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Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 30, 1981

All right...this is the final Throwback Thursday for the month of March.  And while I can't really say that this event that we are flashing back to is a happy occasion, it was a very important part of modern day history - one that I am sure will be making an appearance in future history textbooks.

Let's have a look at some other events that took place on March 30.

1822 - The Florida Territory is created in the United States

1841 - The National Bank of Greece is founded in Athens

1856 - The Crimean War ends following the signing of the Treaty of Paris

1867 - Alaska is purchased from Russia by William S. Seward for $7.2 million

1870 - Texas rejoins the United States of America following Reconstruction after the American Civil War

1929 - Actor Richard Dysart (d. 2015) is born in Massachusetts

1943 - Singer Jay Trainor (d. 2014) is born in Brooklyn, New York

1945 - During World War I, Austria is invaded by the Soviet Union, while the city of Danzig, Poland is liberated by Soviet and Polish troops

1949 - Following Iceland's decision to join NATO, a riot erupts in Reykjavik's Austurvollur Square

1965 - Twenty-two people lose their lives and 183 more are injured following the detonation of a car bomb outside of Saigon's American Embassy during the Vietnam War

1973 - Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein (d. 2009) is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1979 - British MP Airey Neave is killed by a car bomb outside of the Palace of Westminster

1982 - Space Shuttle Columbia lands safely in New Mexico following the completion of the STS-3 Mission

1991 - Gloria Estefan's "Coming Out Of The Dark" - the first single released since her 1990 bus accident - reaches #1 on the Billboard charts

2002 - Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother passes away at the age of 101

2003 - Actor Michael Jeter dies at the age of 50

2004 - Journalist and former host of "Masterpiece Theatre" Alasdair Cooke dies at the age of 95

2014 - Actress Kate O'Mara passes away at the age of 74

And birthday greetings go out to the following people; John Astin, Rolf Harris, Warren Beatty, Kenneth Welsh, Eric Clapton, Eddie Jordan, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, Dana Gillespie, Robbie Coltrane, Paul Reiser, Maurice LaMarche, Martina Cole, MC Hammer, Tracy Chapman, Piers Morgan, Celine Dion, Mark Consuelos, Norah Jones, and Jason Dohring.

So, as I said...this date in history that we're flashing back to today is a dark day - but it's one that I'm sure most people who are old enough to have experienced it remember as if it was yesterday.

Unfortunately, I am NOT one of those people.  I was still in the womb at the time and wouldn't be born for another seven weeks.



That's because the date is March 30, 1981.



Thirty-six years ago, a stunning event took place in the middle of Washington D.C. which had the whole world talking.  In the middle of broad daylight at 2:27 that afternoon, somebody would take some shots of the current American President at that time, Ronald Reagan.  Only instead of using a camera, they would use an actual gun.

It was the first assassination attempt on an American president in six years - an unsuccessful plot to kill Gerald Ford was foiled when the gun of the planned assassin - Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme malfunctioned.  In the case of Ronald Reagan, the end result was much different.  Reagan was shot, as were three other people.  The most seriously wounded of the four was White House Press Secretary James Brady, whose injuries from the shooting left him permanently paralyzed for the rest of his life. 

Fortunately for Reagan, he would recover from the shooting and remained as President for two full terms before being succeeded by George Bush in January 1989.  The gunman, John Hinckley Jr. was arrested and found not guilty by reason of insanity.  He would spend the next thirty-five years in psychiatric care before being released into the care of his mother in September 2016.

But what would cause John Hinckley Jr. to do such a callous crime such as assassinating the President of the United States?

Would you believe that it had to do with a girl?  In fact, one could call her one of the biggest child stars of the 1970s.

These days, Jodie Foster makes her living behind the camera as a famous director.  But during the late 1960s all the way through the 2000s, she made a living as an actress.  Who could forget her role as Clarice Starling in "The Silence of the Lambs"?  Or some of her roles during her teen years during the 1970s which included everything from "Bugsy Malone" to "Candleshoe"?



Perhaps Jodie's finest performance was in the movie "Taxi Driver", where she played the controversial role of a child prostitute opposite Robert DeNiro.  The film was a cinematic masterpiece (at least in my opinion anyway), and it earned her an Academy Award nomination at just fourteen years of age.  But while "Taxi Driver" was a huge hit for the young starlet, she would have no idea that it would be her performance in this film that would trigger John Hinckley Jr. to commit his crime.

