24th Jun2011

My Life with the Power Rangers – Reader Response

by Will

So, we don’t get a lot of audience participation here at Casa West. Before I moved over to WordPress, I had written about 1,025 posts over the last 8 years, and I only had comments on about 100 of them. Of those comments, many of them were just spammers whom I approved because I was impressed by their syntax and/or flattery. What I’m saying is that it brings a little e-tear to my eye when I write something that encourages participation, and it just sits there like that half-empty Starbucks cup on the shelf at Ross. Anyway, a few months ago, I wrote this post detailing my experiences as an adult fan of the Power Rangers. In that post, I mentioned Jason Bray, who had been featured on an episode of MTV’s True Life called “I’m A Fanboy”. I discussed how the way he was portrayed contributed to the reasons as to why I keep my Ranger love in the closet. Well, if there’s anything I should’ve learned about the Internet by now, it’s that anyone can read this stuff. It turns out he read my post. Not only that, he responded! Now, if you keep up with the Comments sidebar, you’ve already read this, but I felt his response deserved its own post. So, without further ado, I give you the only interaction I’ve had with anyone who’s been on MTV (other than my tweet from Serena Altschul):

I was actually quite impressed with this article as it describes how about a third of Power Ranger fans really are. When Power Rangers first started to dwindle in popularity, I managed to avoid ridicule by keeping my appreciation for it a secret.

The Power Rangers fandom, like many fandoms out there have three sections to them. The “socially awkward” section, the “This is one of the things I like” section, and the “I know everything, and if you misquote one line I will KILL you” section. The socially awkward people tend to not interact enough with regular people and spend most of their time writing BAD fan-fictions, and confessing their love for one of their favorite characters.

In case anyone reading this was wondering, I am the person from “True Life: I’m a Fanboy” that was mentioned in this blog post. Almost two years later from when the episode aired and I STILL see my name come up at some point when Power Rangers is mentioned. I guess that’s both the beauty and the curse of existing in the re-run world.

I have to admit though every time it airs my friends and I get a huge laugh out of the episode. This is mainly because we know of everything that went on during filming. I love how many people don’t even recognize me after talking to me for a few minutes because I am nowhere near as awkward as I was made out to be in the episode. I even got a comment at a convention I attended from a person who said “you know, you look a lot like that guy from the true life episode” and when I told her I WAS the guy from the True Life episode she didn’t believe me.

That’s one of the dangers of editing. I will admit there were parts captured on film where I was acting awkward, mainly when I was dancing, because I can’t dance worth S**t. Also, the Dragon Dagger moment where I say “Oh my GOD, How much is that?” Also genuine me. But everyone who is in some type of fandom has that moment where they see something they have always wanted and want to know if they are able to buy it. The other Danger of editing is taking out ANYTHING that made me seem even remotely like a regular person. To give you an idea, I was only on the episode for about 15-20 minutes total, yet MTV Shot over 35 HOURS of footage.

When someone films for for so many hours, most people would not want that time to be wasted. I could quickly tell the direction they were going with the episode though when EVERY question they asked was about Gemma. First they would ask the question “how do you feel about Gemma? and I would say “She’s a really good friend and I’m glad I met someone else from the fandom” They would then say something like “Yeah, we know that part, but how to you really? feel about her? could you simplfy it?” So, eventually you figure out the response they are looking for is “I really like Gemma.” I wasn’t really surprised by that. The basic structure of TV is they are looking to tell a story, and they already had the “Fanfilm” side from Travis. In other words, even though this might disappoint some people, the “Asking Gemma out” scene was staged by Gemma and myself. if you watch carefully, it is quite obvious we are both acting.

On Another note though I am still somewhat a Power Rangers Fan, and I still have MOST of the stuff that was shown during that episode (which was actually hard to gather together to make it seem like I had a huge collection. My collection isn’t nearly as large as others from Power Rangers fandom.) But if anyone watches the episode carefully there were hints of my other fandoms that couldn’t be edited out. The WWE foam titles in the background showing I am a WWE fan, The Suit I was wearing during some of the DC scenes was part of a 10th Doctor, Doctor who costume (Because that is also another one of my fandoms) I was originally told the episode was going to be about how I balace my fandoms with my normal life, yet there was virtually NOTHING from my normal life shown on screen.

The last thing I say before I rush out into oblivion until the next time my episode reruns and I do a search again, is I noticed how the blog mentioned some fans looking up the Japanese episodes and watching them with subtitles. I would actually consider that a totally different fandom. With Samurai, I ALMOST hate Power Rangers now, but Sentai has almost always kept me entertained, especially the new Series, Gokaiger, which if you haven’t seen any of yet is worth checking out. Just thing GIANT POWER RANGER WAR.

So, there you have it. Not only was he a good sport about the whole thing, but he even gave us a little behind-the-scenes info regarding the episode. I hope I wasn’t too hard on him, as I think we all know the liberties they take with reality show editing. After reading that, however, he doesn’t seem like a weird dude at all. Jason, if you’re reading this, thanks for your input, and I’m sorry I bunched you in with the other weirdo Ranger fans. I stand by my opinion of Rangerboard, though. Those fuckers scare the shit out of me.