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 10 – Adventure in China

episode10_3OMFG YES!! After the last episode, full of Texan stereotypes, now we go to China! Who is up for a drinking game for every Chinese stereotype? I’ll simply mark them as (D) as we go along.

JATH are flying to China, having been personally invited to perform a concert on the Great Wall (D). The Misfits are also going there, as Eric has managed to get them a tour over there instead of a concert, which they’re pissed about. I thought bands made the bulk of their money from touring, shouldn’t that be a good thing? Ha and they’re also welcomed with a sign saying “Misfats” – oh hohoho, those Chinese and their mispronunciation problems (D)! As if many Westerners were able to speak more than three words of Mandarin or Cantonese, if that (FYI, I know “xie xie ni”, which I learnt from Rush Hour).

Jem runs into problems when she’s asked to take off her Synergy earrings to go through a metal detector at the airport and says she can’t. Everything is starting to get a bit tense until an official comes in and says she can go through with them. But Eric and the Misfits have noticed and start wondering what could be up with those earrings.

episode10Later on, JATH are relaxing in a mineral spa before their concert, when Jem comes in and takes them off to go bathing. She doesn’t transform into Jerrica when she takes them off, so why didn’t she want to at the airport? Oh well, whatever. Roxy comes along and steals them while Jem isn’t looking.

With Jem now ‘missing’, JATH are forced to step down from performing, so the Misfits offer to perform instead. There’s a bit where the official says “Well since Jem and the Holograms lack a sense of obligation…” Have to admit, I’m pretty surprised he didn’t use the word “honour” actually.

episode10_2As they watch The Misfits performing, JATH notice that they’re all wearing earrings that look like Jerrica’s Synergy earrings and figure out that one of them must be wearing the real pair. When JATH go to confront The Misfits, Pizzazz throws her earrings to Roxy and Roxy and Stormer jump in a rickshaw (D) and a rickshaw chase follows, complete with a Misfits music video featuring Chinese acrobats (D).

JATH chase the Misfits in a cable car, and Roxy (it’s always her) fiddles with the controls of the cable car to scare Jerrica and the girls. Somehow Jerrica has found the time to change outfits in all this – does she even need Synergy? By the way, I love Jerrica’s outfit here, so preppy and cute!

JATH chase The Misfits through a practising martial arts class (D), destroy an ancient religious statue in the process (luckily, no one is around to see it) and then onto a train. The Misfits throw each of the pairs of earrings through the windows of the train. Interestingly, The Misfits also have several costume changes during this chase.

episode10_5One pair of earrings land on some excavation site, and are taken to a museum, another changes hands several times and are picked up by a manufacturer, who copies the design and mass produces them (D), and one pair is picked up by a garbage collector who brings them home to his daughter.

Aja can apparently read and understand some Chinese. I wonder if she’s actually Asian, it’s never really clear. Anyway she picks up a magazine to practise and sees a picture of a pair. The girls head to the factory and get the original pair that was thrown through the window. But they’re copies and not actually Synergy.

episode10_7Next they decide to visit a museum and see another pair that was found on the excavation. Of all the bright ideas, they decide to just try and steal them out of the museum. OMG, so idiotic. But then what’s even more idiotic is when they go to see the curator, who examines them more closely and realizes, oh no, they’re just a cheap pair of earrings that are not actually from the Ming Dynasty (D). Quelle shocker!

They’re not the real earrings either and JATH realize they have to back out of the concert. Nearby the concert, there’s some fight going on with some kids. The little girl who received the earrings from her father is being bullied by a gang of other kids telling her to hand them over. Jerrica goes to talk to her and the girl, Lin, shows her her earrings, which she says are ‘good luck’ charms. Jerrica tells her that Jem has had some bad luck, and Lin gives her her good luck charms.

episode10_8Jerrica is just about the call off the concert, when Synergy makes contact, and transforms Jerrica into Jem, and JATH play the concerts and stick it to the Misfits.

Thoughts overall on this episode are, although there were quite a lot of stereotypes packed in, I suppose it could have been a hell of a lot worse, i.e. everyone wearing those cone-shaped hats, everyone knows martial arts, mystical happenings, etc.

Plus, I look forward to having a similar drinking game when JATH visit another country!

Songs in Episode 10:

  • You Can’t Catch Me – The Misfits
  • Something Is Missing In My Life – Jem and The Holograms
  • Love Unites Us – Jem and The Holograms

Read the next episode summary Last Resorts!

