Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at a decade defined by its extremes. Rap versus grunge; mullets versus pixies; Saved by the Bell versus NYPD Blue – the 1990s had it all, and then some. Every other week I’ll be reminiscing about some facet of the 1990s, potentially drowning in some ill-forgotten nostalgia despite my best efforts otherwise. Serving as inspiration is an utterly ridiculous but nonetheless intriguing list created by Huffington Post — 1990 Things from the 90s to End the Nostalgia Once and for All – and I’ll be using a random number generator to pick each week’s “topic.” So don’t have a cow, man, if I ask you to talk to the hand while take this sweet ride through the 90s. Word to your mother.
Week 23: HuffPost list #212 – Zordon
…or, as he looked in the recent-ish Power Rangers movie (which I have actually seen thankyouverymuch):
Much like with Saved by the Bell, Power Rangers was pretty much nowhere on my radar in the 1990s. (I even feel like the two shows shared the same weird afternoon time slot, somewhere between 3pm and 5pm.) Neither of my younger siblings, who would have been the perfect ages for the show in its heyday, followed the ol’ PR clan. No one I knew really watched the show either. Indeed, somehow, my little 1990s bubble was never cracked by anything mighty or morphin. That said, even though the Power Rangers maintain a very keen following to this day, I will easily grant that they are, pretty much, totally 90s.
Wikipedia tells me that the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the first incarnation of the show in the U. S., were originally part of a block of kid’s shows aired by the Fox network, alongside the likes of the Animaniacs and The Tick…in my mind, that’s some pretty meaty competition. Then again, if I was watching The Tick and it just happened to lead right into MMPR, then…okay, genius move. But, then then again, if I was watching The Tick, and suddenly the TV switched from a searingly witty (and sweetly dumb) animated show to a live-action adventure show featuring masked individuals fighting people in rubber creature suits, I’d probably have turned off the TV.
And y’know? Thinking about that makes me kinda sad. Because as a kid, a weekend just wasn’t a weekend without a Godzilla movie. So if the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger had been a thing, say, 10 to 15 years earlier than it was, maybe I’d have more respect for it.
Actually, I shouldn’t say that, because I do respect the show to a certain degree. It has somehow managed to survive and morph (haha) into a form of entertainment that’s still relevant for many, many people – adults and kids alike. (Hell, I saw a whole family dressed up as the Power Ranger crew for Halloween, right down to the kid in a stroller.) I can’t speak to the likes of kids entertainment today, but in a world where the lines between what we all watch are becoming blurrier and blurrier, i.e. with the proliferation of adult-like kid’s show and kiddie-like adult shows, why not celebrate the MMPR for being what it is: entertainment that people love, enjoy, and share. I’m sure Zordon would appreciate that, right?
(No, seriously, would he? I’m still not entirely sure what he is.)