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Friday, June 02, 2017

Jem Reviewed: Episode 63 - A Change of Heart

Previously on America's Next Top Model...oh, no...wait.  I'm doing Jem Reviewed.  Sorry.  Anyway, last time we checked in on Jem, we met fashion designer Regine Cesaire, who learned a valuable lesson about putting substance before style.

This week, we're going to be looking at Episode 63: A Change of Heart.

And this week's episode begins at an electronics expo featuring some of the hottest electronics of the year.  Of course, that year happens to be 1988, but just go with it!  Jerrica is there with Rio looking over some of the state of the art synthesizers that are present, and the salesperson notices that Jerrica is fascinated by it.  I would think that Kimber would be more of a person to talk to about that...since you know, she's played one since Jem and the Holograms made their debut!  But no, it's set up so that Rio is the one who feigns interest in it because he's Mr. Big Shot Engineer who plans all of Jem's shows.  Oh, great.  If I had known that Rio was going to be the star of this show, I'd have skipped this episode completely.

While Rio is impressed by the new synthesizer, another person is getting bored.  Across the hall, the Stingers are examining another model of the same musical instrument, and Minx is all but unimpressed.  She even kicks the machine which causes the salespeople at the display to lose their minds.  It seems as though Riot is bored as well and he leaves telling Minx and Rapture to buy whatever they want.  What, is he their sugar daddy too?  I just don't understand the relationship between the Stingers, and I probably won't ever since we only have two more episodes after this one.

Rapture points out that Rio is at another display, and at first, Minx fakes not being interested.  After all, Rio's the one guy who dumped her for Jerrica/Jem/Jaime/whatever J person she decides to be.  However, Rapture's coaxing causes Minx to find the courage to try again.  Okay, I will say this.  Even though Rapture and Minx are horrible people, I appreciate that they won't turn their backs on each other.  They're kind of like sisters in a way.

Rio is none too impressed to see Minx hanging around, and at first turns on the freeze towards her - until they find a common bond over synthesizers.  Seems that Minx is a genius with electronic equipment and brags about building her first synthesizer at the age of fourteen.  That's mighty impressive, actually!  Minx offers to help Rio when Rio talks about how he always wanted to build a synthesizer from scratch, and Minx draws him some diagrams about what chips he should use.  Huh, who knew that Minx could be so helpful?

Naturally once Jerrica comes back and sees Rio and Minx together, Rio practically shoves her to one side and tells her that he has no interest in her.  See, this is one reason why Rio's a jerk.  Then again, so is Minx sometimes.  Whatever the case, Minx tells Rapture that she's not giving up in her quest to steal Rio away from Jem, and the next step in her plan will take place at the celebrity beach party.

I'm thinking this celebrity beach party is Jem's take on the MTV Spring Break Party that aired on that network for several years.  There are a lot of celebrities there including the Stingers, Jem and the Holograms, the Limp Lizards, and...OH MY GOSH THE MISFITS ARE HERE TOO!  I never thought I'd say this, but I really missed them!

Lindsey Pearce is hosting the event, and she starts by interviewing Jem about the dangers of sun exposure.  Riveting stuff, I tell you.  It's not until Riot crashes the interview and brags about how he and Jem would make the perfect couple that it starts to get a little more entertaining.  I should note that Jem looks as if she's annoyed, but something about her also leads me to believe that if Lindsey wasn't around, she and he would share a sex on the beach.  And not necessarily the beverage either.

Instead, Jem will have to settle for some sand in the schnozz, as Pizzazz literally kicks sand in her face.  Real mature, Pizzazz.  This causes Jem and Pizzazz to get into a fight over Riot!  Oh, sweet Jesus, Riot isn't Archie Andrews and you two aren't Betty and Veronica.  Grow up the pair of you.  But Pizzazz makes it clear that she always gets what she wants and Jem had better get out of her way.

