Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Hangar Heist” Review

** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E6 – “Hangar Heist”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 13, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Devon has trouble trusting Ravi, as Evox’s forces infiltrate Grid Battleforce.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Hold the phone! We’re terrified of the villains stealing Morph X, but Nate just lets Devon borrow some to inject into model rockets? Now that can’t be regulation…

When Ravi ignites his toy rocket, he says, “NASADA, here I come!” That’s a nice late ’90s/early 2000s PR reference if there ever was one.

If they were going to do a “Devon doesn’t trust Ravi” episode, they might have made it the third or fourth episode. Six episodes in, it doesn’t necessarily feel natural to have Devon not trust Ravi. Actually, shouldn’t Ravi be the one with trust issues? He’s the one who’s trained to be a Ranger, and the other two haven’t.

I like the idea of the Rangers capturing a gigadrone, one of the giant machines that the zords fight, for study and analysis. That’s the kind of thing that isn’t done often, if ever. Having a subsequent fight over the drone inside the Grid Battleforce hangar was cool too.

Pretty convenient that Meltadrone (shown right in the accompanying image) looks exactly like the gigadrone Devon and the others were fighting in the simulation earlier. Just sayin’.

The Beast-X Megazord (shown above) looks…decent. I maintain that modern Megazords all look too busy. They’re not nearly as sleek and cool as they used to be. But by modern standards, this one is alright. Strictly okay.

It’s nice that Ben and Betty are friends with the Rangers. It’s a nice shift from the antagonistic relationship the team often has with the resident comedy duos, dating back to Bulk and Skull. Victor and Monty from Ninja Steel come to mind as well.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Superstition Strikes” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E6 – “Superstition Strikes”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 3, 2021
SYNOPSIS: After walking under a ladder, Amelia believes herself cursed with bad luck.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Amelia walks under a ladder and thinking she’s got bad luck is pretty hokey. But I’ll say this much: It’s consistent with what’s been established about her character. Remember, she believed in fortune tellers too.

Mucus: “You just fell for a classic bit of Mucus misdirection!” If “mucus misdirection” isn’t the name of a medical condition, it absolutely should be. Get on it, doctors!

I loved the squish sound effect when the monster smacked Mucus on the head. Small details like that make all the difference sometimes.

Solon, the team’s resident cyborg dinosaur, is actually voiced by Josephine Davison, who played Morgana back in S.P.D. She also voiced Itassis in Mystic Force. Her performance here has a motherly quality to it that fits the character really well. Even if you don’t expect it to come from a dinosaur.

On the subject of S.P.D., that’s the last season I remember the music being this catchy. And that was more than 15 years ago. Hat tip to Bert Selen.

So Amelia gets her friggin’ morpher stolen?!? Thus, Boomtower gets into Dinohenge? Really bad rookie mistake, kid…

It’s extremely difficult to say “Boomtower” and not “Boomhauer.” And I’m not even that big a King of the Hill fan.

Nice, hard-hitting zord fight. Plus, there’s something oddly satisfying about watching the Megazord smash a monster with a giant hammer. “Mega Hammer Slam” indeed.

Izzy seriously says, “Okay boomer.” They continue to give her the best lines in the show.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Taking Care of Business” Review

** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E5 – “Taking Care of Business”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 6, 2019
SYNOPSIS: To impress his father, Devon tries to balance a job at a car wash with his Ranger duties.

It gives me a surprising amount of joy that there’s someone in the Power Rangers universe named “Sudsey.” And of course, he runs a car wash. It was either that or soap mascot. What’s more, with those blue coveralls and red shirt, Devon apparently gets to dress like Super Mario when he’s working there.

Ben and Betty give Nate the idea to use discarded Robotron and Gigadrone parts to look for new tech they can use. So wait…you’re telling me Grid Battleforce, a military organization, doesn’t have some kind of clean-up crew? They just leave crap laying around the city? Yeesh. These guys are new to this Power Ranger stuff. How rude!

At about the 7:30 mark, Zoey does a cartwheel to avoid getting hit by Slicertron’s projectiles. The Power Rangers universe is the only place you should ever see someone do a cartwheel during a fight. I’ve never seen Connor McGregor bust one out in the octagon. That’s all I’m sayin’.

I don’t remember the show being quite so pun-filled when I was a kid. Or even as I got older. Yes, the show has always had cheesy puns. But at one point during “Taking Care of Business,” it felt like every other line out of Blaze or Slicertron’s mouth was a slicing or cutting pun. And it’s almost always the bad guys. Apparently puns are evil. Who knew?

So the big plot hole in this episode is the question of why Devon doesn’t just tell his dad he’s a Ranger. Naturally, that would alleviate the whole conflict of him trying to impress his dad by holding this job while still serving as the Red Ranger. Honestly? That didn’t bother me as much as, in hindsight, you’d think it would. Superheroes have secret identities, and it’s a kids show. That’s all the explanation I need.

