Jem

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ABC (ended 1988)

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Jem

Show Summary

Showtime, Synergy. Those famous words were spoken by Jem throughout her three year run from 1985-1988. Jem was a beloved 80s rock cartoon that capitalized on the popularity of MTV that perfectly captured the decade's music, fashion and lingo. To this day, Jem is still considered a Truly Outrageous animated series that celebrates the power of love, friendship, ambition and rock 'n roll.

Jerrica Benton's father left her a very special gift after he died. That gift was Synergy, a holographic computer system that can create realistic holograms of virtually anything. Using special star-shaped earrings, Synergy transforms Jerrica into the glamorous pop singer, Jem. Along with Kimber, Aja and Shana whom are called the Holograms, they have many adventures that take them to places in the US, France, China and Italy.

Not far behind are their competition, the Misfits, a group led by Pizzazz with her friends Roxy and Stormer. Eventually both groups add a new member to their bands. Raya becomes the new drummer while Shana goes to guitar, and Jetta becomes the new saxophonist for the Misfits. With their additions, both Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits have many new adventures in Mexico, England, Shangri-La and across the U.S.

The Stingers, a new trio, come to the States and begin to shake things up between Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits. Riot, Rapture and Minx begin to cause problems, all on their own. All three groups have a unique music showcased in the musical videos that appear in every episode.

Jem originally premiered in 1985 in short segment cartoon inserts between two boys cartoons called Super Saturday/Sunday. Jem ran for three seasons from fall 1985 to spring 1988 with 65 total episodes. The show was then re-aired on the USA Network into early 1990.

Cast of Characters Jerrica Benton is the owner and CEO of Starlight Music Company and The Starlight Foundation, which is a home to take care of foster girls. Both of these were inherited from her father, Emmet Benton, after he passed away. She grew up around musicians and technicians and is an independent business woman. Jem, Jerrica's singing persona, is the lead singer of the band Jem and the Holograms. Touching her star-shaped earrings and saying Showtime, Synergy or Show's over, Synergy, the Jem holographic image is created or disappears. Only The Holograms know that Jem and Jerrica are the same person. As Jem, Jerrica can let her hair down and let loose. Kimber Benton is Jerrica's younger sister. She is co-owner of Starlight Music Company and The Starlight Foundation. She plays keyboards and is the main songwriter/lyricist for the group. She is often impulsive, falling for the cute or dangerous guys. Aja Leith was the first foster girl to be adopted by Jacqui and Emmett Benton. She plays lead guitar in the Holograms. She is Jerrica's best friend. She is smart and very athletic. She is a jack-of-all trades on knowing how to do anything. Shana Elmsford was the second foster girl adopted by the Benton's. She played the drums until she left to work for a famous designer. She came back after The Talent Search and switched to her guitar. She designs the clothes for the Holograms and Starlight Girls. She has also had her fashions shown in Venice, Italy. Raya Carmen Alonso is the newest member of the Holograms. When Shana left the group, Raya won the Talent Search to be the new drummer. Coming from a Mexican background, Raya's the only girl among three brothers. Her father owns and operates a greenhouse. Synergy is a holographic computer built by Emmett Benton. She is contacted through Jerrica's earrings which project holographic images, sound and light. Synergy is kept at Starlight Mansion. She has all of the Holograms' music stored on file as well as Jacqui Benton's. Rio Pacheco is the road manager/engineer of Jem and the Holograms and Jerrica's boyfriend. He is also interested in Jem but has no clue that she and Jerrica are the same person. He doesn't like liars and deception. Countess Danielle Du Voisin is a very wealthy, renowned fashion designer that lives in Venice. She helps finance some of the Holograms' projects. She knows about fashions from all over the world. She is good friends with Howard Sands. Howard Sands is one of the top movie producers in the world. He helped produce the movie Starbright. Anthony Julian is a music director who is involved with Shana. He also directed the movie Starbright. Danse is a choreographer and naturally gifted dancer that works at a charity house called Haven House. Her real name is Giselle Dvorak. Her mother was a famous prima ballerina in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. She is good friends with Video. Video is an aspiring filmmaker. Her real name is Vivian Montgomery. She is a companion to the Holograms and shoots most of their music videos. Lin-Z Pierce is a Music TV Show Host. She travels to many places and stays on top of the music world. She is good friends with Anthony Julian and Video. The Misfits Pizzazz is the lead singer and plays guitar. Her real name is Phyllis Gabor but she gets easily angered when she is called by it. Her father is very rich and has given her everything that she's ever asked for. She's a spoiled, selfish, rich girl that wants money and fame. She craves her father's attention. She later has an obsession with Riot of the Stingers when they come to town. She uses Roxy and Stormer to her advantage. Roxy plays guitar. Her real name is Roxanne Pelligrini and is originally from Philadelphia, the town where she dropped out of high school. She is a very street wise and tough as nails. She takes credit for things that she did not create and goes to any length to get her way, even if it meant lying, cheating and stealing to do it. Stormer plays keyboard and sometimes guitar. She is the main song writer of the Misfits. Her real name is Mary Phillips. She has a brother, Craig, who dates Aja. Stormer is more sympathetic to causes that the other Misfits oppose. Jetta is the newest member that plays saxophone. Her real name is Sheila Burns and comes from England. She was playing with the Tinkerbellies when the Misfits decided to add her as a new member. With Pizzazz's father's influence and money, she was able to attain her green card. Eric Raymond used to work for Emmett Benton. He inherited half of Starlight Music when Emmet died but lost it when Jem and the Holograms won it back in the Battle of the Bands. He became owner of Misfits Music which later became Stingers Sound. He is a crook in the music business that manipulates, blackmails and embezzles his way through to get what he wants. He also knows the right kind of lawyers to bail him out of any situation. Clash is the Misfits biggest fan. She is constantly trying to join the Misfits but doesn't get her chance. Her real name is Constance Montgomery and she is cousin to Video Montgomery. She tries to make Jem and the Holograms as well as Video's life miserable. The Stingers Riot is the lead singer and has a romantic interest in Jem. His real name is Rory Llewellen, who was once in the army and went AWOL when he joined a rock band, Nivana, in Germany. He has a rocky relationship with his father. He is a master charmer. Rapture plays lead guitar. Her real name is Phoebe Ashe. She is a mischief maker and con-artist who gets anyone to believe what she has to say. Minx is the keyboardist of the group. Her real name is Ingrid Keith and she has a romantic interest in Rio. She is an electronics genius. Toy Line In 1985, Hasbro debuted the Jem doll line starting with 12" dolls such as Jem/Jerrica, Aja, Kimber, Shana, Rio, Pizzazz, Stormer and Roxy. All of the 1st issue dolls came with a flap that their character was on. Each doll came with their own musical instrument and Jem a microphone and Rio a brief case. Each doll, except Jem, had cassette tapes with songs on one side and the instrumental song on the other side. In 1986, the doll line came out with a 2nd generation of the Holograms and the Misfits, though Holograms came in different outfits. Added to the line up were Danse, Video, Raya, Synergy, Glitter 'N Gold Jem/Jerrica, Glitter 'N Gold Rio, Rock 'N Curl Jem, Flash 'N Sizzle Jem/Jerrica, Jetta and Clash. The 2nd and 3rd edition dolls came without a flap on them.
In 1987, the last of the line came out with only 3 of the Starlight girls: Ashley, Krissie and Banee. It was rumored that a Stingers doll line was suppose to come out also but nothing came of it. Along with a fashionable clothing line, play sets, vehicles, stages, coloring books, reading books, posters, games, lunch boxes, clothes, watches and make-up were also made available.

