Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Old Foes” Review (Lord Zedd Returns!)

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E13 – “Old Foes”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE: October 15, 2021 (Netflix)
SYNOPSIS: A Sporix Beast resurrects Lord Zedd.

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By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Well gosh. As a first generation Power Rangers fan, I wonder if I’ll have any thoughts about this one…

Indeed, the show has resurrected Lord Zedd, the most popular villain in the show’s history. It’s not merely a reference to him. It’s not some cockamamie story about he and Rita Repulsa having a son we never knew about. The franchise’s quintessential villain is back. What’s more, he’s brought back in a way that makes you wonder why they didn’t bring him back a lot sooner. They simply bring in a monster with the power to reincarnate people. Boom. There’s Zedd.

However, they don’t simply leave it at that. In a real treat for longtime fans like me, they reference a bunch of old MMPR episodes, talk about Zordon’s sacrifice in  Countdown to Destruction, and actually treat Zedd like a huge deal. It’s one of the better past character that the show has ever done. What’s more, as someone who grew up on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it’s a genuine thrill.

The elephant in the room as far as Zedd is concerned is that his voice is different. Andrew Laing plays the role, as opposed to the late Robert Axelrod. Though even if Axlerod was still with us, I doubt they’d have used him. You’ll notice that in the sequence that used the old footage, Zordon, Rita, Alpha 5, and Andros all had their voices dubbed over by different actors. In Beast Morphers, the returning Goldar also had a different voice. I can only assume that’s a union issue, and if they could have brought the old actors back, they would have.

The use of the inhibitor collar from Beast Morphers on Zedd was a nice touch. This episode truly is a continuity buff’s dream come true. But it was good from a character standpoint too. Unless your name is Dark Specter, chances are Zedd isn’t taking orders from you.

The line where Ollie calls Zedd “radiator face” is a callback to a line Rita had in an MMPR episode. Don’t ask me which one. I just know she called him radiator face at some point.

We’ve reached the point where I’m actually going to be mad if Dino Fury doesn’t link Ollie and Amelia romantically. Or “ship” them, as the kids would say. Their little back and forth moments have become a highlight of the show for me.

Arguably the best thing about this Zedd development? They didn’t kill him off, which would truly have been idiotic. They had him disappear, presumably to return at a later date. I’ve even heard a little bit of buzz about him being the villain for the second season of Dino Fury. Naturally, there’s a lot of intrigue there.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “The Matchmaker” Review (First LGBTQ Ranger!)

Power Rangers Dino Fury, The Matchmaker, Izzy and FernSERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E13 – “The Matchmaker”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, Guy Langford
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: October 15, 2021 (Netflix)
SYNOPSIS: Javi tries to set Izzy up with someone from her training class.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Let’s not bury the lede: This episode ends with the revelation that Izzy, played by Tessa Rao, is the Power Rangers franchise’s first LGBTQ Ranger. She walks off hand in hand with Fern, played by Jacqueline Joe.

It’s tough to look at this as anything but a positive. Though I suppose if one were fishing, one could chide the franchise for taking so long to have an LGBTQ Ranger. But let’s look on the bright side. This is a happy moment. And I’m happy it’s the Izzy character that gets this distinction. Unlike a lot of Rangers we’ve seen over the years, she’s got spunk and personality, both via writing and performance. Izzy represents the community well.

I maintain that the more diverse the Power Rangers cast is, the stronger it is. That’s not strictly a race or a color thing. It also applies to things like family structure, economic background, religion, or in this case sexual orientation. The days where three out of five Power Rangers are straight white kids should have been over a long time ago. Thankfully, Dino Fury reflects that.

When the monster is disguised as Adrian, he recites a poem to Izzy that’s written on a scroll. As in, “Hear ye! Hear ye!” It made for a funny visual.

Another funny visual? Zayto disguising himself as an old lady. Very Mrs. Doubtfire.

Utterly buried by the subject of Izzy’s sexuality is this episode’s other revelation: Void Knight is human (shown above). Knowing how monsters work on this show, he could have been just another big suit creature. But him actually being human definitely adds to his whole tragic villain vibe.

Mucus turning into slime during the spat with Void Knight was a nice touch. Or perhaps not slime. But, well…mucus.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Super Hotshot” Review

Power Rangers Dino Fury, episode 12, Super Hotshot, Zayto, IzzySERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E12 – “Super Hotshot”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, Guy Langford, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE: October 9, 2021 (Nickelodeon)
SYNOPSIS: Unbeknownst to her, Izzy’s new trainer has greedy motivations.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Izzy asks her dad if she can have an advance on her allowance so she can buy a membership to Coach Bella’s gym. To me, this begs the question…Izzy still gets an allowance? How old are you when you’re supposed to stop getting one? When you’re old enough to get a job? Izzy and Javi’s dad must be a softy.

