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Friday, December 09, 2016

Jem Reviewed: Episode 38 - Danse Time

Welcome to another edition of Jem Reviewed, as well as Day #9 in the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR!  And after last week's episode where the group tried to reunite a jazz band from the 1940s, this wek we have what could be considered the closest thing to a Christmas episode that Jem actually made!

This is Episode 38:  Danse Time.  I get the feeling that this episode has to do with the delightful Danse, so already I'm getting excited about it!

Oh, and look!  Our pal Richard Xanthos is back again!  I really liked him the last time that he appeared in the show, so once again I'm hopeful that this is going to be a great episode!

It seems as though Xanthos has a contest going on where the theme is all about friendship and goodwill - which almost immediately means that Jem will likely be a shoo in for this one.  It's a music video contest where the winning music video will win a quarter of a million dollars for a cash prize.  Honestly, I'd have settled for one of those books that Xanthos was giving away in his last contest, but hey, cold hard cash is a lovely prize too.

Jerrica Benton is immediately interested in the contest and signs her band up.  Surprisingly, Eric Raymond is there, and he wants to enter the Misfits too.  Oh yeah, because the Misfits are poster children for friendship and goodwill.  Oh, and the groups have three weeks to produce their videos - which is actually a generous amount of time given that some rock groups barely get three days to crank out a video.

Luckily, the Holograms have a couple of secret weapons in their arsenal.  The first, clad in aqua leg warmers and figure skates is Danse.  She's the choreographer for the video - which seems to be set in a winter wonderland.  Told you this was the closest you'd get to a Christmas episode.

The second secret weapon is a guy named Red, who apparently has stolen Scrooge McDuck's voice.  And, no he's not voiced by the late Alan Young, but it sounds quite similar.  Anyway, he's got a snow machine hooked up that will allow flurries of freshly made snow to fall on the girls - you know, since snow in Los Angeles is almost as hard to find as people who DON'T want to be in the entertainment industry.

And for Jerrica Benton, the video has to have the best possible people working on it.  If they win the contest, Jerrica plans to have the entire cash prize donated to Haven House - the home for runaways that Danse works part-time at.  That's such a great cause!  Once Jerrica's faithful secretary Joanie leaves the room, Jerrica changes into Jem - in front of the freakin' window.  It's like she's not even trying to hide her identity anymore.

Meanwhile the Misfits are at some sort of car dealership making their next video, where three of the four Misfits are complaining about how hard it is to make a video.  Can you guess which ones they are?  Hint:  It's NOT Stormer. 

Of course, the video that the Misfits make - for a catchy, smooth tune entitled "Free and Easy" is quite a great video.  Mind you, the song is essentially a celebration of laziness, but who's easily one of the best Misfits songs of Season 2 so far.  One thing I'll say about the music - it's gotten better in quality for the first half of the season, and I hope it's a trend that continues.

After the Misfits are finished singing, Eric arrives and tells them to scrap the video and to make another one for the contest.

This is Stormer's face when Eric tells them that the contest is about friendship and goodwill.

And this is the rest of the Misfits giving Stormer a good old dose of "stankface" when Stormer is excited about the video concept.  Oh, this should be a fun experience.

Over at Star Video, the place where the Holograms are filming their video, Jem, Kimber, Aja, Shana, Raya, and Rio are standing by waiting for the snow machine to start.  Danse is in her figure skating outfit looking like she was born to be on the ice, and she's practicing some of her best moves as Red turns on the machine.

But Red doesn't realize that the machine is old, and hasn't been used for a while.  A couple of the screws come loose and because of that our light fluffy snow turns into an avalanche which sends everyone on the ice scattering in different directions!  Just how powerful is that thing?

Danse is blown right into the side of the rink where a gigantic wooden tree prop falls right on top of her!  Oh my god!  They killed Danse!  Those bastards!

Oh, wait.  Wrong show.

Rio manages to get the machine shut off as the Holograms lift the giant tree off of Danse, but Danse is seriously injured, and they need to call 911.  She's in so much pain, and even though she's a cartoon character, it's still tough to watch.

