Welcome to the most 1990s thing that ever existed.
For anyone who doesn’t know, ‘Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ was a live-action television series about teenagers who come together to use recycled Japanese action show footage to sell toys to American kids. It first aired on Fox Kids in 1993 and is still on, jumping from Fox to ABC to Toon Disney to Nickelodeon, changing its name and cast as many times as it needed to remain fresh. The most recent incarnation is ‘Power Rangers Super Samurai,’ but they’ve been Turbo, Zeo, in Space, in a Lost Galaxy and affixed with everything from time travel to dinosaurs and something called ‘jungle fury’.
Today, Sports On TV tackles the show that brought the Power Rangers to the dance — the first three seasons of ‘Mighty Morphin’ — featuring the original cast (mostly), the original bad guys and all the horrible dubbed-in dialogue and grainy footage that made the franchise a 20-year success. Yeah, I can’t figure it out either.
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Episode: “The Trouble with Shellshock” (season 1, episode 22)
What Happens: In an episode that is mostly about the Power Rangers battling a turtle who hits baseballs at them and has a magical traffic light on his head (featuring the immortal line, “wait’ll those teenage mutants see what a full-grown turtle can do!”), the Ranger teens bond with their new friend Tommy by beating him at basketball, and at one point work together to throw local Abbott and Costello Bulk and Skull into a hot dog cart. But no, seriously, the turtle was gigantic and the traffic light on his head could make people stop or go (or “caution,” I’m assuming) at his command. No clue on the baseballs.
Key line: “Time for my vernacular, spectacular, veracious, bodacious, autophonic, morphonomic … jam!”
Basketball scenes bookend this episode. In the first, Black Ranger Zack reveals that the only thing he’s better at than using an axe to command a mastodon robot is 90s-style trash talk (“Aw, losing’s gonna hurt so bad, you’re gonna have to call a doctor, an ambulance, medics!” Tommy’s sad response is, “yeah, for you!”).