Plus, if you want to get technical about it, the real plot hole is why Grid Battleforce makes the Rangers keep their identities a secret in the first place…

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

Posted in Television

Rob Watches Star Trek: She Dies???

***What happens when I, a 30-something-year-old fanboy, decide to look at the Star Trek franchise for the first time with an open heart? You get “Rob Watches Star Trek.”***

SERIES: Star Trek: The Next Generation
TITLE: S1:E23 – “Skin of Evil”
STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Denise Crosby
GUEST-STARRING: Ron Gans (voice)
WRITER: Joseph Stefano, Hannah Louise Shearer
DIRECTOR:
Joseph L. Scanlan
ORIGINAL AIR DATE:
April 25, 1988
SYNOPSIS:
A mission to rescue Deanna Troi proves deadly for the Enterprise crew.

New Around here? Check out the “Rob Watches Star Trek archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Less than a minute into “Skin of Evil,” we get a sweet little exchange between Worf and Tasha. The latter is entering some kind of martial arts tournament on the ship, and Worf tells her he bet on her. In response, Tasha gives him a somewhat embarrassed smile, and has a little twinkle in her eye.

This exchange got me excited. We’d already seen our share of romance on this show. But a human and an alien? A klingon, no less? The frosty Worf and the fiesty Tasha? The possibilities were as intriguing as just about anything this first season of TNG had showed us thus far.

Then, about 10 minutes later, Tasha is killed by a sentient puddle of black goo. It’s not a fake-out, either. The character actually gets killed off. So much for that idea…

Denise Crosby, who played Tasha, would go on to say she left the show due to her character being underdeveloped. She said in a 2012 interview, “I was miserable. I couldn’t wait to get off that show. I was dying. … I didn’t want to spend the next six years going ‘Aye, aye, captain,’ and standing there, in the same uniform, in the same position on the bridge.”

I think at this point, I’m officially comfortable agreeing with the masses who say season one of Star Trek: The Next Generation just isn’t very good. It’s not terrible, and it does do a fine job of setting the table for good television. But even judging by the limited number of episodes I’ve seen, I can tell there’s something missing.

Thinking back on my viewing of the original series, I remember being interested in the characters fairly early. But by comparison Star Trek only had three main characters: Kirk, Spock, and Bones. Everyone else was primarily a background player.

TNG, on the other hand, was more ambitious. Look at all the characters that Tasha says farewell to via hologram at the end of this episode. Picard, Ryker, Worf, Deanna, Geordie, Beverly Crusher and Wesley, Data. Throw Tasha in there, and that’s a whopping nine characters we opened the series with. Ambition is one thing. But maybe they came in a little too ambitious. Couldn’t we have met at least a couple of these characters as the first season progressed?

*sigh* Oh Tasha. We’ll always have “The Naked Now,” won’t we?

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

Posted in Television

Superman & Lois, “Haywire” Review

SERIES: Superman & Lois
TITLE: S1:E4 – “Haywire”
STARRING: Tyler Hoechlin, Bitsie Tulloch, Jordan Elsass, Alexander Garfin, Dylan Walsh
WRITER: Michael Narducci
DIRECTOR:
James Bamford
ORIGINAL AIR DATE:
March 16, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Lois continues to clash with Morgan Edge. Clark struggles to balance family life with his Superman duties.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Dylan Walsh plays Lois’ father, General Sam Lane. It wouldn’t shock me to see him kick the bucket at some point. As I recall, he’s died more than once in the comics.

You know what I’d like to see at some point? Flashbacks to Clark and Lois raising Jonathan and Jordan as toddlers. Maybe it’s because I have a toddler myself. I just think it would be interesting to see them in that context.

Bitsie Tulloch is slowly growing on me as Lois Lane. She’s not natural in the role the way someone like Margot Kidder was. But I liked the tenacity she showed in this episode. She’s coming along well.

Shuster Mines. As in Joe Shuster, co-creator of Superman, Lois Lane, etc. I see you, show. I see you.

I’ll say it again: Jonathan is a good brother. He’s starting to really get jealous of Jordan’s success with football. Rightfully so, by the way, given that Jordan has friggin’ super powers. But he’s letting him have it. He’s not making too much of a stink.

So Superman picks up this super-powered kid who’s wigging out, flies him high up in the sky and says, “The air’s thin up here. It’ll help calm you down.” Is that how that works? And is that really what happened? I don’t think so. The kid passed out. Call a spade a spade, Big Blue.

One thing I’m immensely grateful we don’t have in this series? The Superman spit curl. That occurred to me when I saw the shot of Superman rocketing up into the sky. No stupid cartoony spit curl.

