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Friday, October 07, 2016

Jem Reviewed: Episode 29 - Scandal

First things first, everyone who is in the path of Hurricane Matthew (I swear, I wasn't responsible for this one), please take cover and stay safe.  

Now, let's go ahead with Jem ReviewedLast week, we welcomed Raya to the Holograms and Jetta to the Misfits.  Now that both bands are complete, let's see what their first adventure will be.

This is Episode 29: Scandal.  Sounds...scandalous.

As the episode begins, Jem and the Holograms are on their way to Venice Beach.  The reason why they are going is to do an interview with Channel 82's Terry Stone and Connie Long.  On the way to the beach, they pass a giant billboard advertising The Harriet Horn Show.  Harriet Horn is basically your Joan Rivers knockoff, whose talk show boasts that she has the best celebrity barbecues.  Oh, so she's a woman who went out searching for celebrity scandals long before TMZ existed.  I wonder if we'll see her appear on this episode.  Hmmmm...

Well, we've no time for that now.  For the Holograms, they've been down this interview road before, but Raya is legitimately nervous as this is her very first one since joining Jem and the Holograms.  She's very concerned that she will screw the whole thing up, but everyone in the group tells her that if she shows her true personality, she'll come out a winner.  Sounds to me like Raya needs a song to cheer her up.

Now, when "She Makes an Impression" was first used in Episode 13, it was set to a bunch of junior high girls trying on ugly clothes.  This time around, the show uses it MUCH better.  And, hey, Raya's absolutely cute as a button in this video.  Major improvement!

So when Jem and the Holograms arrive at Venice Beach, they are told that they will be interviewed right after Terry and Connie are finished with Sean Harrison.  Wait...why does that name sound familiar?

Oh, that's right.  Sean was one of Kimber's many flings from Season 1.  The guy that Kimber met at the World Hunger Shindig that had the fakest British accent one could muster up.  Seriously, even Madonna could out-Brit Sean Harrison.

Oh, and the reason why Sean's back in town?  He's performing with his band at some event called the Roller Rock Out, and he's on the show to promote the event.  Raya is intrigued by Kimber actually knowing a celebrity like Sean, but Kimber's like, yeah, I know him.  I guess that's to be expected since she dated like fourteen different men in between Episode 9 and 29.

So, Sean's getting interviewed by Connie and Terry, and I can't shake the feeling that I know the person who is voicing Terry.  Let me Google it for hopes of adding some Jem Trivia to the mix.  Ah, yes, that's why he sounded familiar.  He's voiced by Rob Paulsen, who also worked on "Animaniacs", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", and "Pinky and the Brain"!  He must have been doing Jem episodes around the same time he was doing "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".

Of course, we can't have a television interview without the Misfits storming the beach demanding their fifteen minutes of fame.  And, of course, Connie is extremely annoyed by their presence.  Sean is still just as turned off by Pizzazz as he was twenty shows ago, and he cuts the interview short.  Terry asks Pizzazz out on a date.  Gee, I wonder which one grew up to work at TMZ in their fifties?  I'm guessing not Connie.

Sean seems to be more interested in Kimber anyway.  And it appears as though Kimber has a diary that she writes in.  She explains to Sean that her diary is where some of her best ideas come out, and she does use it as her own personal songbook.  Ah, so, Kimber seems to be the person who writes most of the Holograms songs.  That's a neat fact.  I'm surprised Jem and the Holograms haven't had a hit with "Too Many Men in the World".  But Sean is quite impressed with Kimber's talents, and he asks her something very important.

If you think that Sean's going to propose to Kimber, you'd be wrong.  But he does ask Kimber to write a song for him and his band, which she happily accepts.  After all, it's been three episodes since she's had a date!

In fact, Kimber is so distracted by the power of Sean that she doesn't hear Jem and the others calling her to the beach for the interview.  Kimber leaves in such a rush that she accidentally leaves her diary on the bench she was sitting on - and Jetta happens to grab it.  This definitely doesn't bode well for our flame haired songbird.  But for now, let's see how the Jem interview goes.