You see, Hinckley watched Jodie's performance in "Taxi Driver".  A lot.  It is estimated that he watched the film at least fifteen times prior to 1981 and had developed an unhealthy obsession with her.  He even went so far as to tracking down where Jodie's dorm room was at Yale University and called her, sent her notes, and even tried enrolling in a writing course.  But despite Hinckley's attempts to get closer to Jodie, Jodie turned him down, and started to show the dean of the university the notes that she continued to receive.

At some point, the school had tried to contact the police department to bring Hinckley in for harassment, but the school failed to track him down.  By then, Hinckley started to put his plan into motion.

Having been a fan of "Taxi Driver", Hinckley decided to emulate the role that Robert DeNiro portrayed - a man who plotted the assassination of a U.S. Senator to try and protect Jodie's character from harm.  Hinckley had attempted to kill President Gerald Ford in 1980, but he was taken in by authorities for possession of illegal firearms, and wasn't able to follow through with the plan.  And even though Ford was in Washington at the time that Hinckley planned to take him out, the incident was not reported to the Secret Service as authorities failed to make a connection between Ford and Hinckley. 

So, Hinckley decided that he would shift his focus to the newly elected Reagan, and he believed that if he killed Reagan, he would impress Jodie Foster enough that she would immediately fall for him. 

On March 30, 1981, Hinckley made his move.  Having read his schedule printed in a copy of the Washington Star two days prior, he decided that he would meet Reagan at the Washington Hilton Hotel - where Reagan would deliver an address to AFL-CIO representatives.

While most public events would have required the President to wear a bulletproof vest (something that became commonplace after the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy), Reagan chose not to wear one as he would only be in exposure for the 30 feet between the hotel and the limousine that would take him back to the White House.  That was mistake #1.

Mistake #2 was related to the Secret Service and a "colossal mistake" that was made.  While the majority of the people in the area were screened by the Secret Service to prevent anything from happening, a small group of unscreened civilians were left standing just fifteen feet away from the area behind a rope line.  Can you guess who was part of that unscreened group?



Needless to say, the cards were set up for a perfect storm.  And as Reagan passed Hinckley on his way to the limo, that storm struck in the form of half a dozen bullets.

Reagan was struck in the abdomen.  Press Secretary James Brady took a bullet to the head.  Police officer Thomas Delahenty was struck in the neck.  Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy was shot as he dove onto the wounded President to protect him from further harm.

It didn't take long to apprehend Hinckley, and all of the wounded were immediately taken to area hospitals.  Because the brand of ammunition that Hinckley used were "Devastator" cartridges - bullets that were designed to explode upon impact - surgeons had to wear bulletproof vests to extract the bullets.  Amazingly, the bullet that struck Brady was the only one to fully explode - explaining why Brady ended up taking the most physical damage.



Although Reagan had sustained some internal bleeding and a punctured lung in the attempted assassination, he would go on to make a full recovery.  Delahanty and McCarthy also recovered, though due to the severity of his injury, Delahanty was forced to retire.  



As for Brady, even though the attack left him paralyzed, he continued to serve as Press Secretary until Reagan left office, and afterwards became a serious advocate for gun control.  As a result, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act was passed in 1993.  Brady passed away in August 2014, and in a surprising move, his death would be ruled a homicide thirty-three years after the shooting.

The events of March 30, 1981 served as a terrifying reminder that being in political office is a very risky job.  And it's a date that for those alive during that time remains a shocking event.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jem Reviewed: Season 2 Recap



Yes, fear not...Jem Reviewed will be coming back as planned this coming Friday.  But before we get to the abbreviated third and final season of the show, we must recap the previous season gone by.

This is the official Season 2 recap of the cartoon series Jem.  And, I guess the general consensus of the season is this.  Started off incredibly strong, dipped in quality a LOT in the middle, had moments of greatness towards the end, and then the finale was one dismal mess.  So, all in all...a very confusing season.  But we were introduced to new characters, heard some more complex music (including some from different characters), and saw both the Holograms and Misfits go all over the world to promote the gift of music (and other social issues).

Now, did you miss any episode reviews prior to this one?  No problem.  Clicking
HERE will take you to the list of episodes from Season 1.  There's 26 in all.  And for the 27 episodes of Season 2, just click on each individual link below to catch up.


First, we'll begin with character profiles from Season 2, and both bands received a new member a piece.  And, unlike season one where the roles of good versus evil were black and white, this season blurs that line considerably.  We see a couple of the Misfits soften up with one even becoming friends with a Hologram.  On the flipside, we see a couple of instances in which the Holograms act more like Misfits.  Fortunately, Rio doesn't kick any plants this season.



