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Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 29, 2007

Are you ready for another Throwback Thursday post?  Well, I can tell you that for this week's entry, we are going back to a time that completely changed the way that we communicate with people - whether we liked it or not.

Before we make that connection though, let's see what other events took place on June 29 that were interesting but not enough to devote a blog to.

1534 - Explorer Jacques Cartier becomes the first European to reach Prince Edward Island

1613 - A fire completely destroys London's Globe Theatre

1864 - At least 99 lose their lives near St. Hilaire, Quebec, in what is to be known as Canada's worst railroad disaster - the train, which was carrying several immigrants from Russia and Poland, fell through an open swing bridge into the Richelieu River

1888 - George Edward Gouraud records Handel's "Israel in Egypt" onto a phonograph cylinder

1889 - Several Illinois townships vote to become annexed by the city of Chicago which at the time formed the largest United States city in area

1901 - Singer/actor Nelson Eddy (d. 1967) is born in Providence, Rhode Island

1915 - Edmonton, Alberta is devastated by the North Saskatchewan River flood

1922 - France grants one square kilometer at Vimy Ridge "freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada, the free use of the land exempt from all taxes".

1927 - "The Bird of Paradise" completes the first transpacific flight from the United States mainland to Hawaii

1943 - Singer Little Eva Boyd (d. 2003) is born in Belhaven, North Carolina

1967 - Actress Jayne Mansfield is killed in a car accident at the age of 34

1974 - Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" tops the Billboard Charts

1975 - Steve Wozniak tests the first prototype for the Apple I computer

1990 - Author/screenwriter Irving Wallace dies at the age of 74

1995 - The Sampoong Department Store in Seoul, South Korea collapses, killing over five hundred people and injuring almost a thousand more; on the same day actress Lana Turner dies at the age of 74

2002 - Singer Rosemary Clooney dies at the age of 74

2003 - Actress Katharine Hepburn passes away at the age of 96

2012 - A derecho (a severe line of windstorms capable of producing severe thunderstorms) sweeps through the eastern United States killing twenty-two people and knocking out power to millions

A couple of notes to make:  One, if you're 74, June 29th might be a deadly day for you.  And two, I purposely added some Canadian bits in there in preparation of Canada's 150th birthday on July 1.  And yes, I have a special themed blog for that coming up this Saturday.

June 29 also happens to be the day in which the following famous people were born; Cara Williams, Bobby Morgan, Pat Crawford Brown, Robert Evans, Gary Busey, Richard Lewis, Fred Grandy, Bobby London, Colin Hay, Maria Conchita Alonso, Robert Forster, Sharon Lawrence, Amanda Donohoe, Jeff Burton, Melora Hardin, Theoren Fleury, Judith Hoag, Emily Skinner, Matthew Good, Daniel Carlsson, Bret McKenzie, Nicole Scherzinger, and Lily Rabe.  Happy birthday to all of you and anyone else celebrating today!

So, where are we throwing this Thursday back to this week?  As it turns out, it's a very special anniversary.

We're going back to June 29, 2007.  Exactly ten years ago today!

Now, remember how I said that today's subject changed the way that we communicated with each other?  I have to say that this is very much true, as it revolutionized the way we speak via that many people don't even use the phone to communicate, as per this cover gag from a Betty and Veronica Double Digest that was released right around this time.

It sort of makes one wonder how we communicated when we were kids.  I still remember our old family telephone.  This would have been circa 1983, 1984...well, when my earliest memories started to formulate.  It was a simple beige phone with touchtone keys (though the upstairs telephone was a rotary dial).  There was no such thing as call display back in those days either so every telephone call was a mystery.  It could have been Grandma, the Sears catalog people telling us our order was ready for pick-up, or someone trying to call to reserve a squash court and realizing that they had dialed the wrong number.  It was a simpler time.

I don't even think I knew what a cellular phone was until I started watching "Saved By The Bell" in 1989 and saw Zack Morris holding that gigantic brick phone that looked like you could murder someone with it if you struck them hard enough.

