Tuesday, April 19, 2016

MMPR Season 2 Episode 33: Lights, Camera, Action


Intergalactic Mercenaries Discuss Education on Talk Show
Sandbag Filled With Non-Sand Substance For Sake of Yuks










Coming off of an episode as stupid as "Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun," it's going to take something extra shitty to make me mad this week. Oh wait a second which episode is this? The one where the Power Rangers get interviewed on a talk show?

Goddamnit.

Aisha begins this week's thrilling adventure by giving a class presentation on the history of television. Then Aisha realizes she only has one page of speech for a five minute presentation, so she wastes some time by popping in a VHS tape with an old serial about television. One that was made back during the times of separate water fountains. Whenever people talk about the "good old days," never forget this is what they meant.

The tape discusses how a man named David Sarnoff helped coin the idea of television. His name is repeated a handful of times in this scene, and I get the feeling there's a reason for that.

Call it a hunch

Miss Applebee finds this presentation particularly super-duper and asks the class if they remember who invented television. In a joke that's sure to date well, Bulk says "Captain Kangaroo?" The class laughs at a half-century old reference while Bulk sadly pisses his pants.

Miss Applebee informs the class that television is particularly relevant this week (shocker), as the Power Rangers will be appearing on T.V. to promote education. No wonder they'd want to talk about how important it is to go to school. If you don't then you'll end up doing odd-jobs slaughtering rubber monsters for an intergalactic space head and his fuckboi android. Don't want to murder monsters made out of space clay for minimum wage? Too bad, enjoy being sent off to a "peace conference" where you'll never be heard from again.

Out in the hallway, Adam gets into a tizzy about being in front of the cameras. Aisha tells him it won't be a big deal since he's going to be morphed, and if it bothers him that much he could always pursue a career in voice acting. Even though Adam is nervous, he's reminded of how great this opportunity is. Billy informs Adam that this will be a great opportunity to get an important message out to the youth of America. Coincidentally it might also get Saban some tax breaks for shoehorning in arbitrary morality about staying in school. 

When the fuck has that ever been the Power Rangers M.O.? The Power Rangers have never said word one about educating people. Since when did the Rangers become part of D.A.R.E? Did this T.V. show cut Zordon a juicy check to have the Power Rangers blather about staying in school? I mean I can't blame him, building those Zords probably cost a pretty penny. He's gotten so desperate he's started selling the Rangers' dignity to the highest bidder.

Skull asks Bulk if he wants to come over to watch the Power Rangers show tonight, and hopefully make his parents too uncomfortable to have a fight since there's a guest over. Bulk says he doesn't give a shit about Skull's broken home, because they're going to be on the show tonight. As soon as the Rangers show up on T.V., Bulk and Skull will rip their helmets off and reveal their identities on live television. Hope everyone watching is in the mood for an even bigger disappointment than Al Capone's vault. 

Lord Zedd decides this interview will be the perfect opportunity for him to wipe the Power Rangers off of the map. Then he can show who's got the biggest dick around here. Zedd tells Goldar to kidnap the Power Rangers so that he can replace them with evil twins. Evil twins who will give off his message instead! A message about experimenting with drugs, dropping out of school, and blindly believing whatever people on T.V. tell you to do. This sounds like a pretty fiendish scheme, so I hope you folks are excited for it to no longer be relevant in about 2 minutes.

The Ranger Teens wander through the park and talk about how excited they are to be on the Harvey Garvey show. Yeah that's actually what it's called. Sorry. Rocky chuckles and says that he's really starting to like this superhero stuff. Get stuffed you shitbag. You didn't like it when you saved the city, but you like it now that it's getting you a modicum of fame? Rocky you are just the absolute worst. Why don't you go kick pachinko balls and rocks. Fuckin' nerd.

Goldar shows up with a handful of Z-Putties and tells the Rangers they better be ready to get dunked on. The teens morph and, surprise surprise, wipe the floor with the clayboys. After getting kicked by the Red Ranger, Goldar goes flying and says they haven't seen the last of him. For no reason whatsoever, the Rangers all seem perplexed at Goldar's promise to return. Billy says that Lord Zedd MUST be up to something this week. Tommy says none of that shit matters though, because it's time for them to get to the T.V. studio. I appreciate the priorities our heroes have about danger. Lord Zedd's planning on doing something evil? Fuck that, Harvey Garvey goes live in half an hour. If we can't be on America's 40th favorite talk show, how are we going to get our message of education out to the stupid masses?