VHS and DVD Release
Family Home Entertainment or f.h.e. released Jem on VHS tapes in 1986 starting with the Full Length Animated Feature Movie Truly Outrageous. There are a lot scenes that either added or expanded on from the original movie showing. Last Resorts, The Music Awards, Hot Time In Hawaii, The Princess and the Singer, Jem Jam, Culture Clash, Glitter 'N Gold and the Talent Search were all released in the 1987 year. Rhino Entertainment picked up a couple of the episodes in 1999 and 2000. They first came out with Passport to Rock Volume 1 featuring The World Hunger Shindig and Adventure In China and Fashion Fiasco Volume 2 with In Stitches and Culture Clash. Harmony Entertainment also came out with a Girls Rule! Volume 1 Featuring Jem and the Holograms with The Beginning and Disaster. Also on the DVD were Lady LovelyLocks with Lake of Reflections and Menace of Mirror Lake and finally with Rainbow Brite's episodes Mom and A Horse of a Different Color Girls Rule! Volume 2 Featuring Popples. Jem starts it off with Kimber's Rebellion, Frame Up and Battle of the Bands then She-Ra: Princess of Power episodes The Anxious Apprentice and A Talent for Trouble and finally with Popples episodes Popples Panic, College Of Popple Knowledge and Treasure of Popple Beach Rhino finally released Jem on DVD March 2004 in a four DVD set including 26 episodes of the first and second seasons. This set includes interviews with Jem speaking voice, Samantha Newark and Jem creator and writer, Christy Marx. Season three, part one was released in Sept. 2004 with 19 episodes that includes an interviews with Jem's singing voice Britta Philips, and commentary by Christy Marx and Writer Roger Slifer.

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Britta Phillips

Britta Phillips

Jem/Jerrica Benton [singing voice]

Samantha Newark

Samantha Newark

Jem/Jerrica Benton

Cathianne Blore

Cathianne Blore

Kimber Benton / Aja Leith

Cindy McGee

Cindy McGee

Shana Elmsford

Marlene Aragon

Marlene Aragon

Synergy

Patricia Alice Albrecht

Patricia Alice Albrecht

Pizzazz/Phyllis Gabor

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Glamour, glitter, fashion and fame... it can all be found on "Jem," a classic cartoon show of the 1980's.

