Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, March 31, 2014

Season 1, Episode 1, "Day of the Dumpster"

"Day of the Dumpster"
Episode: 1
Air Date: August 28, 1993


As part of the opening credits, this show gives us a synopsis of the episode. "Here's a brand-new thing to watch, kids, and beeteedubs, Spoilers, Sweetie."



We open with two astronauts in astronaut suits, taking a stroll through the desert on a planet surface. Suddenly, one pulls out a gun and shoots the other, who turns out to be a robot full of tiny people. No, wait. That's from a good show. On this crappy show, they find a round metal container.
"I think it's an alien dumpster," says one, because that makes a lot of fucking sense.
So they open it, and a bunch of costumed characters appear on the horizon. These new guys yell the equivalent of "Hooray, we're free!", much to the astonishment of the astronauts.
Here's what we know about this planet; it has gravity, but no breathable air. And it contains an alien dumpster that houses Six Flags photo op rejects.



The costumed guys help this super-horny chick out of the "dumpster", and she immediately bitches at them, which means, by default, that they're her henchmen.



The horny chick destroys the dumpster with her lightning rod pimp cane thing, and the astronauts fall all over themselves trying to get away.
"Don't go," she laughs. "You'll miss my coming out party!"
What, she's Queen of the Lesbians? I guess that makes sense. Given that this was filmed in 1993, there's certainly plenty of plaid in this show to keep her happy.

We cut to the Angel Grove Youth Center Gym and Juice Bar, which is apparently the local hangout, where squeaky-clean teens can Just Say No and practice abstinence. This is the weirdest place ever. It's like a café with a balance beam.

This is Kimberly, who is very White Girl. Sometimes, she
switches it up and goes very Valley Girl. Everyone on this
show is a freaking cardboard cut-out.

A girl in pink pants does some gymnastics moves, while nearby two guys do some kind of martial arts or kickboxing or something. The two kickboxer guys, Jason and Zack, are friends; as are the balance beam girl, Kimberly, and an Asian girl, Trini.

Jason is the leader, and the dude in red. Zack is our token black guy
and the only dude with any sense. Too bad he's also the resident hip-hop
expert.

Trini is our token Asian friend. Mostly, they needed another
girl and another color, otherwise the team would be all-white
with a side of Zack.
 
The resident dork enters for his first-ever karate lesson. You can tell he's a dork because he's obviously awkward and wears his glasses as though they're a badge that says "Mock me." Zack and Jason greet him as Billy. These are our protagonists, you guys: athletic, motivated teenagers. Somehow I get the impression that their homework was completed before they hit the gym to hang out and drink juice.

Poor Billy. Later, he wears overalls with pencils in the front pocket
and a denim shirt tied around his waist. He is the poster boy for
dorkiness, and they didn't even attempt to be subtle about it.

Two guys enter. One is wearing a leisure suit jacket and too much hairgel. This guy is Skull. The other dude has a receding hairline, a ponytail, and oh my holy hell: he's wearing a denim vest over his leather jacket. This guy is Bulk. They're clearly flunkies of some kind, losers meant to illustrate how awesome our heroes are by staying in school and not dressing like punks. Before they came in, the background music in the café-gym was a non-offensive hip-hop. Their entrance heralded a circus theme with heavy tuba sounds added. This shit is terrible. I'm only three minutes in, and I don't want people knowing that I watched this.


Skull and Bulk harass Trini and Kimberly in the most PG way ever. The girls pull out their super-awesome karate moves and flip them onto the mat under the beam.
 Somewhere else, the horny chick looks through a telescope, and we get the cartoony effect of seeing her giant eye and falsies in the end of it. She cackles and orders her Furry henchmen to make a "putty patrol".


Meanwhile, back at the gym, Jason is sensei or some shit, running the karate class. 90's Dork Billy is not feeling it, and says that maybe karate is not for him. Jason replies that it just takes practice or dedication or whatever, and this show briefly becomes an after-school special while Jason convinces Billy to remain in the class. They barf "the more you know" rainbows, and Billy recites some karate mantra shit that he memorized like a good little second-grader, and holy shit, this is painful. Skull and Bulk come in, dressed in bullshit versions of karate uniforms, and oh my fuck: Bulk is still wearing that denim vest. Skull, by contrast, has ditched her leisure suit jacket and is now wearing the hat and coat of a Gold Rush-era Chinese immigrant. *sigh* Thirteen minutes left of this crap. Anyway, they say they want to learn how to beat people up and Jason shuts them down.


You can tell that Bulk is the the bully because of his denim vest
and fingerless leather motorcycle gloves. You can tell that Jason
is the good-guy badass because his sweatband, wristbands and
tank top all match. And you can tell that Skull is a racist fuck
because he thinks this is what you wear to a karate class.