Episode 9 – The World Hunger Shindig

 

"Sean Harrison, the English teen idol - ain't he cute?"

“Sean Harrison, the English teen idol – ain’t he cute?” “Woo-ee”

Finally, an episode where I don’t have to re-cap from a cliffhanger ending! The writers must have been getting as bored with that as I have.

So this time we’re in Houston, Texas, where everyone has stereotypical, cowboy, Texas accents. Even the helicopter pilot who is flying JATH to Houston says ‘Wooo-ee’ (maybe that’s like saying “yee-haw” when you’re piloting a plane or helicopter instead of riding a horse?). Oh and the whoops and cheers of the Texan party goers have been ‘Texafied’ just in case you were in any doubt of where it’s set.

A ‘World Hunger Shindig’ to raise $8 million dollars in a week is being organized in the Astrodome stadium in Houston and this is the launch party thrown by Miss Sally on her ranch. Also at this thing is Sean Harrison, some kind of English teen idol singer. They have Texan accents down on this show (I mean, I think so anyway, but I’m neither from Texas nor have visited Texas) but UK accents really trip them up.

Last episode it seemed like Kimber had got together with Jeff, the stunt guy on the movie. But we all know from Jem/Jerrica/Rio that characters on this show are very fickle when it comes to relationships. So Kimber has forgotten all about Jeff already and is all about Sean.

episode9_misfits&eric_2The Misfits turn up uninvited with Eric, and offer to play the gig as well. They’re completely clueless that as it’s for charity, they should be playing for free. Stormer questions what he’s getting out of the deal and he’s really touchy about it, yelling: “NOTHING! Nothing but contacts and for publicity for you ingrates”. Eric’s chief hired thug Zipper is around too. But now instead of being a ginger, he’s dyed his hair black. As usual, Eric asks him to sabotage JATH. I don’t know why Zipper even has to ask at this point why he’s there.

Jerrica wants to spend time with Rio, but he’s clearly so over her and wants to hang out with Jem instead.

episode9_flashfloodThe girls all go out with Sean and C.B. Dodd, a Texan oil billionaire, riding horses and going swimming. Sean and C.B. Dodd have to leave to sort something out (this must have seemed soooo fancy in the 80’s, cos the Texan billionaire has a huge mobile phone!) and leaves the girls alone. Zipper and his mate ambush the girls and force them to go into the ravine. Jerrica is able to get Synergy to help them out of their fix, by projecting storm clouds and a flash flood. Excellent! At last there’s a moment where Rio or some other dude doesn’t come in to rescue them.

After they’ve escaped from Zipper the girls go on a hayride where Kimber is waiting for Sean to show up. Sean is with The Misfits and they take him to a bar where they say Kimber is waiting for him. It seems that Pizzazz and him had some kind of fling about a year ago, but he’s now a changed man, and has a new mellower personality that Pizzazz finds “sickening”. They leave the bar and as Pizzazz is laying into Sean about his attitude, she almost crashes into the hayride with Jerrica and the girls.

Once they realise there are no fatalities, The Misfits see the funnier side of the near crash. Kimber is devastated that Sean could be hanging out with anyone other than her – even though she’s got her own boyfriend anyway.

episode9_zipper_counterfeitticketsOn the day of the concert all sorts of things are happening: Zipper sells counterfeit tickets so Eric can pocket the cash; Sean explains to Kimber that he was tricked by Pizzazz; and Jem, Ajah and Shana are shown to their ‘dressing room’ which is instead a prison cell (complete with sliding eye window for the jailer to see if the girls are still in the room).

They use Synergy to make it appear as if they’re still there and sneak through the air con vents. While they do that, they hear Eric talking with Zipper, and see Eric place the money that he’s made from counterfeit tickets in the air con vent. Eric leaves the room, and Zipper sneaks back in, intent on stealing the money from the air con vent. Synergy projects a cobra sitting on top of the briefcase to scare him away and the girls get out.

episode9_concertstageJATH take the money, and are chased by Zipper to a ledge high above the concert stage just as they’re due to be on stage anyway – they abseil down using a net full of balloons just in time to prevent the nasty Misfits from getting on the stage.

Seriously, after the snooze-fest of endless cliff-hangars, I think this was the best Jem episode I’ve reviewed so far. Check out the next episode coming up, Adventure in China!

Songs in Episode 9:

  • We can make a difference – JATH
  • Gimme, Gimme, Gimme – The Misfits
  • Share a little bit of yourself – JATH