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Friday, July 22, 2016

Jem Reviewed: Episode 18 - Hot Time in Hawaii

Previously on Jem Reviewed, the Holograms had their album stolen by the Misfits - and Jem and crew sort of behaved like Misfits trying to get it back.  I'm a little concerned that the last batch of episodes of the first season are going to continue this downward spiral...but let's see how this goes.

We're at Episode 18:  Hot Time in Hawaii.

But we're not going to Hawaii just yet.  Instead we're treated to Aja leading the Starlight Girls and Holograms in an intense cardio workout.  I'm guessing that the Jane Fonda workout tapes were already rented out at Blockbuster.  The Starlight Girls seem appreciative of the class, but Kimber, Shana, and Jerrica are complaining non-stop.  Of course, Aja doesn't care if any of them drop dead, for she is the queen of being fit!  She is the Joanna McLeod of the Starlight House for Foster Girls!

(Joanna McLeod being one-half of the "Body Break" duo.)

When the class ends, Jerrica receives a letter in the mail which provides great news for Jem and the Holograms.  They have been cordially invited to be contestants in the Battle of the Music Stars.  I'm assuming that it's like Battle of the Network Stars only with no Howard Cosell or Valerie Bertinelli in a swimsuit.  Oh, and did I mention that the competition is taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii?  And that the grand prize is a golden trophy and the opportunity to play at the Governor's Mansion?  That's enough for the girls to scream for joy...and then scream in agony as Aja prepares to put them through another workout in preparation!  If I didn't know better, I'd say Aja was enjoying this!

Of course, you can't have a battle without an opponent.  And naturally, the Misfits have also been invited to compete.  But instead of exercising, they celebrate by going to an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Because apparently stuffing all you can in your face for the low price of $4.99 is great preparation for an athletic competition.  Stormer is really the only one who seems to take the competition seriously - another sign that underneath that Misfit exterior is a nice girl begging to come out.  But Pizzazz states that with them hiring Zipper as their coach, they will definitely win.  Or, given Zipper's track record, they'll get crushed by a gigantic palm tree.  I guess we'll see.

Before long, Jem and the Holograms are on a flight to Hawaii, and I'm guessing that they must be in the first class section because there's a bar on board that serves...pineapple juice.  I guess they can't show an underage girl drinking alcohol.

But Kimber doesn't get much of a chance to enjoy her drink because she bumps into another person and spills it all over him! 

Yes, this is Kimber's Love Connection #5!  This time, the guy in question is named Steve.  He loves pineapple juice, fiery redheads, and being a coach for any athletic competition.  Why, as it so happens, Jem and the Holograms are looking for a coach to help them get an edge in the competition!  I tell's fate!  Or maybe it's Kimber's libido.  Either way, Steve commits himself to appear as Kimber's boyfriend for at least the next 18 minutes.

As soon as they land, Steve immediately gets to work, making Jem and the Holograms do some exercises on the beach.  I imagine it's a lot of work, but all the girls seem happy to put forth the effort.

On the other side of the beach, Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer are baking on the beach in deck chairs, with Roxy stuffing herself with Hawaiian food.  You know, with all the food they've eaten, it's a wonder Roxy doesn't gain any weight.  She must have the Jughead Jones gene.

Stormer notices Jem working out and starts to feel like maybe she should do some exercising as well...but she is stopped by a familiar face in ugly swim trunks.  Zipper is here and has he brought some gadgets for them!  Wait, are Zipper and Techrat in cahoots with each other or what?  I'd ask Eric, but he doesn't appear in this episode.

Zipper's first invention is an ordinary looking 10-speed bicycle, which Roxy immediately dismisses as boring and ugly.  But Roxy's new bike has a couple of secrets built into it.  It has a secret spinning wire cutter built into it which can destroy the tires of other bikes who pass by.  As well, it has a speed booster built into it which she can press to zoom ahead of the competition. 

Roxy also discovers that the bike can squirt oil slicks behind her...which causes Zipper to slide and fall on the ground.  Adding insult to injury is the fact that Stormer and Pizzazz laugh at Zipper's misfortune.

Zipper's next invention is for Pizzazz.  It happens to be a pole vault that has a couple of springs built into it for extra height.  Problem is, it works too well, and Pizzazz ends up bouncing right into the top of a palm tree!  It's quite a hilarious scene, especially after Pizzazz asks Zipper if he wants her to build a nest up there!

Stormer's shoes don't seem to work well either.  Like Pizzazz's pole, Stormer's shoes have built in springs that will help her gain more agility.  But Stormer quickly loses control and ends up bouncing halfway across the beach!  To the still think trusting Zipper is a good idea?

Okay, so Zipper is proving to be a terrible coach.  Steve, on the other hand, seems to be doing a great job, and at the moment, he's helping Kimber with her swimming skills so that she can overtake any competition.

But can she overtake a gigantic killer shark that is bearing down on her ready to make her its next meal?

