Episode 12 – In Stitches

episode12_3Well I said I couldn’t wait for another episode set in another country so we can see just how we cultivated our culture stereotypes as children, and again, I have not been disappointed. There’s some big fashion contest between music groups from an Italian fashion house headed by Tony Cassini. They’ve already picked bands from loads of other countries, including Japan (dressed in kimono’s), and Australia (dressed like Steve Irwin). They’re now deciding on who to pick from the USA. It’s a choice between the Limp Lizards, The Misfits or JATH. The designer just can’t decide between Misfits and JATH so he’s going to invite them both, natch.

At this point, JATH seem to be the most over-serviced pop group in the world when it comes to designer clothes. As you might remember, the fancy, French Countess Danielle De Voisin from Episode 1 & Episode 2 is a clothes designer and creates fashion for the group. Also there’s Synergy. And now apparently there’s Shana.

Ashley also expresses an interest in designing clothes. It’s a good idea, she might want to start with her own. I mean, no offense to gingers intended, but if you were ginger, would you also wear ginger clothes too? I think not.

episode12_2The Misfits have their own personal, professional designer for their outfits, so they’re not in the slightest bit worried. But just for kicks, Roxy calls Shana at Starlight Mansion and taunts her over the phone. So Mean Girls.

To de-stress Shana, Jerrica and the rest of the girls come in and sing ‘It Depends On The Mood I’m In’. I think this may actually be the first JATH song I’ve heard so far that I actually like. maybe because it really sounds a bit like the Wham! song Everything She Wants.

JATH fly over to Italy. As Jerrica is in the plane bathroom, Synergy has problems with the electrical interference of a storm. Shit, as we saw last episode, even a bear can block Synergy, so it’s a wonder she can even function at all if the girls are out of the city.

episode12_5Venice – cue gondola rides and people saying ‘a’ after every verb. You know, like: “You take-a di chicks, I take-a di luggage”, says one gondola guy. Wait, that voice sounds familiar…. Of course it’s Zipper. Oh and the other gondola guys says “You giving me these bellissima customers? Buongiorno lovely ladies!”. Oh my god, if I thought that UK accents were bad on this show then other accents are just unbearable!

Shana wants to ride along with the luggage and the designs and as the gondola is being rowed out into the water, she discovers it’s Zipper steering the gondola. He grabs the case of designs off her and jumps onto a speed boat driven by Pizzazz. As he jumps into the speedboat, the case he’s carrying knocks into a lever which sends the speedboat out of control, and heading right towards Shana still standing helplessly in the gondola. Oh, she’s fine, she just has to jump into the nasty water.

episode12_6JATH rescue Shana from the water and they arrive at Danielle Du Voisin’s apartment and discover Ashley has stowed away in the one case that was saved, which even as an 8 year old, I would have found ridiculous. I mean the flight going over would have taken at least about 6 hours. I don’t even know why I’m bringing up logic in a show where there’s no logic to the central premise of Jem being a secret identity of Jerrica’s

So anyway, it turns out that Zipper stole Ashley’s designs, not Shana’s. Pizzazz clearly enjoys making fun of Eric having been had. There’s a funny moment where he yells “Silencio!” at the old Italian seamstresses who are also smirking over what an idiot he is. The Misfit’s designer got some kind of toothache, according to Roxy. We know Roxy’s habit of downplaying serious situations, so I’m going to assume that Roxy punched him and he needed to get teeth capped. That means that the Misfits have nothing special designed, and need to make stuff up from scratch, so that’s why they needed Shana’s designs. Also ‘cos they’re evil bitches.

We see Shana working hard through the night to put together the dresses from her designs. If she’s also the seamstress, I don’t get what Danielle Du Voisin is even doing there. Next day, JATH and Ashley go to a shoe store to get shoes after their own accessories were ruined by falling into the water. Who should show up but the Misfits. They simultaneously sing, shop for shoes, and also trash the store.

episode12_7Because Shana is kind of a chump she just left her designs and her outfits lying around the Du Voisin villa for Zipper to come along and steal. Shana is determined to get them back. JATH head to Eric’s villa, and Jem disguises herself as a seamstress to gain entry. Although Pizzazz is impressed with Shana’s clothes, she wants them dyed black instead of the “sissy” colours they’re in. She gives them to Jem who is still in disguise, who then takes them outside and immediately says “Back to Jem, Synergy”. Oh Jerrica, you freaking idiot! As she’s escaping, Eric sees her, and the Misfits chase JATH across Venice. The Misfits catch up with them on a small bridge (not the Rialto though, I’m impressed they didn’t stick that in there somehow), and JATH and the Misfits have a tug of war contest using the clothing. The Misfits tumble backward off the bridge and are dangling from the clothing until it rips in two. Zipper comes along with the speedboat to stop them falling into the water, leaving JATH yelling at them from the bridge.

