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Friday, May 12, 2017

Jem Reviewed: Episode 60 - The Day The Music Died

Since everybody lost their ever lovin' minds on the last episode of Jem Reviewed, I'm seriously hoping that this episode coming up is more normal.  After all, it is the sixtieth episode of the series.  I'm sure they have something special planned.

All we have to do is get through the lame "Me and my friends are Jem Girls" opening that they've used since the middle of Season 2.  I hate that opening.  "Truly Outrageous" was a much better song.  This one seems like one used for a Hasbro commercial, and...

...okay, why is the film breaking?  Why are we seeing lots of weird cut scenes?  Why is Kimber crying?  Wait...Kimber announces that there won't be a show today.  Oh, okay, I'll just take a break for this week.  No, wait.  There is a show, it's just that Jem, nor Jerrica will be there.  According to Kimber's tone, it appears as though she died...and it's all Kimber's fault!  Whoa, I knew Kimber was jealous of Jem, but to kill her off?  That's cold, Kimber.  Or, maybe there is more to the story.

Let's go ahead and watch Episode 60: The Day The Music Died and see what really happened even though despite the fact that Kimber said there's no show we're actually watching a show.  Yeah, this episode looks about as riveting at Episode 59.  Oh final note before we go on.  This episode is unique in that the majority of it features a slew of characters breaking the fourth wall.  Kimber is merely the first as she tells us that the whole thing started three months ago.

At Starlight Music, Jerrica is clearly not doing very well.  She's very visibly stressed out with work and obligations, and she seems to be taking out her frustrations on other people.  Shana gets snippity with her when Jerrica dismisses her logo based on the colour.  Rio calls Jerrica a cheapskate when she refuses to spend any extra money on set lighting, and Kimber gets Jerrica so irate that she has a temper tantrum and throws everybody out of her office!  I get the feeling that Jerrica won't be getting a "World's Greatest Boss" coffee mug this Christmas.

We switch over to Raya, who picks up where Kimber left off.  Raya explains that while Jerrica was getting stressed out, Jem was even starting to lose it.  When Jem gets a call from Rio stating that his car had broken down and he wouldn't be able to make it to their concert, Jem loses the plot.  She even forces the other Holograms to pick up a gigantic amplifier to lift it up for which I presume Jem will be doing the set-up herself?  One thing is for sure, the other Holograms are noticing that Jem and Jerrica are one pink hair extension away from a complete meltdown.  Raya also talks about how the Stingers were performing that night as well, and how no matter how sensible Jem comes across, she always falls under Riot's spell.  And, well, I think this is as good a time as any to hear a Stingers song.

"Under My Spell" is all kinds of fantastic, I should add.  Really, the Stingers songs that I have heard this season (well, except the first lame Stingers Theme), are well put together, and they are easily some of the most polished songs in the series.  Perhaps this edition of Jem Trivia might explain why.  The singing voice of Riot is done by Gordon Grody - a talented vocalist in his own right, as well as a vocal coach.  Would you believe he worked as the vocal coach for Lady Gaga?  Not bad for a guy who provided singing vocals for one of the most pompous narcissists on a cartoon!

Raya would like to continue this story, but Roxy of all people interrupts her, telling her to get back to work.  Wait, when did Raya start taking orders from Roxy?  And why is Roxy driving Jem's car?  I get the feeling that there's something amiss here.  Both Jem and Jerrica are gone and now Raya's become a Misfits slave?  Where the hell is Jerrica?

Oh, she's...relaxing on an island?  What is this?  Is she playing the game of Survivor some twelve years before the reality television series debuted?  At least we know that she didn't die. 

Oh, wait.  Riot's there.  In a loincloth.  Yuck.  I can no longer watch a Tarzan movie ever again.  But why are Riot and Jem trapped on a deserted island?  Well, that's partly Riot's doing.

