|The Holograms: (from left) Aja, Shana, Jem, Kimber, and Raya.|
Show Time Synergy
Oh Man! This is the most perplexing post to write because, on the one hand, I am so ecstatic that this project is finally becoming a reality, but on the other hand, the things I have read or heard about it so far make it sound like it is going to be abysmal, and if that's the case, I don't even want them to bother.
|The Misfits: (from left) Roxy, Stormer, Pizzazz, and Jetta.|
Jem & The Holograms was my favorite cartoon show of the 1980's. In fact, I'm such a big fan that I have all 3 seasons on DVD, and many of my social media handles are "Hologram82", which is where the name of this blog stems from! #FunFacts
Jem was originally a popular line of toy dolls by Hasbro Toys which came out in the early 80's. At the time, Hasbro had been collaborating with Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions to develop cartoon series based on some of their most popular toy lines, including Transformers and G.I. Joe. Stemming from the success of these toys/shows which were targeted primarily toward young boys, the company created the idea of a doll series for the young girls, about a girl band named "Jem & The Holograms", a rival girl band named "The Misfits", and a computerized holographic entity known as "Synergy" who was responsible (via a pair of "Jem-star" earrings) for turning a mild mannered girl named Jerrica Benton and her gang of friends into the bright haired, "Truly Outrageous" singing sensations, Jem & The Holograms.
The cartoon series was developed with the help of writer Christy Marx, who had previously worked as a writer on G.I. Joe, Spider Man, and The Fantastic Four. The production company chose her because they wanted a female writer who could create a world with romance, fashion, glamour, and all the other fun girly stuff, but also balance it with some fun action and adventure elements so the boys wouldn't change the channel either (and, of course, tie it all together with some fun songs that helped the storyline along). Sounds simple enough (Oy).
The world she created, centered on Jerrica Benton, a young woman who becomes owner and manager of her fathers' music company "Starlight Music" after he passes away. Jerrica lives with her younger sister Kimber, and their childhood friends (and adopted foster sisters) Aja and Shana in a mansion called "Starlight House" which is also a home for Foster Girls. The four girls become a band in order to save Starlight Music from the villainous music executive Eric Raymond and his rival band of rebellious girl rockers, Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer (otherwise known as "The Misfits") who want to destroy Starlight Music and take over the music industry. While preparing for a local Battle Of The Bands competition, Jerrica receives a pair of star-shaped earrings, and as she puts them on, a holographic entity known as "Synergy" appears before her. She and her friends are led to an abandoned Drive-In movie theatre (sounds shady), where they come upon a hidden room to find a giant holographic computer, which her father built as "the ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesizer". Using Synergy to produce a holographic new persona known as Jem, Jerrica and the girls win the Battle Of The Bands against The Misfits and regain control of their company. Using the Jem-star earrings to transition between being Jerrica and being her rock star alter ego, Synergy warns her to keep Jem's true identity a secret, a secret she ends up keeping from everyone, including her boyfriend Rio who acts as the Holograms tour manager, creating an unusual love triangle between himself, Jerrica and Jem (who unbeknownst to him are in fact the same person). Her band mates are the only ones that know Jem's true identity.
Now that you have some background on the show, let's talk about the movie. About a month ago, it was officially announced that a live action film version of Jem and The Holograms was being worked on and was going to be directed by Jon M. Chu (G.I Joe: Retaliation). The director and 2 of his producers posted a video on youtube and the films official website, encouraging fans to help with the creative process of the movie, from casting, to costume design, to makeup, to music and lyrics, you name it. This sounded great to me initially, because I liked that they really, really seemed to want to do it right.
Here's where I become skeptical. Firstly, in the above described video, the director used the words "Modern Day Reinvention", if this movie doesn't take place in the 80's, then I've already lost all hope. One of my friends read a possible early synopsis for the film and it made Jem out to be an internet sensation. That's bullshit, one of the ongoing themes of the Jem cartoon series was working hard and applying yourself in order to make any of your dreams come true, not putting your ass on youtube for 15 minutes in order to gain over night fame. The only characters that kind of thing would work for, would be The Misfits, because they were always about cheating and taking the easy way out to get what they wanted (which is why they always lost). Secondly, they just announced the four actresses playing Jem, Kimber, Aja, and Shana, and while I'm glad that people like Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus are not part of the cast (yet), I have no idea who any of these girls are, which to be fair, might be a good thing. The four girls are, Aubrey Peeples (Jem), Stefanie Scott (Kimber), Hayley Kiyoko (Aja), and Aurora Perrineau (Shana). I heard that Aubrey is on the show Nashville, so I looked up a clip on youtube of her singing on that show, and I gotta say, I'm not bowled over by her vocal ability. She can carry a tune, but the series Jem had some amazing pipes on her (thanks to the brilliant vocal ability's of Britta Phillips, who's singing voice I, for years, thought was actually Martika's lol), so unless they go with someone else's singing voice, I'm not going to be impressed. The other thing about the cast is that they look too young. I believe the Holograms are all meant to be in their early 20's (with the possibility of Kimber being in her late teens as she's younger than the other 3), but Aubrey alone looks like she's only 16 (which would make Kimber 12 or 13).
I'm gonna hold out a bit of hope until the full cast is revealed and until we get a trailer (or even a teaser trailer) for it, but at this moment, it doesn't look good.
Show's Over Synergy!