 pts

Squatt & Baboo

In theory, these idiots have a purpose. Baboo at least contributes some skill at invention or potion-making, and Squatt….. is there? Somehow manages to sneak the episode’s evil MacGuffin onto Earth right under the Rangers’ noses (or often, behind their backs), so…. infiltration? Maybe? Or maybe he’s just there so that Baboo has someone to talk to. 

Score: +22 pts

Scorpina

She’s… well um… her deadly sting uh… Ok look I’m not specifically saying that Scorpina was very meaningful to me as a young impressionable child but… Ok I kind of am saying that. But just look at her! She’s got this cool asymmetric outfit, and this giant boomerang, which objectively is the best weapon, and unlike her closest counterpart, Goldar, she doesn’t get bested by an unmorphed Ranger on multiple occasions. I want to be her.

Scorpina cannot believe that this monkey is getting the credit for their victory instead of her

Score: +5261 pts

Fodder

The chumps. The goons. The rank and file. They just sort of fill space while the real villainy is happening.

Putty Patrol

Can we admit that these are kind of gross? Like I bet they’re all soft and squishy and your hand kind of sinks into them like old Play-Doh. Also some of them just have blobby clubs for hands and I do not care for that at all. They do a real good job of being expendable though, and really are kind of creepy scary once you get all up in that weird face with all the wubbly noises that they make. Also sometimes there are putties just perfectly disguised as humans and talking words and everything and that’s just a neat thing to do.

+256 pts

Monsters

If I could figure out how to make a gif, this would be moving around like budget Clash of the Titans

Rita’s monsters are almost entirely made by Finster in his Monster-Matic, using magic clay. He’s got all these adorable little tiny clay figures on his workbench just waving their limbs all stop-motion-y and Finster picks one out and tosses it in the oven. A little steam and clanking later, there’s your monster. I love this concept. Finster just having all these monsters ready to go and he picks one out for Rita like a monster sommelier. As mentioned before, Rita really likes that personal touch to her monsters of the week. It’ll be based on someone’s fear or it will be specifically designed to wreck whatever wholesome thing that the Rangers have going on that week. Or on the occasions that the monster isn’t made by Finster, it’s often some item of significance to one of the Rangers. It’s beautifully petty.

+1995 pts

Monsters That Are Good (According to Me)

  • Eye Guy – He’s a guy made of eyes. And also he can separate into a bunch of creepy floaty eyes? It’s gross but in a fun way! Also his main power is that he can steal children’s intelligence, which doesn’t really fit with his whole eye theme thing.
  • Terror Toad – He vores the Rangers and then their faces show up on his belly? Look, sometimes things are revelatory about my weird hangups, but in this case, a toad is just a toad. Really. I swear. Did I mention that I had the novelization of this episode for some reason? With one of those glossy middle sections with all the screenshots?
  • Soccadillo – An armadillo that is also like a soccer ball? In that sometimes he is a ball. And then he gets tired of rolling, so he just sort of flies around hitting things. Woooooosh.
  • Lokar – Angry floating head. It’s great. What else do you need?13

What About Bulk and Skull?

And now we get to the most important characters of the entire franchise, Bulk and Skull, who appear in more episodes across every iteration of the series than any other characters.14. They have their own theme music! They must be important! We see them here in the first season as the classic Big One/Skinny One comedy dynamic, and in this season, they tend to be in minor antagonist roles, being bullies or otherwise annoying. And every time, they get their slapstick comeuppance, usually with something messy splattering on their faces. And then everyone laughs and laughs and doesn’t get up to help because it’s funny when they deserve it. Not that I’m judging or anything. (I am judging that is literally the purpose of all of this)

Anyway, they get better later, trust me.

Also there was a third one who shows up maybe twice.
Also a fourth one this one time.

THE FINAL SCORE

We now begin the completely transparent scoring system, where I give a value (in Pts) to each of the major elements, and I also get to decide what those are. And also how much they have accrued in Bonus Points(pts) up to now.

  • The Team: 90 Pts 
    • Individual: 100 tPts They’ve each got their thing going on and they do it well.
    • Together: 100 tPts It’s tough to ignore just how iconic this team has become
    • Leader: 0 tPts *ZZzzzzzzzzzzzz*
  • The Zords: 66 Pts
    • Individual: 40 zPts Look, Dinosaurs and Dragons are cool.
    • Megazords: 90 zPts *crashing toy noises*
  • The Villains: 95 Pts
    • Leader: 200 vPts First and Best
    • Henchmen: 75 vPts At least none of them are unbearable15
    • Chaff: 50 vPts In the subtitles, it has them saying “gurgles”.
  • The Monsters: 60 Pts Almost all of them have a “Blank, but a Monster” thing going on, which, honestly, is the best kind of thing.
  • Story: 25 Pts When it has plot, it’s great. When it has it.
Sudden Dramatic Points Right At The End

0 pts

None.

Not this time. Not. This. Time.

But next time…..

After converting the base score(Pts) and bonuses(pts) into Power Points (PPs), totalling all the scores for each section and normalizing the results according to the secret formulae that definitely exist and are not a screen to get me out of having to think about scores ever at all:

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 1: 10,518 Power Points (PPs)

Let’s see the rankings!

Power Rangers Seasons, Ranked

  1. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 1

Wow! First place! A strong beginning! Will it keep that prime seat at the table? (It won’t)

To find out, join me next time on Ranger Ranker, where I cover The One Where They Get Desperate for Footage!