These days, mobile phones are a lot smaller and sleeker, and they are capable of doing so many things.  You can check the weather, you can see what time it is, you can use it as a calculator, and you can even make phone calls with them!  I know, what a concept!

Of course, the mobile phone industry really took off with the invention of the first "smartphone", a phone that had about the same technology and storage space of a modern day computer (well, provided you paid for the right data plan that is).  And it was ten years ago that the device that sparked the surge in smartphone technology was released.

Yes.  The iPhone has been around for a whole decade now.  Can you believe it?  Of course, the iPhone has evolved over the years to become one of the most successful mobile phones ever made, and these days you'd find hardcore iPhone users who defend the product as vigorously as those who use Android phones.

Believe it or not, the iPhone began development in 2004, and was headed up by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive, the designer of both the iMac personal computer and the iPod.  Reportedly, a team of one thousand employees of Apple got together to work on a project that was coded "Project Purple".  With assistance from Cingular Wireless, the two companies worked together over the course of two and a half years to develop the iPhone, and the reported cost of the project over that time was well over $150,000,000!

That investment paid off in a huge way for Apple.  In January 2007, at the Macworld 2007 convention in San Francisco, Steve Jobs debuted the first model of the iPhone - and immediately people were excited over the new creation.  It seems a bit wild to think that this was the case now, but the very first iPhone only had a 4GB model and an 8GB model.  Seems very small, given that some cell phones can go up to 128GB!  The cost also seemed to be a bit high, with the 4GB model starting at $499 and the 8GB at $599 - and that's only if you signed up for a two-year phone contract at that.

But it seemed as though cost was not a factor when the first iPhones went on sale on June 29, 2007.  The lines outside of the stores where the phones were being sold extended down entire city streets and many locations sold out of the phones the day they went on sale.

With the success of the iPhone in North America, other nations quickly started to sell the device as well.  Many European nations started selling the first edition iPhone in November 2007, and by the spring of 2008, the phone became a global hit.

And why wouldn't it have?  The phone was very much like an electronic Swiss Army knife of sorts.  You had a calculator, internet browser, GPS device, calendar, walkman (provided you had an iTunes account), and so many other things.  And, after ten years, it shows no signs of going anywhere soon.

Happy 10th anniversary, iPhone!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Message From The Pop Culture Addict...

I know it seems like it's been a while since I last wrote in this space.  The truth is that I've felt mentally exhausted for a few days now.  At first I thought it was all of the Jem episodes that I reviewed.  To this day, I can't hear the word Jem without adding in "is truly outrageous, truly truly truly outrageous".  I know.  I'm sick.  Help me.

But it's a lot less complex than that.  I'm just a little burned out on writing, and I feel as though I have a case of writer's block so huge that I don't think the largest chisel in the world could break through it.

I've had quite a lot of things going on in my mind right now...and I want to be able to share that with all of you.  But I don't think today's the right day to do that.  For one, I don't even know what the heck is causing the writer's block.  Maybe it's the fact that I've been writing in this blog for six years and have simply run out of stories to tell.  Maybe I fear that I am repeating myself and unintentionally writing three blogs on the same subject. 

Or maybe the cause is much deeper and psychologically based and I need to stare at seventy-seven different ink blots before I can come up with a subject to talk about.

I definitely don't think it is a lack of interest in writing.  As much as I have struggled to come up with topics, I still have the desire to write every single day.  I just think that like many of us, I need structure in this blog (and life in general).  I seemed to have no problems writing when I was doing the cartoon reviews every Friday, or Throwback Thursday posts, or even the Christmas advent calendar every December. 

(I know...December is one of the busiest and most stressful months of the year, and yet it seems to be the only month where I can actually do a blog entry every day!  My brain works in strange ways.)

So, while I continue to try and implement some more structure in this blog, I ask that you please be patient with me.  I know that the Throwback Thursday posts will at least continue on, so you have one day out of the week where I will write at least something down.  But bear with me here.  I'm sure this writer's block will pass at some point. 

