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Friday, March 17, 2017

Jem Reviewed: Episode 52 - Hollywood Jem: For Your Consideration

We are just two episodes left before we end off season two of Jem Reviewed, and I mentioned in last week's review that Episode 51 should have served as the season finale.  I think it would have been better than the two parter we're about to watch.

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you reading this.  Because of that, the accent colour will be green today.

So, let's go ahead with Episode 52:  Hollywood Jem:  For Your Consideration.

We open the show with the Holograms gathered around a television set waiting for some big news to happen.  What exactly could it be?  Starlight Music starts trading on the stock market?  Misfits Music gets destroyed in an earthquake?  Rio finally finds out who Jem really is?

No, it's even more farfetched than that!  Jem's been nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD!  Um...WHAT?  Okay, at this point in time, Jem's only made one movie.  And, I'm guessing that while "Starbright" was a financial success (it paid for Ba Nee's operation), I don't know if it was really good enough for Jem to get a Best Actress nod.  Though, I suppose if Cher could win an Academy Award for acting, anything is possible.

As part and parcel of the nomination process, Jem and the other nominees are guests on the Harriet Horn Show.  Now, the first two actresses are knockoffs of Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Streep.  Not much to say about either of them, but both are very supportive of Jem.  Not so much for Geraldine Pathos - the seasoned vet who happens to be seated next to Jem.  When Jem reveals she never underwent any formal training for acting, Geraldine essentially calls Jem a phony and a fraud.  And technically, she'd be right, as Jem is really Jerrica Benton.  Just saying.

Of course, Harriet Horn uses this moment to promote her show, and uses the show sponsor of "Cool Trash Magazine" to amp up the feud between Jem and Geraldine. 

But Jerrica doesn't have time to worry about that.  Here's the Countess DuVoisin (who I don't believe we've seen since Episode 12) dropping by Starlight Mansion because she has a huge problem.  Well, okay, Howard Sands has a huge problem and since we've already established that Howard has no balls, he sends the Countess to do his dirty work.  Nice to see Howard Sands is still the same spineless jellyfish that he was in Season 1.

It seems as though Howard Sands is filming some space movie, and his female star - would you believe that her name is Cherries Jubilee? - is opposed to the fact that she has to act alongside a Max Headroom like contraption.  (For you millennials who have no clue what I'm talking about, Max Headroom was a huge figure in pop culture circa 1985 - remind me to do a blog about him someday).  Personally, I'd be more upset that I got stuck with a name like Cherries Jubilee.  Whatever the case, Cherries quits the project.  I'm sure the next time we see her, she'll be the September 1992 centerfold for Playboy Magazine.

However, Cherries' loss is Jem's gain.  Howard finally finds his balls and asks Jem if she'll take the role.  While Jem looks over the script, Kimber moves towards the Max Headroom monitor and realizes that he looks really familiar.  As if the British accent doesn't give it away!  Yes, it's Sean Harrison back for another round of "let's lead Kimber on".  Fortunately, Kimber leaps into Sean's arms.  Huh, maybe Kimber's actually settled down for once.

And there's good news for Howard Sands.  Jem's agreed to star in the picture which causes Raya to give Jem a new nickname.  Hollywood Jem!

Oh, listen...that's what the song is that's being played first.  And does it not sound like it should be used for a commercial?  That's because it was supposed to be.  In this Jem Trivia segment, I can tell you that a Hollywood Jem doll was released right around the time that this episode was aired.  Which is the MAIN reason I don't like this episode.  It's essentially a commercial for Jem dolls.  Of course, one could argue the whole series is a commercial for Jem dolls, but this episode makes it blatantly obvious.

Anyway, after Jem takes the job, it's not long before Jem and the Holograms get an invitation to a fancy party at a director's estate in Beverly Hills.  The director is one Francois Truchet, and he is very much interested in meeting with Jem.  The other Holograms decide that this is the only time that they will be going to a swanky celebrity party, so they accept the invitation.

At this point, I wonder what the Misfits are thinking about all this.  We don't find out because THEY AREN'T IN THESE EPISODES.  Missed opportunity.  I would have loved to have heard a Pizzazz screech.

