As a ‘boy mom,’ I ignored all of the complaints from men my age that Michael Bay was ‘raping and ruining their childhood’. I took my boys to see all of the Transformer Movies and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because I needed two hours of naptime in the comfy movie theater chair while they watched crap blow up. I didn’t care if the Decepticon’s didn’t look like the ones from the cartoons or if they changed the Ninja Turtles back story. As long as it kept my boys attention, I was happy. Today I learned exactly how it feels to have your childhood crushed in one bad movie trailer and I am kind of regretting my financial support of those new ugly Ninja Turtles. If you were a little girl in the early 80’s and you haven’t seen the trailer for the new ‘Jem and The Holograms’ movie do yourself a favor and don’t watch it.
I swear I am not some super Jem fan who wouldn’t be happy with any live-action version of the cartoon. I’m actually the opposite. I am one of those weird people who actually liked Jar Jar Binks. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. Honestly, I have movie induced narcolepsy anyway so I fall asleep halfway thru anything that doesn’t have dinosaurs, DC super heroes, Vulcans, or Reese Witherspoon, so I try not to complain about movies. However, everything about this movie trailer made me feel like my childhood was being ‘raped and ruined’ and here is why….
1. The Entire Storyline Has Been Changed!
The original Jem was about a woman in her twenties, Jerrica Benton, whose father died and left her in charge of his record company. She was being undermined by one of her father’s associates who didn’t believe a female could run a major record label and honestly she almost proved him right until she found Synergy, this crazy artificial intelligence computer that could use holograms to turn Jerrica into the world’s most famous rock star, Jem.
The new storyline seems to basically be the Justin Bieber story meets Hannah Montana with a teenage Keisha wannabe as the lead. As far as I can tell a shy teenage girl videotapes herself singing and her sister posts it online and she becomes an internet sensation and is skyrocketed to fame and then obviously realizes being famous kind of changes everything about you. I am sure it is a lovely story, but it has NOTHING to do with Jem and the Holograms…..it doesn’t even look like there is one real hologram anywhere in the storyline.
2. Eric Raymond has been changed to Erica Raymond!
In the original cartoon, the protagonist was a slimy music exec named Eric Raymond. Now I am sure the group of men who created this crap hole movie doesn’t understand why changing Eric to Erica is a bad move so I will explain it slowly. The original cartoon was about female empowerment. The man (Mr. Raymond) was trying to steal Jerrica’s company because she was ‘just a woman’ and a group of strong women banded together around her to help her protect her families company. By changing Eric to Erica the makers of this movie removed the female empowerment theme that was so important in the cartoon….Boom! Just like that in one shitty casting decision.
3. Will The Real Shana Please Stand Up!
This is Shana from the cartoon. She was the band’s drummer and costume designer. She is also a strong female African American character. I want you to take a double look at the cast of the new movie. I see four light skinned actresses, that’s what you see, right? One of the things that made Jem so amazing was that every type of girl was represented in the band. The diversity of the original cartoon was amazing. It didn’t matter if you were Black, White, Asian, Latina, or a pale redhead, there was a major female character in this show that you could identify with. Another fail by the casting director! Bad casting removed the diversity right along with the female empowerment theme.
4. No Pizzazz!!!
So one of my favorite things about the original Jem and The Holograms cartoons was their rival band, The Misfits. They were the original Mean Girls before Lindsay Lohan could even fit into a naughty Santa outfit. They were punk rock meets hair band awesomeness. Pizzazz the leader reminded you exactly why you shouldn’t be a bad girl and Stormer was so sweet and yet she refused to leave this band of ass faces because she knew they needed her. Their stories usually winded up showing you that deep down in the black heart of even the meanest bad girl was a good girl just hiding because of something horrible that probably happened to you. It taught girls to treat everyone with kindness. I just don’t understand how you can make Jem and The Holograms without the Misfits???? Please, someone explain this madness to me?
5. No Weird Romantic Triangle!
So one of the interesting things about the Jem cartoons was that no one outside of the band and Synergy knew that Jerrica was Jem. This caused a major dilemma because Jerrica’s boyfriend Rio found himself drawn to Jem. Then there was all this drama because Rio starts cheating on Jerrica with herself. She doesn’t know if she should be upset with him….I mean yes he is cheating but technically he isn’t. It was probably one of the strangest storylines I have ever seen and the angst was amazing!! Forget Team Edward and Team Jacob because nothing is better than a love triangle that really only involves two people. In the new movie, Rio knows Jerrica is Jem so again another major storyline is RUINED!
6. The Starlight Foundation!
In the original cartoon, Jerrica ran an orphanage called the Starlight home thru her charity the Starlight Foundation. There were all these little girls involved in the storylines and each week they learned amazing life lessons with the help of the strong independent successful women in the band. In this new movie the band is comprised of teenage orphans and their only strong female role model is Molly Ringwald and the most impressive thing she can teach them is how to use her tits to put on lipstick….it’s like that idea Michael Bay had to make the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aliens instead of mutants. It would have changed the entire franchise so thank god someone made him go back and fix that before the movie released. I doubt Jem fans will get so lucky.
I love Science Fiction. As a kid, it was amazing to have a girls cartoon that had such a strong science fiction storyline. Jerrica became Jem because of an amazing A.I. computer that used holographic images, named Synergy. Without Synergy there would not have been a Jem! It was fantastic. In this movie trailer, the actress playing Jem does tug on her earring and say “It’s Showtime, Synergy.” However, since she became a star with the help of YouTube, I really wonder what role Synergy is going to play in this movie.
Nothing about this trailer screams ‘Jem and the Holograms’. I want something that at least resembles the original storyline or I want nothing at all. Moms who have daughters don’t make the same mistake I made. Don’t take your daughters to see this sham of a reboot. If Hollywood is going to give your daughters the Jem franchise make Hollywood give it to them with all of the diversity, girl power, crazy romance, and kick ass Sci-Fi of the original cartoon!
Hollywood I swear if you decide to ruin She-Ra or The Goonies I will personally come after you Liam Neeson style!
Tiffany O’Connor is a mom to two amazing, energetic, and fearless boys. She is married to her high school sweet heart and has three college degrees. Her hobbies include watching TV shows about zombies, hiding in her hot tub with a bottle of champagne, and writing all about her misadventures parenting in a “man cave” at #Lifewithboys.