Saturday, December 29, 2012

How Would I Schedule Power Rangers On Nickelodeon?

Yes. This subject has to pop up again. As Ranger Nation already knows, Nickelodeon' s treatment with how they air and promote Power Rangers is...........nowhere close to exuberant. The show is suffering in ratings because of that reason. Before I get into the subject of this post, here's a little history(that's still in the making.)

In November 2010, Nickelodeon/Saban Brands started putting out promos and trailers for Power Rangers Samurai. The show premiered on February 7th 2011 was the 3rd episode and the first 2 weren't seen until October 2011 (8 months and 8 days). That's not what was wrong though. Nick decided to air new episodes on SUNDAYS at 12:00 and air repeats on Saturdays at the same time. However, after increasing ratings on Saturdays, they moved new episodes there. And it worked. Ratings increased week after week. Even getting a season high on the episode "Boxed In" which got a 4.9 rating (According to Cynopsis Kids). However, after this season high, Nick decided to be stupid and take a summer hiatus with only 8 episodes left to air that year before going into 2012. Ratings dropped with repeats until October. They picked up once more, but nowhere close to a 4.9 or higher. Nick then aired the mid-season finale, the first two episodes, the first Halloween episode. "Clash Of The Red Rangers" which was aired WAY to early and the first Christmas episode. All at 12:00.

Going into 2012, Time was the same, but promotion wasn't. Promotion became very VERY poor and during the summer hiatus that they took after airing 13 episodes with 9 more to air, they changed the time to 1:00 pm on Saturdays and eventually added it on Sunday mornings at 8:00. Now the show is in the water because of the stupid network. The toys are selling REALLY well, but Nick doesn't give a hoot. It's because of the scheduling and lack of promotion. 

If I were in charge of Nickelodeon's scheduling, I would treat Power Rangers like it should be treated. Like an actual show. Here's my outline. 

7:00 pm-8:00 pm: Reruns of Power Rangers Samurai/"Super" Samurai 
Saturday/Sunday Mornings 
11:30 am: Repeat of latest MegaForce episode
Saturday Nights
8:30 pm Repeat of latest MegaForce episode 
Sunday Nights
7:30 pm Repeat of latest MegaForce episode

And from time to time, (During the summer hiatus and the mid-season finale/season finale) marathons and/or reruns of past episodes. 

I really think this could work. If is does, the show's ratings could go up. If a Friday night premiere can work for their new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, it can work for Power Rangers. No more of this garbage of treating it like "the red headed stepchild". 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Samurai Wrap Up

Pictures belong to their respectful owners. 

Well folks, the time we waited for has come, and it went. Power Rangers Samurai has ended after 44 episodes spawned over 2 years on Nickelodeon. (minus the final 2 holiday specials) Now, you are going to hear my thoughts on how the season went. It's good points, it's bad points, characters and overall rating of the season on a scale of 1-10. So let's begin on Retro Force's Fan Wrap-Up of....

Let's start off with the the season's main premise:
A long time ago, "Nighloks" invaded our world. Only to be defeated by Samurai warriors with Power Symbols passed down from parent to child. In present day, they have risen once more and plan to flood the earth. Luckily with the presence of 6 young adults, they will not win. These 6 young adults are the Power Rangers Samurai!



Jayden-Played by Alex Heartman [Episodes 1-44] 
Jayden has been a Red Ranger ever since he was young. His father was the Red Ranger before he died and has trained for years to follow in his footsteps. He is the supposed leader of the "Shiba Family". He keeps hiding a secret from the teammates until the end of the season. (You can guess who that is.)

His symbol is Fire. He also is the owner of the Lion Zord, Tiger Zord, Shark Zord and Bull Zord. His weapons include the Samuraizer, Spin Sword, Fire Smasher, Black Box, Bullzooka, Mega Blade and Shogun Spear. He also has the Mega Mode, Super Mode, Super Mega Mode, Shark Attack Mode, Super Shark Attack Mode and the Shogun Mode. 

Jayden was.......ehhh OK in my opinion. There was some good and bad things about him. The good was that for the first time in a while, we had a mysterious Red Ranger. He kept secrets from the team and was very head strong. I liked the relationship he had with Deker. It was truely amazing. 

The bad was that I think he was focused on WAYYYY to much. Most episodes, both plot development and fillers, were about him. His lines were never all that interesting and I hated how he was the hogging spotlight. He really didn't gain any development. 

What also bugged the heck out of me was that he was Asian. I know they were translating the Sentai, but it was just......awkward. 

Alex's acting was.....OK. Sure, not the best actor we had, but not the worst. I've seen far worst the next one. 