There’s a special school for kids with super powers? That wouldn’t happen to be the Teen Titans Academy, would it? Nah. That’d be just a little too awesome…

That attempt at a date by Clark and Lois was really charming, in my book. Establishing romantic chemistry between those two is important. In a lot of ways it’s at the heart of the series. Superman & Lois hasn’t quite got it down yet. But they’re working toward it.

General Lane establishes “Project 7734” at the end of this episode. Long story short, in the comics Project 7734 is a designation for a series of efforts made by Lane and the US military to keep the Earth safe from alien threats. Most notably Kryptonians. It dates back to the New Krypton storyline in the comics from about 10 years ago.

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.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “End of the Road” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E3. “End of the Road”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Patrick Rieger
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 16, 2019
SYNOPSIS: As Zoey tries to promote Morph-X-powered bicycles to save a forest, Blaze plans to steal the Morph X.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I understand that kids shows often require dramatic actions that spell things out for developing young minds. But Zoey jumping in front of a bulldozer to save a tiny lizard…I mean, really? You sure about that? It’s noble, I’ll give her that. But it’s a little too much for my tastes.

Apparently, people in Coral Harbor are only impressed by bicycles powered by the Power Rangers’ Morphing Grid if they have two seats. Not just one. Apparently, the people in Coral Harbor are very stupid.

You can call the monsters on this show silly, but I’d be damn scared of Needletron (shown below). You never know what those needles have touched.

I don’t want to like that conversation Nate has with Zoey where he talks about not having much of a family, wanting a brother, etc. I’m still not warmed up to the Nate character. But I have to admit, they took an opportunity to develop his character and ran with it. It works.

I’m fairly certain this episode gives us the first “Rangers on bikes” sequence in the show’s history. The Beast Morphers suits made them look like BMX cyclists. Very well done.

Were those “banana rockets” the gorilla zord shot at Needletron? And did Needletron subsequently slip on a giant banana peel? You know what? Sure. Why the heck not?

“Virus eliminated” is a pretty cool post-battle phrase. Concise and to the point.

It’s interesting to me that we now know a parent of each Ranger. Devon’s dad is the mayor, Zoey’s mom is a TV reporter, and of course Ravi’s mom is Commander Shaw. If they was ever a time to do another “villain kidnaps the team’s parents” story, it’d be now.

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

Posted in Television

Rob Watches Star Trek – The Value of Failure

***What happens when I, a 30-something-year-old fanboy, decide to look at the Star Trek franchise for the first time with an open heart? You get “Rob Watches Star Trek.”***

SERIES: Star Trek: The Next Generation
TITLE: S1:E19. “Coming of Age”
STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Will Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes
GUEST-STARRING: Ward Costello, Robert Schenkkan
WRITER: Sandy Fries
DIRECTOR:
Mike Vejar
ORIGINAL AIR DATE:
March 14, 1988
SYNOPSIS:
As Wesley takes his Starfleet entrance exam, the Enterprise is the subject of a mysterious investigation.

New Around here? Check out the “Rob Watches Star Trek” archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’ll admit, despite insisting that I don’t mind the Wesley character, I did groan a little when I realized this episode was largely about him. Young Will Wheaton did have a very punchable face…

This is another “Mary Sue” episode. That’s a damn shame. As it actually could have been really good if the impetus wasn’t there to make Wesley seem so damn perfect. 

The show sees Wesley attempt to pass the Starfleet entrance exam, and ultimately fail. Though he doesn’t fail due to any fault of his own. At least not as far as the viewer can tell. Over the course of the episode we see him being effortlessly smart, generous, kind, and brave. It largely seems that the only reason Wesley doesn’t pass is because he chose to help another candidate during a crucial moment.

I like stories that take a hard look at failure. Not just because I’ve tried and failed a bunch of times myself, but because failure has a lot of value. Our failures shape who we are every bit as much as our successes. Sometimes more. An episode where this apparent young prodigy gives it his all but ultimately comes up short, thus learning to cope with failure, might have been really compelling. Not to mention make for some nice character development.

The episode tries to play that tune. But ironically, it fails. Instead or seeing him struggle, we see Wesley emerge as the likely winner from the start. His only flaw (if any) is that he’s too kind for his own good. Toward the end there’s an attempt at a teachable moment in which Picard tells Wesley he failed at his first attempt at the Starfleet exam as well. But it falls flat. Because Wesley didn’t really fail, did he? He made a sacrifice, thus causing his own failure. It doesn’t add up.

Running parallel with the Wesley plot is a clumsy one about the Enterprise being investigated, which leads to Picard being offered a job as the head of the Starfleet Academy. The only interesting thing that comes out of it is the conversation between Wesley and Picard. The notion of the ultra-strict captain being offered a teaching position seems like a bad fit at first. But the scene where Picard counsels Wesley about failure shows that, despite certain inclinations, he can in fact be a good teacher. That’s an important quality for a leader to have. So it made for some nice insight into Picard.