But there is a lot of Jem and the Holograms.  They arrive at the party along with Rio and Sean, and they are immediately mesmerized by all of the celebrities such as Flint Westwood and Michael J. Badger.  Because those names sound MUCH better than Clint Eastwood and Michael J. Fox.  Kimber begs Sean to introduce her to them because apparently Sean Harrison has about as much clout to Hollywood royalty as George Clooney.  Or, would that be Jorge Clooney in this episode?

While Sean and Kimber are mingling with the Hollywood elite, Jem and Rio have finally met up with Francois.  It appears as though Francois is very pleased that Jem has been nominated for an Oscar and he has decided that he wants to cast Jem in his next picture!  Okay, so when did Jem become this high powered actress?  I don't understand this.  Of course, Francois becomes angry when Jem refuses, saying that she has already made a commitment to finish Howard Sands' movie.  He storms off, and Jem makes the decision to stay and enjoy the party...

...after all, Kimber and Sean appear to be enjoying the hot tub...fully clothed.  Oh, you crazy kids.

The fun stops though when Raya gets Jem's attention and tells her that Francois is now talking heavy duty smack against Jem.  Boy, he sure holds a grudge doesn't he? 

When Jem and company arrive, Francois is on one of those pool chairs that float in the pool, telling the press about how Jem's an idiot for turning him down and how she wouldn't be able to be a star without him.  Rio grabs Francois by the jacket, gives off his "I hate deception" speech that he performs at least twice a season, and tosses the French director into the pool!  I'm guessing this party had no plants - otherwise, Rio would have thrown one of those at his head.  And surprisingly enough, Jem approves!

Not so much for Francois, who screeches at Jem that he will ruin her career!  I think we have our plot point for Part II!

While all this is going on, Kimber and Sean decide to sneak away from the party and go walking along the beach.  It's painfully obvious that the way they have featured Sean and Kimber that they're supposed to be endgame.

I mean, just listen to the song "You Already Know".  You already know that Sean and Kimber are fated to be together just like Aja and Craig, and Shana and Anthony, and Eric Raymond and his money.  As if we need a song to remind us of that fact.  It's a nice song though.

Now here's where we get conflict.  Sean is so infatuated by Kimber that he wants to make a commitment.  But Sean's idea of commitment is "let's go steady and you can wear my class ring".  Kimber misinterprets this as "let's get married RIGHT NOW!"  Sean does his best to try and smooth things over and explain himself, but the way he does it crushes Kimber's heart and she practically bursts into tears right there.  

As if Kimber hasn't suffered enough humiliation, she waltzes home at three in the morning and Jerrica scolds her for being out past curfew!  One, Kimber's presumably eighteen and can stay out as late as she wants.  And two, you can't even be bothered to spend time with your own foster girls because you're too busy trying to win your alter-ego an Oscar.  Just shut up, Jerrica.

The next day, everyone is gathered around to watch a stunt being performed.  According to the description that Rio gives of the stunt, it's too dangerous for Sean to perform himself, so he has a stunt double - much to Sean's delight.

Kimber arrives late to the shoot, but she stands with the others as Sean's stunt driver begins the dangerous stunt.  But something peculiar happens when the stunt driver takes one look at Kimber and crashes the car into a nearby hay bale! 

It's not until we see him pull off his helmet that we understand why that is.  The stunt driver is Jeff Wright - the guy whose last appearance was as a dark haired man sailing through a window fighting with another man over Kimber!  You know, that was the incident that sparked Rio's plant kicking hobby.  Given that he's supposed to be Sean's stunt driver, I'm surprised they let him go back to being light haired.

Of course, Jeff and Kimber are initially thrilled to see each other, and it's not hard to tell that Jeff still has feelings for Kimber.  But when Kimber tells Jeff that she's hanging around Sean, Jeff gets angry again and calls Kimber everything but a two-bit whore before storming away.  That...escalated quickly.

Rio watches the whole thing unfold and actually goes up to Kimber to give her advice!  Um, the last time you gave her advice, you screamed in her face and caused Kimber to run away bawling.  But this time around, I'm happy to say that Kimber's gained a lot of edge since that time, and when Rio encourages Kimber to make a choice between Sean and Jeff, Kimber snaps back that it's hard for her to take him seriously when he can't decide between Jem and Jerrica!  Oh, snap!  I bet she got that snark from Stormer!