Jayden was:

Kevin-Played by Najee De-Tiege [Episodes 1-44]

Kevin was chosen to be a Power Ranger by his own father. He is second in command on the team and is a person who takes the life of a Samurai very seriously....a bit too serious. He's also a very hard trainer and does anything Jayden orders him to do. 

His symbol is Water. He owns the Dragon Zord and Swordfish Zord. His weapons include ths Samuraizer, Spin Sword, Hydro Bow, Black Box and Mega Blade. He also has the Mega Mode, Super Mode, Super Mega Mode and Shogun Mode.

To put it simply, Kevin was a terrible Ranger. From the first time I saw him and the remarks he made, he was a jerk He's always hard on Mike and bashes Antonio when he first gets on the team because he's not a "true Samurai". His "Life of the Samurai" talk got old REAL FAST and he didn't gain any development. 

Najee's acting was terrible also. I kind of had a hard time focusing on him when ever he spoke. There were some times where his acting improved, but then it would go back down again. Probably the worst one on the team. 

Kevin was:

Mike-Played by Hector David Jr. [Episodes 1-44]

Mike is a really interesting person who likes to have fun. He's a big video game person and a clown. Although he's a very funny person, he takes his job as a Power Ranger very seriously. 

His symbol is Forest. He owns the Bear Zord and the Beetle Zord. His weapons include the Samuraizer, Spin Sword, Forest Spear, Black Box and Mega Blade. He also has the Mega Mode, Super Mode, Super Mega Mode and Shogun Mode. 

Mike has to be my favorite Ranger this season. In alot of ways, he's like me. Funny, a rebel and takes things seriously when it's necessary. He really improved alot when the season began and when it ended, he got the girl he liked. 

Hector's acting for the character was top-notch. He put his all into it and any episode about him was fantastic. 
Mike was:

Emily-Played by Brittany Pirtle [Episodes 1-44]
Emily is the youngest one out of the main 6. She is a country girl that can play the flute and was chosen by her sister, Sierra to be a Power Ranger after she became sick. She was bullied as a child and became a stronger person because of that.

Her symbol is Earth. She owns the Ape Zord. Her weapons include the Samuraizer, Spin Sword, Earth Slicer, Black Box and Mega Blade. She had the powers of the Mega Mode, Super Mode, Super Mega Mode and Shogun Mode. 

Emily, I will say is a very realistic person. She's sweet, shy at times and is willing to help anyone out. She can act tough when she needs to and is very brave. Her development wasn't focused on that much, but at least it was incorporated in the season. 

Brittany's acting for the character was....good. Sure, some of the faults of her acting were because of the script, but she redeemed herself right away. Plus......hey...........she's hot. 
Emily was:

Mia-Played by Erika Fong [Episodes 1-44]
Mia wants to be both a teacher and a cook. She's a very thoughtful person and is always willing to help out. She has a brother named Terry who's a guitar player. She takes her job as a Power Ranger seriously. 

Her symbol is Earth. She owns the Turtle Zord. Her weapons include the Samuraizer, Spin Sword, Sky Fan, Black Box and Mega Blade. Her modes are Mega Mode, Super Mode, Super Mega Mode and Shogun Mode. 

Mia.....wasn't really anything to ride home about. She wasn't really focused on much. The only things we learned about her is that she has a brother, she can't cook properly and her rivalry with Dayu. 
Erika's acting was.....well bland. Not really anything else to say there. 

Mia was:

Antonio-Played by Steven Skyler [Episodes 13-44]
Antonio is a fisherman and seller. He came to the city for unknown reasons, but later, it's believed to join up with the other Rangers. He is also a childhood friend of Jayden. He's also a tech wiz and uses the catchphrase "So Golden" a lot. 

His symbol is Light. He owns the Octo Zord, Claw Zord and Light Zord. His weapons are the Samurai Morpher, Barracuda Blade and Mega Blade. He also has a Mega Mode.

Antonio is another one of my favorites. He's funny, cool, calm and collected. There were times where he was a bit stupid, but whatever. That's his character. 

Steven's acting was top notch. Though his spanish was a bit inaccurate. He's also a good singer. 

Antonio was:

Lauren-Played Kimberly Crossman [Episodes 40-44]
Lauren is Jayden's older sister and the true Red Ranger. She's also is the one who has mastered the Sealing Symbol. She takes over for the final 6 episodes after Jayden leaves to deal with his current crisis. She also has her father's old Samuraizer that he used in his final battle. 

