Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jem and the Holograms

We interrupt the Js to bring you this musical interlude...

Jem and the Holograms was an animated tv series that ran for 3 seasons, from 1985-1988. The series was conceived by Christy Marx, and produced by collaboration with Hasbro, Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions. The basic plot is a girl-group called Jem and the Holograms mix it up with two other rival groups called The Misfits and The Stingers, as Jerrica tries to prevent others from learning she is Jem.

Hasbro made a series of dolls for the show. Not action figures; dolls. Why am I discussing them? Because even though they were dolls, they were more action-oriented than other fashion dolls. Additionally, the Benton sisters (and the band as a whole) care for 12 foster girls, known as the Starlight Girls, making them kinda heroic, in my opinion. Only 3 of the girls (Krissy, Ba Nee and Ashley) were made as dolls.

I was too old to play with dolls when these came out, and didn't have time for the cartoon, but as an adult, I can admire and appreciate the perfect slice of 80s music and fashion that this provided. Jem truly is the lovechild of MTV and Barbie.

Jem and the Holograms
Jerrica Benton / Jem: Jerrica is the band's manager, and as Jem the lead singer. It's through hologram technology (invented by her father) that Jerrica becomes Jem.
Kimber Benton: Jerrica's younger sister, and the band's keyboardist.
Aja Leith: Adopted foster child of Jerrica's (deceased) parents, she plays guitar.
Shana Elmsford: The second adopted foster child in the family, plays drums and guitar.
Carmen "Raya" Alonso: Took over drumming when Shana switched to guitar.

The Misfits
Phyllis Gabor / Pizzazz: Lead singer and guitarist for The Misfits, she is spoiled and arrogant.
Roxanne Pelligrini / Roxy: Mean-spirited and street-tough guitarist.
Mary Philips / Stormer: Kinder-hearted songwriter, plays keyboards and guitar.
Sheila Burns / Jetta: Deceitful English saxophone player.

The Stingers (not introduced until the 3rd and final season)
Rory Llewelyn / Riot: Lead singer for The Stingers.
Phoebe Ashe / Ratpure: Manipulative guitarist.
Ingrid Kruger / Minx: German synthesizer player.

The Dolls
First series (released spring 1986)
Jem / Jerrica
Rio (music technician for the band, love interest for Jem / Jerrica)
Second series (released 1987)
Glitter n Gold Jem / Jerrica
Rock n Curl Jem /Jerrica
Flash n Sizzle Jem / Jerrica
Glitter n Gold Rio
Krissie (Starlight girl)
Ba Nee (Starlight girl)
Ashley (Starlight girl)
Danse (dancer and friend to the Holograms)
Video (video director and friend to the Holograms)
Synergy (holographic computer)

Jem resource sites:
Forever Jem - "Your One Stop Shop For Everything Jem!"
IMDb: Jem - Internet Movie Database entry for the show
Jem Dolls - "Jem and the Holograms dolls and toys from the hit 1980's cartoon series."
JemCon - an annual convention for Jem fans
Rock Jem - "A guide to the truly outrageous musical cartoon and doll!" 

UPDATE: OK, not so much an update as a fun addition. David Willis of Shortpacked! did a comic about Jem (on my birthday, even) -- it's pretty funny, even if you don't follow the strip. :D 

And here's the article Willis is referencing: New Integrity-Hasbro collaboration Jem and The Holograms dolls announced

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