Wow...we're going all the way back to Episode 1 for this classic!  The Misfits perform "Outta My Way" one more time as the video shows Jem and Pizzazz trying to get Riot into their arms.  Interestingly, Clash appears in this video.  I guess they forgave her for the "Video Wars" incident?  Sadly this is the LAST song you'll hear from the Misfits.  I know, bummer, huh?  So, thank you Ellen Bernfeld for the brilliant vocal talents.  You really were fantastic doing Pizzazz's vocals, and the Misfits songs for the most part were better than both the Holograms AND the Stingers. 

So with Jem and Pizzazz essentially reverting back to their childhood, Minx takes the opportunity to find Rio and hit on him again.  She tempts him with promises of synthesizers, microchips, and making love underneath the Santa Monica Pier.  Rio rejects her again, and Minx throws a volleyball at him and storms off in anger.  Okay, seriously, this episode is really not a great pro-woman episode at all.  

Rapture tries to comfort Minx, but she refuses to listen to reason.  Minx decides that the best way to cool off is to go into the ocean for a swim.  But Minx doesn't notice that there is a sign that is warning of a dangerous undertow and that swimmers are not allowed in the water for that very reason!

Rapture watches in horror as Minx is taken by the current and swept out to sea.  Isn't it interesting how a couple of episodes ago, it was Rapture that almost drowned and this week it's Minx.  I'm thinking Riot should probably stay away from swimming pools and jacuzzis.

And Riot should probably stay away from Jem and Pizzazz.  Rapture tries to get his attention regarding Minx, but Riot's too busy mesmerized by the fight like a Jerry Springer audience member.  Seriously, is this the "I hate everyone" episode?

Rapture manages to find Rio and alerts him of what happened, and once Rio spots Minx struggling to stay above the water, he dives into the ocean to try and save her.  It's a bit of a struggle at first as the undertow drags Minx to the bottom of the ocean, but fortunately she isn't too far out that Rio can easily find her.  He brings her back up to the surface and carries her back to the beach at the same time that Lindsey Pearce tells Jem and Pizzazz to shut up and help. 

It's almost as if I'm watching an episode of "Baywatch" as Rio gives Minx CPR.  Luckily, Minx regains consciousness and is immediately thankful towards Rio for saving her.  In fact, she is so thankful that she tells Rio, Jem and the Holograms that she will never forget what they did and she will now promise to be good and kind to them and anybody else.  That's...nice?

And, say farewell to the Misfits until the finale.  Sigh...I wish the show had gone on so we could give them a proper sendoff.  Rumour has it that had the show continued, a fifth Misfit named Graphix was slated to be added.  That's your 
Jem Trivia for today - and one more reason why Clash should MOVE ON FROM THE MISFITS...

Back to the show.  Riot and Rapture force Minx to get some rest because clearly she's not acting like herself.  But the next morning, when Riot and Rapture are ready to start rehearsing for their upcoming concert, Minx is focused on writing the names of all of the people whom she wants to make amends with and be nice to.  Funny...I don't see any of the Misfits names on there.  You'd think that since the Stingers essentially replaced them as the antagonists of this show now, they'd be considerate.  Rapture is concerned that Minx has lost the plot, but Riot's convinced that Minx will come around eventually once she has had her fun.

For now, let's watch as Minx drops by Rio's office in what I assume is inside Starlight Music.  Minx has decided that she owes Rio for saving her the other day, to which Rio really doesn't seem to care that much.  But when Minx pulls out a diagram of the dream synthesizer the Rio has wanted to build, he seems to be impressed.  Minx offers to help him put it together just as Jerrica walks in the door.  At this point, I half expect there to be a repeat catfight between Jerrica and Minx as there was between Jem and Pizzazz because classy gals always pull each other's hair out over a man.

To Jerrica's shock, Minx offers to make amends to her as well, and she wants to give her and everyone else at Starlight House some presents to show her appreciation - which causes Jerrica to give Minx her "what the flock are you smoking" look.  Rio does seem convinced that the near-death experience has caused Minx to be absolutely sincere, and with his prodding, Jerrica agrees to give Minx a shot. 

