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Jem and the Holograms

 April 16, 2014  Akram Taghavi-Burris  Television


If you haven’t heard Hollywood is planning a Jem and the Holograms movie.

At first, this might sound exciting if you, like myself were a fan of the 80’s cartoon. However, what I read from the synopsis it doesn’t look good.

If you grew up with the original series you know it’s about Jerrica Benton, a music producer, who takes over Starlight Music after her father’s untimely death.


Music producer Jerrica Benton Music producer Jerrica Benton

The company is in a bit of a snag and Eric Raymond, the half-owner of Starlight Music, wants to basically run Jarica out of the business. The two decide to have a friendly competition with their shares of the business. Whoever can sign the next big star and if records sell so many in a given time, they will be in sole control of the company.

Eric of course signs the Misfits, a trash rock band, who are loud, obnoxious, and me orientated, basically your traditional rock band.

The trashy rock band The Misfits The trashy rock band The Misfits

Jarica wants to sign a band that is a good role model for young girls but can’t find any. Then unexpectedly one night Jerica, her sister Kimber and the two friends Aja and Shana, Stumble upon Synergy a holographic music machine which Jarica’s father built. The machine uses hologram technology to change Jarica’s appearance into Jem, an “outrageous” rocker. So with the help of Synergy, the four friends become Jem and Holograms, who are destined to outsell the Misfits.

The holographic computer, known as Synergy The holographic computer, known as Synergy

Okay so the original synopsis is a bit lame, why couldn’t Jarerica just start a band, why need Synergy, even if she just wanted to have a stage name all she needed was a wig, isn’t that all Hanna Montana had?

It makes me wonder if Jem even had musical talent, neither Jerica, her sister or friends were in a band before meeting Synergy, so was it all fake?

To make things odder there is the inclusion of the Starlight Girls. A group of orphaned girls that Jaerica’s father was supporting, odd yes. Though like everything else in the series, it was a plot device, the young girls usually cause problems for Jem or get themselves in harm’s way, for Jem to save them.


A group of the Starlight Girls talking about Jem A group of the Starlight Girls talking about Jem

While the series is a bit off, it seems Hollywood is wanting to dumb the whole thing down even further by making Jerica on of the young teenage orphaned girls, who happens to become a record success.

I think that’s a bad move! The producers, one of which is Justin Biber’s manager, are aiming for the whole teenage rocker story, but that wasn’t the theme of Jem.

Jem came out in the 80’s when the whole working women became a staple. Many films during the 80’s showed that women could have very high successful jobs and Jem was a cartoon that instilled this to young girls.

Jerica was a strong-willed music producer and later even CEO of Starlight Records. Not only could she manage and the entire company, she still managed to go on tour as Jem. Speaking of Jem, it showed that Jerica wasn’t all business that she was just as girly as any other girl when she was made up as Jem.


The show portrays Jem as a girly rocker and Jerrica as a smart successful business woman The show portrays Jem as a girly rocker and Jerrica as a smart successful business woman

Going with a younger teenage girl for the movie would lose this message! Yes, Jem is silly and sometimes doesn’t quite make sense, but it shows that women can be leaders and make a difference. You can’t make Jem a role model if she herself is a kid. Sure many young girls wanted to say Miley Cyrus, from Hanna Montana, but they don’t look up to her. They look up to figures like Michelle Obama our first lady, authors like J.K. Rowling, or journalists like Katie Couric or even just a teacher or mentor. Someone who shows signs of experience, not just sex appeal.

So in closing all I have to say to the #JemTheMovie makers is to make the movie that us 80’s kids want to see, and you might just end up with more new fans than, alienating the old fans all together.

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