While clearly one of the best kinds of entertainment, with familiar settings themes and characters it does have its problems.
One of the most obvious is the More Powerful problem.
It works like this: The villain or villains somehow becomes more powerful, a new more powerful villain is introduced, or a problem or mystery even greater than the previous ones arises so the hero or heroes, have to become more powerful themselves somehow in order to save the day.
Sounds like a great story, but it becomes a little illogical when presented in a serialized format such as comic books a franchise of films or a TV series. Sadly the best example of the problem is 1990’s children’s TV series: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
(Yeah I watched it, and so did you, just admit it)
Anyway, in a typical episode the evil space alien witch Rita Repulsa tries to take over the world by sending a Godzilla sized alien monster down to earth, which happens to land in walking distance of the Power Rangers.
(See my rant on the Planet Surface Problem here.)
So the Power Rangers inside their equally gigantic robot cases called Zords fight with the giant monster slamming into buildings knocking over powerlines and causing massive amounts of damage to the city below. (Oh well.)
Then the Rangers realize they need to be more powerful in order to defeat the alien monster so they morph all their zords together to form the Mega Zord. (Hence the Morphin part of the name) Sure enough, in their new Mega-Zord form they defeat the giant alien monster. Hooray!
So Rita Repulsa vows her revenge and the process repeats for a few episodes, until she comes to her senses and sends two gigantic aliens at once.
Uh oh! Since the power rangers struggle fighting off one giant monster, two should be impossible!
WRONG! Turns out the Power Rangers can easily defeat two monsters at once, they just have to call on the green ranger then morph the Mega-Zord with the Green Ranger’s Zord to form the ULTRA- MEGA-ZORD.
Hopefully by now the problem is clear: Why didn’t they morph into ULTRA SUPREME MEGA ZORD WITH FRIES in the first place??
Look – If I’ve got to defend myself against an attacker I’m not going to hit them with my left when I know I can hit harder with my right.
(Not that I hit hard with either, please — don’t ever attack me.)
And while The Power Rangers is just a kids show, they’re not the only “More Powerful Problem” offenders, just the most obvious.
You’ve probably spotted it everywhere including Stargate, Star Trek, Buffy, Doctor Who, Supernatural, BattleStar and even CSI.
In each episode they use new tricks and technology to catch the criminals on that show. It’s entertaining but hard to believe.
Do you remember the episode where Grissom busts out a gadget that amplifies minute traces of scent so they can track a killer by smell? Why didn’t they ever use that thing before? And why haven’t they used it once since?!
I know the show explained that “It only works at a fresh crime scene when the killer had been there within 20 minutes or so” or something like that… but how many times since then have they come upon a fresh body and passed over the opportunity to use the MAGIC SCENT DETECTOR, or any other previously established technology that would be applicable to the given circumstances.
Sure it’s just better story telling if the detectives solve crimes in new interesting ways each episode, using new gadgets and tricks to do it, but when characters forget what they’ve learned it causes my own magic scent detector to go off.
And I smell some minute traces of bullshit.
That’s the rant.