Synergy has the designs stored in her memory so the girls can still go ahead, but they only need to get to the contest in time. They ask for a gondola ride but they have no cash. They do their best to convince the gondola man they have cash at the destination, but uh uh ladies, he’s not falling for that shizz again, and this is one situation you can’t plead and beg your way out of (like when you stole from a museum). So they start busking so they can raise the money for the fare. Afterwards Tito is all “I am ignorant, forgive me, you have touched the heart of Tito”. Like he has to grovel to them because they’re a famous pop group. Give me a break.

JATH get to the fashion show, the Misfits are wearing Shana’s designs that Zipper had stolen. Shana sees that The Misfits are wearing her designs, she freaks. Jem suggests that she can design something else, with just a few minutes to spare, and Synergy can projects the designs onto them.

episode12_8Pizzazz tries to do some flirting with the judge by seductively rubbing his bald head. Excuse me while I vom. Thinking about it, with all her daddy issues, she may even genuinely find that dude attractive. JATH are finally ready to go on stage, but wouldn’t you just know it – a satellite glitch means Synergy suddenly stops working. Of course she pulls it off just in time, and Jem and The Holograms win, and The Misfits just have to suck it with second place. Not only that but Shana will get two credits and Danielle Du Voisin told Tony Cassini that she was the one who designed what the Misfits were wearing for the concert.

Ok hold it – I get that the Misfits should lose because they do dodgy shit all the time, but Shana won a fashion contest when she had a couple of minutes to design something for them. Plus when you think about it, isn’t it really cheating what she did? The aim was to design something and make and wear the clothes, not to have your handy backup super computer project designs onto you. If The Misfits stole your designs, like they try and do, um, always, shouldn’t you keep a better eye on your work, and oh I don’t know, maybe come up with some backups? If not, it sucks but you could have just got The Misfits disqualified. Either way, it’s not a green light for you to cheat your way to winning – that should be what the Misfits are doing.

As well as this episode being pretty fucking boring, it’s a little bit strange in that it teaches you that if you work hard at what you do, you hard work will always be rewarded with 1st prize, even when there are many people who may be far more naturally talented and who work just as hard as you do. Alternatively there may be people who work hard but are not quite as talented but just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Especially in the entertainment business. God help anyone who ever watched this and thought to themselves “I’m gonna start a pop group!”.

Songs

  • It Depends On The Mood I’m In – JATH
  • Designing Woman- The Misfits
  • Time Is Running Out – JATH

Episode 5 – Battle of the Bands

detectivejem

An early example of computer rage

In the last episode, a private detective that Eric had hired to stalk Jerrica and the girls discovered Synergy, and was so freaked out, he started smashing her up with a nearby chair. I thought private detectives were supposed to be hardened tough guys. How about pulling it together, moustache! Synergy sends a distress signal to Jerrica and the girls return to find that clever Synergy was just projecting a hologram to make it seem as it the detective had smashed her up.

The detective reports back to Eric along with pictures of Synergy and comes to the conclusion that Jem and Jerrica are the same person. See, it’s so easy to figure out! Although he doesn’t seem to know what Synergy is or does, and in any case, Eric dismisses his suggestion.

ashleyandmisfitsAfter she found out that the Misfits were complete A*holes to her, Ashley goes to throw the money they gave her back in their faces. Eric then finds out who she is and decides to kidnap her. Actually, it doesn’t seem like she’s really being kidnapped, she’s never really tied up or threatened or anything, but I guess showing a child in restraints would kind of alienate your target 8-12 year old audience (and their parents). Eric calls Jerrica and tells her that they have Ashley and that if they want to see her again, Jem and the others must go to the Starlight Drive In.

jerricaashleyIt’s also the day of the Battle of the Bands, where The Misfits and Jem are set to compete and the Misfits are already at the venue with Eric, and Ashley. Ooh around about here we see a lingering shot of some sort of box crusher… I’ll give you three guesses as to how that features later on in the plot.

ashleyboxEric tells the Misfits to ‘take care of’ Ashley. I’m pretty sure he means just watch her, and not take care of her in a Mafia style way, but then he did kidnap her and also have a bomb planted at Starlight House so I guess anything goes. Pizzazz and Roxy then chase Ashley around the room and place her in an open box that is lying around to hold her while they are performing. After she kind of bonded with Ashley last episode, Stormer feels bad about this, but she doesn’t have the balls to stand up to Roxy and Pizzazz and I guess she figures Ashley will be ok for half an hour or so.

