Monday, September 12, 2011

Under the Man-croscope: The 12 Most Truly Outrageous Things About Jem and the Holograms!

Jem is coming back! At least according to Cool Toy Review who reported that a revival of Jem and the Holograms was announced on Hasbro's New York Comic Con press release. You remember, Jem, right? Chick with pink hair, heavy make-up, was in a band, battled a punk band called The Misfits. Was in love with the hunky, purple-haired Rio. There was a line of dolls and an animated series. It was big in the eighties. Trust me.
How embarrassing. I've slept with all these women!
Now, I'm a dude. Seriously. So I never had much to do with Jem, although you couldn't help but absorb the advertising and the cartoon - at least peripherally. And as a golden eighties child, I have to admit that I just accepted Jem for what it was and it never set off any alarm bells. The child me was oblivious to the unbridled madness that bubbled beneath her pink plastic surface...

BUT NOW - some 20 years later, it is time for me to put Jem under the Man-croscope! Which is to say, I will heavily scrutinize the first episode of her cartoon with my adult eyes and point out all the ridiculous inconsistencies that sailed over my head as a kid! Last week I turned the Man-croscope on Gator from M.A.S.K. to reveal a cornucopia of incredulity and lies! The lens of the Man-croscope is critical and unwavering. Will Jem fair any better?

JOIN ME AFTER THE JUMP and we'll find out! This is one you won't want to miss!

So I figured the best way to understand all this was to start at the beginning, i.e. he very first episode of the Jem and the Holograms cartoon conveniently titled The Beginning, which I was able to track down with ease on youtube. May I present:

The 12 Most Truly Outrageous Things About Jem and the Holograms Episode One:

1. Music, Fashion, Fame, UNEXPECTED DEATH.

Emerging from a sea of neon pink to the delight of a totally bananas paparazzi, Jem conjours up the rock-star image of glamour and exuberance. Until she shits on everybody's pillow by bringing up her father's unexpected death. As your young child blinks back the tears, Jem is swallowed by a drab world of grey, forced to attend the most depressing funeral ever to begin a Saturday morning cartoon. Awful.

2. Jem Lives in a Half-Way House With Urchins, Punks and Thieves.

Jem then spends the entire episode in a derelict boarding house, which may or may not be a shelter for absused/abandoned women. The entire place is crumbling around her and she is forced to deal with whining, idiot giggling, and petty theft from the orphans, miscreants, and punkers that cram head-to-toe on the filthy bunks. And then the show gets weird...

3. Guitar Motorcycles.

Jem probably owns part of her late father's record label, so she barges in - unannounced - to have a word with the corrupt CEO. Despite this being a completely unplanned and unwanted visit, the CEO has all three members of rival band, The Misfits, ready to ride in on motorcycles shaped liked guitars. Presumably, they've been waiting in the other room for such a moment for a long time. They then proceed to ride their guitar-bikes menacingly around Jem in what appears to be a football field sized room.

4. Magic Earrings.

Later that night Jem receives a mysterious gift from either Rio, or her father, or something. They are magical earrings which apparently are the source of all her power. We don't dwell on it too long because...

5. Jem is Visited by an Eyeless Ghost.

YEEAARRRGH! Get that creepy shit away from me! Seriously! The room grows dark and Jem is visited by a transparent, eyeless, souless, glowing devil lady who beckons her to follow! That is some messed up Dickens shit right there! What is going on here?

6. The Ghost Tells Them to Drive Through a Wall.

This has got to be a prank, right? The ghost (on foot) leads them to the deserted drive-in (in their beat-up van). And the ghost is all, "OK, so drive through this wall". And Jem's friends are like, "No, fuck that shit, that's a solid wall!" And the ghost is all, "Just do it!" And they're like, "Aw, hell naw!" And the ghost is, "Go on! It'll be awesome!" And they're like, "Yeah. Ok!" And they drive straight through the wall! Don't try that at home, kids. Walls can hurt.

7.The Ghost is a Computer.

Okay, so the ghost is actually a computer. Let's get this straight - Jem's father had a secret life where he shut himself off from his loved ones and built a secret computer inside the Drive-In which looks and talks like a woman. That seem a little off-putting to you? No? Then what do you think all those open tubes are for?

8. The Ghost Computer is Highly Illogical.

The computer is called Synergy and she can create music and holograms. The holograms can be used to change the girls' appearance - like to give them crazy stage clothes when they're in their band personas. So why does she also gift them an entire room full of real clothes? Then what are the holograms for, you stupid idiot?

9. Pornstachio Has a Suspiciously Convenient Map.

Naturally there's a battle of the bands - Jem and the Holograms and The Misfits decide that whoever is the most popular in the next six months will take control of the record label. Then ol' creepy Pornstachio here shows up out of absolutely nowhere - we've never seen this guy before - and he's like, "I'll sweeten the deal! I am a big-time movie producer and whoever wins will also star in a movie... AND I'll give them this mansion that you can see on this map!" And he has TWO lackeys who produce a map of a mansion. Where'd you get that map from, bro? Do your guys carry it around everywhere, just waiting for an opportunity like this? You're weird!

10. Did Clark Kent Cover This Story?

So The Misfits steal all The Holograms gear and there's a car chase, and Jem drives half off a cliff and needs the hunky Rio to bail her out (he is conveniently and coincidentally the only other car on the road). So Rio rushes to the scene, stands at the edge of the cliff and throws out the rope. So how the hell did the newspaper reporter snap that picture? They would have to have been floating in the air above the cliff. That's some weird Superman stuff going on. He's the only one who could accomplish that!

11. A Prowler Breaks Into the House.

Naturally the evil record executive is pissed, so what does he do? He hires a prowler to break into the boarding house and terrify the girls and smash up all their stuff. This happens with about a minute to go and it is pretty frightening considering the frivolous guitar-bikes from earlier.

12. EVERYBODY Dies in a Fire.

What you see there is the last shot of the band before the flames completely cover the screen. The prowler knocked over a lantern (they didn't pay their electricity bill) and the entire house gets engulfed. The fire spreads and... the end credits roll. There's not even a "to be continued". Imagine if this was the only episode you ever saw. Presumably everybody dies in the fire. What a downer!

Ladies and gentlemen, the Man-croscope does not lie! Jem and the Holograms is truly, truly, truly outrageous.

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I had a friend whose younger brother was named Jem. But he spelled it Cem. OUTRAGEOUS!