Once again, we'll start with the Holograms.  And in a surprising upset, newcomer Raya is my pick as my favourite Hologram of Season 2!  From the moment she joined the show, she resonated with me because of her inital lack of self-confidence (who can forget that her father orchestrated getting her an audience with Jem), as well as her extreme loyalty to the band (refusing to tell anyone about Jem's real identity when she accidentally found out).  Being a Hologram means the world to her, but so does doing the right thing.  When Shana came back to the band, Raya considered stepping back, but Shana and the others insisted that she stay.  She made a good choice too, as she's absolutely delightful.  Just don't attack her family's greenhouse or you might lose some hair.



Aja drops down to second place, but I still hold her in high regard.  I think Aja's biggest problem this year was lack of storyline - though at least the showrunners gave her a love interest in Craig.  Still, I think more should have been done to explore this - especially since Aja is dating Stormer's brother.  The possible plot points that could have come from that alone would have been gold.  And besides, it was Aja who helped Jerrica release her mother's music on record after successfully infiltrating Synergy's memory banks.  That alone makes her a standout.



Last season, she was ranked dead last...but this season Kimber improved enough for me to include her in the middle of the pack.  I think it was the last couple of episodes where she finally started acting like an adult and choosing to be with Sean (without marrying him) that firmly cemented it.  One of my main concerns with Kimber last season was her indecisiveness and immaturity when it came to men.  This time around, it seemed as though Danse had more love interests!  But, Kimber's also had some moving moments as well, such as coming to terms with her father's death, breaking out on her own and forming a friendship with Stormer, and helping Jerrica deal with the loss of their mother.  I think those moments have helped Kimber become a more sympathetic character.



Was Shana even in this season?  I mean, I can only think of two defining moments that she had in season two.  One was when she quit the band to work for the devil that wore anything but orange Prada, and two was when she was mistaken for a New Orleans singer from ages ago during Mardi Gras.  Is Shana a lovely character?  Yes.  But is she completely underused?  Well, when Danse gets more storylines and she's not even a Hologram, I'd have to say YES.  Hopefully in the final stretch of the show, Shana gets to do something.



Now, Jem/Jerrica...was it just me, or was she completely insufferable during the second season?  I mean, she's the star of the show, and yet she's the Hologram I hate the most!  I suppose Jerrica isn't too bad in comparison, and as Jerrica, I have to agree she had some really sweet moments such as her helping Laura out, and her dealing with the loss of her mother.  But as Jem, she has the most enormous ego, and is so judgmental.  I actually laughed when the old woman refused to show Jem the way to Shangri-La because she deemed Jem a big old fake.  Because it's the truth!  As Jerrica Benton, she's fine.  As Jem...she sucks.  And, to be honest, she and Rio deserve each other.  As far as I'm concerned, they're both fatheads.



Looking over the Misfits, I had Stormer as my favourite Misfit, and very little has changed in that regard.  Even though Stormer can still be considered wishy-washy, she does have a good heart.  I loved the episode where she left the Misfits and recorded an album with Kimber because it helped her realize that even without the Misfits, she could still be a star.  Granted, the Misfits took her back...but since that episode, they do treat her with more respect.  I just wish she wasn't too much of a follower when it came to the Misfits most dastardly deeds (see Episode 32).  Stormer's brother Craig put it best - she could do better than them.



She may have been at the bottom of my list at Season 1, but Roxy is firmly my second place pick for best Misfit.  I think Episode 39 was really the turning point.  That was where we learned that Roxy had a rough upbringing and that she never finished school or learned to read.  By the end of the episode, we were thinking that she was totally humiliated...until Ba Nee gave her a book to learn how to read.  Since then, Roxy's gotten a little bit softer, but still has a rough edge.  One that she uses to insult Jetta at every opportunity.  And any enemy of Jetta is someone I like.



I nearly considered putting Pizzazz at the bottom of my list, but when the Father's Day episode aired, I couldn't do it.  In the last few minutes of that episode we learned EXACTLY why Pizzazz turned out the way she did.  She wanted the love and attention of her father - a man who simply couldn't give it to her the way she wanted.  That would sour anyone's disposition.  It's difficult to ignore the many crimes that she was involved in during Season 2, but at least knowing what fueled it...well, that makes me understand and even like her at times.



Jetta - the newest member of the band - is a cold hearted bitch.  And that's putting it mildly.  She loves to cause trouble, she loves to use money to buy friends and win power, she nearly bankrupted Raya's family with the damage done to their greenhouse, and she is probably the rudest Brit I've ever seen - and I regularly watch EastEnders!  She has absolutely no likeable qualities whatsoever, and she doesn't even seem to be loyal to her own bandmates.  Who could forget the time she tried to extort money out of Pizzazz during the Britrock episode?  She's just completely insufferable, and easily the worst Misfit of the lot.