Turns out Raya doesn't have anything to worry about.  Terry and Connie only ask her one question.  Not much of an interview, but Raya comes across as charming in her five word response.  Terry tries to turn the interview around by asking Kimber about any tension within the band, but Kimber scoffs at that comment, saying that there's no way that their band could ever be considered gossip material.  Well, aside from the time they cheated at the Glitter and Gold contest.  Or the time they had three of their foster girls run away from home.  Or the time that they let one of their foster girls nearly get eaten by a bear...

Anyway, the Misfits are watching the interview on television and they are completely upset that the show cut out their whole appearance on television.  Because I know that when someone interrupts my interview and barges on the show without being an invited guest, that makes me want to air everything on television!  

Jetta doesn't seem to be as upset as the others though.  It seems as though she has leafed through Kimber's diary and made remarks about all of the Misfits that aren't very nice.  For instance, she thinks Pizzazz is spoiled and that Roxy is ignorant.  Now, these seem to be minor things, but Pizzazz and Roxy's reactions make it out to be like Pizzazz is a prostitute and that Roxy is addicted to crack.  Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of nasty stuff about Stormer - but then again, Stormer IS the nice Misfit.   Pizzazz also leafs through the diary (Roxy refuses, saying it's not worth her time), and discovers that Kimber has been trash talking Jem and the others!  And this gives Pizzazz a rather wicked idea.

At the place where Jem and the Holograms are staying, Raya receives a message from a bellhop.  There are messages for Jerrica, Aja, Shana, and Kimber.  Interestingly, Raya doesn't get one.  I wonder why that is? 

I think we find out why when Aja and Shana start reading theirs.  Aja's is a page from Kimber's diary, stating that Kimber thinks her cold as ice personality makes her wonder if Aja's got any feelings.  Shana's is also a page from Kimber's diary, stating that Kimber gets so annoyed by Shana being so uber-sensitive.  Jerrica opens up her envelope and it's another diary entry where Kimber wishes that Jem was her sister instead of Jerrica.  Well, she kinda is.

Ah, so the Misfits photocopied or ripped pages out of Kimber's diary and sent it to them so that they get so upset they kick her out of the band.  It also explains why Raya never got one because she's only been a Hologram for all of twelve seconds.

Kimber is choking down humble pie by the spoonful, and is embarrassed at what she said, but unlike the Misfits, the Holograms have no hard feelings.  Besides, it's not like Kimber called them all whores or anything.

Kimber's message is more direct.  It's a message explaining that a tabloid magazine called Cool Trash Magazine has the diary.  Oh, I see...the Misfits think that by giving Kimber's diary to the magazine that it'll create a scandal.  The problem is that Kimber's trash talking is...well...bland.

Nevertheless, Kimber and her band go directly to Cool Trash Magazine to settle things with the editor, Pit Slurman.  What a name, huh?  Jerrica, Aja, Shana, and Raya disguise themselves as a team of lawyers willing to represent Kimber.  Interestingly enough, Shana seems to be carrying a typewriter with her - which is kind of awkward, even by 1987 standards!  But whatever Kimber and the others does works, and Kimber takes back her diary.  That was easy.  A little too easy.

Yep, sure enough, Roxy is hiding in Pit's office armed with a bunch of diary pages ripped out of Kimber's diary.  Roxy says that all he needs is the "dirt".  Unless there's some story involving Kimber, a monkey, and a turkey baster, I question how much dirt is really in Kimber's diary of cleanliness.

Seems as though the Misfits have also sabotaged Jem's car while they were meeting with Pit Slurman.  The Rockin' Roadster has a flat tire.  And Roxy and Pit remark that they're on their way to meet up with Sean Harrison.  I'm more distracted by the fact that the Holograms are standing in front of a building that supposedly sells LSD as if it's a legal substance!  But, Kimber doesn't notice this little fact as she realizes that she was supposed to meet Sean for dinner an hour ago!  Whoops!