In the meantime, if any of you have any ideas for this blog, or suggestions for theme days, send them to me.  Maybe you'll help re-spark my creativity!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22, 1918

Welcome to another edition of the Throwback Thursday post.  And this week's entry might seem a little out of the way considering the range of other topics I could have chosen.  Why I went with the selection I chose for today is because of the story behind this event - as tragic as it may be.

We'll get to that in a moment, but for now, have a look at some of the other things that happened on June 22 throughout history.

1774 - The Quebec Act is passed by the British

1807 - British warship HMS Leonard attacks and boards the American frigate USS Chesapeake

1813 - Laura Secord sets out on a journey spanning thirty kilometers to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon about an upcoming attack by the Americans on Beaver Dams in Ontario

1825 - Feudalism and the seigneurial system system is abolished in British North America by British parliament

1870 - U.S. Congress creates the United States Department of Justice

1906 - The Swedish flag is adopted

1911 - George V and Mary of Teck are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

1922 - Fashion designer Bill Blass (d. 2002) is born in Fort Wayne, Indiana

1928 - Actor Ralph Waite (d. 2014) is born in White Plains, New York

1941 - Journalist Ed Bradley (d. 2006) is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1942 - The Pledge of Allegiance is formally adopted by U.S. Congress

1944 - The G.I. Bill is signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt

1945 - The Battle of Okinawa concludes

1954 - Actor Freddie Prinze (d. 1977) is born in New York, New York

1969 - Singer/actress Judy Garland dies at the age of 47

1978 - Race car driver Dan Wheldon (d. 2011) is born in Emberton, Buckinghamshire, England

1984 - Virgin Atlantic Airways launches its first flight from Heathrow International Airport

1986 - Diego Maradona scores the controversial "Hand of God" goal during the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA Cup

1987 - Actor/singer/dancer Fred Astaire passes away at the age of 88

1990 - Checkpoint Charlie is dismantled in Berlin

2004 - Mattie Stepanek, the child author of the Heartsongs poetry books, dies at the age of 13

2008 - Comedian George Carlin dies at the age of 71

2009 - Nine people are killed when a Washington D.C. Metro train collides with another train parked outside of a train station

2012 - President of Paraguay Fernando Lugo is impeached

2015 - The Afghan National Assembly building is attacked by gunmen following a suicide bombing; 18 people are injured and all six gunmen are dispatched

And for celebrity birthdays, I'm not going to lie...we have a ton of them today!  A very happy birthday goes out to George Englund, John Cunningham, Prunella Scales, Kris Kristofferson, Chris Blackwell, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Peter Asher, Howard Kaylan, Todd Rundgren, Larry Junstrom, Alan Osmond, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Wagner, Elizabeth Warren, Christine L. Tudor, Graham Greene, Cyndi Lauper, Green Gartside, Tim Russ, Garry Gary Beers, Bruce Campbell, Erin Brockovich, Tracy Pollan, Jimmy Somerville, Clyde Drexler, Amy Brenneman, Emmanuelle Seigner, Steven Page, Kurt Warner, Carson Daly, Champ Bailey, Stephanie Jacobsen, Dustin Johnson, and Lara Bingle.

Wow...that is a LOT of celebrity birthdays, don't you think?

So, given everything that happened on June 22, I think I had a lot of possible topic choices to pick from.  But when it came to making my decision, I wanted to choose a topic that not a lot of people knew about.

And the date that this event happened was ninety-nine years ago today on June 22, 1918.  And I warn you ahead of time.  This tale doesn't have a very happy ending.  Despite that, it is a story that should be told, and I admit that I came up with the idea to choose this topic based on a recent event.

By now I am sure that you've heard that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has entertained its final audience.  The circus hosted its final performance in May 2017.  I seem to recall that not long after its final performance, a friend of mine posted a photo on their social media page which depicted the remnants of the circus heading towards its final destination by train.  It certainly is a bittersweet moment because I can remember being very entertained by the circus and liking most of the acts performed there.  I wasn't too fond of the acts that featured animals, and truth be told, any of the circuses that featured only human performers were ones I liked better.  But still, it's sad to say farewell to an institution that lasted nearly a hundred and fifty years.