A huge part of Season 2 was the music.  And, all in all, I'd say the music on Season 2 was an improvement over Season 1.  The saxophone in selected Misfits songs helped make them pop, and even the Holograms experimented with new sounds that helped their music sound less Candy Crush and more mature.  But with a mix of Season 1 songs added in, which Season 2 songs did I find great?  Well, this time, I'll do four original and one reused song that I loved, plus one I couldn't stand.

TOP 5 SONGS OF JEM SEASON 2 (AND ONE I HATE)



1.  Beat This (Episode 28) - You know how I said that Jem songs in Season 1 were bland and sugary sweet?  Welcome to the new Jem.  This was the song that determined the winner of the Talent Search between Raya and Craig, and I think it's quite fantastic.  It's filled with energy, I love the drum solo parts, and Britta Phillips does a fantastic job with the vocals.  I love it.



2. Always There In My Heart (Episode 33) - Okay, this is one ballad that I don't mind admitting I enjoy because of the message behind it.  It was a song that Kimber wrote while she was grieving her father, and it serves as a great message in dealing with the loss of a loved one.  Very poignant and moving.



3.  Let Me Take You To The Mardi Gras (Episode 45) - This song is just plain catchy, and definitely one that I found myself tapping my toes to.  The imagery is so Mardi Gras, and I can easily have heard this song blaring out of a stereo of a car pulling one of the elaborate floats.  This one's definitely a winner.



4. In The Land of the Midnight Sun (Episode 46) - While the video looks choppy because of the Korean animation, the song itself is absolutely beautiful.  It definitely tingles my spine and I'm not even in Alaska.  It's really hard for me to say something negative about this song because there isn't anything.



BEST USE OF SEASON 1 SONG: Something is Missing in My Life (Episode 33):  When the song was first used in Episode 10, Jem was singing about her missing earrings.  Hardly moving.  But when the song was reused and put to footage of Kimber grieving her father...that's where the song became a hit.  Come to think of it, a lot of Season 1 Jem songs were made better when reused in Season 2.  See "I Got My Eye On You" and "She Makes An Impression" for more evidence of this.



Alas, not all Jem songs get my seal of approval.  Episode 44's "I'm Taking A Train" is not just the worst song in season two...but it could be the worst song for the whole series!  Telling people that you're taking a train thirty-six times in the chorus doesn't make a hit song!

TOP 5 SONGS OF THE MISFITS SEASON 2 (AND ONE I HATE)



1.  I Like Your Style (Episode 27) - Good lord, this song is the very definition of ear candy from start to finish.  As much as I hate Jetta as a character, the addition of the saxophone in this song makes it a near perfect Misfits tune, and a brilliant start to the second season.



2. I Love a Scandal (Episode 29) - The subject of the song is quite literally scandalous.  And some might say that it's not comfortable seeing Kimber used as the Misfits punching bag.  But, I can't help but think that this song is really good.  Ellen Bernfeld's singing voice is definitely the glue that holds this tune together.



3.  Abracadabra (Episode 36) - This definitely ain't the Steve Miller Band here.  This song with its incredible music video is one of the highlights of season two.  The production values for the music have definitely improved with this season, and I'm glad that in the early part of season two, the Misfits had some AWESOME hits.



4.  Free and Easy (Episode 38) - I'm not used to the Misfits doing a slow song, but after hearing this song in action, I wonder why they didn't attempt to do more.  I suppose they had to keep the Misfits hard style in the forefront.  Too bad too, because this jam is sooooo smooth.



BEST USE OF SEASON 1 SONG:  Who Is She, Anyway? (Episode 32): Okay, so as much as I loathe the episode "The Fan" (which you'll see why in a couple of paragraphs from now), you can't deny that the video for this single was done much better than the song's original use in Episode 16.  At least it makes more sense with Pizzazz trying to gaslight Jem to find out who she really is.



One of the complaints that I had about the Misfits this season was the fact that they had far less songs than Jem and the Holograms.  And unfortunately some of the songs just weren't that great.  My least favourite Misfits song from Season 2 is easily Episode 43's "Star-Spangled Fantasy".  The name of the song is great...but everything else was boring.  The Misfits deserved better.