Jem and the other girls go to the drive in, where Eric and his henchmen are waiting to capture them.

At the Battle of the Bands, Eric totally rubs it in Rio’s face that Jem might not be there in time. That’s when the box carrying Ashley goes past them on its way to the crusher. Rio grabs the box just in time to rescue Ashley, and she tells him where to find Jem and the Holograms.

Jem uses Synergy to project various holograms to confuse the captors and escape.

jerricaanderic

Zap! Pow!

They make it back to the Battle of the Bands and perform ‘Music is Magic’. There’s a really high note at the end which Britta Phillips (the singing voice of Jem) just about pulls off. Of course Jem and the Holograms win, and now they have back Starlight Music and also the mansion and the movie contract. Jerrica and Rio go to Starlight Music and find Eric still creeping around, claiming he’s picking up personal possessions. Then as he leaves he slaps Jerrica. What’s with this show and casual assault? I mean, I know cartoons often have violence in them but they’re usually so overdone and often of the back of characters chasing or fighting each other (i.e. X-Men or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

Despite casual violence, kidnapping, and possibly death-by-crusher, this was actually one of the most boring episodes to review and summarize. It’s also the first not to feature some sort of cliffhanger than means you have to watch the next one, so my guess is the writers were getting a little bit tired of doing those at this point. Don’t worry though – the next episode returns to full on craziness and guaranteed cliffhangers for at least 3 more episodes!

Read the next episode summary Starbright Part 1: Falling Star!

Episode 4 – Frame Up

 

Rio & jem and the holograms episode 4

Last episode, Lin-Z’s studio was on fire and Jem was about to be crushed by flaming studio lights. Even though the show they’re on looks like a low-budget music chat show, they have cranes that can carry cameras and studio staff around so Rio uses this to rescue Jem. Jem is so overwhelmed by this drama she needs to be taken to Lin-Z’s dressing room by Rio, where they end up kissing and are interrupted by Aja. Even Jerrica herself knows how ridiculous this is getting, saying “Rio is very proud. How can I tell him the truth without making him feel I’ve made a fool of him?” Hey girl, fyi – a healthy relationship doesn’t include lying to your boyfriend and then putting off telling him the truth for months.

the misfits jem and the holograms episode 4A concert promoter from Las Vegas books JATH to play a show. When they find out that the Misfits are the openers, they’re slightly worried, but then laugh their asses off about it! The Misfits are predictably enraged and plan to use Ashley to prevent JATH from playing, so that they can play the whole show instead. They fly Ashley to Las Vegas with them and get Ashley to catch Aja’s attention. Aja chases Ashley into the hold of a bus and the Misfits help Ashley escape, while locking Aja in.

Aja escapes the bus though and makes it back in time for the performance.

Pizzazz is pissed OFF at Ashley for no reason whatsoever. She and Roxy openly bitch about her as Ashley eavesdrops, and Stormer weakly tries to defend Ashley. I love Stormer. Not only because she has kick-ass hair and fashion sense, but also because she’s the one member of the Misfits troupe who seems capable of being a decent person. stomer and ashley jem and the holograms episode 4

Eric has another idea to prevent Jem playing. He phones Pizzazz to let her know the police will be searching the casino, and tells her to be sure they search Jem’s room.

Stormer goes for a walk, discovers a terrified Ashley, and promises she won’t hurt her. While they are hiding together from Roxy and Pizzazz, they see Zipper and a few more of Eric’s hired goons rob the casino and plant the cash in Jem’s room.

Ok, so I know this was the 80’s, before high-tech security but still, it is remarkable easy to rob this casino. There’s one door and Zipper puts on some kind of knuckle duster and punches through the chain like he’s friggin’ Chuck Norris.

casinosecurity

Very high tech 80’s casino security

The police arrive immediately, the money is found in Jem’s room (in a JEM branded bag, which might as well have also had red herrings plastered all over it) and Jem is arrested! She protests that she was performing and the detective replies “The thieves were men, but you might be their accomplice”. Sorry, what? How does he know they were even men? Would women not be capable of getting through a flimsy chained padlocked door?

Ashley runs up and explains what really happened. When Roxy scoffs that she can’t be more than 12, Ashley bites back “I’m THIRTEEN!” In your FACE, Roxy!

stormer discuise costume jem and the holograms

Stormer in disguise

As if it couldn’t get more ridiculous, Stormer wanders in, dressed as some sort of purple phantom of the opera and using a low, gravelly ‘Batman’ voice, backs up Ashley’s story, but says she has to speak to the detective in private. But instead of telling her that that is not going to happen, he goes along with it! Apparently, she can ‘prove’ it’s not Jem. How exactly? Not a clue. It’s just conveniently wrapped up and Jem is free to go.

