Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Episode 7 Review: The Need For Speed

"Is Nickelodeon dumbing down Power Rangers?" It's a question fans often ask but episodes like this hold the key to the answer.

This Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel review contains spoilers.

Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Episode 7

This week’s episode didn’t feature the poor plotting of last week but it still wasn’t very engaging.

Why does Sarah want to break the record so badly? The episode makes an attempt at showing her so consumed by it she doesn’t have time for her friends but it never asks why. What is driving her to want this so bad?

I get why Victor wants it, he needs his 50th trophy.  This has been built up over multiple episodes. Sarah though? Uhhhh… she wants to go really fast? What is she trying to prove? The fans may not like Victor and Monty but they at least have defined goals. The Rangers… besides saving the world they don’t have much of anything.

Ad – content continues below

It’s all just so bland. Why is Power Rangers this way? Why hasn’t Power Rangers been very good for the past few years? There’s a lot of fan theories why, many ludicrous, but one always seems to rise to the top.

Nickelodeon is forcing Saban Brands to dumb down the show. 

Take the Den of Geek Reader Survey for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

It’s a really easy excuse for why the show delights in fart humor and has sub Sesame Street lessons, isn’t it? Saban Brands and Chip Lynn, the current executive producer of Super Ninja Steel, would much rather the show be good and quality, right? If it weren’t for Nickelodeon we would be getting another Time Force or RPM!

Occam’s razor here, folks. The simplest answer is often the correct one.

Nickelodeon has zero creative say in Power Rangers, it’s just that the current production team wants the show to be the way it is. They want the fart jokes. They want the simple lessons. They want Preston yelling. “Oh no, she’s flying off her hoverboard!” as Sarah flies off her hoverboard.

“But no!” fans will cry. Chip Lynn wrote Power Rangers in Space and Power Rangers Time Force! Those didn’t have fart jokes and Victor and Monty wackiness! No they didn’t, but consider the facts.

Ad – content continues below

Those seasons were not made by one guy but a team of writers and producers who didn’t always agree. Lynn has gone on record he had some differences with fellow producer Jonathan Tzachor (although these disagreements have been exaggerated by fans for years.) Specifically talking to Henshin Justice Unlimited in 2011 he said,

“we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but there was always a mutual respect.” 

So whatever you saw on screen back in those seasons wasn’t just Chip Lynn. It was Tzachor, Lynn, and of course Jackie Marchand who was a key writer in those seasons as well. It was a team effort and everyone didn’t always get what they wanted.

Now Lynn is mostly running the show. He has Brian Casentini and Haim Saban overseeing him but he’s the showrunner. He doesn’t have a Jonathan Tzachor or a Jackie Marchand, producers who are on equal level with him. The writing staff is made up of new writers from New Zealand who don’t have the same experience as Lynn. Again, occam’s razor, Lynn is the executive producer so he’s calling the shots. 

“But, but, Lynn would still write something much more serious!” fans will reason. Perhaps, but also remember what some of his favorite episodes are. At the second Power Morphicon Lynn said he loved “In The Limelight”, a wacky Lightspeed Rescue episode about Dana becoming a model. He also specifically cited “Homerun Koda”, the one where Koda somehow ended up playing professional baseball, as his favorite Dino Charge episode.

Those aren’t bad episodes to be sure but they do indicate that Lynn’s tastes lean more towards the silly. Something that Ninja Steel especially revels in. It could simply be that without other writers or producers checking his work or being forced to use more Sentai footage Lynn is simply telling the stories he wants to tell.

Ad – content continues below

Also why would Lynn even be on the show if Nickelodeon was forcing him into stories he didn’t want to tell? Another interview with Lynn around the time of Power Rangers Samurai had him specifically say he was asked to return for that season but turned it down. He  cited the lack of creative freedom offered, only writing scripts and not being able to work in multiple departments.

So yes, the show isn’t being creatively strangled by Nickelodeon. It’s simply supposed to be this way and that’s the end of it. It’s, at best, mediocre kids TV that doesn’t strive to be anything more. This episode is juat another example of it.

Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Victor’s quest for his 50th trophy is the best plot Power Rangers Ninja Steel has. Follow him on Twitter! 


1.5 out of 5