And, before I go into the episode discussion, I want to commend the music department for featuring songs that were solo efforts or by different characters altogether.  Songs such as "I'm Okay" by Kimber and Stormer, Roxy's "I'm Gonna Change", Laura Holloway's "Alone Again", and Jacqui Benton's "Starlight".  All were decent songs that gave other vocalists a chance to shine.  I wonder if Season 3 will have more of this.  I sure hope so.

And now for the selection of what I think are the best and worst episodes of the second season.  Remember, this are merely my observations.  You can agree or disagree with them all you wish...and you can offer up your own comments if you want.

FIVE EPISODES I LIKED



1. Episode 28 - The Talent Search, Part 2: I thought the two-part season opener was very well done, and it did a great job introducing us to Raya and Jetta.  But what I liked about the second part was the way it all wrapped up.  Raya became a Hologram, Shana stood up to Liz Stratton, Jetta got her hair pulled out by Raya, Eric Raymond had a lamp twisted around his neck by Craig...good times!



2.  Episode 33 - Father's Day:  The fact that two of my liked songs from season two appear in this episode should indicate that I like it very much, if for no other reason that it is a pivotal episode for character development.  We see Kimber mature, we see why there's a feud between Video and Clash, and we understand why Pizzazz turned out the way she did.  It's easily one of the best episodes, but also one of the most heartbreaking.



3.  Episode 34 - The Treasure Hunt: Being a fan of books and literature helped me come to the decision to add this episode to my like list.  And it also shows a good display of teamwork and winning without cheating.  I think Jem shows more integrity than she ever did in any episode by sticking to the rules and not helping Ba Nee, Ashley, and Krissie solve the riddles to the treasure.  Inevitably, the girls had more fun solving it on their own - and they made a new friend in the process!



4.  Episode 39 - Roxy Rumbles:  By the end of this episode, I know I was rooting for Roxy.  One of the reasons I loved Season 2 so much in the first part was because the show really delved into the personalities of the Misfits.  We saw Pizzazz's character unfold in "Father's Day", and we saw Roxy go through the gamut of emotions.  But even though Roxy was left humiliated, she still received a happy ending when Ba Nee believed enough in her to try and help her read.  That beautiful moment was the icing on the cake.



5.  Episode 51 - Out Of The Past:  How could I NOT include this episode in my best of list?  We saw how Synergy was created!  We saw how the girls formed their friendships.  We saw how Starlight Music and Starlight House was created.  And we saw Jerrica smack the crap out of Eric Raymond!  This episode is a winner all around.

FIVE EPISODES I HATED



1.  Episode 32 - The Fan:  This episode was just cruel to watch, even if you aren't a huge fan of Jem or Jerrica.  For the Misfits to manipulate a rich fan of Jem into building a replica of Starlight Mansion just to drive Jem crazy enough for her to reveal her true identity - that's way too evil even for the Misfits!  Very uncomfortable storyline all around.



2.  Episode 35 - Aztec Enchantment:  I was so bored with this episode that I gave up on it before I finished writing my review.  It was one of those episodes that I SHOULD have liked, given that it was very Raya centered...but its execution was disappointing.



3.  Episode 43 - The Presidential Dilemma:  The bad Korean animation was the first indication that this was going to be a disaster.  The plotline where Jerrica and the President were kidnapped by a man stealing Washington's treasures was even more so.  This episode was the result of what would happen if you took all the synopses for 1980s crime shows and stapled them together into one script.  Awful.



4.  Episode 48 - Journey to Shangri-La:  Yetis.  Poisonous snow briars.  Weird guys dressed in multicoloured clothes.  Music from Shangri-La.  These are things that should probably have NEVER appeared in a Jem episode...and yet here we are.  It's like the writers wrote a Mad Lib instead of a cohesive script.



5.  Episode 49 - Journey Through Time:  The only amusing part of this whole show was Eric getting chased by a dinosaur.  Other than that, it was a script that probably should have gone into a paper shredder.

And with that, Season 2 is now closed.  We've only got twelve episodes left of Jem Reviewed...and the action will resume on March 31st!  Thanks for reading!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Jem Reviewed: Episode 53 - Hollywood Jem: And The Winner Is...


It's time for the second part of a two-part Jem Reviewed, as well as the finale for Season 2!  In Part One, it appeared as though Kimber has broken the heart of one man by accepting the proposal of another.  And somewhere along the way, Jem got herself nominated for an Academy Award.  What other craziness can we expect from the second season conclusion?



Well, we've no time to waste.  Time for Episode 53 - Hollywood Jem:  And the Winner Is...



