First and foremost I am only referring to the first three series of the franchise: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and that why I know no show is perfect – compared to other shows however, it is punching above weight. Lastly, above all these are my thoughts as always.
If you grew up in the 1990s then you would of had exposure to the Power Rangers. The show of 5 teenagers that were given powers and could call on mechanical dinosaurs was as good as a cupcake for me. It was unusual for a girl to like an live-action TV show but I was just being my lifelong habit of breaking stereotypes.
I can remember going to a friends birthday party when I was young and every single present he got was Power Rangers. I wished it was my birthday instead.
It was re-watching this show recently that I realized that it had instilled in me feminism traits that I can now identify.
- They were taking part in the fight scenes and sometimes where fighting solo
- They were seen as equals, with no lesser importance then the other 4 rangers
- When the original yellow ranger left the show because they were going to a local youth summit showed that women could be smart and strong
Following on from feminism is empowerment. This one is obvious, and although the Power Rangers where given the powers – they had to work at their own fighting skills to make them better.
Power and taking care of your responsibilities and bettering yourself is the DNA of the show. Whether it be a simple fight with a friend or tackling issues of climate change, the show created a dialogue way before it was on the worlds agenda.
This is where despite the blaring obvious that the Black Ranger was an Afro-American and the Yellow Ranger was Asian-American, they continued to break down the stereotypes on TV.
The Red Ranger was modeled on the All-American teenage boy, however race did not play a part in the casting of Austin St. John a multi-ethnic actor. His roots comprised of German, Native American, Japanese, Italian, Irish, and Spanish.
In the pilot it should be noted that the Yellow Ranger was of Hispanic origin. As the show was set in South Carolina, having a multicultural fighting force made sense, yet because the producers chose to pay tribute to its Japanese roots, the Yellow Ranger was recast. It wasn’t until the ninth episode that they realised what they had done, but by then it was to little to late, and was never intended to be a direct statement.