It's time for phase two of the Misfits plan.  Once again, Stormer seems to be out of the loop - which tells me that she wants nothing to do with hurting Kimber.  Interesting.  But Jetta and Pizzazz are there, and they manage to create a photo opportunity with Sean in front of Pit Slurman.  Pit then grabs his tape recorder and tries to interview him about his relationship with Kimber - but all Sean does is praise Kimber while putting down Pizzazz.  Sean leaves the restaurant to try and find Kimber.  Too bad...he misses the part where Pit manipulates the tape so that Sean appears to be trash talking Kimber and rebuffing her advances.  It's sneaky...but not really scandalous.  And I've read the National Enquirer.

Kimber does try to call Sean at the restaurant to explain what happened, but Jetta picks up the phone and makes out that Sean left in a huff.  Kimber's disappointment glows almost as brightly as her hair.

And to rub salt in Kimber's already festering heart, another letter arrives for Kimber just before the band is set to leave for the Roller Rock Off.  This time, it's the Polaroid picture of Pizzazz and Jetta hamming it up with Sean even though you can clearly tell that Sean's smile is as fake as his accent.  Kimber decides to believe in Sean though, and shreds the picture into a dozen pieces.  Wow...Kimber's showing a little more maturity this time around.  I'm impressed.

Okay, so it appears as though the Roller Rock Out combines roller skating with rock music - which back in the 1980s was a legitimately radical idea, dude.  Seriously, it seems to be a huge hit, and we ALMOST hear Sean's band perform.  It's just too bad that we don't actually hear Sean singing.  I would have liked to have known if he sang with a fake accent too.

What we do hear is a bunch of people circling around Harriet Horn informing her that Kimber's got some scandalous secret buzzing around her.  Oh, this can't be good for Kimber at all.

And, I don't think it can be good when the Misfits crash the Roller Rock Out to out Kimber's scandal once and for all - in song.

The thing is - as much as I hate to admit it - "I Love a Scandal" is one bad-ass song!  Sure, the subject matter and lyrics are essentially a love letter to the paparazzi, but the song's arrangement and beat make it one awesome hit!  Heck, the Misfits could record a song using lines found in a Strawberry Shortcake movie, and still turn it into a killer song!

And, it's here where the scandal breaks.  How Kimber Benton, keyboardist and songwriter of Jem and the Holograms, threw herself over teen heartthrob Sean Harrison, who kicked her to the curb for Pizzazz.

Um...THAT'S YOUR SCANDAL?  Seriously?  That's so lame!  No, a scandal would be if Sean was actually from Hoboken, New Jersey.  A scandal would be if Aja clubbed Raya over the head and buried her body in the backyard so that Craig Phillips could be their new drummer.  Heck, I'll say it.  Jem being Jerrica Benton would be the ultimate scandal!  But Kimber getting rejected by a guy?  That's not a scandal!  That's every second Wednesday for her!!!

It's enough for Kimber to roll out of the building and nearly get run over by a bus though.  And they say SHANA'S the sensitive one?

Back at the Roller Rock Out, Harriet Horn congratulates the Misfits on creating "one heck of a scandal".  I think at this point you could open up Webster's Dictionary to the S section and throw it at Harriet's head and she STILL wouldn't know the definition of the word scandal.  But whatever the case, Harriet decides that she will invite the Misfits on her show to find out more about this scandal that they created.  And she wants Jem and the Holograms to tell their side as well - though the Misfits are certain that Kimber will take a pass.

After crying in the rain - as opposed to the Neil Sedaka hit "Laughter in the Rain", Kimber heads back to Starlight Mansion where somehow she's lost her skates and got on a bus barefoot.  Maybe she sold them to get bus fare...I don't know.  The point is that Ashley notices Kimber come in and Ashley lets the Holograms know that Kimber's arrived safe and sound.

