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Friday, October 14, 2016

Jem Reviewed: Episode 30 - One Jem Too Many

On last week's episode of Jem Reviewed, Kimber caused a scandal...which really wasn't a scandal, but they said it was so it must be so!

Let's have a look at today's episode - Episode 30: One Jem Too Many.  Oh, why do I get the feeling that this is going to be another doppelganger episode?  We already had one last season that was horrible!

I'm only assuming that the subject of this episode is Jem, but we have to watch Jerrica instead losing her mind over the fact that Terri and Marianne have smashed one of her windows and they appear to be trying to smash each other up in their fury.  Jerrica will have none of this and tells both girls that if they don't shut up, there will be no more Lindsey Pearce shows, no more free vacations, and no more Honor Jar.  I think they get the message.

When Jerrica is later talking to the other Holograms, we get to understand why Jerrica is such a crab apple this episode.  Starlight Music's quarterly tax returns are due soon and she has decided that she would rather balance the books than go shopping at Forever 21 or whatever stores twentysomethings shopped at in the late 1980s.  So the others leave her behind.

At some point, Jerrica decides that she needs a break from doing her taxes and comes up with the random suggestion of singing and recording a song.  I certainly hope she's not going to sing a Schoolhouse Rock song.  Not even Britta Phillips could pull off "Conjunction Junction".

For what it's worth, the song that Jerrica does sing - "Imagine Me" -  is quite good.  I think in a way, it's the perfect song that illustrates the stress that she goes through - trying to run Starlight Music, taking care of twelve foster children, having Kimber as a sister - and then there's the whole Jem thing.

In fact, Jerrica is so into the song that when she finishes it, she almost doesn't notice Rio coming into the studio.  And Rio exclaimed that he thought he heard Jem singing.  Oh, but don't worry...Jerrica happily tells Rio that he was merely listening to a playback of a song that Jem had recorded earlier because she hasn't told Rio the truth yet...why should she start now?  Oh, Jerrica, you're so pathetic.  The only other thing of note is that Rio asks Jerrica to go to lunch with him, but Jerrica flat out refuses because she's much happier pulling her hair out with tax forms than dining on chicken tetrazzini with her man.  So, Rio leaves, presumably to go to the nearest McDonald's to grab some Chicken McNuggets in honour of Jerrica.

But before he can get a chance to ask if he would want fries with those McNuggets, Jem shows up out of the blue.  That's...odd.  But Rio is delighted to have Jem come with him as he won't have to eat alone.

The place where Rio wants to take Jem is a place inside the Fashion Mall - or "Fashon Mall".  I guess they never bothered to put up an "I" after the last earthquake.  Jem is excited that Rio is taking her to the Red Rock Cafe - the mall's best fine dining area.  But once they get inside the restaurant, Jem turns on her bitch switch and immediately begins insulting the wait staff and being incredibly demanding - which totally turns Rio off. 

In fact, Rio wants to leave the restaurant right away, but Jem's all "LIKE FUDGE WE WILL".  Seriously, that's what she says.  And in order to get the best table, she grabs the soup bowl of a customer sitting at the table and pours it all over his head!  Now that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

A paparazzi happens to be in the restaurant and snaps a photo of Jem's meltdown which causes Jem to take the guy's camera and throw it through the window!

At this point, the staff of the Red Rock Cafe physically throw Jem out and Jem goes into such a tirade that she calls Rio a flunky!  I'm like...YES!  FINALLY!  She gets what a leech he is!  And after Rio storms off towards McDonald's, another man approaches her and asks her if she'll stop by his record store to sign some autographs.  Jem gets a sick smile on her face as she ever so sweetly agrees.

In another part of the mall, Kimber, Aja, Shana, and Raya have shopped until they are ready to drop.  But just as they are about to leave, a stray record comes flying at them!  After they recover from the shock and irony of nearly being decapitated by one of their own records, they rush to a record store where they get the shock of a lifetime.

Looks like Jem's not content with destroying one store.  She's now inside the record store smashing every single one in response to the fact that the record store admitted that they made a deal with Starlight Music to lower the prices on any Holograms albums so that more fans could buy them.  And when Kimber tries to intervene, Jem tells her to BUG OFF.  Tsk. tsk.  Such language.