Lord Zedd fumes over Goldar's continued incompetence and pouts that he no longer has time to create evil Rangers. Note to all you writers out there: Make sure to fill your scripts with ideas that don't pan out and are instantly forgotten to keep the audience engaged. Instead Zedd schemes to create a monster so insidious, so diabolical, so off-screen, that his earlier plan will look even more incompetently thought out than before.

On the set of Harvey Garvey Night Live, our host comes out and asks the clamoring masses to slow their roll. Well I mean when I say masses I mean about two dozen people.

HARVEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING? IT'S TIME FOR THE STANDBY MONTAGE!

Harvey hams it up for the crowd, and asks if they really want the Power Rangers. Well no shit Garvey, we want them out here right now to ask some important questions. Mostly why the red, yellow, and black ones sound different all of a sudden. Well Harvey finally gets to reading his cue-cards and realizes it's time for a montage of old Power Rangers footage.

Or…new Power Rangers footage?

No shit? This montage contains scenes from an episode I haven't covered yet. As a matter of fact, the majority of this montage consists of things we haven't seen yet. An entire Putty fight, and even a portion of a Zord battle that's yet to air. As far as I know, that's because everything with Jason, Trini, and Zack quitting really goofed the airing order of certain episodes. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but the most important thing to take away is how comically slapdash the production of this show is.

Jaws of Destruction gif
Spoilers I suppose?

With enough new-old footage played, Harvey Garvey brings the Power Rangers on stage. Complete with a huge spark machine spraying everywhere as soon as they flip onto the scene. Which I can guaran-goddamn-tee you was Tommy's requirement to be on this show. "Yeah Garvey I'll talk about going to spool or whatever, but you better have a sweet spark shower going when we come out or the White Ranger ain't making an appearance."

No seriously, how did Harvey Garvey book the Power Rangers? Was it Zordon's doing? Did they show up and strongarm their way onto the show? Did they bump Harland Williams' guest appearance? What reason did they have for abandoning their crimefighting duties to go talk to kids about how staying in school is the only way to avoid a life of abject servitude?

I might be thinking too hard about this episode.

Harvey Garvey Carvey thanks the Rangers for showing up for his program, and for fighting giant tombstones and lipstick dominatrixes so valiantly. The White Ranger says the only reason he and the other five losers who wish they were him showed up was to tell kids to stay in school. The Red Ranger agrees before Pink Ranger tells him he needs to shut his goddamned mouth until she allows him to speak. She didn't save her friends from a vore toad to let some pipsqueak pachinko ball playing bitch outclass her on national television.

Backstage, Bulk and Skull plot out their scheme to unveil who the Power Rangers really are. Then Skull shoves an oversized makeup poof in Bulk's face and makes him look silly. That's the entirety of the scene. Bulk gets his face covered in white powder. Nice of Power Rangers to give us an inside look on how it was written.

After the commercial break, we cut back to the Power Rangers and see that Harvey Garvey Carvey R.V. runs a pretty low-rent show since he can't afford enough chairs for all six Rangers.

Of course only Tommy gets to sit by himself.

When Harvey asks the Rangers if staying in school helped them become heroes, Billy aggressively informs the audience that you need to expand your mind to become a Power Ranger. Keep telling yourself that Billy. While Tommy gets all the glory and beats monsters to death single-handed, you can enjoy piloting a giant unicorn. Intelligence sure got you far up the ladder didn't it?

Tommy says every one of Zedd's monsters had something different they had to figure out, and that's where their education came into play. Like that monster Zedd sent that was always off-screen and generically posed in their direction. They really had to use their noodles to escape that sinister beast.

When prompted for an example, the only instance Kim provides is Pudgy Pig. A monster from nearly 90 goddamned episodes ago. Now let's dissect this a little further. The Rangers used their combined 50 years of education to put their noggins together and fed the giant pig trash until he died. Stay in school kids! It's almost like this claim that education helped the Power Rangers kill a multitude of space monsters might not quite be grounded in reality. As a matter of fact I'm starting to think this entire episode was built upon less than sturdy foundation!