Although maybe I’m a softy too. I thought Izzy’s “puppy dog” impression (shown below) was pretty cute.

Campbell Cooley’s performance as Slyther continues to be a pleasure to listen to. It’s reminiscent of his work as Cosmo Royale in Ninja Steel, which was equally amazing.

Zayto: “Oh, we’ve got all the toys!” The Power Rangers franchise went a little meta with that line, didn’t it?

Power Rangers Dino Fury, Super Hotshot, Javi, Izzy

I initially thought this episode was the first appearance of Fern, Izzy’s rival turned friend. Turns out “Winning Attitude” has that distinction. Either way, Fern is about to become one of the more notable civilian characters in the show’s history…

I’d argue the greed moral of this episode is even more poignant to adults than it is to kids. That moment where the other Rangers all give money to Izzy was really sweet.

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Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Winning Attitude” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E5 – “Winning Attitude”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 27, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Izzy gets an all-important lesson in sportsmanship from her coach.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

After last week’s episode Hunter Deno, who plays Amelia, tweeted the following…

In terms of her central point, she’s not wrong. This is a very diverse cast, which of course is great for kids to see. I’m really hopeful that we’ll see a Ranger of Muslim descent sooner rather than later. Much like Ravi on Beast Morphers being the first Ranger of Indian descent, the fact that it’s taken so long to have a Muslim Ranger is something of an indictment of a show that’s got diversity built into its DNA.

Also, since last week’s episode the phrase “Cool Cool Coolio!” has been randomly popping up in my head. I imagine I’m not the only one with that issue.

Jane: “A Sporix! In my pants!” There’s a joke there, which you’re definitely not allowed to make on a kids show. Kira Josephson continues to make me smile with her performances.

So the Rangers just teleport in to face Mucus and the monsters without any attempt at subterfuge. I imagine this is one of those times we’re just supposed to assume no one saw them, right? Civilians on this show can have very convenient selective sight at times…

In Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger, the Japanese Super Sentai series Dino Fury is based on, the heroes are knights from the “Ryusoul Tribe.” Ergo, much of what we see on this show has a vaguely medieval look to it. I took particular notice of it with the Hengemen as they teleported into the playground battle sequence.

Those cracks about the monster having kids were funny. This was a good episode for hokey Power Rangers comedy.

Void Knight and the rest of the villains continue to be based out of “Area 62.” I continue to wonder why the number 62. Did they just uptick both the digits in Area 51?

It was, of course, very cool of them to cast Sarah Dalton, a Special Olympics athlete, to play Izzy’s coach Lily. I’m finding that as a parent, I appreciate those kind of choices much more than I used to. Kudos for setting a good example, Dino Fury.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “New Recruits” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E4 – “New Recruits”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 20, 2021
SYNOPSIS: The Rangers get some unexpected aid from two new allies.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Obviously we get two new Rangers in this episode, Izzy and Javier. As tends to happen on this show, the status quo shifts rather rapidly. New Rangers, new zords, etc. I was hoping we’d get a little more time to settle in with our three-person team. But so it goes.

Zayto: “Are you sure I should interview for this job? I really only have experience fighting monsters.” Something tells me that’s a problem a lot of Rangers have faced when transitioning into the world of 9-5 jobs…

So Izzy and Javier’s stepfather is the park warden, played by Blair Strang. Once again, I’m noticing we’re starting to become acquainted with the Rangers’ parents more and more. We know Ollie’s mom, and now we know Izzy and Javier’s stepfather. What are the odds we meet one of Amelia’s parents at some point?

Mucus: “It’s morphin’ slime!” Why yes. Yes, it certainly is.

The chorus portion of the music during Izzy and Javier’s first morph was a nice touch. Added a nice epic feel to things.

I saw that more than a few people online loved the moment when the newly morphed Izzy ripped off the skirt and said, “Skirts aren’t really my thing.” It was, in fact, a great moment. I likely wasn’t the only one puzzled when the Green Ranger showed up wearing a skirt to begin with, as the corresponding character in the Sentai series didn’t have one.

Izzy: “Big scary monster ran away. You love to see it.” Izzy, played by Tessa Rao, may wind up being my favorite among the Dino Fury Rangers, for no other reason than they seem to be giving her all the best lines.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.