What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that violence remains the biggest concern in this iteration of the Power Rangers series. Teens use swords, sticks, and control over nature’s elements (like fire and water) to battle monsters, and the exchanges usually end with the monsters’ deaths. Though blood is scarce, the Rangers aim to kill, stabbing, cutting (in one case, a monster’s arms are sliced off), and exploding their enemies. That said, the show does make an effort to promote positive themes like relying on dedication to a skill and contributing to a team effort, but older kids are more likely to be turned off by the considerable cheesiness of the show’s special effects than they will be influenced by these messages.
What's the story?
In POWER RANGERS SAMURAI, five teens team up to protect the world from the infiltration of the evil Master Xandred (Jeff Szusterman) and his legion of followers. Under Mentor Ji’s (Rene Naufahu) guidance, Jayden (Alex Heartman), Kevin (Najee De Tiege), Mike (Hector David Jr.), Mia (Erika Fong), and Emily (Brittany Anne Pirtle) train in the art of the samurai and learn to harness the power of Earth’s elements with their Spin Swords to overpower their enemies. When they’re not in battle themselves, they can call on their robotic animal-themed Foldingzords, which can combine to form the nearly undefeatable Samurai Megazord.
Is it any good?
Power Rangers Samurai joins the long-running franchise that’s known as much for its marketing line of toys, books, and games as it is for the TV series that popularized the characters. Needless to say, the commercial quality of the show is still going strong, and the advent of this incarnation means that a whole new line of merchandise will grace store shelves.
The Power Rangers series has undergone nominal changes over the years, but the basic plot remains the same: Colorfully costumed teens become weapon-wielding superheroes and fight to save the world from the clutches of a myriad of monsters. Amazingly, though, the show hasn’t made great strides to keep technological pace with its TV peers, and it's likely that even kids will notice how the corny special effects and outlandish monsters fail to impress in light of better modern animation. What’s more, the show’s violence makes it tricky to target an age group, since kids old enough to tolerate the battle scenes will be turned off by the silly nature of the content. True, there are some basic messages about teamwork and self-confidence, but most of this is lost amid the action.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about this series’ longevity. Why do you think the Power Rangers have stuck around so long? Do you think the shows are very good? Why or why not? Which of the different versions have you seen? Do you have a favorite?
How much of the show’s success do you think relates to its extensive product line? What items have you seen with the Power Rangers brand on them? Does that make you more inclined to want them? Why or why not?
Do you think the violence in this show is appropriate or inappropriate? How does it compare to what you see in other TV series? Did it seem realistic? How does a show’s animation style affect the content’s impact?