The episode spends a few minutes flashing back to the battle with Pudgy Pig, which is fine. It's nice seeing that big fatso again, but the scene feels really weird. For whatever reason, Trini, Jason, and Zack have their voices dubbed over during this flashback. Now at the risk of alienating my tens of readers, I am not in fact an expert in law. I don't know the legality of using stock footage of characters' voices after they quit your show. I'm more curious why this show could use old lines from Season 1 to dub over the Black, Yellow, and Red Rangers midway through Season 2, but that was no longer an option now. If anyone has a boring technical answer, please spice it up with some cursing and report back to me.

Backstage, Bulk and Skull concoct another foolproof plan to knock the Rangers out of commission. Bulk will inform Skull when to cut the rope holding a particular sandbag, which will knock one of the Rangers out cold. Once that happens, Bulk will rip their helmets off on-camera while screaming sic semper tyrannis. Yeah that's his whole plan. To assault a superhero soldier on live television while five more of them are in close proximity. Please remember this moment in the future for whenever I say something is "the dumbest plan Bulk and Skull have ever come up with," because I'll be comparing it to shit like this.

Once Pink Ranger runs out of stock footage to talk about, Harvey Garvey Carvey R.V. Larvae asks the Rangers how they do those amazing martial arts moves. The Yellow and Red Rangers offer to give him a demonstration, but mostly because they were tired of sitting on the arms of a sofa. Harvey seems uncomfortable following their instructions, because he's a middle-aged white man following the instructions of intergalactic karate dweebs. As soon as he tries to emulate the Rangers' kick…what do you think happens?

To be honest, Kim's reaction is pretty perfect.

While I expected Garvey to get all miffed and act like an asshole, his actor actually plays this moment off pretty well by joking about his lackluster karate skills and telling the kids they shouldn't try this one at home. As a matter of fact, I actually enjoy the guy doing this character. It's a nothing role, but it's nice to see a character who isn't one of the Rangers being played as something other than a fuddy-duddy curmudgeon. Though honestly I would rather they got the guy who played Flabber in Big Bad Beetleborgs to act as a Jay Leno surrogate.

Bulk demands Skull cut the rope holding the sandbag, but Skull cuts the wrong rope and it falls on Bulk's head. For those of you who might know how the laws of physics work, you might be wondering how this didn't seriously injure Bulk. It was 100 pounds of sand falling incredibly quickly from a good 20 feet in the air straight onto a man's head. Well the answer is made clear when Skull pulls the sandbag off Bulk's face and it's revealed to be filled with feathers. Ah okay, so the thing that is designed solely to be heavy and act as a counterweight was actually filled with harmless soft material.

What in the actual living goddamned fuck?

Zedd's become disgusted at how pathetic he's been this episode, so he decides to get off his duff and finally make that monster he was talking about 10 minutes ago. With a blast of lightning from his staff, Zedd zaps a camera from backstage and turns it into a new monster. Follow along here because the name of this creature gets a little complicated. Are you ready? This monster made from show business equipment has been dubbed "Showbiz Monster." The writers of this episode couldn't take the time they saved writing "Cut to stock footage of Pudgy Pig" to think up a better name than that?

Showbiz Monster
Why does this dude have an overbite and underbite at the same time?

Alpha 5 panics that Zedd has unleashed another one of his ineffectual monsters on the world, but Zordon tells him to stop whining. So long as he gets his residual check from the Harvey Garvey show he can buy as many new Rangers as he wants. Lure them in with flashy weapons and Zords, then reveal to them they'll never get paid a dime. It'll totally look good on a resume though, so don't worry. Who cares what Zedd unleashes now that he's about to become filthy stinking rich off the back of some 2nd rate talk show host.

Back on the set of Harvey Garvey Carvey R.V. Larvae Jarvie, Harvey has a pointed question for the White Ranger. Whatever happened to that Green Ranger loser they used to pal around with back in the old days? The Pink Ranger averts her gaze as Blue Ranger twiddles his thumbs nervously. The White Ranger breaks into a cold sweat as he takes Garvey by the collar and starts screaming at him. "WHAT KIND OF MORTON DOWNEY JR. BULLSHIT ARE YOU TRYING TO RUN HERE GARVEY? HUH?! IT'S NONE OF YOUR GODDAMNED BUSINESS WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM!"

