Saban’s Power Rangers franchise is one of the most successful mainstream children’s program’s in modern television history. It is currently celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year. And it’s doing so in a big way thanks to a partnership with Shout! Factory. While the new mega Power Rangers DVD collection might be out of the price range of many Power Rangers fans, the latest stand-alone collection from Shout! Factory and Saban is right up the alley for any old school Power Rangers fan. The new collection in question is Power Rangers Zeo: Volume 2. Power Rangers Zeo: Volume 2 (or Power Rangers: Season 4 Volume 2) finishes off the latest incarnation of the franchise. It is also one more wonderful collection for those yearning for the franchise’s golden era. The writing in Season 4 Volume 2 is the key to this collection of episodes. Just as worth noting is the acting carried on the part of the cast. The packaging is the final touch that makes Season 4 Volume 2 work. All three factors come together to make Power Rangers Zeo: Volume 2 another hit for any old school Power Rangers fan.
The first thing that stands out about Power Rangers Zeo: Volume 2 is the writing. Season 4 Volume 2 contains the final twenty-five episodes of the Rangers’ Zeo incarnation. Within that set of episodes, the show’s writers crafted no fewer than three separate extended story arcs. There is also a stand-alone Christmas episode in “A Season to Remember” that was previously only available as a bonus episode in one of Lionsgate’s previously released Power Rangers Samurai compilations. The story arcs included in this volume are prime examples of what made the Power Rangers franchise so enjoyable in its early days. That’s because they were used as a means to keep the show fresh and keep it moving forward without losing any of the ground that it had gained over the course of its first three seasons. One of those storylines sees the introduction of the very first Gold Ranger (played by returning original star Austin St. James). Another sees the return of Lord Zedd and Rita after the eventual defeat of King Mondo. And even after King Mondo is defeated, he does return again. This leads to another ongoing story arc late in the collection that eventually leads into the Power Rangers’ next incarnation, Power Rangers RPM.
The extended story arcs written into the second half of Season Four are a big part of this collection’s success. The stand-alone episodes do their own part in making Volume 2 a success. One example of that is in the Christmas themed episode, “A Season To Remember.” This episode is a “what if” scenario of sorts. It presents Tommy as an old man telling his grandson about the Power Rangers, remembering fondly his adventures as a young man. It continues the series’ long-standing tradition of including positive messages within each episode. This episode includes the message of tolerance towards others. It’s not the only positive message shared in this collection of episodes, either. “Mondo’s Last Stand” teaches viewers that it’s okay to ask for help. This lesson is taught as Rocky tries to take on King Mondo himself because he feels like he has been essentially replaced upon Jason’s return to the Rangers. It’s just one more example of how the writing in Season 4 Volume 2 makes this collection one more that every old school Power Rangers fan will appreciate.
The writing behind the episodes in Power Rangers Zeo: Volume 2 is the biggest part of this collection’s success. It isn’t all that audiences will applaud in this set. The acting on the part of the cast is just as enjoyable as ever. A big part of that is the cast’s familiarity with one another thanks to the series’ various story arcs. The chemistry between the cast members made for better and more believable acting. This especially applies in the case of Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy (A.K.A. Bulk and Skull). The pair’s Lauren & Hardy style comedic acting is as entertaining as ever. While they were only supporting cast, their physical comedy and gags made them the real stars of the show. That’s not to say that the Rangers themselves weren’t believable in their roles. Despite some lineup changes over the course of the franchise’s first three seasons and its fourth season, the story arcs crafted for the show kept the core cast together long enough to establish its own chemistry. That chemistry meant that the core cast had more reason to take its acting seriously. And that is visible throughout each of the episodes in this volume. A prime example of this comes in “King for a Day Part II.” The Rangers have to convince Tommy that he’s not the Machine King. And Kat (the Pink Ranger) takes the lead in that effort. It would have been so easy for her to ham it up. She took the moment with full seriousness instead. That led this to be one of Season 4’s most memorable of moments. It isn’t the only memorable moments in terms of the cast’s acting, either. Audiences will find even more memorable acting on the part of the cast when they purchase this set for themselves.
Writing and acting are pivotal to any movie and TV series. And that is proved time and again in Power Rangers Zeo: Volume Two. There is still one factor in this new set that audiences will appreciate. The factor in question is the set’s packaging. Season 4 Volume 2 has already been included in a pair of Power Rangers box sets. Not every Power Rangers fan is a fan of every Power Rangers series. So on Tuesday, February 11th, this collection will be available for fans of PRZ as a stand-alone, triple-disc set. This means that fans of this specific incarnation won’t have to shell out the money that they would otherwise had to have spent on the previously released box set just to have this set. The three discs that make up the set each have their own spot inside the case. This means that each disc is protected from the other, thus making them enjoyable even longer. While it will not be available until Tuesday, February 11th, it can be pre-ordered now from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-zeo-volume-two. More information on this and other Power Rangers collections is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.