So, since Kimber has accepted the proposal of Jeff Wright and crushed our pseudo-British teen idol Sean Harrison's heart into a fine powder, it's only natural that the show begins at a bridal shop.  My question is...exactly how much time has passed since the proposal?  It seems as though Kimber has gathered her Hologram pals to go dress shopping THAT SAME DAY!  Maybe Jerrica was right about Kimber rushing a wee bit too fast.  After all, she's not present with Kimber and the others who are looking at ugly and hideous dresses.  Seriously, has anyone ever seen a canary yellow dress and thought "I'm gonna get married looking like a banana"? 



Well, at least Kimber is thrilled to know that Jerrica has decided to show up after all.  Jerrica still is hesitant about the wedding and still has reservations about Kimber making the right choice.  However, she loves Kimber and will give her blessing to her and Jeff.  And in celebration of Kimber's wedding tomorrow (WHAT?!?), the Holograms sing a song about how tomorrow is Kimber's wedding day.



No, seriously.  The name of the song they sing is "Tomorrow Is My Wedding Day".  And as you might expect, it's super cheesy and makes Barney's "I Love You" song sound like death metal punk.  I'm actually more shocked that Kimber chose to get married with one day's notice!  Is she really serious?  Or is she trying to upstage Jem because she got nominated for an Academy Award?  I just...yeah, my brain hurts.



Later that day, Kimber is on the movie set getting ready to watch Jeff's stunt for the movie and she happens to cross paths with Rio.  Kimber goes to Rio and apologizes for being so curt with him the other day (oh, sweet Jesus, she really DID only get proposed to yesterday).  Rio, to his credit, accepts without kicking any trees over.  Rio does seem shocked that Kimber has accepted Jeff's proposal though - but not for the obvious reason of the fact that Kimber seems to want the shortest engagement in history.  He's wondering why Kimber decided to accept Jeff's proposal when she seems more intent on hanging around Sean. 



But before Kimber can give Rio an explanation, it's time for the stunt to begin, and Jeff speeds the car towards the danger...but Rio notices that Jeff is driving the car a little bit too erratically and realizes that the driver has lost control of the car!  The car crashes right into the side of the gigantic truck and spins completely out of control, knocking the driver of the car silly.  Rio and Kimber rush towards the car and Kimber is extremely worried that Jeff is dead and that the wedding will have to be called off.



So, you can imagine everybody's shock when the helmet is pulled off and Sean Harrison is in the stunt man costume!  It appears as though Sean got the brilliant idea to perform the stunt himself so that he could prove to Kimber that he is just as tough as Jeff is.  And then Sean passes out from the pain.  Sheesh, Sean is just as stupid as Kimber is.  Maybe they really SHOULD be endgame.



An unconscious Sean is brought to the nearest hospital, and Rio and Kimber are waiting to hear word.  Kimber is blaming herself for this, but Rio tries to comfort her.  I actually can't believe that I am saying this, but Rio is actually coming across quite well here.  And since Rio isn't annoying me this episode, I'll share some Jem Trivia about him.  He's voiced by Michael Sheehan, who during the late 1970s and 1980s voiced several characters in animation - mostly Hanna-Barbera cartoons.  And on "Zoobilee Zoo", he filled in for Sandey Grinn as Bill Der Beaver when Grinn was presumably unavailable due to illness or previous commitments.

Since Sean is unconscious and likely will be until morning, Rio offers to stick around the hospital to wait for word so that Kimber can get home and get some sleep for her wedding day tomorrow.  But right off the bat, you can see in Kimber's face that maybe she hasn't made the right choice after all.  I wonder what is going to happen?



The following morning, Jerrica, Aja, Shana, and Raya are helping Kimber into her wedding dress, and while Kimber is excited about the day, she's very distracted about Sean, and hopes that he is okay.  Fortunately, Kimber is relieved that Rio has called Jerrica to let everyone know that Sean has woken up and is alert.  Rio also lets them know that he'll be running late to the wedding, but that Sean is going to be just fine, which makes Kimber feel even better.



But Kimber's relief turns to anxiousness when she realizes that the groom hasn't shown up yet.  And right away Kimber jumps to the conclusion that she has been stood up at her own wedding.  Geez, with all these mood swings, you'd have thought that Jeff knocked her up or something!  Fortunately, Aja spots Jeff arriving through the front gate of Starlight Mansion - on a motorcycle.  Not exactly what Kimber pictured...or Shana who sarcastically remarks how romantic it is.