But Kimber's most definitely not okay.  She wakes up with a scream as she remembers all of the drama that happened at the Roller Rock Out, and she decides that she needs to talk to someone else.  But since Jem and the others are still at a hotel, Kimber decides to pay Synergy a visit, and demands that she make her over into someone who was tough and never got hurt by anybody.

Synergy obliges and turns Kimber into somebody who has raided the wardrobes of Cyndi Lauper, Lita Ford, and Wendy O. Williams.  Synergy also asks if this is a phase that Kimber is going through.  Wow, not even the supercomputer takes her seriously!  That has to hurt!  Synergy reminds Kimber that her father would have wanted Kimber to be strong, which prompts Kimber to lash out - demanding to know how Synergy could ever know what her father was thinking.  Um, Kimber...your dad CREATED Synergy!  That's how Synergy would know!

Synergy proceeds to show Kimber a collage of happy moments that included her playing with butterflies, being a neglectful pet owner, and playing the guitar.

And she shows Kimber a sad moment in which she sings a song, everyone boos her, she cries, and gets a hug from her father, telling her that she should "be true to herself, believe in her song, and give the audience a chance".

Kimber gets so emotional about those words that she decides that she would rather be herself, and after changing back into Kimber Benton, she comes up with the idea for a song that might turn everything around.  Having nothing to write on, she grabs a lid from a shoebox and pens a song right there and then.

The following morning, Raya walks through the holographic wall protecting Synergy and finds Kimber passed out on the floor.  Kimber wakes up after Raya taps her, and announces that she doesn't want to be late for the show.  Raya explains that they have it covered and Kimber doesn't have to attend, but Kimber insists, bringing her shoebox lid song with her.  So help me, if she brings that shoebox lid on the Harriet Horn Show, I'm gonna scream.

As the Harriet Horn Show progresses, the Misfits are already on the show trash talking the Holograms - in particular, Kimber - to Harriet.  And I get the feeling that Harriet is somewhat bored with the crew.  She actually welcomes the fact that Jem and the Holograms have decided to entertain the crowd with a song - the song that Kimber wrote on that shoebox lid.

The song is "Dear Diary", and well...I guess it does what it was supposed to do - illustrate the importance of Kimber's diary and how she felt violated that the Misfits took it and shared all of her secrets.  But the song itself isn't that memorable.  Kimber probably shouldn't have written that song at 3:14am.

Harriet has another surprise though.  Sean Harrison is her surprise special guest and he has a lot to say.  First things first, Sean completely rebuffs Pizzazz's story that he doesn't care about Kimber.  The truth is that he cares about her a lot and he genuinely wants Kimber to write a song for him because he believes in her and her talent.  If I didn't know any better, I'd say that Sean's feelings for Kimber are quite genuine.

So are Pizzazz's feelings of rage for not only having been rejected by Sean again, but how her plan to trash Kimber completely boomeranged on her.  I think Pizzazz gets so rowdy that Harriet probably gets her Steve Wilkos like bodyguard to escort her off the set!

So, it appears as though Kimber gets a happy ending.  She says yes to Sean, and she spends the last minute of the show hugging her diary, and calling it her old friend.

Okay, so my summary of Scandal is this.  To be completely honest, I can totally get where Kimber is coming from.  While I do use this space to share pop culture tidbits and some personal tales...I don't share everything.  I too keep a diary that is even more secret than this one, and there are some things that only a select few know about me.  So, if someone were to take my thoughts and twist them around to humiliate or hurt me, I would feel violated too.  And while "Dear Diary" will never be my favourite Jem song, I do understand why Kimber wrote it.

But can we just say that this scandal was hardly a scandal?  Seriously, Jem writers.  It's been almost 30 years.  I hope you would know what a scandal is by now!  Heck, the Kardashajenner's have redefined that word the last couple of years!

Next week, Jem goes crazy.  See, now THAT'S a scandal!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love how in this episode Jetta says to Roxy "You should read what she says about you"...
    And Roxy's like "I wouldn't waste my time".
    Very clever.
    Roxy declines because she can't read.
    And we don't officially find that out until later in the season.
    Good continuity.