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Friday, April 29, 2016

Jem Reviewed: Episode 6 - Starbright: Falling Star

Before I begin this edition of "Jem Reviewed", I'll state that when I first began this blog and did a general entry on Jem and the Holograms, I actually watched episodes as a result, I probably know those episodes the best of all 65.  The good thing is that I can be more detailed...and more snarky in the process!

Last week, we watched Jem and the Holograms win a movie contract, control of Starlight Music, and ownership of Starlight Mansion.  Today we get to see how the movie is made in Episode 6:  Starbright - Falling Star.

So, as the narrator recaps the first five episodes of the series, we learn that six months has passed since the Battle of the Bands.  And appropriately for Jem Trivia this week, the same holds true for the airing schedule!  The last part of the Battle of the Bands series aired January 12, 1986.  This episode originally aired July 3, 1986.  Almost exactly six months!  Freaky!

And, admiring the continuity Christy Marx has shown, Jerrica's looking a little more polished and her hair has gotten longer.  It's a subtle change, but a noticeable one.  Also, the animation quality has gotten better as well.

But as far as Jerrica goes, she remains the same.  A total control freak at the party announcing the movie, and ordering her foster girls to be her slaves.  Some girl named Becky is ordered to get more cups, to which I wonder what the party guests are drinking out of - cereal bowls?

Anyway, Countess Danielle DuVoisin has been looking for Jem, and so Jerrica does her whole "Showtime, Synergy" spiel, changes to her cotton candy haired alter ego, and meets Danielle and the rest of the Holograms in a bedroom.  Apparently, Danielle has been hard at work on a brand new line of Jem fashions - which is good since her last collection was ruined by the Misfits - and she wanted Jem to try on her latest creation.

That latest creation just happens to be a fancy pink evening gown that would make Susan Lucci jealous.  And, Rio's already salivating at the mouth seeing Jem in that dress.  I'm guessing he'd probably like to see her out of that dress too, but since this is a cartoon and not Japanese anime, I don't see that happening.

But before Rio can pounce on Jem, Mrs. Bailey, the lovable housekeeper of Starlight Mansion approaches and wants to get Jerrica to come to the living room for a moment.  Just like that, Jem turns back into Jerrica lickety-split and takes off with Mrs. Bailey leaving Rio standing there as if he has just taken part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Mrs. Bailey takes Jerrica into the room where we meet another one of the Starlight Girls, a little Vietnamese girl named Ba Nee.  And fair warning, like Ashley, you'll see Ba Nee a lot.  Notice how Ba Nee is sitting extremely close to the television set?  Apparently this has been going on for some time, and Mrs. Bailey is concerned that Ba Nee may have a serious problem.  Nice to know that SOMEONE is looking out for the girls.  At least Jerrica tells her that she'll make an appointment with Ba Nee's eye doctor.

Once again, someone interrupts.  This time it's Anthony Julien, who wants to introduce Jem to someone.  Sheesh, can't Jem/Jerrica be ONE person for more than five minutes?

Once back into Jem mode, Anthony introduces her to videographer Vivien Montgomery - but she'd rather be called by her nickname of Video.  Because, you know, she makes videos.  At least she isn't called Porn Star.  As it so happens, Video is a fan of the band, and she is going to join the film crew of the Jem movie!  So, I'm guessing that we'll be seeing a lot of Video over the next three episodes.

Once more, Jerrica is being hunted down by Lela, and this proves to be a bit too much for Jem/Jerrica to take.  She walks through one of the walls of the mansion where Synergy's room is, and wants to make sure that Synergy isn't getting worn out to the point where she short circuits, explodes, and burns down their home again.  Synergy tells Jerrica not to worry, as the man who designed her - Jerrica's father - has prevented her from doing that.  However, as you'll see in future episodes, Synergy does have her weaknesses.

Anyway, once Jem changes back into Jerrica, Lela announces that they are out of ice.  THAT'S the emergency?  Sheesh, Lela...just go back to guarding the Honor Jar!  Jerrica sends Becky to get more ice, to which I would hope that Becky responds that her name ain't Britney bitch, and she's no slaaaaaaave for her.  But then I realize that this show was 15 years before 2001, so never mind.

Rio takes Jerrica aside, and tells her that he loves her, but Jerrica calls Rio out on the fact that he likes Jem too, and Rio makes the mistake of comparing Jerrica to an old pair of shoes.  Or, maybe Jerrica does that herself.  Who cares, it's time for a song.

