Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban Brands
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 2 Volume 2 is another fun jaunt down memory lane for fans of the series that started the whole Power Rangers phenomenon in the United States. This second half of the original series’ second season sees another pivotal point in the evolution of the Power Rangers as three of the original cast members are replaced with a new trio of Power Rangers who would themselves later be replaced, too. Also, audiences see the first major change in the Rangers’ zords. As the fight against Lord Zedd continued, the Rangers’ original Dinozords were replaced by the new Thunderzords. Through all the changes, the series still retained the campy yet fun qualities that made it so enjoyable up to this point. This includes some worthwhile episodes, too that contain more important life lessons. It all comes together to make this latest release another set of adventures that will make any older MMPR fan nostalgic for a better time, and will enjoy for the first time again with their own child(ren).
One of the first things that fans of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers will appreciate in the second half of the series’ second season is the changes that ensue this time. Rita Repulsa (played by Machicko Soga) is long gone after having been banished by Lord Zedd. Another change that viewers see in this half of Season Two is the replacement of three of the original Rangers. Zack (Walter Emanuel Jones), Trini (Thuy Trang), and Jason (Austin St. John) would be replaced in the two-part episode, “The Power Transfer.” The trio would be replaced by Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch), Aisha (Karan Ashley) and Rocky (Steve Cardenas) respectively. The changeup in the team’s lineup was (in the story) the result of Zach, Jason, and Trini being chosen to a teen activist group in Switzerland. Though more than likely in reality it was likely the result of failed contract negotiations. In the grand scheme of the show though, the replacement of the original team embers with fresh young talent was handled very well by the show’s writers. On a side note, sadly, Thuy Trang would later die in a car crash in 2001. So it would be the last time that audiences would see her as a Power Ranger.
The team lineup change was just one of the changes that the show would see in the second half of Season Two. Also updated for this final set of episodes from Season Two were the team’s vehicles, its Zords. Knowing the team would need stronger weapons against Lord Zedd, Zordon gave the updated team of Rangers the mystical Thunderzords” which would of course later be replaced by the Ninjazords. This update to the show and the new team members both helped to keep the show fresh and interesting then and even now for those seeing the show again for the first time. They were only part of what continued to make the show enjoyable for viewers. There were some changes to the show, as has been noted. For all of the changes, one thing stayed the same. The one thing was the show’s writing.
Because the show’s writing stayed largely the same as it had been from the show’s inception, it maintained the same level of action that had been established throughout the show’s first season and the first half of its second season, too. There were also the same life lessons thrown in that thankfully continued to refrain from being too preachy and taking over. Rather, they were tied into each episode’s storyline. For instance, in the episode, “Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun”, viewers learn the importance of balancing work and play when Rocky is put under a spell by Lord Zedd that makes him just want to have fun. The end result is a valuable lesson about that balance and maintaining it. “Mirror of Regret” is something of a semi-bullying story. IN this story, Adam has to overcome his own insecurities brought on by Zedd’s mirror in question. All the while, he has to fight the taunts of Goldar in order to overcome his past. So in its own way, the show even promoted understanding and acceptance even that early on. For that reason, it is most definitely to be commended. There is even an episode that promotes the importance of education when the Rangers appear on a local talk show in their home town of Angel Grove. Again it’s that mix of action and life lessons so expertly balanced yet again in this half of Season Two that continued to make the show enjoyable then and even now years later.
The writing behind MMPR in the second half of Season Two went a long way toward making these episodes as enjoyable as they were. There is one last factor that makes this half of Season Two enjoyable. That final factor is the show’s production values. Unlike so many of the Power Rangers incarnations that would follow this one, its production values and special effects were more…raw for lack of better wording. By comparison, so much of what has been crafted since the days of the original MMPR is spit shined. And the physical comedy on the part of Bulk and Skull (Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy) only added to the whole package. Even years later, one can’t help but laugh, watching this dopey duo taking pratfalls and pies left and right. Together with everything else that went into this half of the show’s second season, it makes Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 2 Volume 2 another enjoyable addition to any fan of the team that started it all, the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 2 Volume 2 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/216962.
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