I'm guessing that Starlight Mansion is where the wedding is taking place.  And although all the Starlight Girls are present at the wedding, we only focus on Ba Nee, Ashley, and Krissie, since those three are the only ones who had dolls made of them.  They seem really excited about the bags of rice that they have, and they almost seem giddy to throw it all over Kimber and Jeff.  Honestly, rice is so...boring.  If they really wanted to make it memorable, they should have used rice pudding. 



And it looks as though the guest list is quite sizeable.  It's like a Where's Waldo picture of guest stars from seasons one and two!  Can you name them all?



Kimber and Jerrica are thrilled that they have so many friends to wish them well.  But Kimber sees that someone is missing.  She asks Jerrica to call on Synergy, and with Synergy's help, she projects a hologram of Jem so that both Jem and Jerrica can see her marry Jeff.  This is actually a rather smart idea...though Jerrica's been kind of careless about who she's revealed her identity to.



But then, Jeff seems to be distracted more than Kimber.  Howard Sands actually catches him working out in the gym just minutes before he is set to marry Kimber.  He tells Howard that he's just working out some nervous energy, but I'm wondering if he's thought this through.  I mean, their engagement has only lasted a little over twenty-four hours.



And as Kimber walks down the aisle, it's time for another schmaltzy song called "Happy Ever After".  Seriously, I get that it's a very special episode of Jem, but why the sugary sweet music?  I think I'm going to need a root canal after this episode!  But if you watch the video towards the end, you're going to see Kimber have visions of marrying both Jeff and Sean...and I get the feeling that Kimber's not looking to become a bigamist.  It just illustrates her confusion over who she really wants to marry.



But it appears as though Kimber has made up her mind.  As soon as the priest asks both of them if they will take the other one as their spouse, they both say "I do" even though Kimber says it with as much enthusiasm as someone who's been sick with pneumonia for three days.



But in what has to be one of the most bizarre moments of the series, Rio rushes into the wedding to make an objection.  And in front of all of the stunned guests, he gets down on one knee and proposes to Kimber!  Wh-Wh-WHAAAAAAAT?  Sheesh, is Kimber that irresistible that now RIO is in love with her?  Oh. My. God.



But wait.  Before Jerrica slaps Kimber in the face and crams an entire cactus down Rio's throat, Rio has a simple explanation.  He's actually proposing to Kimber by proxy.  Seems as though Sean kept the ring that he bought for Kimber, and Sean asked Rio to ask Kimber to marry Sean!  Ohhhhhh, so Rio isn't that kind of guy after all.  Though, you have to admit, Rio dumping Jerrica for Kimber would have been a plot twist for the ages.



Now, if you were thinking that Jeff might have something to say about it, he does.  But he actually holds up the white flag of surrender and realizes that he and Kimber can only be friends.  He realizes that Kimber loves Sean more, and he's taking a step back so that Kimber can truly follow her heart's desire.  I have to say, this is a classy move on Jeff's part.  It's so weird how all of these characters are stepping up their adult game.  I kind of like it.



So, Kimber leaves Jeff at the altar and rushes to the hospital to give Sean her answer in person.  As for Rio and Jerrica, they're the ones who get pelted with rice by the Starlight Girls, with Ashley saying that they didn't know what else they could have done with the rice.  Well, you could try EATING it for starters.  Sheesh.  What a waste.



Now, here's where one of the most heartwarming, but yet incredibly foolish events of the whole series takes place.  Kimber arrives at Sean's hospital room, and Sean is pretty beat up.  With a couple of broken legs and some head trauma, Sean is going to take some time to recover.  Naturally, the picture is on hold until he can get better.  But Kimber does have an answer for him - and I have to say that Kimber's grown up a lot with her response.  She explains to Sean that the only reason she accepted Jeff's proposal was to spite Jerrica and to move out of Starlight Mansion so she wouldn't be nagged by her.  You see?  I told you her passion for marriage was fueled by her secret desire to escape Jerrica!  But Kimber tells Sean that she realizes that she was getting married for the wrong reasons, so that's why she turned down Jeff.  She also tells Sean that while she has chosen him, she can't accept the ring because she would also like to get to know him better.  Sean seems to agree and they kiss. 

But then Kimber completely loses her mind and tells Sean that he should get better because he's holding up her SISTER'S MOVIE CAREER?  What the?  Did Kimber just tell Sean that Jem and Jerrica are the SAME PERSON?!?  Like, seriously?  Kimber, you realize that you just told Sean that your sister is Jem?  And that not even RIO knows?  Wow, Kimber...just...wow.  I mean, yeah, Jerrica's been sloppy when it comes to changing Holograms, but you just blurt it out.  I'm thinking Sean must be on morphine or something because he doesn't even flinch!  But yeah...wow.