She basically has everything Jayden has. Except for a Shark Attack Mode, Mega Shark Attack Mode and a Shogun Mode.

Lauren may have stayed on for a short time, but she was amazing. A good leader and a very different one. She is the very first Female Red Ranger and it was cool to see a Female Leader on the team who was Red. (No, I don't count the A-Squad Red Ranger.) 

Kimberly's acting for the character wasn't bad either. She was a very realistic character.  Plus, like Emily, she's hot. 

Lauren was:


Master Xandred-Voiced by Jeff Szuterman [Episodes 1-44]
Master Xandred was sealed away a long time ago by Jayden's father. He and the rest of his minions rised again in present day. He needs "medicine" though and spends all of his time on the ship doing so. He was the one who recruited Dayu and went out in to the human world twice. The first time, he burned out so much energy, he had to stay in the river and heal. The second time, he went to defeat the Rangers, only to be defeated by them.

Xandred sucked. All he did was whine, complain, slept, drank "medicine" and was a lazy bum. He didn't do anything. 

Master Xandred was:

Octoroo-Voiced byJeff Szuterman [Episodes 1-44]
Octoroo was the "Finster" for this season. He created plans for Nighloks to send out into the human world and researched Deker's history al ot. He was possibly defeated following Xandred's final stand. 

Octoroo was boring. Didn't do anything and was just.....there. His catchphrase, "Ooh Ahh Ooh" was annoying.

Octoroo was:

Dayu-Voiced and Played by Kate Elliot [Episodes 1-43]
Dayu is Xandred's henchwomen. She plays her Harmonion for him whenever he wants and can kick butt. She was once human however and was married to Deker. She made a promise to a Nighlok though that in order to save Deker from dying, she must spend the rest of her life in the Underworld. She agrees and her and Deker become half-human, half-monster. She was kicked off Xandred's ship after she wouldn't destroy Deker and Xandred broke her instrument. She returned later on after Xandred promised her better treatment towards her. Master Xandred however back-stabbed her and absorbed her into his body for protection against his wounds.  

Dayu is a very well developed villain.  She doesn't know her place in life and thinks about it a lot. She had a continuing rivalry with Mia and in turn, it cost her life. I wish however she would have been revived as a human instead of just being dead. 

Dayu was:

Deker-Voiced and Played by Rick Medina Jr. [Episodes 7-42]
Deker is a humble and noble warrior. He wants to have a legendary duel with the Red Ranger and he's also half-human and half Nighok. He then later on has his duel with the Red Ranger, but he lives however, it cost him his sword Urumassa to be broken. Once it's fixed he and Jayden duel and he loses, but the Rangers' all morn his loss. 

Deker, much like Dayu is a well developed villain  Like Dayu, he doesn't know his place in life and doesn't remember he and Dayu were once married. He had very good lines, good voice and a kick butt theme song. Every single episode he was in, it was amazing. And no, he's not Cole possessed  it's a different character. Like Dayu, I wish he lived. 

Deker was:

Serrator-Voiced by Derek Judge [Episodes 26-39]
Serrator comes on board Xandred's ship as his new henchmen when Dayu is gone. He is very smart, sassy and a good planner. However, while he may be acting like he's loyal to Xandred, he's also working with Dayu and Deker on the side while fixing Urrumasssa. However, as Xandred was in the Sanzu river re-energizing from the first big battle he had in a while, Serrator planned to finish the job himself and split the earth in half asking Deker to use Urumassa to do the final strike. However, Deker tricks him and strikes him down. As he grows giant size, the Rangers defeat him using the Gigazord. 

Serrator was actually a suprising villian when he came on. At first, I thought I wasn't going to like him, but after I saw him first appear in "Something Fishy", I was satsified. He was sassy, smooth and interesting. His voice was top notch and he was handled well. He's up there with Dayu and Deker as good villians.

Serrator was:

I won't include the Moogers or Serrator's warriors because they were basically just foot soldiers. Nothing else to say really. 


Mentor Jii-Played by Rene Naufahu [Episodes 1-44] 
Mentor Jii has been with Jayden ever since he was young. He promised Jayden's father that he would protect him and train him with symbols and what not. He really doesn't do much, but on occasion  he does ride his motorcycle. 

Mentor Jii was............well, not really needed. The reason I say that is because he wasn't really focused on alot and bland. However, he was used at the appropriate times. And, no I had no idea he was Grumm in SPD. I found that out after the first couple of episodes aired. 

