The Power Ranger franchise is back with the nineteenth season opener of the live action children’s television show. The newest installment Power Rangers Samurai aired Monday night on Nickelodeon. The samurai are sword wielding rangers with the same formula as their predecessors.
The show opened with a remastered version of the original Go Go Power Rangers theme music with a few added tweaks to match the new installation. The familiar element of bumbling monsters in an endless pursuit of ranger destruction was present. The surprise of the show was the return of antagonistic frienemies Bulk and Skull. Not only did they make an appearance, but the part of Bulk is still being played by the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers actor Paul Schrier . Apparently he has no plans to ever age out of the Power Rangers series. There is a new Skull who’s supposed to be Bulks supposed nephew? There will undoubtedly be an explanation in future episodes. The franchise is known for resurrecting former cast members. Jason David Frank has made several return appearances. He was last seen in the Dino Thunder installation as the leader of the rangers. It would be quite a treat for PR followers to have the entire original cast make an appearance. The original red ranger Austin St. John made an appearance a few years back on Forever Red, an ode to all red rangers.
Haim Saban is looking to recreate the original success from the first installation which captured the imagination of children everywhere. Just about every kid wanted to be a Power Ranger. I remember running home from the bus stop after school as a kid trying desperately to make it into the house before 4 o’ clock, I didn’t want to miss a single second. That is the essence that the production company is looking to strike within its new age viewing audience, My three children and I watched the premiere, but I must say, they were not as excited as they’ve been in past years for S.P.D, Dino Thunder or even Ninja Storm.
The new rangers bare no peculiar quality and came off a little weak compared to rangers past. The dialogue was lacking in substance and brilliance. There was definitely an element of Power Ranger branding that was amiss. Traditional ranger lingo is by definition very corny and slapstick-ish, but this was just dull and borderline brainless. The new group of actors didn’t make an entrance with the same vigor and intensity as those that have come before them, and quite frankly, they could all use additional development. Judging from this first show, the chance of sustainability is mediocre at best.
Yvonne Villarreal, “‘Power Rangers Samurai’ looks for fighting chance with new generation” latimes.com