PrintE-mail Written by Neil Buchanan

It’s difficult not to get caught up in the absurd campiness of the Power Rangers franchise. Brightly coloured costumes, special signature moves, dialogue that would be at home in an early Stan Lee scripted Spider-Man comic, bad set pieces, awful special effects - yet undeniably good, clean fun.

Power Rangers, it will comes as no surprise, is aimed specifically at a children’s market. Adults are forbidden. We’re not expected to understand, much less care for the source material. So with this in mind, Starburst has recruited two special reviewers to cast their expert opinion on the matter. Scarlett and Maia, age (7) and (4) respectively. And of the series as a whole this is what they had to say.

Starburst: What were the best bits?

Scarlett and Maia: We liked it when they killed the baddie and made the boy’s life better.

So who’s the best Power Ranger?

The pink one is the best, because she can nearly do it all. She’s very good. And she can jump really high.

And who was the worst?

The light blue one, he didn’t really do much - or fight!

If you were scrolling down the children’s channels and came across Power Rangers would you watch it over something like Scooby-Doo?

No. Scooby is good because it’s scary and fun, and Power Rangers is good, but we don’t like the baddies in it. They’re too powerful.

Is Power Rangers aimed for boys, or girls, or both?

It’s a boy’s program, although some girls might like it.

And there you have it, from the mouths of the (almost) target audience.

At the start of each episode we are treated to a quick voice-over explaining the status quo before the spandex-clad action begins.

Centuries ago in Japan, Nighlok monsters invaded our world. Samurai warriors defeated them with power symbols passed down from parent to child. Today, the evil Nighlok have risen once again and plan to flood the Earth. Luckily, a new generation of heroes stand in their way. They are the Power Rangers, Samurai.

In the two-part origin story the usual group is assembled: red leader Jayden, Kevin the blue, yellow and pink who are completely interchangeable, and green Mike the rebel.

This is the Power Rangers eighteenth season and collects the first five episodes for your viewing pleasure. Saban Brands have bought back their franchise and given this new series an upbeat tone and a comedic value that they hilariously felt was lacking in the previous seasons. It’s also the first season to be shot in HD and originally aired on Nickelodeon.

Eighteen years is an incredible run for any series and its popularity shows no signs in slowing, Power Rangers continues to attract around 2 million viewers per episode.

Understandably then, Saban Brands fully expect to milk this cash cow and with that in mind have embraced the various online formats to sell their product. Samurai apps, facebook pages, social media and streaming content are all just a click away to overdose your child on should you want. All these extra, um, goodies can thankfully be ignored, you don’t need it for the series, though it would be hard to imagine a fan not wanting to buy the toy, or dress up as a samurai and surprise the cat from time to time wielding a plastic sword and shouting, ‘It’s morphin’ time, fur-ball!’

Still, this is a good example of, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. And it bears saying that watching brightly coloured characters pretending to kick the snot out of each other can be vastly entertaining, maybe not as much fun as watching brightly coloured robots beating the snot out of each other, but a close second.

The children love it. Our reviewers became actively engaged in the characters, cheering them on when they saved the day, or booing when the evil Nighloks came close to succeeding in their dastardly plans.

Therefore it must be considered a winner. Long may it, cough, reign.

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