    10
    Glamour, glitter, fashion and fame... it can all be found on "Jem," a classic cartoon show of the 1980's. As a girl in the right age range to be in the target market when this show was on the air, it resonated with me and became one of my all-time favorite shows. For me, one of the strongest selling points of the show back then was strong female characters (and this is still a strong selling point for me 20 years later). I also enjoyed the music on the show back when I was a kid, and overall, I'm not embarrassed to listen to the songs now as an adult (except for maybe a couple of exceptions). While there was the occasional "clunker" episode ("Journey Through Time," "Journey To Shangri-La," and "The Presidential Dilemma" come to mind), the show overall had some really good episodes ("A Father Should Be...," "Homeland, Heartland," "Out Of The Past," and "Alone Again" just off the top of my head). The idea of the dual identity (Jerrica and Jem) and the holographic technology (Jerrica's computer, Synergy), were also elements of the show that caught my attention. All of these elements combine to make one of the best female-oriented animated programs of the 1980's.moreless
  • Memorable music and characters.

    7.0
    Honestly I missed most of the first season of Jem, initially dismissing it as an attempt to market cheap toys to young girls. I still think that is true, but there's more to this show than it's superficial commercialism.



    My step-daughter watched the show every day, so I ended up watching a few episodes with her. I soon found myself drawn into the world of Jem and her friends, humming along with the music, and caught up in the the drama. Those songs are very catchy, and the music sequences are accompanied by fantastic dream sequences explaining the characters emotions in response to the action. I still enjoy listening to the songs to this day, simple though they are.



    The character designs are really quite appealing, and are drawn in a nice semi-realistic style. This is to be expected from a show adapted from a line of toys, since the whole point of the show is to sell toys. Still, comparing Jem and the gang to character designs of other show of that era I think they stand out among the best.



    The stories are actually very good, with lots of realism, though very simplified. I can't think of any events from the show that could not happen in real life, aside from the fantasy sequences of course. There is enough drama and romance in every episode to keep viewers' attention, and some serious life issues are dealt with, though it's all portrayed in an overly simplified manner.



    Overall I score Jem higher than most cartoons of the 80s because it has a high enjoyment factor. The characters, music, and drama of Jem have kept me interested in the show for all this time.moreless
  • This show is outrageous! Truly Truly Truly outrageous!

    10
    I love classic cartoons like these. Especially periodic ones, like Jem. This show has all the works. It's fun, it's flashy. The clothes they wear is so bright and colorful, and some of the songs that they sing. Though the Music videos aren't their strong suit, but still they high light the episodes.



    I still hum some of the Jem songs in class. Usually it's "Who is he Kissing?", "Jealousy", "Universal Appeal" and of course, "Truly Outrageous". It's so rare to find shows that are this original. Or even this colorful, they don't need to match! Give it a chance if you haven't, you get as much as you put in!moreless
  • Rock group helps make the world a better place each show using Synergy and other stuff.

    7.0
    Another show that i hardly remember, and yet, i am here trying to review it or atleast leave my ideas on the show. I recall watching this when i was probably 8 and there was nothing else on TV to watch, partly, because i was a boy trying to look tough as the rest of my friends and watching this show would be called something like "treason to the gang" If i remember correctly, there was an evil band that played too and they were always trying to make Jem look bad or destroy the world. A very nice show if you were a girl in the 80's, otherwise, stay away from it.moreless
  • Classic Eighties TV

    10
    This show had it all! Great music, great characters, great stories and great effects even for a cartoon. I don't know of a real recording manager could have really balanced being a singer, manager, foster mother and a private life, but this series made it look possible. Synergy, the Jem Earrings and the theoretical hologram technology was another thing that made the series a hit as Jerica never realized the full power of what she could do. The female characters, however, did look a bit thin and anorexic, but they were made to look like the dolls the series endorsed. The characters mostly didn't have the animation of the G.I.JOE cartoon, but it more than made up with it with the infectious songs, lively music and cartoon videos. I loved Jem, even probably would have dated Jerica or Kimber if they were real. The Misfits were the band you loved to hate. In real life, they might have been accused of using drugs or witchcraft. Eric Raymond was the only character I could live without; his role as the opportunistic and unethical business man became too far-fetched and unlikely as his stereotype became stretched and stretched. Eventually, he made J.R. Ewing look like Major Tony Nelson as a cowboy. All together, all these characters sometimes seemed like they really existed in another reality along with G.I.JOE and the Marvel and DC Comics characters, and they possibly did. Unfortunately,the series had reached it's end with the Stingers; their appearance just didn't fit in the series. It was a sure sign the series was at an end. The only chance to see this again is the dream of a live-action movie with Jem played by her true-life counterpart, Britta Phillips. Truth be told, there is not a single cartton since that could measure up to any of the carttons from the Eighties.moreless
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    Animation, Comedy, Kids