You know what else I've noticed about episode 6?  The songs are more polished, more mature, and more sultry.  Seriously, I don't know how they got the line "is he making love to a fantasy" into the song, but kudos to them!  At any rate, I do like "Who Is He Kissing".

But I'm sure the Misfits don't.  In fact, Pizzazz is staring at the party through a pair of binoculars along with Roxy and Stormer.  Interesting fact #1...they seem to be staring at them from a mansion that is larger than Starlight Mansion.  Interesting fact appears that the mansion belongs to Pizzazz's father!  Who knew that Pizzazz was a rich spoiled brat?  I NEVER would have guessed!

You might be surprised to know that Pizzazz doesn't care that much about the wealth and money.  Instead, she wants to be famous and she wants to be noticed.  Perhaps this could explain why she is the way she is...we'll see.

Whatever the case, Pizzazz is absolutely upset that Jem and the Holograms won the movie contract because now they'll get all the attention.  So she does what she does best...get her father, Harvey Gabor, to buy the very studio that is making the Jem film.  Oh, this can't be good.

Sure enough, when Jem and the Holograms arrive at the movie studios, the man with no cojones himself, Howard Sands explains that someone else bought the studio, and has taken control of all the productions inside.

And you can only imagine the shock of Jem and the others when Eric Raymond and the Misfits are standing there.  And the news is grim.  With Harvey Gabor owning the movie studio, Eric announces that the only way that he will let the Jem movie continue is if the Misfits become cast members.  Naturally the other Holograms are upset at this, and naturally, Howard Sands comes up with a solution for the girls to quit the movie...

...but Jem announces that she's not going to be bullied by Eric Raymond, and declares that the show will go on no matter what!  If only she would have taken her foot and kicked Howard Sands in the face, that would have been even better!

So Jem, Kimber, Shana, and Aja arrive on set for their first day of shooting where they immediately walk in on an argument between Eric Raymond and Anthony Julien.  Jem makes a funny comment about how Eric is not a morning person and leaves them be.

Now, you might think that because Jem and the Holograms are sharing a movie set with the Misfits that things may be a little tense...and well, you'd be right.  The Misfits barge ahead of them in line for the make-up chairs, and this causes Aja to lose her cool.  I swear, if you let Aja at them, she'd rip off Pizzazz's hair extensions!

Inside the make-up area, Pizzazz is telling make-up artist Georgia about how much she hates Jem and proceeds to trash talk her.  Not very professional, Pizzazz.  Back outside, Kimber remarks that if the make-up artists go near Jem's face, they may disrupt Synergy's hologram which would be a catastrophe!

Jem comes up with some quick thinking and tells Georgia that she has brought her own make-up kit and she can put on her face herself - but Georgia is left thinking that Pizzazz was right about Jem being snobbish, and treats her very coldly.  I wonder if this little plot development will have any hand in the way the finale plays out.

We also find out that the leading man of the movie is a guy by the name of Nick Mann, who sort of resembles a young Val Kilmer or Mickey Rourke before his face was completely destroyed.  And as it turns out, Kimber and Pizzazz both have a major crush on Nick.  But when Pizzazz goes all diva like and orders a chair, Kimber nearly gets knocked out. 

Fortunately for Kimber, she is saved from injury by Nick's stunt double, a man named Jeff Wright whose hair is darker than Nick's.  Nick also happens to be smitten by Kimber.  Maybe it's the scarlet hair.  But Kimber rebuffs Jeff to try and get Nick's attention - only to be humiliated when Nick decides that he wants Jem instead.  Gee, I hope this doesn't make Kimber drive off in a huff again.

Outside the studios, a woman with pink and blue hair pulls up and announces that she is Montgomery and is here to pick up her studio pass. 

Less than a minute later, Video pulls up and asks for the same pass - and comes to a horrible conclusion that Clash is on the set.  But just who is Clash?

Oh, I see.  Clash is that pink and blue haired woman.  And the reason she's called Clash is because she has wrist bracelets that look like cymbals that cause a clashing sound when banged together.  She also happens to be Video's cousin.  And she is a HUGE fan of the Misfits.  Oh, great...another person out to sabotage the movie. 

Video tries to warn Jem and the others that Clash is on the movie set, but before she can explain what she looks like, Clash bursts in on the Holograms and smashes her cymbal bracelets so loud that Jem and Aja are visibly shaken.  This causes Anthony Julien to lose it and tell Clash to leave the set immediately.  This in turn causes Eric Raymond to tell Anthony that Clash and the Misfits are staying as per the rules of the amended contract. 