Eric suggests a new approach in taking down JATH and suggests that Jem is a stage name. There’s a hilarious bit where he reveals Pizzazz’s real name (Phyllis) and she looks like she’s about to start trashing the room, screeching “Don’t EVER call me that!” Eric hires a private detective to follow JATH to the fashion show they’re about to perform in (because yeah, they’re also models now, despite not really having released any albums or anything so far). The Misfits can’t help themselves from screwing things up, so they go too and set off the sprinklers. How is this helping them exactly? Maybe if they spent a bit more time on their music, and less time acting like Scooby Doo villains, they wouldn’t be such bitter hags.

The private detective follows the band to Synergy’s hideout and – oh NO! – sees them drive the roadster through the hologram wall. The detective goes through the wall and Synergy starts going nuts. In a panic, the detective starts acting just as mental and begins smashing up Synergy with a chair. Cliffhanger time!!

Read the next episode summary Battle of the Bands!

Episode 3 – Kimber’s Rebellion

 

The misfits jem and the holograms episode 3

The Misfits making a getaway: “Adios, bitches!”

So in the cliffhanger from episode 2, an oil tanker is about to hit the yacht that Jem and the Holograms are aboard. Of course, they’re fine! Jem almost falls off and Rio has to drag her back aboard, at which point she tries to kiss him. Why is she messing with his head like this? I don’t get it.

Hanging out with fancy rich people gives the group access to all the resources they need to make a music video to beat the Misfits in the contest, and they get sent to Paris. Eric Raymond also sends his goon ‘Zipper’ to sabotage the video any way he can.

rio and kimber jem and the holograms episode 3In Paris, Kimber starts getting jealous about all the attention Jem receives and walks off in a strop. We see Zipper about to jump Kimber and… I don’t know, kidnap her? We’ll never know because Rio chases after her and really sticks it to her and tells her to stop acting like a spoilt brat. She’s about to reveal Jem’s secret when Aja and Shana stop her. Honestly, I’m totally on her side when she says “Rio has a right to know”.

Zipper instead goes to up to a building and crowbars a gargoyle off the roof to fall onto the group. Everyone knows there are stone gargoyle statues on every Parisian rooftop that are just waiting to be pushed off! Rio saves Jem, and yet again she’s freaking all over him!

Meanwhile, Ashley, the kid from Starlight Mansion who tried to steal from the house decides she’s had enough and goes to see the Misfits instead. There’s a bouncer on the door of the club who really dates this series by saying “Huh, you’re a friend of the Misfits? Yeah and I’m Duran Duran!”. The Misfits decide to take her in and school Ashley in the art of being a badass, which apparently consists of never asking, only taking.

Falling in love with another woman is obviously taking its toll on Rio because at the airport when Jem has to rush off (to change back into Jerrica), he gets all depressed and takes off. Jerrica is really surprised. She’s not really the sharpest tool in the shed, is she? But I guess Rio matches her in the brains department there.

kimber and eric jem and the holograms episode 3

“I have VERY serious personal space issues, Eric”

The Misfits have been busy promoting themselves while the Holograms have been away and Kimber confronts Eric Raymond about them and their manipulative tactics. He’s super sleazy and creepy, caressing her face and telling her that she’s the real star, not Jem and offers her a solo contract.

When Kimber finds out that only Jem will be interviewed on a music show, she loses her shit and surprise, surprise… storms off! Jerrica manages to get the whole band on the show, but needs Kimber to be there in one hour. This was before mobile phones so she has to go to the studios of Kimber’s favourite station to send her a message.

I just love it when US shows have awful British accents and they obviously took the inspiration of Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins for the radio DJ.

the Lin-Z Show jem and the hologramsKimber comes back, and they all go to the Lin-Z Pierce show together. With Ashley’s help, the Misfits crash the show and are so obnoxious they get kicked out. And Pizzazz actually SLAPS Lin-Z across the face whilst saying “Your show doesn’t have enough class for us anyway”. Watching this as a 7 year old I didn’t realize just how much of a psycho-bitch Pizzazz really was.

Oh and Pizzazz also manages to shove Rio so hard that he falls into some electrical equipment that is clearly faulty and suddenly the whole studio is on fire, and Jem needs to be saved again. Hmmm, I wonder if she’ll try kissing Rio again once it’s all over…

Read the next episode summary Frame Up.