Watching Power Rangers with my son is a pastime we rarely enjoy anymore, as he's grown out of it for the most part. While we used to play with the figures endlessly, now he only has time for his friends, who dismiss the Power Rangers. I'm not disappointed - as playing Power Rangers was often an arduous task; it was difficult coming up with enough parallel storylines to maintain action and unlike in the television shows, my son always wanted some super-evil villain to destroy all the Power Rangers which irked me on many different levels.
Having been too old for the Super Sentai Series myself, when my son showed interest I turned to the original Power Ranger himself, drax0r, who filled me in on all the important details. Moving forward, I found that the entire original series was available for download, so grabbed all of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for my son to watch in between the then airing Power Rangers S.P.D. or "Space Patrol Delta." Power Ranger Wild Force was picked up through children's books and discount action figures, though he did have at one time the entire set of S.P.D.
Learning that this was an ever-changing and elusive beast in which to follow, and discovering my son's innate...well, if not understanding, than at least expectation of what his father was capable of, having grown bored between seasons, he desired something new. No problem. I downloaded Japanese Magiranger episodes for him. In Japanese. He and his sister would watch them, back-to-back, with fascination, not understanding a word they said. In fact, when the U.S. version came out the next year, Mystic Force he didn't care as much for it despite the fact that he could understand it.
That was the joy which was Disney's Jetix channel, and one of the two reasons I always got the one-up-from-basic upgrade package: They would show an hour of 'Generations' twice a day. Four episodes from the entire franchise. This was also our saving grace when we'd spend weekends at galinda822's the kids had their own television and own cable!
One of the most humorous things I found about the show was the way they portrayed being in pain, especially after a visually benign explosion which always occurs behind them, landing them all prone on the ground. When they arise, no matter which iteration of the series you're watching, they always grab their chest. Due no doubt in part to the fact that their uniforms include an identity-concealing opaque visor on their helmets. How else to you emote pain? The chest-grab remains one of my favorite repeatable cheesy-moments in Power Ranger episodes.
I hope I never forget the excitement my son has shown in wanting to be a Power Ranger when he grows up. One Christmas my wife bought him an inflatable Power Ranger-themed punching bag complete with costume and instructional training DVD. He and his friend followed the training the other day for the first time in at least a year. It was great fun for me just knowing that, but I've always been curious to watch him learn and express on his own as he figures out the world around him. I got that opportunity this weekend.
During the mighty office reconfiguration I came across some old DVD's I'd burned for my son. One of them was "Forever Red" where they brought together all the past Red Rangers and pitted them against a resurgence of the Machine Empire on the moon. This lead him to pull out his old S.P.D. DVD's and I sat in the Children's Retreat and watched them with him, just like old times.
After a particularly ineffective explosion occurring somewhere behind the Power Rangers, they picked themselves up off the ground, all of them grasping their chest, explaining aloud how powerful this particular nemesis was. My son looks at me and asked, "Why are they holding their chest? That's dumb."
I was laughing too hard to answer.
You go, boy.