2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Jem, the beloved 80s cartoon series. Jem and the Holograms have never been bigger, as 2015 will also see the release of a live action film based on the show, a new comic book series published by IDW, and a continuing line of collectible fashion dolls from Integrity Toys. To celebrate the original series, WWAC is watching it from the very beginning. It’s showtime, Synergy!
Written by Christy Marx
Wendy: I’m such trash. I really wanted to see Rio get into this Jem kissing business. “Don’t tell Jerrica, okay?” But Rio is such a gentleman, apparently. Maybe if Jem would stop singing all her songs about him and just tell him the truth, we’d all be happier. As for Kimber’s rebellion…that was short-lived.
Ginnis: I think the whole Rio thing is so weird. Is it like supposed to prove he’s a gentleman because he won’t cheat on Jerrica with Jem? And why is Jem constructed as the temptress here? He does kiss her back at one point. Agreed, Wendy, cuz that “Twilight in Paris” was a terrible song. Totally bragging: I’ve been to Paris, and it’s way better than any dude! I hated that song. I guess I can appreciate in some ways that Rio is the object for Jerrica and Jem which is something we don’t see a lot in stories about women–it’s usually the other way around.
Wendy: I wouldn’t say Jem is played as a temptress. More that she’s suddenly very in need of rescue moments where she ends up in Rio’s arms or needs to cry on his shoulders. While Jerrica ends up running off on him the whole time. Overall, just really frustrating. I could really use my six year old’s opinion on this, but she’s dumped me.
Wendy: Ha no, I’m just amused. I want to kick Jerrica for keeping up the charade, and kick Rio for being so dumb.
Ginnis: As the object, maybe he’s supposed to be like the clueless, innocent? A role typically for women in this scenario?
Wendy: True, it is a reversal. And we’ve already seen that the women in this show are the ones in control, ready to leap into action and danger, able to save themselves.
Ginnis: Yet like you pointed out–Jem keeps having to be rescued and falling into Rio’s arms. It confuses me.
Kayleigh: What’s frustrating about the Jem/Rio/Jerrica love triangle is that’s it’s never really clear why she doesn’t tell him the truth from the very beginning. Jerrica and Rio have apparently been together a while, and he’s the band’s road manager, so surely letting him on the secret would make things easier for everyone? Maybe if Rio had been introduced after Jerrica created the Jem identity, her reluctance to tell him would be more understandable. But then, where would we get all our love triangle drama from?
Kimber’s rebellion is ridiculously short, and all that fuss for a problem that was easily solved with a single phone call. I get the feeling Shana and Aja have to deal with Kimber’s “What about MEEEEE?” drama every week.
Favorite Music Video Moment: Jem and the Misfits skywriting in old timey biplanes.
Favorite Outfit: Pizazz’s roller derby duds.
Written by Christy Marx
Wendy: I’m glad Ashley is around to offer a more interesting perspective, since Kimber’s rebellion lasted all of two seconds. And I’ve been waiting for Stormer to have her second thoughts about the Misfits. On a completely unrelated note, hurray for Mystery Woman stepping in to save the day. I wonder who she could be? How could anyone believe that Jem was the one who stole the money. She’s so sweet and innocent. But now I’m upset because my girl Synergy’s been attacked.
Ginnis: So I think Pizazz is like the Faith and Jem like the Buffy. And I really want Kimber to go solo and become like a female David Bowie.
Kayleigh: Both of these episodes open with Jem needing to be rescued by Rio, which is pretty disappointing. Come on, where’s the girl power? It would be nice to see more of Jem rescuing herself.
Cheers to Generic Cartoon Texan for getting the plot rolling and yelling “I like to see sparks fly! Yee Haw!” twice.
Ashley’s subplot is insufferable, but Stormer gets her first substantial character development. She may be a Misfit, but even she has her limits–which is good to know, since the Misifts have nearly killed, like, several hundred people.
Favorite Music Video Moment: “Deception” is my favorite Jem song, and you can’t beat Jem and Jerrica literally ripping Rio in half in an explosion of confetti.
Favorite Outfit: Stormer as The Mystery Woman, complete with her raspy Serpentor impersonation.