It seems as though Danse is in worse shape than anyone thought.  The accident has caused some damage in Danse's leg that has made it nearly impossible for Danse to walk, let alone dance.  And considering that dancing is what Danse does best, it's heartbreaking to know that she might never dance again.  Her guilty feet have got no rhythm.

But before the entire George Michael song plays, there is a shining ray of hope.  Danse can learn how to walk again with a lot of therapy and rehabilitation, but she's the only one who can make it happen.  Jem and the Holograms are disappointed that Danse won't be able to help them with the contest and...

...okay, wait a minute.  HOW SELFISH CAN THEY BE?!?  I mean, yeah, they are making the video so that Haven House can win the money but shouldn't they be more focused on helping Danse now?  I mean, come on!  They agree to wait and see how Danse responds to treatment before they start any more filming on the video. big of them.

At the rehabilitation clinic, Danse is uncharacteristically in a foul mood.  Despite the encouragement of other patients there, Danse doesn't seem to want to do any therapy at all.  Well, with friends like the Holograms, it's sort of understandable.  To make matters worse, a male patient spills an entire plate of donuts all over Danse, which causes Danse to yell at him!  I don't know about you, but I'm not liking this side of Danse at all.  But it's funny that even an angry Danse has a cute voice. 

Oh, that's the reason why!  Danse is voiced by Desiree Goyette, the same person who sang all those songs with Lou Rawls in all those Garfield specials!  Oh, and she voiced Nermal, the world's cutest kitty cat!  That's Jem Trivia for this week!

It turns out that the reason why the patient was so clumsy is because he can't see anything.  And once she learns that truth, a humbled Danse heads over to his room in her wheelchair to formally apologize to the young man - who goes by the name of Cisco.  And after accepting Danse's apology, Cisco takes Danse on a whirlwind ride down a hill towards a swimming pool area.

Cisco explains to Danse that when he was three years old, he fell down and injured his head so hard that he lost his eyesight.  I have to wonder just how hard he smacked his noggin and what surface he hit his head with to cause that much damage!  Fortunately, Cisco is a prime candidate for a surgery that could restore his eyesight for good.  And he actually tries to encourage Danse to be receptive to the therapy sessions because she would definitely benefit from it.  Danse is still unsure that they would work for her.

And then Cisco falls in the swimming pool because he forgets where he is.  And unfortunately for our blind man, he can't swim.  This leaves Danse to try and save him from drowning which is difficult because she can't move her legs without feeling incredible pain.

But Danse seems to have superhuman strength whenever someone she cares about is in danger, and she somehow manages to climb to the lifeguard station where she grabs a life preserver and tosses it to Cisco saving his life!  Way to go, Danse!

Once Cisco is out of the water, they make a promise to help each other out as long as both of them are in the rehab center.  This is really great stuff here!

And come to think of it, so is the song that we hear during Danse's quest to get back up on her feet again.  This is a new offering called "Takes Work" by Jem and the Holograms, and it's definitely a great song that showcases Danse's struggles to walk again very well.  It's very inspirational and I'm finding myself loving Danse more and more.  It's nice to also see Cisco being a great friend to her during all of this and I think Danse's shining personality is coming back too.  It can only help.

Over at Misfits Music, Eric presents his idea for their friendship and goodwill video.  The band will perform in a giant gumball machine.  Okay, unless the theme is that friends stick together like chewed-up gum (and even that's a metaphor that Eric and the Misfits would be too stupid to get), I fail to see how gumballs equates friendship and goodwill.  Eric explains that it's a good concept because everyone loves gumballs.  Wow, that's an argument.  Pizzazz remarks that she hates gumballs.  Roxy thinks that Pizzazz hates everything.  And Jetta tells everyone that the Queen Mum chews gumballs.  Oh yeah, like I can really see the Royal Family chomping down on gumballs.  Okay, maybe I can see the Duchess of York doing that, but not the Queen Mum!

And over at the Holograms winter wonderland, Rio delivers the bad news to the Holograms that most of the crew of their video was hired away by the Misfits.  Red has flown the coop, but Video has stayed on.  Maybe Red can cause a sharknado over at the Misfits video.  Aja at least shows some common sense by remarking that she understands why they would leave considering that they were waiting for Danse to get better, but the rest of them are upset that they won't be able to finish the video. 