At least in that case, the circus performers put on their final show and presumably went their separate ways.  Unfortunately back in 1918, a train loaded with circus performers didn't end up with such a happy ending.  In fact, for some of the people aboard the train, it would be the last day that they would ever be seen alive.

This is the story of the
Hammond Circus Train Wreck - a train disaster that killed at least eighty-six people and wounded over a hundred more.

At the time of the accident, the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus was the second largest circus operating within the United States (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey was the largest), and in 1918, the circus was well on its way to having another successful year.  On June 22, 1918, the train was on its way to its next performance in the city of Hammond, Indiana.  A total of four hundred circus performers were aboard the twenty-six car train, and it was expected that they would arrive at their destination as scheduled.

Unfortunately, that train would not make it.

In the early morning hours of June 22, 1918 at around four in the morning, a second train being driven by Alonzo Sargent was heading on the same track as the circus train in the same direction by directly behind.  And by all accounts, Sargent was in no condition to be manning the controls.  It was reported that Sargent was extremely sleep deprived prior to boarding the train, and had hardly gotten any rest in the twenty-four hours prior.  Combine the sleep deprivation with the kidney pills that he was taking at the time, and you have a combination for instant sleepiness.  Sargent had fallen asleep in front of the controls, and by the time he woke up and realized what was happening, it was already too late to stop it.

It is believed that when he woke up, he had already missed two automatic signals and warnings posted by the brakeman of the circus train, and the circus train had actually pulled to a stop to check a hot box on one of the flatcars.  So when Sargent's train approached the circus train, there was not nearly enough time for Sargent to release the brake and Sargent's train plowed right into the back of the caboose and four wooden sleeping cars that were right next to it at a speed of 35 miles per hour.

The train impact was so severe that many of the eighty-six people that died aboard the circus train died almost instantly - at least thirty seconds after the crash.  A fire erupted almost immediately after the crash due to the oil lamps that were aboard the train cars, and since many of the cars on the circus train were made of wood, the fire spread very quickly.  Many of the performers that were stuck on the train were burned beyond recognition, and those that survived suffered terrible injuries.  It is estimated that 127 people were injured in the crash as well.

Suffice to say, the incident left a black mark on the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, as they mourned the loss of eighty-six of their own.  Five days after the crash, most of the people who died were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in a section set aside as "Showman's Rest".  Because many of the victims were never formally identified, graves marked "Unknown Male" and "Unknown Female" had to be erected.  Surrounding the graves of the victims are statues of elephants in a mourning position. 

As for the fate of Alonzo Sargent, he and his fireman, Gustave Klauss were facing charges for the accident and the case was brought forth to trial - but the jury of the trial was deadlocked, and the judge was forced to rule a mistrial.  Since the prosecution decided not to re-try the case, the charges were dismissed two years after the accident in June 1920.

Now, you might think that this story has a sad ending...and well, it does.  However, one thing that you might not know was that the residents of Hammond, Illinois really stepped up to help the survivors of the crash, providing them with meals, changes of clothing, and a place to stay while they recuperated from their injuries. 

And in the circus world, the words "The Show Must Go On" are a standard - and in the case of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, competing circuses in the area (including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey) lent the circus some equipment that was lost in the crash so that they could go on and perform the shows as scheduled.  The only shows that the circus tour missed were the ones in Hammond, and one in Monroe, Wisconsin. 

And while some may have the opinion that it may have been poor taste to continue with the circus so soon after a tragedy, I would like to think that it was a form of healing for those left behind...and for those who died, I think they would have wanted the show to go on.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Jem Reviewed - The Final Recap

That's the end?  Afraid so, my friends.  This is the final recap for the final season of Jem Reviewed.  And let's just say that there's a lot to talk about.  Season 3 was an abbreviated one where parts of the show didn't make much sense.  We also had the Stingers replace the Misfits as the main antagonists of the Holograms, which had mixed results.  And unlike the previous season reviews, I think I'm going to present this a little bit differently.