Complete with an I WIL B GD license plate on her car, Minx has paid a visit to Jerrica and the Starlight Girls with what looks like a couple of bags of gifts for all the girls.  Minx explained that she didn't treat them very nice the first time she was a guest there - if you recall, she made Krissie cry and shoved three-fifths of the Holograms into the swimming pool.  Jerrica calls the girls over to have them accept the gifts because she's a good foster parent...SAID NOBODY EVER.  I mean, three of your girls ran away from home - and of those three, one got nearly eaten by a bear.  But hey, what do I know?

The gifts Minx brought are quite nice for a dozen girls.  There are water pistols that shoot quite a long distance, and tons of ice cream, cookies, and candy for the girls to gorge themselves on.  I can't tell whether Minx was being sincere or being evil here...but let's go with sincerity.  Minx also out of the blue offers to install a security system at Starlight Mansion for them to protect their equipment - a gesture Jerrica finds thoughtful.  Why don't you just hand Riot the keys to the front door?  That's essentially what you're doing by having Minx program it!  Jerrica must have gotten a new prescription for stupid pills.

But then again, Minx might have taken some honesty pills herself.  When she sees that Rapture and Riot are trying to take advantage of some poor woman with Rapture's "Call me now, I'm Miss Cleo" scam, Minx exposes the scam right there and then, and the woman storms away in a huff.  Rapture is seeing red and is about to kill Minx, but Minx simply states that she was trying to make they appreciate the virtue of honesty.  Yeah, Minx.  Preaching to the choir there. 

Speaking of which, Riot and Rapture have had enough of Minx's personality change, and they decide to try and get through to her in song.  The song itself - "Are You Feeling Alright?" is one of the Stingers weakest songs as far as style and lyrics go - however, the video does do a great job with illustrating the frustration that Riot and Rapture have.  Especially since this new personality shift has caused Minx to lose her edge.  At one point, Minx starts playing classical music instead of the hard rock edge the Stingers are known for!

In fact, Riot and Rapture are so sick of Minx's dependency towards Rio, Jem, and the Holograms, and they are so annoyed by Minx's lack of confidence in herself that they throw her out of the group! 

Later, Minx finds herself at Rio's office where she tells him the sob story of what just happened, and how she has nobody left to talk to.  Rio does try to act sympathetic, but unfortunately his mouth says all the wrong things, and it causes Minx to get even more depressed about herself.  She runs out of the room and straight to the elevator.

At this point, Jem approaches Rio and asks what is going on and all Rio just explains that Minx was upset and he may have made things worse and he doesn't know what she's going to do.  Well, you could look for her, you know.

The duo eventually find Minx standing on the edge of the roof of Starlight Mansion where she threatens to jump off.  WHAT?  So now we're going to showcase suicide on this show?  Seriously, what is the limits that this show will go to?  This episode is soon going to be added to my "I hate this episode" list.

Of course, it takes a little more creative talk from Rio which may include a little begging, a little pleading, and a LOT of apologizing before Minx decides to step back onto the roof.  But she grabs onto Rio and holds him tight while tearfully telling him that she has nobody left.  This makes Jem look very concerned and Rio looking as if he has just gotten arrested for drug trafficking.

Once Minx has calmed down, Jerrica and Rio discuss how Minx went completely off the deep end, and Rio is concerned that Minx has gotten too co-dependent and wants to tell her to back off.  But Jerrica also notes that Minx has been trying so hard to change and she doesn't want Minx to think that they are ungrateful.

Well, Jerrica, if you were actually at your own home once in a while, you might notice that things aren't exactly going so well there.  Thanks to Minx's generosity, half of the Starlight Girls have discovered that ink can go into the water pistols just as well as water can, and they proceed to squirt each other...and Aja with ink.  Meanwhile the other half of the girls are feeling incredibly sick after gorging on all of Baskin-Robbins thirty-one flavours.  If I ate that much ice cream, I'd be sick too.

As Aja washes her clothes, she is venting to Jerrica about how Minx has been a pest, but once again Jerrica seems hesitant to yell at her about it.  Luckily, Aja has more than enough strength to cause some stings to the ex-Stinger herself!  At least that is until Minx has announced that the burglar alarm is now in place and shows them the combinations to activate and deactivate it.  Then Aja is all like "I can't yell at her because she is being nice and junk like that".