It's time to find out what's going on.  And as Jerrica is finishing up the last of the tax returns, Rio arrives and tells her all about Jem's meltdown at the Red Rock Cafe - a fact that stuns Jerrica.  She claims that Rio's mistaken and that Jem going nuts at the record store is an impossibility.  But when Rio leaves to mail Jerrica's tax returns, the rest of the Holograms get angry at Jerrica over Jem's explosion at the record store, which causes Jerrica to ask if all of them are on drugs.  Well, okay, she doesn't ask that, but she wonders what is going on.

Aja suggests that Jerrica has been working too hard and that she go with them tomorrow to the music trade show.  Jerrica agrees to attend the show and is legitimately having a good time.  But Aja, Kimber, Raya, and Shana are concerned that Jerrica could turn into evil Jem at any moment, so they try to keep an eye on her.

Needless to say, it doesn't work.  Jerrica goes out of sight and evil Jem is seen destroying music displays.  The other Holograms give chase to the evil Jem, but only run into Jerrica who tells them that she went past her.  At this point, all of them are confused, and Raya makes the remark that she keeps changing back and forth. 

Even Jerrica seems to lose it when she runs into a cleaning lady who tells them that she never saw Jem despite the fact that Jerrica saw her pass by.  This is getting incredibly weird.  What is going on?

Well, it seems as though Jem's reputation is sinking due to the reports of Crazy Jem on the loose.  Cool Trash Magazine even has it on their front page.  See, now THAT'S a scandal.  But Jerrica is wondering what the heck is happening.

Would you believe that as Jerrica and the others are watching television that they see Jem arriving at a live movie premiere where she is attacking the stars of the movie with buckets of popcorn?  This causes the other Holograms to tell Jerrica that they were sorry.  Ouch...that must really sting for Jerrica knowing that her own bandmates didn't believe her! 

The other Holograms think that Jem should issue a statement about the recent events, but Jerrica doesn't think it would fly.  Not only would people not believe her, but they risk having the Jem imposter disappear.  Jerrica thinks the best way to handle this is to lure the Jem imposter out in the open and expose her in public.  The only problem is that they have no idea who is responsible for Crazy Jem.  Okay, seriously...there's only one possibility.

Told you the Misfits were responsible. 

And who better than to play the role of fake Jem than the master of disguise herself, Clash?  Seriously, it's a shame that Clash is a villain because she really does have immense talent for costumes.  She'd make a great costume designer...or at the very least, a costume consultant at Value Village.

To celebrate the fact that the Misfits and Clash have damaged Jem's reputation, they have a song to sing about it.

It's just a shame that it's a repeat of a previous hit.  Nothing against the song "Congratulations" - which first appeared in Episode 7 - I was sort of hoping for a new hit by them this time around.  We're already four episodes into season 2 and the Misfits have only had two new songs in comparison with Jem's five.

Anyway, for some reason, Pizzazz and Clash seem to have an idea as to where Jem and the Holograms next concert is going to be, and it gives both of them an idea to really cause trouble. 

And for the first time in this blog, instead of posting a dozen photos, I thought that I'd post a video clip of the dastardly plan that the Misfits have cooked up for Jem.

So, to summarize, Fake Jem arrives on the set of the concert that Real Jem and the Holograms will be taking part in.  Dumb as a post Rio notices both Jems and alerts everyone that there is a Jem imposter.  Real Jem confronts Fake Jem, but Fake Jem gets away by activating a castle prop that nearly kills Jem, Raya, and Danse.  Fake Jem steals Jem's car, but Rio and the others give chase in a van.  With Eric and Techrat sabotaging the tugboat that is just behind the one that Fake Jem drives onto, Jem and the Holograms realize that Eric is the one behind the fake Jem and now they're trapped on an out of control tugboat.  Got all that?

Ah, but wait!  Jem has found an axe!  And I don't mean a bass guitar either.  I mean an axe!  She orders everyone on board (the Holograms, Danse, and Rio) to chop up whatever wood they can so that they can build a raft.  This episode is almost as contrived as the other doppelganger episode but somehow I like this one mainly because psycho Jem is entertaining to watch.

And speaking of psycho Jem, she's causing a whole lot of trouble.  She is so rude to the stage people that they almost want to cause a mutiny, she throws plates of food across the room because they happen to be an hour old, and she even turns on her friends, the Misfits, and orders them around.  Seems like being Jem has made Clash a little bit of a diva.

