Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top 10 Worst Season 1 Power Rangers Episodes

 


Alright everybody, I'm in the mood for a nice juicy top 10 list. It's one I've been mentally filling out over the course of this blog. Which episode is it in Season 1 that manages to transcend all others and be the lousiest episode of all? There's a lot of heavy shitters this season, but only a few worthy of eternal scorn and derision. 

It goes without saying that this list is obviously only my opinion so if you want to contest my choices, lemme know what you think sucks harder! Or if you think one of these episodes belongs on a "Top 10 Best Of" then...you're going to need to explain that one to me. Please include graphs, charts, and no fewer than 5 citations from reputable sources.

The one rule I have for this list is any multi-part episodes I may or may not include will be ranked individually and not as a set. Different parts of multi-parters tend to vary wildly in quality. It wouldn't be fair to compare episodes like "MMPR 94: Lokar's Return Part 1" with episodes like "MMPR 95: Lokar's Return Part 2: Billy Goes to the Zoo." Unfortunately that's not till Season 2 so let's get on with the list.





I don't think this episode is complete irredeemable garbage, but at the same time it's entire length consists of either dancing or weirdness. This show is no stranger to being weird, but this episode is weird in a way Power Rangers usually manages to explain. Specifically I mean the dumbass scene of Gnarly Gnome turning invisible while he's putting his stupid boots on. That couldn't have possibly meant less. Not to mention Gnarly Gnome morphing into a building with his accordion, eating a meal made of bouncy balls, or turning into rocks when he was hit with the Power Blaster. 

Other than that we get to replace any other semblance of a plot with scenes of people dancing. You wanna know about these characters you tuned in to watch? Fuck you. 

This episode probably should have come later in the season when you already have a good feeling for who these characters are, not 5 episodes in when you're still getting new viewers trying to get engaged in your karate dinosaur show. The viewers might not have known what stereotype each of the five Rangers were supposed to be yet.

Instead we get an obese pedophile stealing young women and making them dance for him. Then a deaf girl hits on Billy because she's the only one who can tolerate his bullshit science jargon. Make sure to tune in next week when we have a pig in a gladiator helmet rolling around on a picnic blanket while pretending to eat things.





Yep, not even my precious Zyu2 could escape this list. Two Heads Are Better Than One hits a depressing lull in the back half of the Power Rangers season. The whole Ranger team is together and ready to fight a new monster. It's a big scary parrot with two faces. Cool. How interesting. I'm nothing but pumped.

What's the B-plot of the episode? Jason and Tommy discuss that two heads tend to be better than one. Then Bulk and Skull get assaulted by two moms and we end on the limpest line all season: "Two moms are better than one." Even as a kid that was cringe inducing. Who writes this hogwash?

The action is really tepid, there's not enough karate to keep me invested, the sub-plot beats you over the goddamned head about two being mathematically higher than one, and it becomes a chore to sit through. It's just Jason and Tommy teaching people how to do karate while talking about it. What part of show, don't tell do you guys not understand?

The episode's climax has Jason breaking his own rules about working together and getting beaten by the monster. Is that going to relate to anything we've seen in the episode? Sure isn't. We get maybe half a second of Tommy chiding Jason for going against their teamwork philosophy, but it's immediately forgotten when Tommy starts hunting for fruit to throw at the monster. We could explore what it means to truly work as a team, or we could have a parrot monster yelling about a vomit covered pineapple. Tough call.




The only thing keeping this episode from a higher rating on the list is that I actually enjoy the conceit of the Ranger Teens being part of a play. Granted only Kimberly and Jason are part of it, and the actual play only seems to last for 2 minutes. Even with that in mind it's sort of a fun sub-plot and helps elevate the rest of this dumb episode.

The story of Kimberly being afraid she'll break her stupid grandmother's old piece of garbage relic that belongs in a landfill fails to engage me. She mentions it once or twice before they go into battle and then the rest of scenes that could feasibly be spent discussing the situation are relegated to watching Tommy wriggle around after getting bound by Putties. Not only that, but we don't get to see the Putties give Tommy a spanking. Totally lame.

You know what else is lame? Making an enemy out of a giant wheel. A wheel that's supposed to destroy anything it touches. A wheel that then touches the Zords and just makes them burst all sparkily without doing shit. The wheel's supposed destructive power is just a lie meant to engage the audience. Then as soon as the wheel shows up and doesn't destroy them, the writers hope we forgot what they just built up.

Not to mention the fact they premiered the Ultrazord against a big floating hunk of garbage. You want me to buy your brachiosaurus toy? Try using it against something other than a spiky wheel held up by fishing wire.

Who am I kidding? I already bought it.