In fact, Minx's generosity isn't over yet.  She has arranged to take Jerrica out for a shopping spree at the House of Glamour and tells Jerrica that she has paid for a complete makeover!  Oh, wow!  All of a sudden it's like Minx has transformed into Tyra Banks.  And she's all smize as the good people of Glamour work on Jerrica, including covering her face with a gigantic mud pack.  It's very nice of her to do so...

...or maybe she's just trying to get Jerrica out of the picture so she can canoodle with Rio as she works on his synthesizer.  Wow, maybe she's not so nice after all.  But Rio is getting more and more annoyed that Minx is not letting him touch HIS synthesizer.  He tries to get Minx to let him help, but Minx insists on being helpful.  I think Minx wouldn't know what helpful is if someone opened up Webster's Dictionary to the H section and whacked her over the noggin with it.

Oh, and Minx's foolproof burglar alarm?  One of the Starlight Girls...Marianne, JoEllen, know, the one that's not Ba Nee, Krissie, or Ashley?  They open up a window and before you know it, a piercing noise fills the house.  What's worse, the combinations that Minx gave the girls doesn't do anything to stop it.  Psst...I slowed down the scene where Minx shows them.  The code is 6717.  Next time you'll remember.  Or, Rio can just yank the system out of the wall.  He's good at destroying things.  Plants.  Faces of gang members.  Jerrica's heart.

Speaking of Jerrica, the makeover that Minx gave her is ridiculous.  Her hair literally looks like a toilet brush.  I'm surprised Kimber doesn't roll over on the floor laughing her ass off.  Jerrica has had enough of Minx's "help", as have Rio and the rest of the Holograms, and they have a meeting to discuss how they can tell Minx to knock it off...right at the moment Minx comes downstairs to surprise Rio with his new synthesizer.  Oops.  

Well, knowing first hand how fragile Minx is, Jerrica tries to tell Minx that she is driving them all insane...with lyrics from a Jem and the Holograms song called "Too Much".  Well, at least they had that song title ten years before the Spice Girls did.  The song itself is a nice ballad that seems to have a hard edge...and once the song is finished, get a look at Minx's face and how that sweet smile turns to an angry scowl!

Minx runs back upstairs with the synthesizer and climbs out onto the roof where Jerrica and Rio are like...not again.  But instead of threatening to jump, she yells at them and throws the synthesizer down onto the ground, breaking it into a million pieces.  And right there we see the old Minx back.

To confirm it, she smashes the water guns, she melts all the ice cream, she squirts ink on everyone's clothes and pees at the front door.  Well, okay, three of those things really happen.  Whatever the case, Minx is no longer going to be good.  And frankly I'm kind of relieved.  Sweet and peppy Minx kind of creeped me out.  A lot.

So, Rio's synthesizer is no more.  But Rio doesn't mind.  He's decided to take the tips that Minx gave him and is doing it himself.  He tells Jerrica that it may take him longer than Minx, but he's having fun learning.  I haven't the heart to tell him that by the time he finishes it, the technology will be obsolete, but bless his heart for trying!  Jerrica meanwhile laments that she was starting to like Minx and she hopes that she learned something from this.

Uh...W---WHAT?!?!  You lying COW!  Jerrica, you NEVER liked Minx.  You were suspicious of her from day one!  Even when she was trying to be nice, you were always trying to reject her or question her motives.  I mean, yeah, Minx was never going to be Shirley Temple, but still, your giving her the benefit of the doubt was all phony and high and mighty.  Sheesh, you're no better than Rio!  Just...go.  Go away.  And take your plant kicking, purple haired man child with you! 

Okay.  I feel better now.  I had my Snickers.  I can continue with the conclusion.

Which is that the Stingers have welcomed Minx back and they are playing their concert, and the lights go out.  Amusingly, when Rapture and Riot announce that Minx can help fix it, Minx ignores them, saying that the word help is no longer in her vocabulary.  Rapture and Riot give each other the look as Minx continues to file her nails.  Oh, that Minx!

Okay, so not my favourite episode...but I do like that Rapture and now Minx have had standalone episodes.  Next week, it's Riot's turn.  Should I be afraid?

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