Meanwhile, Rio is shoveling up spoonfuls of humble pie as he tells Jem how sorry he is that he couldn't tell the difference between the real Jem and the fake Jem.  And Jem's like, "it's okay, Rio.  You can't tell the difference between the real Jem and the real Jerrica either, so I expected nothing more from you."  Well, okay, she didn't exactly SAY it...but you know she was thinking it.

Luckily for us, their moment of tenderness is interrupted by the fact that their raft is coming apart at the seams.  One by one, all of the people on the raft fall into the ocean and drown.  The end.

Just kidding.  All seven people swim to shore.  I guess they all learned their lesson when they were stranded on that deserted island ten episodes ago - well, all except Raya and Danse who weren't in that episode.  The good news is that they have all made it to shore.  The bad news is that they have no idea where they are.  And with their concert set to start in an hour from now, Jem is worried that they won't make it back to the concert in time before fake Jem has the most epic of meltdowns.

They spot a truck driving down the highway and Jem decides to try and stop the truck knowing full well that because nough people hate her as a result of Fake Jem, she could end up being pink haired roadkill.

Inside the truck is a little girl and her father who appears to be a vegetable farmer.  And the little girl is like, "Look, daddy!  Hitchhikers!  Let's give them a ride, pretty please?"  The dad shakes his head and says "Forget it...this one's so crazy she's liable to shave her head and attack us with a beach umbrella twenty years from now."

To Jem's relief, the little girl denounces her father's claims and believes with all her heart that Jem is innocent.  Jem promises her that she will give them free tickets, backstage passes, all their albums, and a pony if they'll give them a ride to their own concert.  Okay, she just promises them free tickets.  Still, that's good enough for the dad to give them all a ride.

At the concert, it's a full house!  I guess despite the negative publicity that has happened with Jem courtesy of Clash and the Misfits, Jem still has her loyal fans.  But Clash is determined to get rid of every single one of them.  Problem is, the crowd is getting restless and she is wondering if she should go out to greet them.  Eric tells her to wait a minute, for the longer she keeps them waiting, the angrier they'll be.  Of course, what Eric doesn't realize is that the real Jem is fast approaching, but we'll wait and see what happens.

By the time fake Jem comes on stage, she's going on a rant about how all her fans want to do is take from her, and how she's going to do the taking now.  I'm more impressed by the fact that Clash has found a way to mimic Jem's speaking voice perfectly.  She's like the female Rich Little!

Of course, Clash never gets to finish her soliloquy as Fake Jem as Real Jem comes storming the stage and demanding to know what the hell she is doing.  Of course, both Real Jem and Fake Jem make the statement that they are the real deal, and the audience is left extremely confused and Jem is left extremely frustrated...

...until she comes up with a sure fire way to tell the two apart.  Real Jem simply asks Fake Jem to sing one of her songs.  And right then and there, the hearts of all of the Misfits drop as Clash makes the decision to sing the song "I Believe in Happy Endings".

I only wish I had a sound clip of that performance.  Needless to say, it's pretty awful.  You can tell that Samantha Newark was doing the singing in that scene.  Funny thing is, in this week's edition of Jem Trivia, Samantha Newark has proven that she can sing a lot better than that.  Don't believe me?  Here's proof below!

Not bad, huh?  I mean, the song itself is a cheesy retrospect of her Jem days, but for a singing voice, it's pretty decent.

At this point, the fans raid the truck of the vegetable farmer and start throwing tomatoes at the Fake Jem!  Amusingly, the dad gets pissed at the crowd for ruining his veggies until Rio tells him that they'll pay for all the damage.  I guess it's the least they can do.

And when one tomato smacks Clash hard in the head, it causes her to remove her Jem mask.  The jig is up, and the Misfits try to escape - but first they have to deal with the stage crew they abused prior to the concert.  I love it when the baddies get their just desserts.

And with the Real Jem back on the stage, it's time for the most ironic song to have ever played on this series so far.

I'll admit that stylistically, "The Real Me" is epic.  It's a product of its time, of course, but it's very well done.  But, my problem with this song is that Jem sings about how Clash was NOT the real her, and how she tricked others into believing lies caused by Clash.  The only thing is...JEM'S NOT THE REAL YOU EITHER!!!  For Jem to be singing about falseness and fakery when she's essentially built a career out of falseness and fakery for two whole years - it's just plain irony.

So, we've had yet another doppelganger episode, and to be honest, there were some parts I strongly disliked...but I think the saving grace was psycho Jem.  She was comedy gold!

Next week - the episode that launched a thousand lesbian fan fics.  And no, I'm not kidding either.

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