‘It’s showtime, Synergy!’
My fiancé has just said to me, ‘You’re writing an article on JEM?’ As a child of the late 80s/early 90s, he clearly missed the glam revelation that was JEM and the Holograms. But I didn’t … and I know there will be a lot of people – who were born on the right side of the 80s – that will be just as excited as me about a live action version of JEM coming to our cinemas 26 December this year.
I will be dragging my aforementioned fiancé to see this on Boxing Day. JEM: awesome 80s power outfits, pink hair, crazy make-up and ear worming, belted out pop tunes.
Watch the trailer at the link below:
Is it going to be any good though?
From the trailer it looks as though the movie is taking a completely new direction from the original series, bringing it crash bang into the 21st Century.
Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peebles from US series Nashville) is no longer the practical, hardworking manager and owner of the Starlight Foundation, nor is she co-owner of Starlight Music alongside her little sister, Kimber (Stefanie Scott from US series A.N.T Farm). Now both Jerrica and Kimber live with their Aunt Bailey (Molly Ringwald) and her two foster kids, who would appear to be the two remaining Holograms.
There is no sign of Synergy, the highly sophisticated A.I. computer and hologram projector designed to be the ultimate audio/visual entertainment synthesizer – so 80s, so amazing – which gives me major sad-face. And there would appear to be no sign of JEM and the Holograms’ arch-nemesis and rival punk-pop group, The Misfits – again devastated.
This appears to be much more of a coming-of-age story focused around the relationships between Jerrica, Kimber and the other two after Kimber posts a video of Jerrica singing on YouTube and it goes viral, leading to her and the band being signed by Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis) who creates Jerrica’s alter ego JEM (without the holographic help of Synergy).
Erica forces Jerrica to change everything – the way she acts, sounds and looks – before launching the band full-pelt into the music scene in a One Direction-esque frenzy. (One of the boy’s songs is actually playing over the trailer.)
Erica then pushes Jerrica/JEM into going solo as the star of the group with the awesome line, ‘An icon is not one of four, it’s one of a kind,’ which tests the girls’ close bond – tissues at the ready.
And yes, bad boy Eric Raymond from the original cartoon series is now Erica: a role Lewis looks to be taking to with aplomb.
Can we talk about YouTube leaks and going viral though? Told you, crash bang into the 21st Century. Perhaps clumsily so.
I’m intrigued – not blown away – by the trailer, but it definitely looks worth a watch.
I can’t help wonder if they are neglecting their original fan base who will be looking with nostalgia for the 80s’ glam that came with JEM (the trailer shows we still get some crazy-ass makeup) but maybe it will open it up to a whole new audience – and the cast are all certainly very credible singers – but I do worry it’s a little tweenage.
We will have to wait until Boxing Day to find out.
There is suitable man-candy in Rio (Ryan Gusman), so that will get us through if nothing else.
Below I leave you with the original trailer to the 80s cartoon. Enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane – I am back to being that four-year old singing into my hairbrush dancing around the living room.