Riot explains that he convinced Jem to board a yacht with him - to which I wonder how he got the money to pay for the yacht.  Eric Raymond must be subsidizing him very well at Stingers Sound.  Riot suggests that Jem take a relaxing vacation with him to de-stress, and initially Jem declines the offer.  Well, at least that is until Riot admits to Jem that he already set the yacht adrift and they're going out to sea.  Oh, the lesson learned is if a woman doesn't want to go on vacation with you, kidnap her and go anyway?  Yeesh.  This episode's just delightful isn't it?

Of course, Jem - still furious with Rio for missing the concert, and stressed out over her responsibilities doesn't mind one bit and happily accepts becoming Riot's "hostage".  You see, this is the very definition of "Stockholm Syndrome" - right down to the reuse of "Under My Spell" as Riot and Jem get even more intimate - well, as intimate as one can get on a kids cartoon series, that is.  After the montage, Riot asks Jem if she's relaxed, and Jem responds that this was a great idea, but she'd like to go home because she misses her friends and her sister.  Oh, sweet Jesus, Jem - just friggin' tell the world your real identity and be done with it woman!

So, that was three months ago.  Three months later, Jem/Jerrica still hasn't shown up yet.  And we hear from a confessional from Aja that this has wreaked havoc on Starlight Music.  Sigh...once again, Shana is left out of the confessional period.  Maybe she really should have left the Holograms at the beginning of Season 2 - she's had very little screen time since.  Anyway, Aja states that since Jerrica left, Starlight Music went into freefall, and they are in debt to their eyeballs.  Creditors, collection agents, and bill collectors are pounding on the doors wanting them to pay up.'re telling me that in the three months since Jerrica disappeared, nobody thought to look for her?  And that in three months, Starlight Music went from being profitable to being bankrupt?  Did any of the Holograms study mathematics?  Sheesh!

And judging by the postcard that Kimber is reading, it doesn't seem to be good news.  Seems as though the postcard is from Jem, and it explains that Jem is in Mexico with Riot and she has decided to stay with him there.  She hopes Rio will understand.  Um...what?  How did they get to Mexico without a passport?  And, she does realize that Rio's temper is so strong that he'd likely chop down every tree in Yellowstone National Park, right?  This is weird.  Very weird.

Aja explains that because of the financial stress that they were in, and because Jem just up and ditched the band to frolic with Riot on the beaches of Mexico, they were forced to sell Starlight Music to keep it going.  And, can you guess who ended up buying the music company?

Yep.  You guessed it.  Well, okay, technically her father bought it.  But with Pizzazz in control, you can guess that Jem's worst nightmare has come true.

As you can see, Pizzazz wastes no time in marking her territory.

No time at all.  Pizzazz actually takes glee in the fact that she did the one thing that Eric Raymond could never do - get permanent control of Starlight Music.  Actually, Pizzazz does make a good point.  And as she is throwing Jerrica's personal belongings and photos away, she explains that she renamed Starlight Music as Misfits Music.  Since the Holograms were under contract with Starlight Music at the time, they all now work for HER!  Ah, now this explains so much.  Furthermore, she recruited Minx and Rapture to join her as well, since Pizzazz accurately describes it as "they are nothing without their leader".  And since Riot seemingly chose Jem over her, she really doesn't care what happens to them anymore. 

I just find it wild that she told Clash that she will NEVER be a Misfit, but yet she has no problem giving that same status to Kimber, Aja, Shana, Raya, Minx, and Rapture.  Boy, they really must have HATED Clash, huh?

The Stingers and Jem and the Holograms dropped off the face of the earth while the new Misfits are now at the top of the charts.  And we get a taste of the final new original Misfits song of the series.  Fortunately, it's one of their best.

I have to say, despite the distraction of Aja, Kimber, Shana, Raya, Rapture, and Minx appearing in the video, the song "Top of the Charts" is PHENOMENAL!  I'm calling it right now as one of the best Misfits songs ever.  It's definitely got edge and style.  It's also sort of nice to see that the last original Misfits song is a positive one.  Well, as positive as the Misfits can get.  And while the rest of the series will still feature the Misfits, all future songs will be repeat performances - which sucks.