Later, the gang is in the café assuring Billy that he did really well for his first lesson. The overtly 90's wardrobing is giving me PTSD from junior high. Billy, honey, in order to make those overalls work, they have to be baggy. Wearing them fitted like that makes you look like a doofus. Please take careful note that everyone here is either wearing wide stripes, or plaid of some kind, or OMG, check out that chick on the right in the pink work-out clothes! Are those suspenders?


A dude comes by with healthy drinks on a tray, but then an earthquake occurs, and he stumbles backward, dumping the drinks on Bulk. Then everyone screams and runs outside, because that is the dipshit reaction that people have when they encounter an earthquake outside of California.


Here's a tip form someone who grew up in Earthquake Country: unless someone specifically tells you that the building is unsafe, DO NOT RUN OUTSIDE. Trees or utility poles or something could fall on you. This is Darwinism at it's finest. Buildings only collapse when shit isn't up to code, or if they're sitting on top of the epicenter. You see that as often as you do because it makes for a more interesting broadcast.
Do this instead: Get under a fucking table, and wait for the shaking to stop. Then turn on the radio or TV to get some information. BEWARE: whoever is reporting the news will offer some good info, but they will also say that "we've been expecting the Big One for years. This wasn't it, but it'll come." They all say this, and it's the biggest bullshit ever. The Big One isn't expected in your lifetime or mine, so CALM. THE FUCK. DOWN.


Where was I? Oh, yeah. Fucking idiots outside in an earthquake. There's an establishing shot of a fortress or lair on a mountain, and I don't know how that can be there without everyone noticing, but whatever.



Inside, a floating head is talking to a robot, who is freaking the fuck out and screaming that it's the Big One. I'd like to stick a magnet on him and erase his hard drive.


The floating head says that it is not an earthquake, that Rita (the horny chick) has escaped and is attacking the planet. The head tells the robot (Alpha 5) that it needs "five overbearing and overemotional humans."
"Not teenagers!" shouts Alpha.
Wait... was that an attempt at a joke? And a mildly funny one at that?


Our heroes are magically transported from the juice bar to the mountain lair. Alpha runs into the room and Billy geeks out about how cool Alpha is. Then the head appears, telling them that he is Zordon, an inter-dimensional being caught in a time warp. He says that Rita Repulsa is a witch from another galaxy, hell-bent on destroying the Earth. Zordon wants to give the teens special dinosaur powers to defeat her henchmen. Belt buckles appear on the fronts of the kids' pants. Then they all turn to a viewing globe for a 30-second commercial that explains how the toys currently being marketed to you will work in conjunction with one another. This is so that when you convince your parents to buy said toys, you can try hooking them together in the proper fashion before a cheap plastic part snaps off. As the globe demonstrates how each of their individual vehicles work together, I'm struck by the similarity between this show and the 80's cartoon Voltron. But a quick trip into Researchland revealed that Voltron and MMPR were both Japanese franchises imported to the States and watered down for American audiences. Yes, and your beloved Transformers, too. Now I'm left with the feeling that the Japanese mostly like to see things grow to giant proportions, and battle it out amongst cardboard replicas of cities.


So Zack isn't buying what Zordon is selling, and he convinces the others to leave. Jason seems hesitant, but follows.
Upstairs, or wherever the hell Rita is, Rita is making henchmen out of clay, like golems. She sees that Zordon has tried to recruit five whiny teens to help him, so she has decided to send her putty patrol to kill them or whatever the lame writers of this show plan to do with these kids.
Outside, Jason tries to talk the others into taking up Zordon's offer. Only Zack has any sense, responding, "We were talking to a giant floating head, you dipshit!"
They're ambushed by the putty guys. Zack tries to hip-hop dance-off them to death. Billy asks them to wait until he takes his glasses off.



So of course they get their asses handed to them, ending up in a pile. And I snicker, because this show sucks, and I'm mean.


They decide to use the morphers, and appear in fancy Spanx and helmets. Suddenly, they are no longer completely useless. And they now have weapons.



Ignoring the fact that they never got rid of the putty patrol, Zordon transports them back into the city, as Rita has sent down a new henchman called Goldar. There's an extended fight scene between Goldar, the Rangers, and more putty guys. And by extended, I don't mean that it was actually a very long scene, but that it seemed to drag on forever because it's overlaid by the theme song, which consists of synthesizer music and repeated singing of the phrase "Go, go power Rangers!" It gets old quick.

Rita decides that the Spanx Crew is kicking too much ass, so she enlarges Goldar by throwing her pimp cane down to Earth. Seriously, where the hell is this chick? She can see everything that's happening on Earth as though this was in a cop drama, and she could locate a perp using a zoomed-in fuzzy photo and an IP address. She's also close enough to throw stuff at the Earth, and have it actually land there, all while ignoring the weightless properties of space.



