Yours truly is planning on visiting (or revisiting) some iconic TV programs that fit into our retro charter being originally released between 1970s through the 1990s. I'll attempt to watch the pilot unless another episode title or description catches my fancy and that will be talked about in the blog. My plan is to try to look at these programs from a lens of when it was released and what my thoughts about it back then and/or the potential appeal in its heyday, I'll then put on my modern day viewpoint and provide my old man perspective as to what I may have just watched. Finally, I'll apply two grades as discussed on previous episodes of the podcast.
1. How much would I pay to watch this program?
2. Is it creamy or crunchy?
Jem and The Holograms - Season 1 Episode 1 "The Beginning"
Looking Back ...
This wasn't my thing. It has a very huge girl power type appeal and as it was released in the mid 80's. Being a teenage boy, it would have even less appeal to me. Ignoring that thought for a moment and thinking about its appeal to the masses. What I know must have been a huge hook to the intended audience was capitalization of MTV style music videos. Perfect example of a show that did work for me was Kidd Video, Jem was using this same formula of cartoon hi-jinks blended with music videos. The show also had tough female rockers, much like what appealed to millions of music fan in the late 1980s, with talented artists such as Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, and Pat Benatar blazing the way. Girl groups were also uber popular being The GoGos, The Bangles, and Bananarama as perfect examples. In the 1980s, any properties or ideas worth their salt were getting a cartoon. The good people that put together Jem and the Holograms had to be looking at all of those wonderful 80s trends and said we need to make that into a cartoon. Another cool factor for the show was the use of technology to imply magical elements that bled into those that had a love for both computers and fantasy. In short, I understand why this was a big thing in the 1980s, not for me personally, but I wouldn't blame you for being a fan back then.
In the Now ...
I was actually scanning available programs for He-Man, I did see She-Ra but thought better of waiting to do that one later, so I come across Jem and the Holograms and actually think, "why the hell not? you have to start somewhere." I got through the episode and realize it was a cliff hanger, that ends with a fire at Jerrica (Jem's real name's house for foster girls), at the end of the episode it showed "exciting scenes" from the next episode, so I got the jest of what is to happen. Will I watch the next episode? Not at all and I guarantee I will not lose sleep over that. This cartoon is still not my thing, not sorry to say. Backing up into the episode we are introduced to The Misfits on guitar shaped motorcycles, seriously?!? I wonder why we haven't seen one of those reality show motorcycle shops on TV make one of those yet in real life. Did anyone think to ask why Jerrica's Dad had so many dresses and accessories in the sizes that would fit Jem and the Hologram's perfectly to form a band? Why would he employ that jerk, Eric, and give him half of his music company instead of giving it all to Jessica? If he had so much money to build Synergy, why didn't he use it to fix up the foster house for girls instead? Kinda random that movie producer Howard Sands, is there ready to give a movie contract and his mansion to winners of a local band contest. Didn't he see Spice World? Wait, that came much later, and while we are on the topic I love Posh Spice ... don't judge. In summation, gentle reader, see below for my grades on this episode of Jem and the Holograms.
How much would I pay?
$0, zero, zilch, nada. This is not my bag folks, most likely the only episode I will ever watch for the rest of my days on earth.
Crunchy or creamy?
This gets the crunchy grade, just for the pure fun of the bad ass rockers included in this adventure, being The Misfits getting the same number of music videos in the episode as Jem and the Holograms. I didn't say they were great but I appreciate the attempt at trying to represent an evil character and having to write music and lyrics to further convey story elements.