So, how did Pizzazz get control of Starlight Music?  Well, as explained, Kimber sold it to Harvey Gabor.  Not by choice though.  With Starlight Music in dire straits, if the debt was not settled, the collection agencies would seize all assets tied with the business - which includes Starlight Mansion.  If Starlight Mansion was seized, the twelve foster girls would be split up.  Kimber, not wanting this, had no choice but to sell.  At least the Starlight Girls would be together, but with Pizzazz running the show - well...let's just say that no honor jar would be enough to fix it.

It's nice to know that while the Starlight empire is crumbling down, Jem is too busy getting a tan.  But it seems that not all is well in paradise, as we hear about how Jem and Riot got stranded on the island in the first place.  

Initially, Jem was having a great time with Riot, and she really felt grateful to him for helping her relax.  But Jem also was eager to get back home.  Every opportunity Riot took to keep Jem away, he did.  But Riot may have stepped too far when he accidentally let it slip that he was the one who sabotaged Rio's vehicle, preventing him from getting to their last concert.  

Jem becomes absolutely enraged with Riot for deceiving her (wow, she really HAS been hanging around Rio too long.  She demands that Riot take her home NOW, but Riot doesn't seem to want to give in to her demands.  So, Jem decides that if Riot won't take her home, she'll take herself home, and so she grabs control of the speedboat that they are in...

...and ends up crashing into a shallow reef, making the boat explode and sending Riot and Jem sailing off into outer space.  Way to go, Jem!  As we well know though, Jem and Riot didn't die.  But with Jem and Riot unable to get off the island, this sets the stage for what is currently happening.

And what is currently happening is explained by Minx, who acts as the narrator for this scene.  Curiously, Minx and Rapture are at Starlight Mansion - I suppose now that Pizzazz owns it, they're free to drop in whenever they like.  But all Minx seems to want to talk about is Rio...and how depressed he is.  She says that all he does is stare at it, and she wants to know why.

She snatches the postcard from Rio, which makes him very angry.  Angry enough to chase Minx around the room, trying to get it back and causing some minor damage to the house.  Alas, no plants were harmed this time around.

By the time the Holograms come into the room, Rio has successfully grabbed the last thing that Jem ever wrote to him.  But Minx actually drops a bombshell.  She claims that Jem did NOT write the postcard at all.  Kimber, Aja, and Rio look the card over and they seem to think it might be Jem's handwriting.  Now, Kimber almost reveals that Jem is her sister while looking over the postcard, but I think she's not the only one taking stupid pills.  The Holograms (with the exception of Raya) and Rio have known Jerrica since they were kids.  After all this time, they SHOULD know her handwriting!  Has she never bought them a birthday card?  Wow, maybe Rio was right about her being a cheapskate!

Minx explains that the R with a circle around it is Riot's trademark signature and that he writes it along with every autograph he signs.  Kimber remarks that she thought it was part of the post stamp.  Yep, keep taking those stupid pills, Kimber.  They're doing you a world of good.  At least Rio seems to have taken a smaller dose of them and notes that since the postmark is indeed from Mexico, and he suggests that all of them (Rapture and Minx included) take the next flight out to bring both Riot and Jem home. 

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to include the Misfits, and Pizzazz is so angry over the fact that everyone is leaving her and the others behind that she throws a croquet mallet in frustration!

This of course prompts Ashley to make a few comments about the situation.  She and the other eleven Starlight Girls are getting extremely annoyed with the Misfits and want to see them make a hasty exit out of their home.  She, Krissie, and Ba Nee have come up with a plan to make them rethink the deal they made earlier.  How they do this is they try to guilt trip Pizzazz into taking them back to school shopping so they can re-enact the "She Makes an Impression" video from Episode 13.  Pizzazz isn't ready to start warbling Holograms songs any time soon, so she tells them to buzz off.  But when Krissie threatens to call CPS on Pizzazz, telling them that Pizzazz refuses to give them the basic necessities, Pizzazz caves, and takes them to the Fashion Mall.  At least, I assume so.  I wonder if Jem is still banned from there?

