Saturday, July 14, 2012

Toon Rock: Jem (1985)

More than 20 years before Hannah Montana, there was another rocker with a dual identity.

Jem was merely the alter-ego of music executive Jerrica Benton, but instead of a sitcom, Jem was what amounted to an animated soap opera when it debuted in 1985. Jerrica used a computer program, Synergy, to create her holographic alter-ego, and all that did, besides bring fame and notoriety, was the predictable love triangle. See, Jerrica's boyfriend, Rio, was also hot for Jem, not knowing both women were one and the same.

Jem was the latest to come from the tag team of Marvel Productions and Sunbow Entertainment, and managed to last three years, becoming a cult favorite along the way. Perhaps the soap aspects were a little appropriate, considering that in most markets, the series aired opposite the #1 soap in the country, General Hospital.

Here's the open.

The Hub has the rights to the series, and one wonders if, considering the Hasbro-owned network already has new incarnations of My Little Pony, GI Joe, Transformers, Strawberry Shortcake, Pound Puppies, & the Care Bears on their roster, they'd bring Jem back, too? The most amazing thing is that this was one series that Marvel didn't adapt into a comic book!

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I used to watch this show back in the day, and it was OK. I thought the songs were a bit boring even by synth pop standards (although I must admit the Misfits' songs were better than Jem's) and I was getting tired of the love "triangle" bwteeen Rio, Jessica & Jem. Was Rio that stupid to see that Jess & Jem weren't one in the same? Why not clue him in sooner?

At least I felt better knowing I wasn't the only one watching... I remember it being the talk of the girls' locker room for a while! Back then it was uncool to admit watching toons after age 10!

I wouldn't mind seeing an update of the show.

hobbyfan said...

I should also mention that the 3rd band on the show, the Stingers, had a ringer. One of the singing voices for the Stingers, you see, was one Louise Dorsey. Her famous father was Engelbert Humperdinck (nee Arnold Dorsey)!

If they do revive Jem, they can always find a contemporary singer-actress (Julianne Hough comes to mind, since any music cartoon now almost certainly would get her beau, Ryan Seacrest, for a cameo) for the title role, and not have to use two actresses for one part.

magicdog said...

Grey Delisle would work well too.

If you've heard her sing "Trap of Love" in the Mystery Incorporated series, you'd have no doubt why she's such as popular VA!

hobbyfan said...

Well, Grey is also a singer-songwriter in her spare time, leaning more toward country, from what I gathered. If she's actually made a music video, it's likely to end up here down the road.

And let us not forget EG Daily, who flirted with the top 40 some 25-odd years ago.

Geed said...

Jem is exactly the kind of 80's cartoon I hated. Honestly, being a child of the 70's, I really hated it all. He-Man, Transformers, GI Joe, all the HB animal shows. Hated everything until Ren & Stimpy came along with the early Cartoon Network stuff reafirmed my love of animation. I was too old to have cartoons teach me a lesson. I wanted Looney Tunes madness and anvils dropping out of the sky.

I wonder how the 80's cartoons would have survived if the FCC kept the "no 30 minute commercials" rule in place that killed Hot Wheels in the late 60's.

hobbyfan said...

The way I look at it, brother, you're never too old to learn.

I think what saved the toy-related toons of the 80's was the fact that they didn't run ads for the products themselves during their animated series.

Steven Dolce said...

Ever seen or heard of the 2015 movie adaptation of this show? That movie was garbage compared to this show.

hobbyfan said...

Haven't seen it, had heard of it. Jem also merited a comic book series, which is out now.

Steven Dolce said...

Haven't seen the movie? Good.