Anthony decides that he's done with the movie and quits as the director!  I'm sure that Shana will likely come over to his place for a little lovin'...ahem...tender care later.  For now, Eric announces that he will direct the film himself, which sends fear trembling through the hearts of the cast and crew.

But all Rio can feel is jealousy.  With Jem doing romantic scenes with Nick, you can see Rio's eyes turning as green as Pizzazz's hair.  And as Jem and Nick are filming their scene, a Jem and the Holograms song plays.

I must say...the ending of the video with Rio punching Nick in the jaw says a lot about both characters.  It tells us that Nick is a bit of a sleaze...but it also tells us that Rio has anger management issues.  And Eric nearly fires Rio on the spot!

Of course, Pizzazz - who is still in love with Rio despite also being in love with Nick - orders Eric to keep Rio on the payroll - making sure that Rio promises to be nice to Pizzazz right in front of Jem!  Now who's jealous?

I should also note that Mrs. Bailey has announced that Ba Nee's eye appointment is on the Saturday coming up.  It seems so random right now, but as we've learned in the Jem series, nothing is EVER random.

Whatever the case, a huge press conference has descended onto the movie studios, and Lindsey Pearce (who looks so much different from two episodes ago) is at the head of the media circus.  Lindsey interviews Eric and seems legitimately shocked and scared that Eric has taken over directing duties of the Jem movie.  And when Lindsey interviews Jem and Nick Mann about the movie, Nick takes the time to plant a huge kiss on Jem's lips...prompting Aja to make a smartass comment about Nick being shy.  

Yep, Aja's slowly becoming my favourite Hologram! 

Kimber becomes extremely jealous and starts to storm away, but Eric catches up with her.  He makes Kimber a promise that he will write in a scene for Kimber with Nick in the movie, and once again plays on Kimber's insecurities about trying to compete with Jerrica.  Once again, quintessential Eric Raymond strikes again.

The kicker seems to be when Pizzazz and Roxy hijack the press conference by revealing a giant banner that reads "THE MISFITS IN STARBRIGHT" with Jem and the Holograms in tiny lettering underneath.  Wow, that's low.  And, certainly Pizzazz taking great joy in humiliating the Holograms isn't sitting right with them.  This is turning out to be a war.

Howard Sands seems to also be at war with Harvey Gabor, with Harvey claiming that the Misfits are destroying the Jem movie and that Harvey needs to step in and reign in his daughter.  But for some reason, Harvey won't listen to reason.  Gee, I wonder where Pizzazz gets part of her personality from.

The final straw comes when Jem and the Holograms arrive on set to film a scene, but are shocked to see the Misfits performing their own song instead.  But to the Misfits credit, the song is an awesome one!

I mean, seriously.  Find one thing wrong with "Universal Appeal".  One.  I can't.  It's like the perfect Misfits song with one kick-ass video.  I told you the video production has gotten better in episode six!

Well, obviously Jem doesn't share any universal appeal towards Pizzazz and after a back and forth game of "let's attack the stars with stars", Pizzazz gets knocked to the ground and stares at Jem as if she wants to stab her right in the jugular.  But Jem decides that she's had enough of Eric and the Misfits and she, Aja, and Shana storm off the set announcing that they quit the film!  Eric tries to convince Kimber to stay, and Kimber hesitates for a bit - but in the end, she decides that no scene with Nick Mann is worth taking the abuse of the Misfits, and she quits too.

And while Georgia the make-up artist is like "sayonara, bitches", Video follows the band out and announces that she's quit the project too, saying that Eric isn't getting any of her footage.  It's actually kind of nice the way that Jem and the others make Video an honourary Hologram.  It makes me realize that yes, Jem and the Holograms can be genuinely nice.

Of course, the Misfits and Clash celebrate the fact that Jem and the Holograms have walked away, and Roxy spray paints over Jem's name.  So, that's that.  Jem's movie career is over before it even began.  What else could go wrong?

Well, a lot.  At Ba Nee's eye appointment, the doctor reveals to Jerrica that Ba Nee has a degenerative eye disease that she inherited from her parents, and the doctor gives Jerrica the grave news that in a matter of weeks, Ba Nee could lose her eyesight forever.

Cue the TO BE CONTINUED and Jerrica's shocked face - which has greatly improved since episode 1.

Tune in next week where we continue the Starbright saga.  Can anything be done to save Ba Nee's sight?  Will Jem rejoin the film?  And which two Holograms find themselves in major danger?  You'll have to wait until May 6th to find out!

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