But overall, this one was a stinker. As is much of season one at large. That’s a big disappointment, as I’m still waiting for this show to live up to all the hype…

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

Posted in Television

Superman & Lois, “The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower” Review

SERIES: Superman & Lois
TITLE: S1:E3 – “The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower”
STARRING: Tyler Hoechlin, Bitsie Tulloch, Jordan Elsass, Alexander Garfin, Inde Navarrette
WRITER: Brent Fletcher
DIRECTOR:
Gregory Smith
ORIGINAL AIR DATE:
March 9, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Jordan tries out for the football team, while Sarah clashes with Lana.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Here’s what I liked about that “Kent family plays with paint” sequence: Right after Clark races off to do Superman stuff and everything has stopped, there’s that half-second before we cut to the next scene where Lois goes back to playing with the boys. It sends the message that Clark dashing off is something that happens all the time, and she’s used to it by now even if the boys aren’t.

Three episodes in, and I’m not really feeling social anxiety from Jordan, as the show’s premise suggested. Based on my experience with social phobia, he’s not so much anxious as he is angsty. And that’s more or less any teenager at some point, right?

Tyler Hoechlin is giving off serious dad vibes as Clark. Maybe it’s the hokey, “Aw shucks” nature of the Clark Kent character. But Hoechlin is making it work. 

How much you wanna bet that Lana’s husband, Kyle, becomes a supervillain at some point? Or maybe Sarah? Maybe both?

“Everything you do is a mistake,” said the teenage brat to friggin’ Superman.

When she got attacked during this episode, I was initially inclined to say Lois should carry a weapon of some kind. Then I realized, what better weapon could you have than a direct line to Superman? Sure as hell beats a gun, or a knife, or whatever the hell she could be carrying.

Jonathan is a good brother. That’s refreshing to see. It would be easy to pit the two brothers against each other constantly. But the show makes him a lot like his dad. That’s good writing, in my book.

This was a good parenting episode, and a good episode for Lana in particular. It provided her with some much-needed depth as a quietly suffering wife and mother.

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


Posted in Television

Rob Watches Star Trek: When Aging Turns to Caricature

***What happens when I, a 30-something-year-old fanboy, decide to look at the Star Trek franchise for the first time with an open heart? You get “Rob Watches Star Trek.”***

SERIES: Star Trek: The Next Generation
TITLE: S1.E16. “Too Short a Season”
STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner
GUEST-STARRING: Clayton Rohner, Marsha Hunt, Michael Pataki
WRITERS: Michael Michaelian, D.C. Fontana
DIRECTOR:
Rob Bowman
ORIGINAL AIR DATE:
February 8, 1988
SYNOPSIS:
The Enterprise hosts an elderly admiral who has taken a drug to reverse the aging process.

New Around here? Check out the “Rob Watches Star Trek” archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Early in this episode, the bad guy addresses our main guest character, Admiral Mark Jameson. The first thing he says is: “So, Jameson, I see time has not been kind.”

That could very well be the biggest understatement in the history of Star Trek.

Our premise for this episode is that Jameson, a retired admiral, is brought in to negotiate over a hostage crisis with a old rival Karnas (shown below). Are we to believe that these men are the same age? If so, what in God’s name happened to make Jameson look the way he does by comparison?

From a meta perspective, we know what happened. The story called for this character to age in reverse thanks to a drug, so they wanted to make him look as old as humanly possible from the start. The problem is, unless Jameson was in some kind of toxic chemical accident at some point, what’s happened to him doesn’t look like it’s in the realm of human possibility.

Looking at Jameson (shown above), along with the make-up job they did on DeForest Kelley for Bones’ appearance in “Encounter at Farpoint,” it seems to me like the showrunners were overthinking the extended aging process of the Star Trek universe.

The implication seems to be that medical science has advanced to the point that people can live to be well over 100. So from a production standpoint, you’d want to make it obvious to your audience that this person is very old. Fair enough. But in theory, if medical science can extend human lives, can’t it also allow people to age gracefully to the point they don’t look like monsters?

Why even mess with latex prosthetics to begin with? What’s wrong with a basic white wig and conventional make-up? A character doesn’t have to have flappy jowls or exaggerated liver spots for us to understand they’ve aged.

The moral of this story? Whenever possible, keep it simple. Star Trek is filled with over-the-top ideas and visuals as it is. So there’s no need to go over the top with something as simple as human aging.

Incidentally, Michael Pataki, who plays Karnas, was also in “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Given what we saw in “The Naked Now,” I’m quite surprised we won’t be seeing tribbles this season. Or for that matter, any point during TNG. What, they make an actor look like Freddy Krueger’s cousin, but they can’t invest in little multicolored puff balls for the actors to play with?

Then again, considering how “The Naked Now” turned out, perhaps we should be grateful.

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