As an adult, just about everything I’m into is no secret. What I love, I love out loud—I tweet about Knicks games, ‘Gram bits of concerts I hit and I recommend things I’ve read to buddies when we hang. But this hasn’t always been the case.
I kind of laugh at the idea of guilty pleasures, because I don’t have a Love & Hip-Hop or some other show synonymous with trash TV secretly holding a place on my DVR or in my heart. The idea of things in pop culture that I used to adore in secret came to mind a few months ago when the teaser for the newest incarnation of Power Rangers came out.
It immediately made me think about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers live-action Fox series that debuted in the fall of 1993. I loved that show so much. It had martial arts and a Benettons-diverse collection of high school teens dealing with young heartaches, insecurities and such. It was like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Saved By the Bell in one. It may be the first true drama I watched day in, day out. It was straight riveting TV for a child yet to reach 10 years of age, as I was.
Though I hadn’t experienced a double-digit birthday, I did have a firm grasp of cool—at least what I knew my peers would tease me for liking. And as a kid who grew up with classmates that were much more excited about darker cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series or what Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan was doing on the basketball court, I was sure to keep my fandom for Jason, Billy, Trini, Kim, Zack and eventually Tommy close to the vest.
I remember scoring a power morpher and power com via McDonald’s Happy Meals and being geeked to bring them home and play.
My sister and I would detach the cardboard tube on wire hangers from the dry cleaners and pretend they were swords as we fought air monsters after transforming into Rangers. Those were great times, ones I never dared share with anyone who didn’t have the same last name as me. I also recall being incredibly fearful that I’d run into classmates when I saw Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie at City Place Mall down the street from my apartment building in ’95, months before I turned 10. It was my first guilty pleasure.
As I hope you have since your childhood, I’ve grown to be a way more confident person in my adult years, unafraid to say I like a lot of things that typically are either widely considered nerdy or not exactly intended for me to be a participant. For example, I love Project Runway (shout out to Tim Gunn!). Many might be surprised to find a straight 6’5 Black man glued to Lifetime TV as he prays that his favorite designer’s dress wins the weekly competition. But I digress.
Yesterday, Lionsgate released the second trailer for Power Rangers, out this March. They debuted their updated costumes, gave us a look at Bryan Cranston’s Zordon, Bill Hader’s friendly automaton Alpha 5 and even a quick glimpse of their Megazord. For the two minutes I spent watching that great preview, I felt a bit like that child I was, happily letting my imagination roam free of reality’s restraints. It’s even better to watch stuff like this now, because I actually have the balls to be fun-loving big kid out loud, one who doesn’t care if you think I’m a “grown-ass man” who shouldn’t enjoy watching the rainbow crew defend Earth for two hours.
Nah, I say. It’s morphin time, bruh. The Rangers are getting my dollars come March 24.