In what seems like a few minutes, Rio, the Holograms, and two-thirds of the Stingers arrive at a boat dock in what I presume is Mexico - yeah, this story makes no sense regardless so let's just go with that.  The man who runs the boat rental business says that he did rent out a boat to Riot and Jem but he had heard that it had crashed and exploded.  Everyone is crestfallen to hear the news, but Rio refuses to give up.  He suggests that everybody split up and go in different directions and hopefully they will come across Jem or Riot.  Minx naturally decides to go with Rio in hopes that he'll forget about Jem and go with her, but somehow that's one purple scratching post that Minx will have a hard time sinking her claws into.

Back at Starlight Misfits Music, Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, and Jetta are stunned at the expenses the Starlight Girls have racked up.  Thousands of dollars spent on school books, dentist visits, pizza nights, and calls to the New Kids on the Block 1-900 number!  How can they afford all of that?  What's worse is that when they bring Eric in to help them balance the books, Eric is horrified to learn that with Pizzazz running things, she's actually put the company in even more debt than it was at when Jem first went missing!  Wow, is there ANYTHING other than singing that Pizzazz can do right?

Back in the Mexican island nation (I don't know what else to call it), Rio and Minx happen to come across Riot and Jem's island getaway and naturally Rio gets the wrong idea about what he sees and leaves thinking that Riot and Jem are going to become the new millionaires of Gilligan's Island.  Surprisingly, Minx decides that she will intervene and confront Riot and Jem.  She doesn't really like being at the Starlight Mansion and she really HATES being Pizzazz's slave.  Ah, so Minx is only caring about herself.  Some people never change.

And as soon as Minx mentions Rio's name, Jem's eyes perk up, she runs away from Riot and she leaps into Rio's arms.  I'll spare you the lovey dovey stuff they say to each other because I really don't care.

Oh, and of course, Riot goes into his Tarzan mode where he goes "Me Tarzan, you Jem, she stays" program.  Rio goes into his "everybody is a plant" program and begins to fight him.

And Jem goes into the "I am not the last Pillsbury Crescent Roll, so please stop fighting over me" program, and whines that she just wants to go home.  And, you know, I just want to say that both Jem and Riot look as if they have stepped out of an Herbal Essences shampoo commercial.  They should not look this perfect after being stranded on a deserted island for ninety days.  I've seen "Cast Away" for crying out loud!

So, Jem gets on board a boat with Rio, Kimber, Shana, Aja, and Raya (how did they get there so fast?), and Jem is really happy to return home even though Kimber sold her business to Pizzazz and they are in more debt than ever.  But hey, we have to have a happy-ish ending.  Besides, it looks like Rio took revenge on Riot by pulling the spark plug from the engine of his own boat! 

The last we see of the Stingers is Riot acting like a diva and forcing Minx and Rapture to paddle him to safety.  He must really have them charmed.  If I were one of them, I'd have taken the oar to his soft little Aqua Net coated head long ago.  Seriously, THIS is the man that is the second coming of Elvis Presley?  I don't think so!

There's just one final hurdle that we have to leap over before we stick a fork in this episode.  The fact that the Misfits still live in Starlight Mansion and own Starlight Music.  But once Jerrica sets foot inside of the mansion, she sees total chaos.

On one hand, Jerrica must be fuming that all twelve of her girls are destroying the mansion room by room.  But the fact that Pizzazz and Eric are pulling their hair out trying to calm the girls down is strangely satisfying.

Pizzazz is having such a hard time with it all that once she sees Jerrica, she practically GIVES back everything she took!  What a complete 180!  I knew that once she saw things on the other side, she'd reconsider everything!  Eric Raymond tries to make an offer to Pizzazz, saying that he'll buy it from her, and take over control of Starlight Music and Starlight Mansion - something that has really been his goal since the beginning of the series.  But when Ba Nee calls him Uncle Eric, he flees!  HAH!

The final song of the series is played as Jerrica reunites with her girls.  It's the song "All's Right With The World" - first heard in Episode 28.  But nothing's all right with this episode.  It was just all over the place!  Actually, Season 3 has been all over the place!  It's like they knew the show was ending and wrote half-assed scripts for the duration!

Hopefully next week's show will be better.  Apparently it's a celebration of Harry Houdini - one of my favourite magicians!

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