Seconds before the White Ranger decapitates a talk show host on national television, Alpha contacts the Rangers. He tells them they won't be able to stick around for the musical guest, Legs Zeppelin, because Zedd's unleashed a new creature downtown. The Rangers apologize to Harvey for leaving so abruptly, but they teleport out of the studio after once again reminding us that we would be fools not to stay in school.

As soon as the Rangers vanish, Bulk and Skull rush the stage to try and unveil the Rangers' identities. The pair humiliate themselves in front of God and everyone by slamming into Harvey Garvey, who refuses to accept any explanation as to who they are. Credit to the morons here Garv, you're the one who has no security on your show. Might explain why Springer is kicking your ass in the ratings. You could have brought these two out as the Power Rangers' long lost illegitimate children to really get the audience going. Instead you have to go with some boring stay in school bullshit? What a joke.

Back in the Command Center, Zordon tells the Ranger Teens that they better be ready to do a lot more talk show appearances to make up for how bad they botched this one. Oh yeah and Lord Zedd has also made a camera monster or something. Then as the Rangers look upon the Viewing Globe, they come to a cold and desolate realization. The only reason they were on T.V. was because the writers of this episode needed to reverse-engineer an episode to shoehorn in a monster made out of film canisters. Nobody actually wanted them there, there's no such person as Harvey Garvey. This has all been a sham. Like every other hollow worthless victory in their lives. Then we cut to Tommy smiling wide as he informs his friends the part he liked best about being on T.V. was the part where he got to do karate.

The Rangers morph to do battle with the Showbiz Monster, who instructs a batch of Z-Putties to fight his enemies while he stands around and gesticulates. Another A+ monster Zedd! No wonder you're the big cheese. After Showbiz Monster blurts out a couple of groan-inducing lines relating the battle to a film set, Goldar shows up again. The golden dingus demands retribution for his embarrassing defeat earlier. Goldar challenges the White Ranger to a battle while the other five Rangers battle the remaining Z-Putties. Tommy and Goldar engage in a brief sword fight that appears to end on a shot of Tommy sheathing Saba. Keep that in the back of your mind and we'll get to why it was stupid in just a moment.

Zedd realizes his Putties are getting clobbered, so he does the only thing he ever does in this situation: Make his monster grow. Showbiz Monster turns gigantic and probably says something like "Time for my BIG break!" I don't know. I can't deal with anymore dumbass puns from this guy. Way to waste a pretty cool monster design on this mediocre bullshit.

The Rangers call for the Thunder Megazord and suddenly the whole scene turns to a sunset backdrop. It looks kind of nice, but it becomes completely nonsensical when we cut back to the fight with Goldar and Tommy and see that it's still daylight out. Whatever. The Thunder Megazord uses its Thunder Saber to finish off Showbiz Monster. That's a wrap! HAHAHA BECAUSE HE IS FROM TELEVISION

Showbiz Monster gif
WELCOME TO PRIME-TIME BITCH

Back at the fight with Tommy and Goldar, the editor completely screws the pooch by replaying the last five seconds of their initial fight. As soon as that happens, Goldar retreats and says he'll be back. So you know that fight we were promised? You saw all of it before Showbiz Monster grew. Power Rangers showed the last snippet of it again and immediately had Goldar retreat afterwards. Utterly incredible.

Back at Angel Grove High, Miss Applebee asks her gaggle of pimple-faced students what they learned from the Power Rangers' presentation last night. One student says "The Power Rangers think school is cool, and so do I." Well if the Power Rangers jumped off a bridge would you do that too? Actually...that sounds kind of cool. I mean if the Rangers did it first that is. They'd look so badass. I could look that cool too! Someone find me the nearest bridge, I got an experiment to do.