What follows next is a sequence of still shots of each Ranger in "attack poses", overlaid with them spouting hackneyed shit like "the good guys are here!" Because Kimberly is a girl, and her Spanx comes with a built-in skirt, her attack pose includes hearts.


Then we get a shot of each vehicle shrouded in smoke, and they shout out the animal, letting you know which Ranger is which color, and which dinosaur matches them. This way, it's easier to remember which toys you already have, and which ones you still need to pester your grandparents to get you.



They all hop in their vehicles. Kimberley's pterodactyl flies to the fight from behind a smoking volcano - where the fuck does this show take place? They join their vehicles together to form Megazord Tank Mode, because they say so. The Megazord Tank takes a few hits, then it morphs into a Transformer the Megazord. Then we get some more crappy fight scenes featuring two guys in costumes, and miniature trees and hills. The fucking theme song plays ad nauseum.


The Megazord gains a sword - seriously, it literally falls out of the sky - and Goldar just fucking gives up, disappearing.
Rita is incensed, raging in bad lip-sync, "I can't believe they beat us!"
I don't believe it, either. They didn't fucking do anything.


Down in Zordon's secret mountain lair that's totally conspicuous, the teens are getting the run-down of what it means to have powers and shit: only use your powers for good, don't pick fights, and don't tell anyone that you're a Spanx Ranger.
Zack, who again is the lone voice of reason, thinks they got lucky. Zordon, who doesn't know shit about them, says they're a super-awesome fighting team, and Zack suddenly chooses to believe the floating head from another dimension. Kimberly, ever the "girl", declares that she doesn't want to do it because her hair gets tangled in the helmet. Everyone protests until she pulls out that classic 90's "NOT!" and I try to slap her but I'm impeded by the screen.
They all shout "Yay!" and this shit is finally fucking over.


Death Toll:
I wish it was all of them.

Un-closed Loopholes/Things Not Explained:
Why was Rita locked in the dumpster? Did Zordon do it? Which planet is she on? Why the hell does she hate Earth? Does she have some reasoning for wanting to destroy it, or is she just a cunt? Why were THOSE five teens asked to become Rangers? It seems like Zordon and Alpha 5 picked them at random. And where the hell does this take place? Hawaii? There was a frickin' volcano in one scene. Also, how does a robot "grow"? And why, even though they were supposedly driving different vehicles, did they magically end up in the same control room when the vehicles linked? There was no time for them to get there. Who the hell watched this show and enjoyed it?
*******

I fucking hate this show, you guys. I hate it more than bacon, which is a lot, because I really HATE bacon. I know that a lot of people just a bit younger than I look upon this show fondly, with nostalgia-colored glasses because they watched this as a kid. They can watch it now and laugh at the horrible effects and bad lip-sync of Rita Repulsa and still think of it in a good way. But I cannot. I was 13 when this show came out. It was shitty then. It is shitty now. I realize that, as said 13-year-old girl, I was not the target audience. It was the younger crowd, and usually the boys, who went for this faire. But here's my problem: good programming is good programming, even years later. It should stand the test of time. I would gladly watch episodes of Sesame Street or Mister Roger's Neighborhood today, and totally enjoy it. And I would absolutely watch the shows that I watched after school when I was younger. (Seriously: Disney Afternoon or GTFO.) Those shows still hold up, though the years have gone by, and I've gotten older. Though I never really watched much, I feel like Batman the Animated Series still holds up, as does Animaniacs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers didn't even hold up when it was brand new, and horribly, it keeps being re-vamped year after year, another show with different actors, another crappy film and a slew of toys to go with it. Every episode is kind of the same, and they didn't even use their tiny budget wisely. Visually, it's crap. Story-wise, crap also. It honestly took me three days to slog through a twenty-minute episode, and I came out the other end feeling like I had wasted all of that time.
Fuck you, Power Rangers. Fuck you like a bacon-wrapped piece of bacon in bacon sauce. Then held in front of a rabid dog.


*******

This week I decided to try the kind of water known as "tap". It was alright, I guess. Like a less-salty version of sweat, and a non-sweet sugar-water. It's clear in color, at least from the faucet that I was using, and I've heard that it varies greatly in that respect, depending on which area you live in. As for taste, it had the full flavor of nothing with undertones of bland. It's a little watered down, honestly. But the mouthfeel was light and refreshing. I don't really recommend it hot, but it's okay tepid and really good iced. If you go to the right restaurant or bar, they might even drop a wedge of lime in it for you, which is my favorite by far. I would recommend water for working out, cooling off, or just, you know, living in general.
Next week I think I'll try "bottled".




1 comment:

  1. Why don't you shut the fuck up on posting shit about that awesome show?!

    ReplyDelete