Before I do that, I should probably give you some links to any and all the previous links to past know, in case you missed some along the way.  Click on the different looking text to access the links to

And the following twelve links below will take you to all of the episode recaps for season three.

Now, because the third season was so short (and because the Misfits only appeared in like four episodes), I'm going to do the character profiles over the course of how they improved (or devolved) over the course of the series.  I'm going to rank them from worst to best, and I'm going to do main characters.  That's all the Holograms, Misfits, Stingers, and I'll even throw in Rio and Eric Raymond for fun.  By my calculations, that's a total of fourteen characters. (I thought about including Synergy here, but let's face it, she'd be an easy #1 anyway).  Let's begin by the character I can't stand the most.

14th Place:  Rio shocker here, right?  I mean, I've only practically made fun of him this whole series and inserted plant kicking references at every opportunity.  To be honest, I have no use for Rio.  Even though in every opportunity, Rio was dating Jerrica, it's hard to excuse the fact that he'd cheat on her with Jem (and Jaime in "Midsummer Night's Madness") at a drop of a JemStar earring.  His jealousy towards every male who got near Jerrica/Jem got tiring after a while, and he really just comes across as an arrogant jerk most times.  Sometimes I think he'd be better off chasing after Kimber.

13th Place:  Eric Raymond

I can I rank Eric above Rio?  His personality is so slimy that you'd think he was born in a vat of motor oil!  This is true.  But unlike Rio who always tries to make excuses for his jerky behaviour, at least Eric owns up to the fact that he's a complete jerk.  That honesty is why he's ranked higher than Rio.  Make no mistake though...I still can't stand him.

12th Place:  Rapture

There isn't really anything wrong with Rapture of the Stingers...but there's not a whole lot right either.  She's just...there.  I mean, yes, she has the ability to use hypnosis, she's skilled with magic, and can read tarot cards like nobody's business.  But that's really all she did.  Easily the Stinger with the weakest sting.

11th Place:  Jetta

On one hand, Jetta does personify the real meaning of the term Misfit.  She's such a Misfit that even her own parents seem ashamed of her and vice versa.  The problem is that Jetta is such a Misfit that she almost seems sociopathic in comparison to the other three.  From hiring people to smash Raya's dad's greenhouse to trying to scam her own bandmate out of millions, Jetta's unlikable personality leaves me wondering how she managed to stay in the Misfits in the first place!

10th Place:  Shana

I hate to rank Shana so low, mainly because she's probably one of the nicest characters in the whole show.  Her placement at #10 is merely because she was always shoved to the side in favour of Kimber and Raya quite often.  When she was heavily featured in a show, it was in a fashion themed one, like when she designed clothes in Venice, or helping Regine Cesaire out.  I wish that there was a way that they could have incorporated more of Shana into the show because she really deserved more.

9th Place:  Minx

Minx was one of the more complex characters in the whole series.  Even when she tried to be good after Rio saved her life, you could tell that it was either misguided, or that she really was causing mischief behind the goodness.  But I will give Minx a lot of credit.  She's fiercely loyal to those who respect her.  After all, she left a successful group to form the Stingers with Riot because she opened her heart and trusted him.  She didn't get a chance to do a whole lot in the series, but what she did was noticeable.  I mean, she even got to touch Techrat without him curling up into a ball!

8th Place:  Jem/Jerrica

I actually considered ranking her much lower than 8th, to be honest.  After all, she annoyed me in both of her identities and suffers from so much insecurity she has to adopt a second identity to boost her self-confidence.  And at times, she can be as selfish and pig-headed as a Misfit or a Stinger.  But you know, I have to give her props for being a foster mother to twelve kids (even though CPS should have taken them away on like seven different occasions), and running a successful record company.  And despite all of her flaws, she does have good intentions a lot of the time.  Though, I have to say that Rio and Jerrica deserve each other as do Jem and the person at #7.

