Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh No: The Power Rangers

We've been able to avoid the Power Rangers until now.

If you don't have an Eli 5.4 or closely-related series, you might not know about the Power Rangers. They've become a rite of passage for almost every young boy. There have been THIRTEEN different versions of the show, with a new series starting up every fifteen minutes. And they've been around for a long time, too--the first series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, debuted in the U.S. in 1993. So unlike most other crazes involving kid shows, this one has been around for (relatively) forever.

All of Eli's friends watch the Power Rangers. And we've let him get some of the merchandise, including a red Power Ranger Halloween costume, but he's never watched the show.

Yes, the violence concerns me, except that it's clearly pretend. 90% of the time in the endless fight scenes, people don't even touch each other. So even as live action, it looks about as fake as anything could possibly be.

Here's a very brief description of the show. There are five Power Rangers, and they morph into the Power Ranger suits and whatnot by shouting a slogan and using some kind of power dealio. They can also combine into something called a Megazord, which is a giant mech robot (or looks like one, anyway). And they can individually transform into other things as well. In Power Rangers "SPD", which was the version I was watching, there are people dressed in bird costumes and guys with jars on their heads and all kinds of goofy things. It's a menagerie--of crap.

And THAT'S what concerns me. Eli is totally hip in his choice of shows right now, and going from Kim Possible to the Power Rangers is such a step down in class that it's like jumping off a building. Which I might do if he starts watching them every day.

Gloria relented last week and let him tape one episode of Power Rangers SPD, which he's watched relentlessly since then. He knows the fight scenes are incredibly goofy, but he enjoys the show anyway. During one of the lengthy fight scenes, which mostly consisted of people running around and yelling "YAH!" he said "There's a LOT of YAH in this show."

I was watching the episode with him (for about the third time), and one of the Power Rangers said "I think this thing needs a tune-up" when he turned into a robot. Eli 5.4 said "What's a tune-up?"

"That's where you take an engine to a mechanic to make it work better," I said. "Engines need to get tuned up every once in a while.:

"Eli, you know," Gloria said. "It's like when we go to Jiffy Lube."

Eli started watching the show again.

"I guess you could take the Megazord to Jiffy Lube," I said.

"I can just hear it now," Gloria said. "Excuse me, ma'am, but are you the owner of the Megazord? Could you come over here for just a second? Now THIS is the air filter we took out of the Megazord, and THIS is a clean air filter. I just wanted you to see the difference."

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