I had a tough time deciding if this episode was worse than Wheel of Misfortune, but what tipped the scales in its favor was the fact this was the first episode kids would see months after Doomsday aired. We follow up on a really awesome pseudo-finale with a really shitty batch of recycled footage.

The Octoplant is such a shitty monster. We spend 15 minutes cooking her up and talking about how once she sprouts she'll crush the planet. Then she grows into some Peter Pan looking loser. Then she dies because she was secretly vain this entire time. Glad we didn't spend any time building up to this weakness and just had it happen out of nowhere. If we did that how would we manage to squeeze in that 9th Putty fight?

The worst part of this episode? The Bulk and Skull scenes are just straight lazy and disgusting. Cram them in a porta-potty and they yell about how it's stinky and they have to take a dump. It's fucking gross, I don't want to ever think about being stuck inside a porta-potty, and all you're doing is putting me in there with them. 




Hey cool, it's our standard episode of the season that has the girls get the spotlight while the boys are out jerking off together. What should we have them do?

How about hang out with a shrill child actor who gets into all sorts of stupid hi-jinks before getting kidnapped by a chicken?

This episode introduces a few interesting enough ideas. The Power Eggs, a supposedly mighty source of power, and Billy's invention, the RADBUG. Unfortunately both ideas completely fizzle out, as one is completely forgotten before the episode ends, and the other is used a handful of times until the writers forget about it.

If I wanted to watch an obnoxious kid act sassy while adults put up with it, I'd go watch the newest Marvel movie. Otherwise why not stick to focusing on the characters I'm supposed to give a shit about? Like those people wearing the magical rainbow clothes to give them robot dinosaurs? How about giving us a second note to one of our main characters before introducing us to shitty one off characters who do nothing but grate on the audience?



You know what I tune into this show for? D grade sitcom conventions. If you had 1,000 dollars to invest in 1990, your best bet would either be the internets, or terrible body swapping episodes of sitcoms.

After a long string of Billy and Kimberly episodes, the show is dumb enough to use them in a body switching plot while Zack, Jason, and Trini remain ignored. Oh well, I'm sure those three still had an awesome time making the show!

The episode tries to string me along with a promise of Bulk and Skull switching bodies and providing all kinds of comic goofery. Instead of that we get a single scene of Skull eating things and Bulk being timid before moving on to the complete afterthought of a monster this week; the Genie.

The only wish this motherfucker granted was a cure for my insomnia. All he does is show up, throw some spider webs, then grow giant and disappear when Alpha fries his dumbass lamp. The fight against him feels really goddamned boring and is so disconnected from the body switching plot that I can't bother caring about either of this week's predicaments.

Either give me an evil genie monster wreaking havoc on the city or give me a bunch of stupid body swap wackiness. Don't waffle so goddamn badly that you refuse to satisfy me on either front.




Hey audience! You want an episode about Jason? The guy on the front of all the merchandise? Too bad. Here's his boring cousin Germy doing everything instead.

But wait! The Rangers get to do something. They fight a big scary pile of boulders who manages to no-sell a few flimsy attacks from Trini's Power Daggers. Then that same monster gets unceremoniously murdered by looking in a laser mirror. That sure would have been cool if the monster had been hyped up other than just not taking damage from weapons for a hot second. You know what other monster didn't budge after getting hit once or twice? Fucking all of them.

What follows is a dramatic resolution when the Megazord steps on Goldar's foot, and then they destroy a mirror. Truly left me on the edge of my seat.

Oh yeah and we get to see Germy go fishing. Then at the end of the episode he asks Jason why he disappeared when the Power Rangers showed up. Then Jason nervously chuckles as the episode ends. If that didn't sound like a satisfying ending to something, then good news to you! You have some form of standards.



Yep, my old pal Ticklesneezer was essentially guaranteed a spot on this list. If you have the gall to actually end your dumbass episode with "And it was all a dream" then you can go fuck yourself right off the bat.

But no, the episode was so stupid that ending was only the icing on the cake.

Ticklesneezer is one of the absolute worst monsters all season. He stammers and sputters about collecting goodies while stumbling around like the king of the goofballs. Then when you expect Trini to be bummed out about losing him, she shows little to no emotion about what's supposedly the most important thing in her life. Then her beloved doll captures her in a jar and doesn't realize why trapping living beings in bottles isn't a smart idea because he's some kind of psychopath. There's no moment where Trini ends up fighting her former doll because who cares about that? Just shove her and Billy in a bottle and forget about it.

