“Alpha, Rita has escaped, recruit a team of teenagers with attitudes.” It was those simple words that started a 20-year phenomenon, and to this day Power Rangers stands strong as one of the longest running TV shows of all time. For me, I was there at the beginning, I was around four when I started watching the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and I am proud to say it changed my life. But what was it that made it so good? What made it last for 20 years? There are many theories to be sure, but today I’m just going to state why I think it worked, and why I still watch it to this day. Reason No.1: It just worked. Why not? Why couldn’t five teenagers be chosen by a guy in a glass tube and a robot to save the world from an ancient witch? I’ve watched a lot of television and I’ve seen much weirder selections of heroes. Kids in costumes fighting monsters to save our world was awesome, especially to us kids back then. The action was awesome, the fighting was cool, and back then the effects were awesome. The teleporting watches, Zordon, the zords, everything just clicked. The original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series was only supposed to last three seasons, 145 episodes total. Thanks to fans, it went beyond that. Reason No.2: We could relate to the characters. This is so important nowadays. When Zordon asked Alpha for “teenagers with attitudes” they could have picked anybody, literally anybody, the strongest, smartest, most talented, most gifted people in the world. But instead (and this is not an insult) they picked Jason, Trini, Zach, Kimberly, and Billy, (Tommy came later). Five very different kids with five very different personalities. And it was great. Jason was the hardcore leader, the cool tough guy we all wanted to be, Billy was the nerd, Zach was the fun loving dancer, Kimberly was the popular girl who was also a gymnast, and Trini was the kind-hearted environmentalist. You could relate to one of these characters in one way or the other. For me it was Billy. As I watched Billy evolve into a great character I knew I had a shot too. Oh and because of him my favorite color is blue. Power Rangers always emphasized that anyone could be a Ranger. And throughout the 20 year history we’ve seen Rangers of all sizes, shapes, and colors. No one was out of bounds. Adults, kids, teens, heroes, villains, strays, popular kids, rogues, selfless warriors to stuck-up snobs they have all been Rangers. So if a kid says he wants to be a Power Ranger, I can honestly say he has a shot. Reason No. 3: The Theme Song Need I say more? The Power Rangers Theme Song is an all-time classic, it had a heavy beat, epic rhythm, and the footage that went along with it was awesome. To this day it’s used often and referenced everywhere. As the series evolved so did the theme songs, different styles, tracks, messages, all were epic. Some of my personal favorites (outside the original) are Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force, and S.P.D. Reason No.4: The Zords! While it’s always fun to watch people fight each other Power Rangers took it to the next level with the Zords – Mechanical behemoths that would fight the overgrown monsters. Every season had their own Megazords and they were all awesome! Some were animals, some were vehicles, some were hybrids, but all kicked bad guy butt. And it all started here…. Reason No.5: Deep character arcs. This happened a lot in the first few seasons but carries on to this day. The characters grew. At the beginning they were all stereotypes in one way or the other, but as the season went on they grew into something much more. Billy became more confident, Jason a better leader, Kimberly more friendly and on and on. But no arc, not in any Power Rangers season compares to the epic Green Ranger Saga. Rita (the main villain of the first series) knew the Power Rangers would be tough to beat. So she created a Ranger of her own. She took a kid named Tommy Oliver and molded him into an evil (yet somehow epic) Green Ranger. And the rest is history. He was everything the other Rangers was, though yet evil. He single-handedly took them out on most occasions. When they ‘zorded’ up so did he with the epic Dragonzord. He also had one of the most iconic weapons of all time, The Dragon Dagger. This was a weapon and a flute that allowed him to control the Dragonzord. Oh and I still have mine and it works! But what made the arc so special was that he was redeemed, he became good, and yet he struggled. He could only use his powers sparingly and we watched Tommy seem almost desperate to help his friends at times. Little did he know his time would come. After fighting time after time he lost his powers but with a little help from Zordon and Alpha he came back in a big way. He was reborn the White Ranger and given leadership of the team. Tommy wasn’t going anywhere. It’s because of the Green Ranger Saga that Tommy Oliver (and the actor Jason David Frank who played him) became the most iconic Ranger of all time. Ask any fan who’s been there since the beginning and they’ll remember the Green Ranger and Tommy Oliver. Reason No. 6. The Message Within This is important to me. No matter what show, real or fake there is a message within. For Power Rangers it wasn’t exactly what you thought it was. It talked about teamwork, believing in a cause, defending what’s right and true. But above all else the message of the Power Rangers from then to now is about the power within. That’s right, the greatest power the Rangers had, was the power within themselves. No power coin or morpher or zord could top that. When all else fails we have our inner strength, our inner courage, and our hearts to guide us to victory. Many times throughout the series the Rangers have been powerless and to survive they needed to rely on themselves and their friends around them to make it. Tommy and Jason faced this dilemma many times and because of their belief in themselves they won the day. If I ever have kids and Power Rangers is still on I would tell them to watch the show, because I know it’ll teach them the right way to do things and to persevere when all seems lost. Why It Matters. So you’ve watched me go fanboy for a whole article and we’re to the point where you’re saying “Why does it matter?” It matters because it’s still here. Power Rangers endures. It’s on its 20th season now with Power Rangers Megaforce. New rangers have come and gone, but the show keeps going. That says something to me. That says to me that people care, that people still like this show. From the epic highs to the lows where you wonder how it survived. But it did. And it’s rewarding us for our loyalty. (Hint: it’s in the last 15 seconds!) To me it says that people and kids still believe in what’s right, that’s its not just about the flash and the zords and the transformations (though believe me it helps) but they like watching the show because they want someone to look up to. They want role models and the Power Rangers are some of the best role models in the world. Do they stumble? Yes. Do they loss faith? Yes. But do they overcome? Yes. Ladies and gentlemen I’ve been a Power Rangers fan for twenty years. I remember my favorite episodes and my favorite Rangers by heart. To this day. one of my heartfelt dreams is to become a Power Ranger. I’ve written ideas down for my own series, my own team, my own zords, my own stories to tell the world. Oh and I’m the Red Ranger, I was blue but I changed it over….sorry Billy! To me this isn’t just a show, it’s something I cherish, something I hold on to very dearly. So to all Power Rangers fans, young and old, new and veterans, I thank you. You made this show matter. You made this show a hit and you kept it going. So from one fan to another there’s only one way to end this article……everybody ready? It’s Morphin Time! EmailPrint Duff You rock…my personal experience was when I was 11 and it premiered and I was hooked from the beginning…as far as being a ranger…well, there’s no threats to the earth so we don’t need costumes…just helping someone out when there in a jam is good enough for now. Oh, and I made my own ranger…Brown…zord:: Allosaurus Blane I know those feels. I think Power Rangers was my first real TV show that I ever got hooked on. I always wanted to be the Green/White ranger(s). Tommy was my hero. Jeron Moonwalker Williams your amazing man, Kudo’s my friend Todd Black Thanks Jeron! Glad you liked it. Please spread this around as I would like as many Power Rangers fans as possible to read this and share their favorite memories. Also once Megaforce is done (it starts back up Sept 6th) I’m going to do a MEGA COUNTDOWN of all the series and state which where the best and which…..weren’t. Thanks again! Todd Black To all Power Rangers fans! Feel free to comment here about your favorite Power Rangers series, moments, Rangers, Zords, anything. Show your Power Ranger pride!