Oh, wait...turns out it's not a shark at all.  Thanks to Steve harpooning it on a jet-ski in an effort to rescue Kimber, the shark explodes.  It's nothing more than a robot.  Whatever it was, it doesn't matter, as Steve makes Kimber swoon all over him just as she had when Jeff Wright saved her from being blown to bits on a movie set.  Kimber has selective memory.

Or, maybe she's just a floozy.  I don't know.

Zipper is not impressed by the scene, as it was he who came up with the robot shark.  Seriously, has Zipper been consulting with Techrat because there is no way a stupid, bumbling dolt like Zipper could come up with something that elaborate.  And once again, the Misfits are eating.  Like, seriously...where do they put it all?  Of course, they lose their appetite when Zipper informs them that they are eating shark stew, but really, a shark is gigantic seafood.  I can't see it being that disgusting.  Then again, I've never eaten shark, and probably never will.

It's now time to join the Misfits and the Holograms at the Battle of the Music Stars, hosted by Don Ho!

Oh, wait.  Make that Don Lo.  Don Ho's evil twin or something.  I wonder if he'll sing a song entitled "Little Balloons"?

Right off the bat, we see a montage of the Misfits cheating and the Holograms getting incredibly suspicious.  Roxy uses her bike of many secrets to knock Shana out of the race by destroying her back tire.  Pizzazz somehow sets a world record in the high jump thanks to her super springy pole.  And Stormer's shoes are no match for Jem and the Holograms in the hurdles event as Stormer easily clears every single one in record time.  The more the Misfits cheat, the more it angers the Holograms.  But to be honest with you, I would call it an even draw, since they technically cheated during the Cassini fashion contest in Italy by using Synergy to bail them out. 

At the end of the first day's events, it's an even tie between the Misfits and the Holograms - which tells me that somehow the Holograms managed to find events that the Misfits could NOT cheat at.  The final events will be held the following day.  But for now, it's time to eat and rejoice at the Hawaiian luau celebration!

That night, it's party time as hula girls take the stage, a huge Hawaiian buffet has been set out, and the stars are shining brightly in the sky. 

Kimber is feeling quite nervous because A) her swimming event is tomorrow, and B) she's falling for her coach.  Of course, Steve takes Kimber aside and tells her not to worry, and how he cares for her, and blah blah blah.  Seriously, Kimber's romances don't interest me.  

Of course, Pizzazz just happens to be in the vicinity, and what we know about Pizzazz is that whenever Kimber's away, she turns into just as much of a floozy as Kimber by throwing herself at every single one of Kimber's love interests.  To Steve's credit, he rebuffs Pizzazz, and sets off to try and find Kimber.  But Pizzazz isn't about to take it.  She locates Zipper and whines to him about how Steve was mean to her and how it was all Kimber's fault, essentially telling him that he needs to do something to put Kimber out of commission.  Oh, why not?  Zipper's already tried to kill her once this episode...what's one more time?

And with that, the Misfits take to the stage to perform.  And, it's about time too...we've gone nearly fourteen minutes without any music whatsoever!

I just wish I had some positive things to say about "We're The Misfits In Hawaii"...but this song is just awful.  First off, with the group singing about contracting tropical diseases, getting attacked by mosquitoes, and having their bodies turn into walking skin cancer displays, it's safe to say that the Misfits won't be filming any travel commercials for the Hawaiian Islands.  And secondly, this video is just shot so...badly.  The animation department must have contracted one of the very diseases the Misfits sang about!  Normally I love Misfits music, but this is easily one of their worst.

And I suppose this sets the stage for Zipper's worst stunt yet.

Of course, before we see that happen, we see two little girls armed with notebooks.  Turns out that both of them are autograph seekers, and after hearing that Jem and the Holograms were at the luau, they thought they could get them to sign their books.  One of the girls, Gisele, spots Kimber walking along the beach and thinks that it's a great chance to get her to sign her book.

But before Gisele can get to Kimber, Zipper gets to her first and physically kidnaps her.  Gisele is hiding out of sight so that Zipper doesn't see her, but she summons up the courage to follow him so that she can get help.

As luck would have it, one of the volcanoes on the island is starting to erupt, and Zipper thinks that leaving Kimber inside of the volcano is the best way to keep her out of the competition, as swimming in molten lava would have a rather negative effect.  I must say, it is a rather unique way to put someone in danger, even though if Kimber becomes a grilled cheese sandwich, Zipper will spend the rest of his life behind bars. 

Gisele, memorizing the location of the volcano, runs back to the party as the guests watch the volcano erupt, and Jem, Shana, Aja, and Steve quickly realize that Kimber has gone missing.  Gisele approaches the group holding her book, and tries to get their attention.  At first, Jem tells her to go away because she doesn't have time to sign her book.  Wow, Jem.  Just wow.  But once Gisele reveals that she knows where Kimber is, the rest of the Holograms follow her to the volcano.