7th Place:  Riot

Riot really surprised me.  He is one of two characters (the other one is at #5) who as the show progressed, I liked more and more.  He began the show as an arrogant rock god who believed that he could use manipulation to get anything and anyone he wanted - but by the end of the show, he became almost the polar opposite.  Sure, he still had confidence and swagger...but he also had humility and compassion - especially after Jem reunited him with his estranged father.  And as much as I hate to say this, I think Riot brought out more of the best in Jem than Rio ever could.

6th Place:  Roxy

I was really indecisive about Roxy when she first appeared on the show.  At first she was a sociopathic woman who didn't care who she hurt.  She was the second in command of the Misfits; she had more power than Stormer, but was portrayed more as Pizzazz's lackey a lot of the time.  But it wasn't until Roxy's secret of being illiterate came out that we learned just how rough Roxy really had it.  And it was Ba Nee's gift of a children's book that set Roxy on the path to self-improvement.  Roxy was already considered the most street smart of the's hoping that by the end of the series, she could improve her book smarts as well.  If any character deserved it, it was her.

5th Place:  Kimber

I DESPISED Kimber during the first season in which she changed boyfriends more than I change my underwear.  I mean, seriously, if you looked up indecisive in the dictionary, her photo would be right next to it.  Over the course of the series though, she went from being incredibly annoying to a character I felt major sympathy for.  Still not over the passing of her father, I can see how Kimber would have a hard time with finding a commitment with a man.  By the time she settled down with Sean Harrison, I have a feeling that moment was the one in which Kimber finally matured.  How outrageous is that?

4th Place:  Pizzazz

I'm really surprised I have Pizzazz ranked so high on this list - mainly because she's the quintessential spoiled brat (a type of personality I cannot stand).  Ah, but it's the reason why she became that way that makes me understand why she is the way she is.  She feels that if she can finally make something of herself, she can please her ungrateful father.  Her story is very tragic, and I feel like I have to rank her high just because her character is so complex.  That, plus she has some awesome one-liners.

3rd Place:  Stormer

Ah, Stormer.  The nice Misfit.  The pushover Misfit.  The Misfit that is secretly good.  It's a brilliant concept, don't you think?  Anyway, Stormer is probably even more complex than Pizzazz, because in many ways she is forced to hide who she really is in order to gain acceptance from the other Misfits.  When in actuality, if she just would be herself, she'd ironically be loved even more.  Both Ashley and Kimber can testify as to what a great person Stormer is, and even Aja has to admit that she's a good gal...after all, Aja is dating her brother.  Stormer is far from being a perfect angel though, and it's hard to excuse the fact that she makes mischief with the other Misfits...but deep down inside, anyone who knows the real Stormer knows that they've made a friend for life.

2nd Place:  Raya

I was torn between whether to have Raya and Aja as my favourite character of the whole series.  Both characters are awesome.  But I think the reason why Raya get the silver is because she sometimes has the tendency to be a little bit too much of a yes woman.  When Raya first came on the scene, she was a little timid, but had a fighting spirit that came out when she was really fired up.  I wish we got to see more of that in Season 3.  But Raya is definitely a loyal friend, a kind-hearted individual, and a talented drummer.  Easily the best choice the Holograms could have made to replace the then-departed Shana.

1st Place:  Aja

Aja is the most valuable player the Holograms have...and she's also my favourite character of the whole series.  She was calm, cool, and collected most of the time and only brought out the badass side of her whenever needed.  She could be counted on coming up with most of the brilliant ideas that the Holograms executed, and she's sort of the female version of Techrat - only better dressed and less creepy.  For someone who can take Synergy apart and find all the secrets inside of her, Aja would make a great detective.  And if you have kept track - aside from Raya, Aja is the only Hologram that NEVER LEFT THE BAND.  Extreme loyalty there.