Mentor Jii was:

Bulk & Spike-Played by Paul Schrier and Felix Ryan [Episodes 2-44] 
To our utter shock, Bulk has returned to watch over his god-nephew Spike, who is Skull's son. Basically, they want to learn the ways of the Samurai a very comedic way. They live in a rental garage and train, be good citizens and.......runaway from monster attacks. In the end, Skull (who is apparently rich), comes and picks his son up and thanks Bulk for watching over him.

I have to say, it was cool to see Bulk back in action. Kind of a nod to older fans (as well as Rick Medina Jr. playing Deker) as well as Spike being Skull's son and having Skull come back. However, they weren't handled least in the first half of the season. The second half, they were engaged in the plot and interacted with the Rangers on a few occasions. Sometimes their slapstick comedy was stupid, but it was supposed to be.

Bulk & Spike were:

I'm not going to mention other allies like Cody because they were only in about 1 or 2 episodes. 

The Good And The Bad 

I got back into the franchise in late-2008. However, I lost faith in the show and only watched it as a guy who likes older material. However, when Saban Brands re-acquired the franchise from Disney in 2010, I decided to follow it full force as as "Super Fan". I became a member of RangerBoard/RangerCrew. Everyone was thinking the same thing. Since Saban had the show back, it would be a lot better then Disney did with the brand. Was that the case? NO! Much like every PR season, there are good and bad parts.

The Good

It was filmed in HD (The first time PR has been in HD)

There were some GREAT original footage filmed (Especially in the 2 part finale)

Some well developed characters.......SOME 

Cast got along well on screen

Interesting filming locations 

The Bad

Bad writing

Bad acting (from most actors)

Things don't make sense

Translating every bit and piece from the Sentai

It seemed very rushed

Nickelodeon being stupid and making the show last 2 years and starting with the 3rd episode and airing the first two 8 months after it "premiered" and airing the Clash Of The Red Rangers 2 parter WAY to early

Very little TV promotion

Power Rangers Samurai was the first season done by Saban since Wild Force. This is the first time in years that a production has been done by them. I don't think it's the worst season we have ever seen though. It does have good ideas, but it's hurt because of the writing, acting and the mere translation of Shinkenger. (I will never get over the fact that Jayden and Lauren's last name is Shiba.) 

There were some gems here and there though and I have to give Saban Brands credit for making nods to older fans like having the same actor who played Lothor/Sensei in Ninja Storm play Dai Sukai and having Bulk returning. Plus the season did what it was supposted to do......SELL TOYS. 

It's not my favorite season however and it's sadly on my list of my bottom 3 coming in at #1. (Operation Overdrive is #2 and Jungle Fury is #3)

Overall, my final season rating for Power Rangers Samurai is:

It could have been much........much.........MUCH better. Although I did like the final 5 episodes with Lauren. It was the best ones out of the entire season. 

Would I give Samurai a re-watch:

If you really love Samurai, more power to ya, however don't rewatch this season for a trip down "memory lane". It was.....not that good. If you want to however, I highly recommend these episodes:
Origins Part 1
Origins Part 2
The Team Unites 
Sticks And Stones
There Goes The Brides 
I've Got A Spell On Blue 
Test Of The Leader
Jayden's Challenge 
Unexpected Arrival 
Room For One More 
The Tengen Gate 
Boxed In 
Broken Dreams 
The Ultimate Duel 
Christmas Together, Friends Forever
Super Samurai 
Something Fishy 
The Rescue 
Clash Of The Red Rangers Part 1
Clash Of The Red Rangers Part 2 
The BullZord
He Ain't Heavy Metal, He's My Brother 
The Strange Case Of The Munchies 
Trust Me 
The Master Returns
A Crack In The World 
Stroke Of Fate 
Fight Fire With Fire 
The Great Duel 
Evil Reborn 
The Sealing Symbol 
Samurai Forever 

With every ending however.........
there's a new beginning.
The season that celebrates Power Rangers' 20th Anniversary will begin in 2013 and end in 2014. Will they be able to make up the mistakes that Samurai made and be original?

Stay tuned. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Has Jason David Frank Confirmed Returning For Power Rangers MegaForce?

"According to Chris Funaro's Facebook, JDF has confirmed at New Orleans Comic-Con he is returning for Megaforce.
And be on the look out for the next episode of Ranger Bar to come out (hopefully next week), is all I gotta say."

 Now keep in mind, this may not be the case. I will keep you updated on this subject as more information becomes available. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bandai Launches MegaForce Mini-Site

Yes, folks, has revealed it's new site for Power Rangers MegaForce. This is a work in progress at the time of this post, but I will keep you updated as soon as this info becomes available.

I will be posting my Samurai Wrap Up post on Friday, December 14th.