Early on in this semester, I discovered nintendo8.com, a lovely website where I can play all of my favorite NES games from my childhood (side note: I’m pretty sure this violates some kind of copyright law but I haven’t gotten that far in studying for the class). I soon came to rediscover the joy of playing these games. I spent all my study breaks playing the original Zelda (still awesome), Mario 3 (still awesome), and Mario 2 (still doesn’t even make sense how or why this game was even created). However, I soon came to see that a lot of the games I remembered fondly just didn’t hold up today, and really didn’t make sense (at least Mario 2 still sucked after all these years). For instance, the Magic Kingdom game, a game that I loved as a youth, just wasn’t that good anymore. It was too difficult, and the game was just dumb (for instance, there is no reason to make a skeleton pirate throw coins in the air so you essentially get automatically hit and lose a life [let’s just look past the fact that a skeleton pirate wouldn’t have the musculature to be able to throw that amount of coins in the air at such a velocity]). Another game I loved as a youth, Snake, Rattle and Roll, was impossible. I couldn’t even remember how to beat the first level (although the music is still awesome).
This got me thinking about other things that just don’t hold up anymore, and how sometimes, it’s just better to leave things in your memory and not to try and relive them. Well, over spring break, in my limited time not studying (and crying on both the inside and outside), I started thinking about things that I loved when I was younger (side note: just two short years ago I drank and ate heavily on a boat cruise to Mexico. Now I sit in my basement and watch YouTube videos and study. Just thinking about this makes we want to drop out of law school, move to Mexico and sell conch shells to American tourists… It will also give me a reason to grow out a sweet mustache), and, I guess because I wanted to bum myself out even more than I already was by studying, see which ones didn’t hold up anymore. Here’s what I found:
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: So I found the first episode online. The theme song pumped me up for whatever reason. However, this is where my joy ended (except for the timeless hotness of the Pink Ranger Kimberly). I never realized that all the action scenes are just stolen from a Japanese show (my research afterward confirmed this). The opening scene has Rita Repulsa coming out of her dumpster, and what? Rita is an Asian lady whose mouth movement doesn’t match up with her words?!? I was appalled. How did I never realize this in all the years of watching this show? Also, they completely pulled a Saved By The Bell (which, by the way, sucked 20 years ago and still sucks) by having the cool kids (Jason and Zach) hang out with the nerd (Billy). Additionally, the bullies (Bulk and Skully) try to physically assault Trini and Kimberly. I have no words for this. This is just completely unrealistic. I could go on and on about how below average, and not incredibly amazing as I remember it, the pilot was (except for Zordon’s line, “Teleport to us 5 overbearing and over-emotional humans,” and Alpha 5’s response, “No! Not teenagers!”). I don’t dare revisit the 6 parter where Tommy became the Green Ranger because this would probably single handedly ruin my childhood.
Nickelodeon shows: Whereas with Power Rangers I could sit and enjoy that show, Nickelodeon shows are completely unbearable. Thanks to Nick Gas and Noggin I could watch a ton of old shows. First, the good: Legends of the Hidden Temple and Nick Arcade are phenomenal. Imagine if they remade Nick Arcade now. It would be amazing. As with Legends, I’m just shocked that nobody ever punched a temple guard. Those things come at you quick and my first reaction would be to swing at those migrant workers dressed in ancient war paint. Those are fine, but the animated shows are completely awful. I’m going to go and say that Rocket Power and Angry Beavers were made on a dare. I just can’t even handle watching a 15 minute episode. These shows are awful, which is unfortunate because I loved those shows. I’m sure Rugrats is equally as bad. The one thing I do love throughout Nickelodeon shows (and Power Rangers) was the fact that pretty much every character is a racial stereotype. I don’t know how the creators got away with this. Nerds, African Americans, hot chicks–they are all perfectly stereotyped. And people wonder why there are still racist people in my generation (Wait, not all black people can dance like Zach in Power Rangers?).
Three Ninjas movies: So I caught about five minutes of 3 Ninjas Strike Back (the second of three movies–yes, they made a trilogy). From this, I’m pretty sure this is how the movie idea was created:
Creator 1: We need a good movie idea.
Creator 2: You’re right. We’re all out of Steven Segal karate movie ideas.
Creator 1: Hey, I have an idea.
Creator 2: Go on.
Creator 1: What if we had a kid train under an Asian man and become a karate champion?
Creator 2: So, you mean Karate Kid? That’s already been done.
Creator 1: It will be just like that, but instead of one kid there will be three. And they will be brothers.
Creator 2: My god, that is brilliant.
Creator 1: And instead of the kids entering a karate competition, they will single handedly take down the mob using only the power of their own fists.
Creator 2: You, my friend, are god among men.
Creator 1: And instead of good acting, we will cast three kids with no acting experience that kind of look alike to play the three brothers.
Creator 2: You’re a modern day Hitchcock, my friend.