All right, now it's time for the music portion of the recap...and like I did for the character profiles, I'll be posting songs that I loved, and songs that I didn't love.  This time around, I won't exactly be talking about the songs.  I figure the videos are more than enough.  Instead, I'll post links to all the videos, and you can click on them to see what the cream of the crop well as the worst of the worst.

I've selected fifteen songs in total for my like list (five from each season), and ten from the worst.  Agree with my lists?  Please comment on it below.


Yes...I make no apologies...I LOVE the Misfits.  80% of my Top 5 are Misfits songs.  That said, I do have some Jem and Stingers songs on there.  I even have Ba Nee's ode to her father.  Love the show or not, Britta Phillips, Ellen Bernfeld, Gordon Grody, Vicki Sue Robinson, Diva Grey, Florence Warner, and all of the other talented vocalists did a phenomenal job!

Even on the tunes that I really didn't like so much...they sang their hearts out!  And the ten songs that I didn't like from bad to worst are as follows...


Interesting how I find some of the worst songs of the series to be from the latter half of the show as opposed to the beginning.  Nothing against the singers, but perhaps the songwriting took a nosedive as the show headed towards cancellation?  Who can say, really?  Just something I noticed.

And now we come to the episode discussion.  And since we had an abbreviated season for the final one, I'll go ahead and do three episodes I liked and three episodes I hated. 


1.  Episode 64:  Riot's Hope - This was the episode that made me start to see Riot as more than an arrogant rock star.  The story behind how the Stingers formed was very interesting, and unlike Jem and the Holograms, the Stingers really had to work hard to get their success.  That's to be applauded.

2.  Episode 61:  That Old Houdini Magic - Okay, so maybe my love of Harry Houdini is clouding my judgment here, but I will say this...the storyline was very unique and presented well.  I really liked the climax of the show where Astral saved Rapture from drowning after the trick went out of control and Rapture had to eat a giant slice of humble pie. 

3.  Episode 65:  A Father Should Be - All right, so this episode was far from being the perfect finale...however seeing Ba Nee finally reunited with the father she dreamed of finding.  That moment was easily one of the most touching moments of the whole series. 


1.  Episode 59: Midsummer Night's Madness - This episode was one hundred percent crap.  I mean, it's bad enough that I had to be subjected to the Riot/Jem/Rio/Jerrica rectangle that was really only a triangle.  But having Synergy transform Jerrica into Jamie to teach her a lesson only served to cause even more confusion and totally wrecked the episode.  The Stingers' B-plot was lame as well.

2.  Episode 60: The Day The Music Died -  Okay, so maybe hate is a strong word to describe my feelings about this episode.  The episode did have the strongest music of the lot.  But the whole way that the Starlight empire crumbled after Riot took Jem on an island getaway where they became Survivor just seemed way too unbelievable.  And it made everybody look like a complete moron.

3.  Episode 56: Video Wars - The Misfits got hosed this season.  I mean, they really did get forced back to background status so that the Stingers could be featured more.  And on the one rare occasion that the Misfits headlined a show, they were overshadowed by Clash, who came up with a plot so twisted that in the end, she was left all alone without a friend in the world.  It's really one of the few episodes with a bitter ending, and honestly, it could have been done so much better.

And now, I want to say...thank you to all of you for reading along with the second cartoon series that I have reviewed.  This one wasn't easy to recap at times.  Sometimes when I had an episode that I really didn't like, I found it hard to stay focused and even gave up on one before it ended (cough cough Aztec Enchantment cough).  But for the episodes I really enjoyed, it was a lot of fun to review.  I may even consider myself to be a fan of the cartoon after all.  The storylines were quite complex for a kids show, the music was fantastic, and the chemistry of the voice actors was off the charts.  In a way, I'm sort of sad to see the Jem Reviewed series come to an end...but in a way I am happy because it gives me more time to think of other things to write about in this blog.

And you never know...I might begin another cartoon review series before you know it.  But not now.  After 65 episodes, I'm exhausted!

So, once again...this is farewell...but not goodbye.