Applebee announces that the Power Rangers' lesson was delivered worldwide, as she's received a fax from Switzerland about the Rangers' appearance on the Harvey Garvey Carvey R.V. Larvae Jarvie Narvy Show. Jason, Trini, and Zack apparently sent a message about how great the Power Rangers' appearance was. They conclude by saying if any of their dialogue snuck into that Pudgy Pig scene, Saban better be ready to get lawsuits jammed so far up his ass he'll be coughing up legalese 'til Lost Galaxy.

Then Bulk and Skull come in and get detention for being ten minutes late to class. I'd love to write about how they become depressed about their horrible lives after being humiliated in front of their classmates, but I'm not going to do that. No, this episode can peter out as limply as it came in.What a crock of shit.




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: The Harvey Garvey Show





Personal Thoughts


This episode isn't quite as bad as last week's, but it's also really nothing worth talking about either. The handling of Zedd's "evil twin" plot was laughable, and I can't tell you how quickly I got sick of the Rangers telling me how great going to school is. I'm not saying you can't have morals in your baby karate shows, but I'd appreciate if they're not so fucking didactic. Don't tell me that school's important and leave it at that. Try illustrating your point with better examples than "We figured out a fat pig demon disliked hot food so we fed it a radish." It's been nearly 100 episodes and that was the best example you could come up with?

I'm also pretty annoyed at how badly utilized the footage was with regards to Showbiz Monster. He had an attack where he launched film reel ropes out of his arms that could have been used, there was a scene of him getting hit by an energy blast that went unused, and even a shot of him getting hit by a massive explosion that didn't get used. It couldn't have been that hard to have the Rangers use the Power Cannon on him could it? Have them fire the cannon then cut to him in front of the explosion.Think outside the box for a second and maybe you can actually get something interesting out of these Dairanger monsters.

Um...Harvey Garvey's actor will have a much more prominent role next season. Jesus. I can't think of anything else to write about this episode. I mean at least "Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun" was stupid. This episode can't even be terrible. It's kind of preachy, but not enough to make fun of. Yeah staying in school is a fine thing to teach about. At least try and be more obnoxious about it so I can make fun of you more Power Rangers

Oh wait there was this hilariously awful summation of the Showbiz monster fight from the script. Also one of the most baffling lines I've ever seen written.


Holy fuck.




9 comments:

  1. I'm no big city entertainment lawyer, but seems to me they had the original actors under contract for a certain amount of episodes; even though they didn't show up to set they were still being paid. So they used body doubles, voiceovers, and stock footage until those contracts were officially terminated. Then, it was cheaper to hire voice actors to dub over the old clips. They couldn't use the new Rangers to dub the voices since they established continuity that these were entirely new characters in those roles.

    PS, Fuck shit damn cock piss damn hell ass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a top shelf comment right here. Educating me on something I'm clueless about and just enough foul-mouthery to keep me invested. A+ job!

      Delete
  2. Harvey Garvey Lands an Interview With The Power Rangers ranks up there with "Small Child convinces NASA to let him borrow their new space shuttle" in terms of "How the fuck does this world even work"-ery. Do the rangers have an agent? Did Garvey walk up to them as they were standing amidst the smouldering remains of Flower Guy and ask for an exclusive?

    Billy aggressively informs the audience that you need to expand your mind to become a Power Ranger.

    See, here's your problem: Billy's just admitted that he's been doing mind-expanding drugs for the past year and a half to cope with the way that being a literal superhero still isn't enough to get him laid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the Harvey Garvey Show featuring the Power Rangers, and special guest: Dr. Timothy Leary!

      Delete
  3. A Loomey Tunes reference in Power Rangers? That would've been awesome! What, was Saban afraid Warner Bros. was gonna sue or something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They referenced Batman in Season 1, so either no they aren't afraid or yes they are after they pulled that stunt.!

      Delete
  4. I got a genuine laugh from the script squib.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What, no mention of Tommy's worst morphing call in the show's history?
    "Lights, Camera, we're morphin' into action!"
    WHY.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm surprised you didn't mention about during the Power Rangers TV introduction, as the White Ranger gets introduced, the Red Ranger whose turn was already over was practically "Fuck this, I need more air time!", and starts doing karate moves with the White Ranger trying to steal his thunder. What an asshole.

    And a scene of the Pink Ranger fighting putties got used twice.

    And as someone already mention, Tommy's "Lights, camera, we're morphin' into action!".

    ReplyDelete