At least we got to learn about Zack's frequently referred to love of skiing, Billy's lust for model volcanoes, and Bulk and Skull have a flea circus or some stupid thing because they live in garbage and try to make the best of it. Sorry if you didn't know about that part from my write-up of this shitty episode, I couldn't stand writing about it back then and I'm already tired of writing about it now. Kiss my grits Ticklesneezer. I can't wait till they hack up your corpse and display it for the children on Christmas.



What's better than a clip show? A terrible clip show that negates character development that was gained in a previous clipshow that wasn't complete dreck.

Speaking of which, maybe one fucking clipshow in a season is enough. Especially when they end up using one clip in both episodes because who's paying attention? I was. I ALWAYS WAS!

Bulk and Skull, who can usually act as the saving grace to an episode I'm having no fun with, get some of the shittiest material they've ever had. They dress up in drag because it was the 90's and that's the joke. Why write something? Why not just dress your male characters as French maids? Don't worry about writing a reason for them to in the context of the episode. Just put 'em in frilly pink dresses and laugh. Hyuck Hyuck Hyuck they're dummies! Now back to Goldar watching an all dude pillow fight and jacking off all over the Crystal of Nightmares.

In fact this episode is so lousy it was really close to hitting the number one spot. However, Crystal of Nightmares at least did one thing kind of interesting. The Ranger Teens getting petrified before fighting the Putties led to a slightly more interesting Putty fight. Not only that, but it would feel pretty shitty to end this list on a clipshow. No, there was an episode I hated much more than this one.




You have the Green Ranger looming, you have Goldar ready to murder Jason, you introduce a brand new villainess in Scorpina, and you manage to do fuck all with any of these concepts.

This episode was so disappointing to me. I'm rewatching Power Rangers, I get to the Green Ranger episodes, then I hit this complete disgraceful waste of time that drags everything down. When I think back to this episode the only image I can see is Jason rolling around on the ground while Goldar growls and tries to find him. Now put that on loop for 20 minutes and you've got a perfect summation of how little actually happened.

Every single scene in this episode, outside of Scorpina's birth, smacks of nothing but filler. Not fun action-y filler or anything that you could actually enjoy. Nope! Just the same scene repeated, then the show pretends it's going to do something different. Instead it goes right back to extending the previous episode's cliffhanger into a tedious bunch of bullshit that leaves you doing nothing but twiddling your thumbs and waiting for anything to matter.

Then Goldar grows and the credits roll. That's when it sinks in that all of this was for nothing. Scorpina was born and began to fight, but then she was pulled out of battle with the flimsiest possible reasoning. Green Ranger, who is ostensibly why you're watching these fucking episodes to begin with is given a spanking and put in time out. Thanks for taking absolutely anything that could have been interesting in this episode and throwing it right in the dumpster.

There they are. My least favorite episodes of one of my favorite seasons of Power Rangers. Sometimes it's nice to look back at my nostalgia laced past and realize the shittiness of what I've enjoyed. Though sometimes it's also soul crushing and despair inducing. So maybe just pretend all of what you liked as a kid was super perfect and never question it. You'll live a longer life.

So what are your top 10 least favorite episodes? Let me know in the comments what made you look at the DVD player and wonder what you were doing with your life. Or maybe just list the episodes that even as a kid couldn't keep you entertained. I'm curious to know what you guys think.

Tune in next week when I post my Top 10 Worst Blog Entries. (Spoilers: It's a 60 way tie.)



4 comments:

  1. As bad as all these were, and I agree with you on almost all of them, watching these ten in a row wouldn't be as bad as the be sitting of "rocky just wants to have fun."

    The only episode I disagree with you on is two heads are better than one. Yes it is kind of stupid, but any episode that has the green ranger in a foot battle and not just showing up to call the dragonzord is a win for me. Also as green and red (Jason) are my favorite, anytime I can see them fight together I enjoy it. And I would put "a pig surprise" as number 1, with crystal of nightmares number 2.

    I hope you do a top ten best next week, I'd love to see that list!

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    1. Positivity?! On this blog? Surely you must be mistaken sir or madame.

      I'm actually really surprised how little I considered putting Pig Surprise on here. I was going through my notes and every time I looked at that stupid gif of Pudgy Pig dancing I couldn't help but laugh. It was saved from this list basically only because of that.

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  2. My ten worst, bookended with Pudgy Pig ��

    10- Food Fight
    9- Switching Places
    8- Wheel of Misfortune
    7- The Rockstar
    6- Crystal of Nightmares
    5- For Whom the Bell Trolls
    4- Different Drum
    3-Power Punks
    2- Big Sisters
    1- Pig Suprise

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  3. "Either give me an evil genie monster wreaking havoc on the city or give me a bunch of stupid body swap wackiness. Don't waffle so goddamn badly that you refuse to satisfy me on either front."

    What?

    ReplyDelete