Over at the Misfits recording studio, Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, and Jetta are dressed up in what could be considered some of the ugliest gumball outfits that I've ever seen.  Though the giant gumball machine they are in is kind of cool.  Red is operating a lever that sends out several gigantic gumballs in cherry, lime, banana, and orange flavours to the ground below.  Oh, and the song they're playing is "I Like Your Style" - which I guess is a song about friendship in a passive-aggressive kind of sense.

Eric gets a little bit bored and decides to bother Red by wanting to pull the levers.  Geez, Eric is just like a little kid, isn't he?  Hilariously, Eric pulls the wrong lever and he causes the Misfits to fall out of the gumball machine prop and roll out onto the floor.

The Misfits decide that friendship and goodwill are out the window as they try to kill Eric for nearly killing them!  Unfortunately their costumes are so big and bulky that they trip and roll onto the floor.  And Red is so disgusted by their behaviour that he and his crew quit the project to go back to Jem and the Holograms - but not before he pulls another lever to bury the Misfits and Eric with more gumball goodness! 

And,'s Jem and the Holograms trying to get an extension on their deadline for the music video contest.  Okay, seriously, I know you want Danse to recover and I know you're doing this for her charity, but how can you expect Xanthos to give you an extension?  It wouldn't be fair to the other bands taking part!  Seriously, the world does NOT revolve around you, Jem!  And thankfully Xanthos agrees with me and says exactly what I said - well, minus the whole "world not revolving around them" part.  So, now they're waiting for Danse to get better. 

And you know, Danse is actually improving a lot with her walking!  She's taking steps, and her attitude has done a 180 since she entered the facility.  And Cisco's surgery is approaching as well.  Danse gives him luck, and Cisco tells Danse to keep pushing through the treatment.  We're then treated to another rehash of "Takes Work", only this time we see Danse learning to walk again and the beginning of Cisco's surgery. 

We'll learn how Cisco coped in a minute or so, but Danse is now walking with a cane which is a remarkable turnaround.  The Holograms have paid a visit to her at the rehab center and Danse is so excited about being able to walk again that she doesn't even blast the Holograms for being so selfish.  Though, I suppose she wouldn't, given that all the money is going to a charity she loves and supports if she wins.

And after Jem leaves, Danse drops by Cisco's room and Cisco remarks that she is moving around quite well - leaving Danse to get excited that Cisco's surgery to restore his eyesight worked like a charm!  The two share a bonding moment and Danse tells him that if he likes the way she walks, he'll love the way she dances.

And we cut forward a couple of days where we see that Jem has completed her video.  Mind you, the song isn't that original.  We heard "People Who Care" in Episode 8 of the series.  But given that the video is about friendship and goodwill, it's a nice song to have playing.  Unfortunately, Cisco might have his eyesight back, but he definitely needs lessons in dressing.  That cactus sweater is a What Not To Wear moment in the making.  But at least Danse is fully healed.

It also appears as though Jem's entry in the contest was the winning entry, and Haven House wins the quarter of a million dollar cash prize!  Nicely done!

Now at the end of the episode, it falsely gives the appearance that Danse and Cisco are a couple now - and while they do make a good coupling, I have to say that this is the last time you'll see Cisco.  It's too bad too...he was a great character, and he should have made at least one more appearance.  But I guess since his name isn't Sean Harrison and he doesn't have a phony British accent, I guess it wasn't in the cards.  Oh well. 

Another great episode this time around, even though Jem kind of annoyed me with the "GET BETTER NOW, DANSE" angle.  I mean, even though they were competing for Haven House, I feel they were extremely pushy.  And can I say that for most people who suffer leg injuries like Danse, it takes a lot longer than 21 days for them to heal.  But despite those inconsistencies, it was nice to see the spotlight fall on Danse, as she is my favourite secondary character in the series.  

Next week, we find out that one of the Misfits has a secret - one that she's very ashamed of.


  1. I don't know who was more man hungry in the series... Kimber or Danse??

  2. Definitely a debate for the ages...LOL