Jem: A male's perspective
Yes I'm reviewing Jem, but hey at least I'm not doing Rainbow Brite or something... oh yeah...
Ok guys so I have no excuse for this one; no excuse that is except... I'm drunk, very drunk, besides I promised Jerrica I'd do her this favor, amongst others we won't talk about... Ok so now that we got that cleared up let us move on shall we?
So today I'm going to review Jem episode one. If you've read my previous article on Rainbow Brite, chances are you know where I'm going with this one, and if you have not read it then I guess you're just SOL! Besides I'm 87% sure that most people reading this have never read any of the other stuff on this site anyway.
Much like Rainbow Brite Jem managed to elude me in every fashionable manner as I grew up, but although I never saw Rainbow Brite I knew that it existed since I see all the retro crap and t-shirts every time I pass by Hot Topic and teen girls' bedrooms, something very untrue for Jem. The only thing that tipped me off to the existence of this gem of a show was VH1's I love the 80's (man that show rocked), and judging by the wide-eye jaw drop reactions of the female commentators this show kicked the ass.
Ok so after watching the intro (which I'll touch on in a second) here's what I surmised. It seems that Peter Criss and Boy George were playing leap frog when suddenly they both fell into a vat of toxic pink makeup, instead of being dissolved (since they are celebrities) they fused into one, as seen above... wait... what the heck? Oh, I guess I did my math wrong.
Ah, much better, so as I was saying Peter Criss and Madonna... Yada yada yada... out popped Jem!!
The intro is pretty rigmarole and very hard to follow, but that's the beauty of such shows, there's so much virtual insanity or in this case midnight maiden madness going on that you gotta watch so your mind can put it all together. I also should add that the song is so feminine I had to turn the sound off midway through "glamour and glitter, fashion and fame... your music's outrageous truly-truly-truly outrageous" Aww! Somebody shoot me!
Let's see here. Jem kisses some guy... Jem and Co. ride on many stars... and it seems that those 3 ugly broads that identify themselves as the Misfits are the antagonistic baddies of this show, looks like we're in for one bumpy ride. Also seems that Jem has some alter-ego which looks a whole like (gasp) Madonna; normally I wouldn't say this, but they made Jem's other half pretty darn good looking. I met up with her later and we spent a day together, believe me she looks way nicer in person.
So after the intro theme which shouts the name "Jem!" somewhere around 296 times we see the episode introduction. This particular episode is called "The Beginning" which already alludes to disappointment, I understand that many shows use such pilot titles as "The Beginning of..." or "Meet..." but quite frankly I have higher standards for shows that feature pink haired punk-rockers. Written by Christy Marx eh? Now I know who I can send all my hate-mail if I don't like this show.
But we can't concern ourselves with titles now, can't you see by the spotlights that there's something big going down. Wow this must be some huge event (if you look under the red arrow) you'll see that George Washington himself has returned from the dead for this wonderful occasion. But everybody's too busy to notice famous corpses or the security guard victimizing that young lady, too busy waiting for some celebrity perhaps?
From around the corner comes some notorious old car whose name I can't recall. At this point all the ladies go ape and start shouting "JEM! JEM! JEM!" and I begin shouting "Good golly they're all lesbians!" not to say that any girl who likes a female performer is a lesbian, but these girls are prepared to take on the National Guard just to cop a feel on this girl. Instead of Jem however out steps an ambassador from planet Xanzabon. Oops, turns out that girl is a part of the band.
Two more band members pop out, but I couldn't quite make out the names, I'm sure we'll learn them later. Finally Jem comes out, not sure how all four of them fit into that 2 passenger seat. Seems Jem forgot to do her hair before she left, how typical. Remember how Washington was spotted earlier, well now we see Crocodile Dundee has even flown up for the show.
The paparazzi waste no time in suffocating Jem and asking her the usual questions; "Are you making a new album?" "What's your real name?" "Are you and Adam still seeing each other" "Is he really the greatest lover ever?" "When did the band begin?", you know... the usual stuff. Jem thinks to herself "I remember when it all began..." flashback time!!
Seems Jem's father died unexpectedly... the plot thickens. As Jerrica and her companion leave they are approached by a man named Eric who offers his sympathies. Notice that Jerrica has worn a purple hat to match her date's hair.
Jem's date Rio seems a little put out by this guy and understandably so; this guy has a cleft in his chin and normal hair! Rio quickly tells Eric that Jerrica is his and establishes that he will not hesitate to bite out his eyes if necessary.
Conveniently Jem's father has left two inheritances, Starlight Music recording company and Starlight foster home for girls, Jem's dad loved them girls. Starlight... Starlight... wasn't that the name of that fancy pants horse in Rainbow Brite? No house would be complete without sexual tension, so it seems Rio has moved in as a handyman.
The house is falling apart however and they need a way of earning money so they can fix it up and pay a real man to do repairs. The hairdresser mentions that Jerrica's father used money from his record company to pay bills, Jerrica thinks this is a splendid idea... go figure.