Kimber does make the decision to help Sean with the lyrics for the soundtrack music though - a gesture which Sean does appreciate.

But just before Sean and Kimber can start...ahem...making beautiful music together, Jeff decides that now would be a good time to jump off a building.  Good lord, is he THAT upset over Kimber?

I don't know about that, but judging by this screenshot, Kimber looks far from impressed!

Relax.  Jeff doesn't succumb to the temptation of suicide.  As if a kid's show would actually show one of those.  It's all a designed stunt as he lands safely on an inflatable mat on the ground. 

Kimber tries to speak to Jeff, but Jeff continues to give Kimber the cold shoulder as we hear the third and final song of the show.  This one is one that we heard all the way back in Episode 4 - "Too Close".  This is one of those rare songs that have a second meaning.  In the original use, it's all about how Jem and the Holograms manage to make it to a concert despite sabotage by the Misfits.  This time, it's a great song to illustrate the tension between Jeff and Kimber.  It's done quite effectively too, I must admit.

Kimber heads over to Jeff's trailer and she tries to have a talk with him.  But Jeff is still too angry and actually throws a can of soda at her!  Okay, what is it with the Benton women and hot-headed men?

Kimber asks if there's anything that she can do to make him not mad at her anymore, and Jeff practically proposes to her right there and then.  Say what?!?  And judging by Kimber's gooney bird look in this frame, I think she accepts!  Now, to us watching at home, it's painfully obvious that Kimber is only taking Jeff's marriage proposal because she's hurt that Sean wouldn't commit as fast as she wanted to.  But Kimber doesn't even seem to recognize that, and just like that, she's already planning a wedding!  Now you understand why I don't care for this episode!

But wait...maybe Jerrica can talk some sense into her.  She certainly tries.  She tells Kimber that she's way too young to get married (and given Kimber's track record with men, I totally agree with her).  But Kimber's temper is about the same colour as her hair and she essentially tells Jerrica that she WILL marry Jeff and that she WILL get out from under Jerrica's suffocating thumb.  And with that, Kimber storms out of the house leaving Jerrica shaking her head in disgust.

But what Kimber doesn't realize is that Sean has really taken Kimber's words about commitment to heart.  He's at a jewelry store picking out an engagement ring for Kimber!  Oh, you can see the heartbreak coming from a mile away.  And when the hell did this turn into an animated episode of "The Young and the Restless"?  Seriously, this is a storyline for Victor and Nikki, not a bunch of emotionally flawed cartoon characters!

Back at the movie studios, Sean tries to pull Kimber aside so that he can pop the question, and for a minute there I almost believe that he'll succeed.  Too bad Jeff decides at this moment to pretend he's Tarzan and glides down towards the two on a rope.  He grabs Kimber (I mean literally grabs her) and takes her away from Sean! 

And heartbroken Sean can only watch from above as Jeff gets down on one knee, asks Kimber for her hand in marriage, and Kimber accepts.  

But now here's where things get really screwed up.  After Kimber accepts the proposal, she immediately runs to Sean and asks for his opinion!  Okay, seriously, what do you expect?  That he'd be happy?  That he'd be sad?  That he'd take a machete to Jeff and propose marriage to you over his decapitated corpse?  This is what Jerrica means when she thinks you're too young to get married!  Fortunately, Sean does give his blessing to Kimber and heads off towards his trailer.

Though it kind of ruins the moment when Sean passes by Jem doing a scene rehearsal and you really get to understand just how HORRIBLE an actress Jem is.  Seriously, Tara Reid could emote more emotion than Jem!  I'm thinking maybe Geraldine Pathos may have a point.

Of course, the end scene shows Sean throwing the ring he just bought for Kimber in the trash and him breaking down as the three words TO BE CONTINUED pop up.  What?  You were expecting them to be I LOVE YOU?

Tune in next week for the season two finale of Jem Reviewed, where we learn if Kimber gets married, if Jem wins an Oscar, and if Rio will kick another plant or two.  And coming up on Monday, March 27, I will have the Season 2 recap posted in case you missed any episodes.  And on Friday, March 31, we're going to be entering the Season 3 episode guide.   

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