Apparently, they also take Gisele into the erupting volcano with them.  I guess their attitude is, as long as her name isn't Ashley, Ba Nee, or Krissie, they can put her life in danger without any guilt.  How sweet.

The good news is that the group manage to find and rescue Kimber.  The bad news is that the shaking of the ground caused by the lava overflow causes a cave in that blocks their way out.  Surprisingly enough, Jem stays very calm through the whole thing and she calmly takes everyone else out the other side of the mountain without anybody suffering from third degree burns, smoke inhalation, or bad hair days.  Shana and Aja even do a little dance once they leave the volcano.  I know whenever I survive a life-threatening experience, the first thing I want to do is shake my groove thing.

And as Jem sees the sun come up - which means that it took them seven hours to escape the erupting volcano - she is more horrified at the fact that they will miss the second day of the Battle of the Music Stars, and they hurry towards the stadium to beat the Misfits once and for all.  I'm actually kind of wondering where Gisele's parents are and why they aren't concerned that their daughter never came home the night before!

It's just too bad they arrive too late for the swimming event.  Pizzazz takes the gold medal by default.  And, right there this episode annoys me even more.  They spend all this time showing Kimber swimming in this episode, and then in the end she misses the whole event?  It's like, what was the point?  At least on "Degrassi Junior High" they had Melanie win the swimming race even though she suffered a lack of confidence over the fact that she was getting boobs.'s time for the tug-of-war.  The final event of the contest.  Since Jem and the Holograms have an extra member, they decide to sit out Aja.  Um, Aja is the one who has the most strength out of all of you.  And yet you sit her out?  I give up trying to explain the logic here.

As the Misfits and the Holograms yank on the rope, Zipper is cheering from the sidelines, and his voice is so loud that it causes Kimber to do a double take.  When Zipper shouts again, she immediately recognizes Zipper as the man who kidnapped her and tried to burn her alive in the volcano.  Jem and Shana are immediately angered and they take out their anger on the Misfits, sending all three of them into the mud pit below.

Steve also overhears Kimber's accusation and he grabs Zipper and punches him in the nose with such force that he too falls into the mud. 

Jem's performance in the tug-of-war ties things up, but since the contest can only have one winner, it's impossible to make a decision.

At least that is until Zipper is finally put in handcuffs and he sings like a canary about how the Misfits cheated in every single event.  Nice to see Zipper acting like a putz in his final appearance.

Yep, that's right.  In this edition of Jem Trivia, I inform you that this is the last time you'll ever see Zipper on this show.  When Christy Marx was informed that Zipper seemed too much of a one-note villain and was getting some complaints from parents about him being too evil, she decided to axe him and replace him with the creepy Techrat for good.  Which is more evidence that Season 1's episodes aired out of order.  But don't worry about any voice actor losing their job.  Both Zipper and Techrat were voiced by Charlie Adler - the same voice actor behind Eric Raymond.

As Zipper is taken away, Pizzazz scoffs at Zipper's claims that they cheated and asks someone to prove it.

Here comes Gisele carrying a tote bag belonging to the Misfits that contains the spring shoes that Stormer was wearing, along with the other devices that the group used to cheat.

That's all the evidence needed for our Don Ho impersonator to rule that the Misfits have been disqualified for cheating and that the true winners of the Battle of the Music Stars are Jem and the Holograms!  And for once, they didn't resort to cheating to win!  I don't even think Jem even used Synergy once this episode!

To celebrate, the band wins the concert at the Governor's Mansion where their first song is all about winning the right way.

Though, I don't know...I like the concept of "How You Play The Game", and it does have a great message - one that the Holograms can sing with pride and not sound like hypocrites this time around.  But as far as song arrangement goes, I think it could have been a lot better.  It's no fault of Britta Phillips's just the song's musical score sounds off.  But still, it's a good concept.

And Jem and the Holograms have a special surprise for their new friend Gisele.  Because she risked her life to save Kimber's, and because she exposed the cheating scheme of the Misfits, they all made the decision to give her the trophy that they earned!  Kimber even gives Gisele a huge hug!  Now that's better than any autograph!

As Steve and Kimber prepare to say goodbye to each other, Rio surprises Jem on the beach and asks her what happened while he was away.  Oh, the stories that Jem could tell him.

Okay, so after a couple of terrible episodes, Episode 18 sort of takes us back to a more positive spin.  The episode wasn't as well done as previous episodes, but it still provided a great plotline and the ending was quite sweet.  I also appreciated the fact that Eric and Rio took a backseat in this one, as it proved that the Holograms and the Misfits could carry a show on their own.  There were some parts that didn't work - such as the Steve/Kimber fling.  And the music choices for this show were a complete mess.  However, it seems like the show is starting to go back on the upswing.  I can't wait to see what happens on episode 19...let's see...

...Kimber meets a princess who looks like her.  Oh no.  Oh, Sweet Jesus, NO!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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