Entering the Starlight building Jerrica is halted by a security guard who informs her that the man she wishes to see was fired and she cannot go up, but she runs past him while his back is turned, you go girl! Getting to Mr. Raymond's (Eric's) office she sees that he know has a new secretary. What the heck is going on!?
Jem enters Eric's office and confronts him, noting that her father left her %50 of the company along with Eric. Eric plays it off cool noting that she is a mere child and that he will make big things for this company.
At this point Eric introduces the band that he keeps in his closet for just such an occasion, along with their axe guitar shaped motorcycles, that band is the Misfits; Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer.
Jerrica demands that the motorcycles be removed from her father's office, but these girls will hear none of it, armed with motorcycles, male hormone pills, and an extreme case of PMS they're ready to fight Pizzazz warns Jerrica to stay out of her way or else. Not that Jerrica is scared at all, she responds to Pizzazz's-es...s threat with "or else what?"
Or else they'll break into the most horrible song you've ever heard! You are not going to believe this, but this flashback of Jem's has a real life music video complete with the little text at the bottom that gives info on the song such as song title and artist. This song was so sickening that I'm going to spare you the details lest it cost you functionality of your mind, seriously the Misfits will kill your brain cells quicker than paint thinner. The song is called "Outta my way" by the Misfits and that's all I'm saying about it. After looking on the net a bit I found these misfits are pretty promiscuous with their songs, their other tracks include "Free and Easy" "Let's Blow this Town" and "There Ain't Nobody Better" just to name a few.
Once the little musical montage concludes, Eric explains that he's set up a battle of the bands contest full of horrible bands that will make the predestined winning Misfits sound wonderful (I can't imagine God himself pulling that one off. Jerrica sums it up pretty well by calling it "trash", and Pizzazz retaliates by calling her a wimp, I got the feeling she wanted to call her something else, but this is a G-rated show. Jerrica storms out vowing to end this madness.
Jem drives home and sits at her desk explaining the situation to her roommates. There's an eye-catching gift box on the desk the entire conversation, but Jerrica fails to notice it until one of the other girls says "Oh Jerrica I forgot, this came while you were out". I don't know about you guys, but if there's a gift sitting on my desk I notice it pretty quickly, this goes double for ladies I'm sure. Turns out to be the ugliest pair of earrings I've ever seen, but the most beautiful pair that Jerrica's ever seen (we could never agree on anything).
As soon as she affixes the earrings ( and I do mean affix, I doubt those babies are coming off ever again) a storm begins to brew, and mighty gust blows open the window. Suddenly some crazy purple-ghost-punk-rocker lady appears and says "Jerrica Benton, I have come for you...." as she walks towards her ominously (fade to commercial break). Don't touch that mouse super-stars, the Jem review will be back after these messages.
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And now back to our review. The ghost lady tells Jerrica she will find instructions inside the jewelry box... hey wait a minute, wasn't this ghost alluding to a kidnapping or something? Anyways the ghost fades away in a bright flash, but not before Jerrica tries to feel her up, lotta perves in this show.
We're kept in the dark about what the instructions say, but the girls hop into their van and head off to the Starlight drive-in, and from the looks of that girl on the jet-plane, they're in for quite a show.
They pull up to the screen and then the ghost lady tells them to continue forward through the wall, Aja's thinking not, but Jerrica prompts her on because "she has a hunch". So they drive through the wall and into some big computer room where they meet Synergy, a holographic computer of sorts designed to be an ultimate audio-visual system.
Synergy explains that she was developed by Jerrica's father and can produce holograms of anything. Jerrica questions how Synergy was able to appear in her bedroom and Synergy explains that the earrings are remote micro projectors, I knew there was a logical explanation behind all this. Ghosts? puhh-sha, kids stuff.
Next Synergy unveils three gifts from Jerrica's father; first a gigantic rock wardrobe, second a ton of instruments, and thirdly a spiffy new car. Now Jerrica and her friends have a way to stop Eric and those Misfits.
That weekend as promised Eric throws a battle of the bands contest, luckily we're spared this unearthly site and are thrown in at the aftermath. Eric goes down the line naming off all the contestants and the audience hates them all, especially the limp lizards (not a joke).
When Eric gets to the Misfits however everybody cheers them on including Rod Stewart (see bottom left picture) who has most definitely been paid off by Eric. But just as Eric is about to proclaim the Misfits the winners some band in the distance breaks into a song.
Hark! It's Jerrica and her friends! For who can't read that small text at the bottom of the picture, which should be somewhere around 100% of you, it says "Only the Beginning" by "Jem and the Holograms". Everybody busts a move over to the new stage to check out this hot new band, everybody except Eric and the Misfits they're busy pissing themselves in a state of shock. Now this tune is more stand able than that one by the misfits, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit it's a little bit catchy.
