I was casually performing my usual trawl of the internet, in my guilty/bloated post-lunch lull – when suddenly a huge grin spread across my carb-filled face! THEY ARE MAKING A LIVE ACTION FILM OF JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS!
There are childhood shows that transport me right back to the 80’s: sprawled in a duvet across the living room with my twin sister – in paisley pyjamas (me not her) worshipping at the altar of our Saturday morning cartoons. It was an innocent time, it was a lovely time:
I had a baby soft complexion, neither of us had relationship or money worries and all we cared about was the spluttering of that glowing neon tube.
I have a few TV shows that can take me back to that time and make me happy and feel all warm and fuzzy:
Dungeons and Dragons
And – what inspired this blog post of course – Jem and the Holograms!
MORE ABOUT ME!
I was born at the tail end of ’77 and, as you can tell was a huge fan of Saturday morning TV, well TV in general.
I wasn’t the demographic intended by the creators of Jem and the Holograms – but that didn’t stop me from being a truly, truly outrageous fan. Sorry.
I LOVED the concept of the show. Which was:
Jerrica Benton – a rich music company owner uses a holographic computer called Synergy (and a magical earring) to be transformed into Jem – her alter ego – and the lead singer of a band called ‘the holograms’.
During the course of an episode – Jerrica/Jem and her 80’s clad neon bandmates would battle villains, including record industry bad guy Eric Raymon and his rival band – The Misfits.
The Misfits were my favourite (think Joan Jett, Suzie Quatro and Marianne Faithfull with green hair, gruff voices and bad one liners). They were like punk versions of Penelope Pitstop.
Watch and be amazed by the Misfits song ‘Outta ma Way’ – Classic Misfits.
The series originally aired from 1985-1988 and they punted out 65 episodes over that time period.
The rise of MTV and the music video certainly helped this show as characters often broke focus in a Brechtian manner and had a random music video (within a cartoon) chucked into the story – very postmodern for it’s time!
Eat your Heart out Baz Luhrman!!!
The live action remake – or why my smile turned upside down
The 21st century Jem is not a mega rich record company owner – she is a YouTube sensation. This is a pretty accurate indictment and decent ‘like for like match’ of a 2015 celebrity – especially musical stars – so far so good.
What people aren’t happy with is the huge omission of ‘the holograms’. The clue is in both the film and the TV series titles AND the name of Jem’s band. The trailer hasn’t been online long but people have already started slating it and comparing it (unfavourably) to the cartoon 80’s Jem of old.
There are no big wigs and there are no camp songs! This Jem aint a kick ass action figure with a big ‘do – she is a fragile young woman who attempts to become famous despite being traumatized by the death of her father and having a nasty case of stage fright. WTF?!
It’s a shame that it is called Jem and the holograms yet bears no resemblance to the camptastic original. View the trailer and weep if you are a fan of the original.
Unless a remake is a ‘like for like’ remake or an homage to an original – then it’s always going to be different.
Be happy with your memories and go revisit the original – let this new version inspire someone else! (someone with shit taste and a bland palate).
Also – why isn’t Courtney Love in the film as a manager or a villain?!?!? AND why the hell isn’t Kesha playing Jem? Tsk Tsk.
As I’m now 37 – I doubt I would watch the new live action version anyway. The only reason I started writing about this and have now got so carried away – is testament to the power the original 80’s cartoon held over me.
Though I can’t imagine this watered down version inspiring such giddiness 30 years later – this brief flutter of excitement and the afore mentioned warm and fuzzy feeling – this remake has given me has all been worth it in my book!!!
I’m away to YouTube the SHIT out of Jem (the 80’s version obvs).