So, did I mention that Jem is nominated for an Academy Award?  The wedding scenes kind of threw us off a bit.  Whatever the case, Jem has invited all of the Academy members to view the film "Starbright".  As Jem explains, it's a courtesy for all of the members to view each film so they can make their decision.  One person who likely won't be giving Jem his vote is director Francois Truchet, who wastes no time badmouthing Jem to the other members.  Ah, yes...the old sabotage someone's chances because they turn you down for a film.  How immature.  Rio and Flint Westwood are ready to show our less than friendly French director "la porte", but Jem tells them to stop.  After all, she wants ALL the members to feel welcome. 



It's the night of the big show, and for once, Jem is nervous about her chances.  Thankfully we have Kimber and the others giving her moral support even though Kimber basically told Sean who Jem really is.  Rio is Jem's escort, of course, while Shana's date is Anthony Julian.



To Kimber's surprise, Sean pops out of the limo with leg casts and crutches, eager to be Kimber's date for the show.  Of course, Kimber promises to be gentle with Sean.  Things are somewhat awkward when Jeff pops out of the limo as well...but it becomes less so when it's explained that Aja and Raya have agreed to be his dates.  Or, maybe it's made more awkward.  Whatever, let's just head over to the red carpet.



Thankfully, we're spared an interview from Harriet Horn, or a critique from the fashion police.  We just see Jem and Rio walking into the venue with all of the other Holograms.  Interestingly enough, this happens to be the 60th Annual Academy Awards - which in real life aired the same year this episode did - 1988.  And interestingly enough, 1988 was the year that Cher won for Best Actress.  Could this be foreshadowing?



Well, before we get to that, we've got to sit through twelve hours of other awards.  For instance, Lena and Dominic Lerner are presenting the award for Best Make-Up in a Motion Picture - which I don't even know if that's even an actual category.  But Kimber essentially says what I am thinking - how long until we get to the important awards?  It's one of the reasons why I tend to skip the Academy Awards on television.



Finally, it's time to announce the nominees for Best Actress.  And Cher is not one of the nominees.  Instead, we have our Meryl Streep doppelganger in some "Working Girl" spoof.  We have our Sigourney Weaver twin in some Alien Poltergeist movie which - let's face it - would have NEVER been nominated.  And of course, we have Geraldine Pathos who admittedly does a decent job in the short clip we have of her.



And then there's Jem - with what is literally the same Starbright footage that was shown in Episode 8.  If this is what Jem thinks is her best clip, she may as well already call it a day.

Flint Westwood announces the winner, and to nobody's surprise, Geraldine Pathos takes the prize.  Kimber is visually upset and calls her a few choice words, but Jem tells her to take the high road.



It seems as though Geraldine has taken the high road as well.  In her acceptance speech, she singles out Jem and formally apologizes to her for being so rude to her and for dismissing her talent.  To Jem's credit, she accepts her apology, and as Geraldine celebrates her win, Jem heads off to the bathroom.



But when Kimber follows her and sees Jem bawling at one of the sinks, she sits down beside her, comforts her, and tells her that she really is a great actress.  Jem is very upset that she lost and she really wanted to win, but Kimber tells her that as her sister, she'll always be a winner to her.



Which would be a sweet moment if Jem and Kimber weren't in the washroom with ALL THE OTHER NOMINEES!  Sheesh, Kimber, why don't you just rush up to the podium and tell the world that Jem is your sister?!?



I especially love how the bathroom is called the POWDER ROOM!  Rio is waiting outside of the room to take Jem and the others home, but before they can leave, a man approaches them with some good news for Jem.  Apparently, Geraldine Pathos got hit by a bus and Jem is now the winner!



No, wait.  That didn't happen.  But Jem did earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!  Not bad for someone that's only been in the entertainment industry for all of THREE YEARS!  Sigh...so many discrepancies. 



And why not end this dismal episode off with an encore of "Hollywood Jem"?  I mean, we only heard it in Episode 52 which was LAST WEEK!

You know, normally I love the multi-part episodes, but this was just a chore to get through.  The lessons we have learned in this one is that Kimber should probably NEVER get married, Sean should NEVER become a stunt driver, Jem will probably NEVER make another movie, and Jem should probably get Kimber to stop calling her sis!  I mean, how many people did Kimber accidentally tell?  I lost count.



Whatever the case, that's a wrap for Season 2.  Coming up on Monday, I'll recap the whole season for you.  And on Friday, we'll kick off Season 3 where we're introduced to yet another new band!

And with only twelve episodes left, it's sort of an abbreviated season.