Welcome to The Live Blog, a blog about life, living, and experience. In this blog I comment and reflect on Twitch’s massive 22 season Power Ranger marathon and the childhood nostalgia it inspired in me as I watched.
Go Go Power Rangers!
On March 14th 2017 Twitch hosted a two week marathon presentation featuring every single Power Ranger series ever aired. A total of 336 hours of teenage teams with attitude fighting the evils of the cosmos in defense of Earth. For many, including myself, it was an opportunity to enjoy a nostalgia trip to my childhood.
I remember many cumulative hours sitting in front of my TV watching the the monster of the week bring peril to Angel Grove and the Rangers. I’d sit eagerly with wide eyes wondering how the heroes would overcome the latest danger and cheer as each monster would eventually fall to the Megazord’s finishing blow.
Watching series as an adult is a very different experience of course. Now I easily see the dubbed Japanese Super Sentai footage. I recognize the simple story tropes and cringe at what passed as teenage fashion. Now I understand the bewildered looks my parents gave me when I begged and pleaded for permission to watch yet another episode.
Even so, I enjoyed watching the marathon as I was able. It was fun picking out all the faults of the first seasons and laughing at how seriously I once took certain episodes. It was also fun reliving the most memorable moments of that first run: the debut of Tommy the Green Ranger, his departure, and return as the White Ranger.
Not My Power Rangers!
The Power Ranger Marathon also provided the opportunity to see some of the Power Rangers series I missed. I was able to glimpse into Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, Zeo, and Turbo. I was surprised to discover the story(loosely) followed a continuity that went all the way back to the original series. This continuity came to a head in Power Rangers in Space and ended with a surprisingly satisfying climax in its series finale.
The Marathon marched on with Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue, Timeforce, Wildforce, Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder(which featured Tommy as a mentor), SPD, Mystic Force, Operation Overdrive, Jungle Fury, RPM, Samurai, Megaforce, and Dino Charge. Each series iterated on the last with some differing a little and others taking a wide left turn into strange.
As the series progressed I noticed the story attempting to mature. Series like Space, Lost Galaxy, SPD and RPM tackle more mature themes and settings. These series in particular follow an overarching story rather than relying entirely on a monster-of-the-week formula. This maturing attempt caught my attention and held me for a while longer than I would like to admit.
Another aspect of the Power Ranger marathon that held my attention was not the show, but the audience. In the first seasons the viewer count was over 50k people. As one might expect the chatroom was a flurry of activity and any attempt to hold a conversation with other viewers in the public room were futile.
The chat activity fascinated me. Comments scrolled by almost too quickly to read in single words, sentences, and custom emotes. Eventually I noticed a pattern. Explosions during a Zord battle promoted a”Millions Died” comment, a character missing in a fight prompted ” Tommy AFK”, defeating a monster prompted “GG(Good Game). These comments were picked up up by others and repeated in cascade.
It reminded me of a crowd at a concert or a football game. The audience feeding off the energy of a performance and sharing that excitement with each other through the means available. It felt like doing The Wave in a packed stadium or tossing a beach ball at a concert. Each GG felt like a lighter lit and held high during a song.
Clip the Clip
A unique feature to Twitch used often during the marathon is the clip. Viewers are able to select up to 30 seconds of the current broadcast and share the moment with the rest of community. Twitch encouraged vierers to clip their favorite moments and shared their favorites during the marathon as well as on social media. Some of the funniest moments showcased monsters and villains acting silly or singing Kareoke.
In all the Power Rangers Marathon was a fun experience. An experience made better by sharing it with a community of people. I hope the Twitch Presents channel hosts other marathons like it in the future. Now if you’ll excuse me I feel a sudden need to look up some old toys on EBAY.
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