During the performance the press arrives to check out this band that rides on stars, flies into the sky to cloud castles, and hangs out in crane machines. In addition to the press s few official corporate type guys show up to check it out.
Once the song ends everybody cheers as this was definitely better than the sad attempt of those butt-ugly Misfits. Jerrica under the guise of Jem introduces herself and her friends as Jem and the Holograms, Eric of course challenges them and proclaims they had no invitation. Jem points over to a hologram of Jerrica and counters that she was invited, Eric is clearly bothered by this hindrance and storms off to confront Jerrica.
Jem runs behind a tree, touches her earring and says "shows over Synergy" changing back to Jerrica.
Jerrica and Eric have a little spat and so Eric decides to make a deal, he challenges Jerrica to a contest. In 6 months the two bands will have another contest and the winner will get the Starlight music company. The three business men approach and the head guy who is also a movie producer says he will give a movie contract to the winner as well as a beautiful mansion, makes the American Idol folks seem like a bunch of cheap skates.
Throughout this entire scene nobody seems to notice that Jem and the Holograms have disappeared, I don't know where the other girls went, but they made the mistake of leaving their equipment unattended. The Misfits seize this opportunity and jack every last instrument. Aja finally notices and a high speed chase ensues. You'd think with all the witnesses they'd just call the cops, but things work differently in the music industry.
Roxy begins to throw the instruments out the back of the van, she's a real trick. All the instruments are obliterated, but Jerrica and her friends have worse troubles than that seeing as how they're about to drive over the edge of a cliff, a fate that the Misfits somehow evaded.
Teetering on the edge of the cliff, the girls are faced with an almost inevitable plummet ending with a bit of a splash. Professing their inner feelings for each other the girls prepare to face the end. Hey... have any of you seen Rio abouts? Yeah me neither, but Jerrica seems pretty certain that he's coming around yon corner any moment.
Jerrica holds up her magical earrings and with the help of Synergy projects a hologram of Jem onto the above roadside. Sure enough here comes Rio in his new Band Manager Vehicle play set (Rio figure sold separately).
Rio just can't believe his luck, straight ahead is the hottest streetwalker he's ever seen, good thing it's payday. Rio pulls up expecting the lady to point him to the nearest hotel, but instead she informs him that the Rockin' Roadster is on the edge of a cliff! Rio figures that maybe if he saves the girls friends she'll give him a freebie or something, sorry Rio it takes more than a pink shirt to impress this girl, believe me I know. So Rio takes his trusty lasso and... well we never find out, since it cuts to this newspaper clipping, and I so wanted to see how he lassoed a car.
Eric is not too pleased with all this publicity that the Misfits have inadvertently given to Jem and the Holograms. After he chastises them and assures them that he will make them the winners, they do the unthinkable... they break out into another song. This times it's called "Winning is Everything", oh please make it stop! At the songs conclusion Eric comments that if they keep singing songs like that then they've got it made...
Eric calls up one of those third party rough guys who turns out to be none other than award losing Vanilla Ice! Eric hires this "has been" to bust into Jerrica Benton's place to steal some stuff and make a little noise, as he puts it.
That night Rio regretfully informs Jerrica that he sucks as an electrician and that they will have to go one more night without electricity. Jerrica declines his offer of sleeping on the couch and sends him home to take a cold shower. In the middle of the night one of the girls wakes up Jerrica and tells her that there's somebody in the house, and I'll give you three guesses as to who.
Creeping downstairs Jerrica and the others hear a noise in the living room. Upon entering they find Vanilla Ice stealing their menorah and mantle clock, cause anything less than the best is a felony. Never being avid fans they become quite agitated at his presence. Ice has always had bad luck with the ladies so he decides to split, but in doing so he knocks the lantern out of Kimber's hands.
The lantern hits the floor and ignites a fire that spreads quite quickly, Ice is in fear of melting and jumps out the window, leaving the girls to their fate, no surprises here. The girls watch in horror as the flames spread throughout the house.
Oh man, weak sauce, but I guess I should have seen that one coming with only 30 seconds left on the episode. Well I can only guess that all of the girls die, save Jerrica, Kimber, Aja, Shana, and maybe Raya. Jerrica and her friends will pick up the pieces and move on, but not before winning that constest against the misfits and getting that brand new mansion to replace their burned down boarding home. Years down the road Jerrica and Rio will call it quits and Jerrica will find a better man named Adam and they will have many good times. If you want to find out you'll have to scope episode two, me I'm happy with my prediction and I won't seek to disprove it.
Overall this show was pretty cool, there's always a feeling of disappointment when they pull that to be continued stuff, especially since the next episode is usually a letdown. I definitely could have done without those songs (if you can call them that) from the Misfits, and I found it hard to cheer for Rio since he's a pretty big dweeb. Much better than Rainbow Brite except it had stupid antagonists, I'd give this show 7.5 out of 10.
Alas, beautiful Jerrica, I knew her Horatio...