You know, it’s terribly cliché these days to get all frustrated and start screaming “YOU’VE RUINED MY CHILDHOOD!” over some dumb adaptation of a cartoon from the ’80s. I won’t say that the new Jem movie is ruining my childhood, because it’s not. My childhood, along with my memories of the “Jem and The Holograms” cartoon are quite intact, please and thank you, but this movie is beyond disappointing.
Let’s just talk things that are wrong with the trailer alone!
1. Jerrica Benton is supposed to be running Starlight House/Mansion, the home for orphaned girls. When her father died, he left her Starlight House and half of Starlight Music. She’s not a resident, she takes care of the girls. Mrs. Bailey works for her.
2. “Jem” was not a thing created by Eric Raymond (EricA Raymond in the movie).Jem was created by Jerrica’s Dad, who created Synergy (also not in the movie!), who projected Jem onto Jerrica by means of a hologram. She was never manipulated by Eric Raymond, she was onto him from the beginning. Eric Raymond didn’t even know she was Jem.
3. Jerrica was not some wimp who was shy and delicate and afraid and being manipulated by Eric Raymond. Ever. Nor did she take any shit from anyone. No one was giving her a makeover she didn’t want. The reason she became Jem in the first place was as part of a plan to defeat The Misfits and get control of Starlight Music in order to save Starlight House.
4. Rio is supposed to have purple hair. Also, he has known Jerrica since they were young. He and Jerrica are in love, but it’s complicated because he also has feelings for Jem and he does not know that she and Jem are the same person.
5. NO ONE EXCEPT THE HOLOGRAMS AND THE OLD LADY IN SHANGRI-LA KNOWS THAT JEM AND JERRICA ARE THE SAME PERSON.
6. They are all supposed to have big hair, sure, because this is the ’80s. But Shana had an awesome purple afro that would be just as cool now as it was then. Given that a lot of people are pretty upset that a dark-skinned character was cast with a light skinned actress, this is like the least they could do.
7. Also hi, where even is Shana in this trailer? I swear, you blink and you miss her.
8. I already knew there weren’t going to be Misfits. It’s still disappointing, though, because Stormer is quite possibly the most interesting character in the series. If they were worried about getting sued by Glen Danzig or something they could have at least had The Stingers.
9. There are no actual holograms. And no magic earrings. This is stupid.
10. You can take something sincere and make it camp, but you can’t take something camp and make it sincere. Jem was great because it was over the top ridiculous. The Misfits and Eric Raymond were almost literally trying to murder her in every episode. She had a giant computer with piano keys that gave her makeovers through magic earrings–makeovers that were so drastic, somehow, that her own boyfriend didn’t know she was also Jem! It was silly and cartoonish and it was awesome.
I could go on. I am kind of a “Jem and The Holograms” encyclopedia. At this point, there is literally no relation to the source material other than the names and the movie largely seems to be a not-at-all-funny and significantly less fun rip-off of the “Josie and the Pussycats” movie. Which, for the record, I will say was actually quite underrated.
But the thing that actually bothers me is that Jerrica/Jem was not some stupid, insecure and easily manipulated weakling. Bitch was running the Starlight Foundation, Starlight Music andhaving a full time career as a world famous and truly outrageous rock star. She wasn’t some whiny emo teenager. She enjoyed her fame, and she enjoyed her personal life and work at the Foundation and she wasn’t sorry. She didn’t apologize for her ambition, and she didn’t actually ever ditch her friends other than once almost accepting an offer to do an interview by herself. That’s why I liked her–that’s why we all liked her.
The new Jem–created by men, because duh–takes Christy Marx’s bad ass, havin’ it all, fully in charge of her own destiny-type Jem and turns her into some wimp. I’m sorry, but I think the original Jem was a much better role model for young girls than whatever this is.
Luckily, for parents who would prefer their daughters see the real Jem, episodes are available on Netflix.[YouTube]
Original by Robyn Pennacchia