Rick Merwin delivers a solid story, but it lacks the social message and moral that made Jem so great.
The Holograms, with a contract from Arlington House publishers, set out to make a rock fashion book. This premise allows the storytellers to feature the rock stars in various scenic places, like the Grand Canyon, a marine aquarium, and Nassau. Not to be outdone, the Misfits strive to make their own fashion book, and their attempts are hilarious. They don skirted onesies and gaudy sunglasses for a beach shoot, their shots from a carnival are continuously interrupted by photobombers, and their manuscript is ultimately rejected by seventeen publishers.
The music is mediocre. "Come On In, the Water's Fine," sounds like the songwriters made the best of the premise that was given them: write a pop song about being in the water. The other two songs are better. "We Can Change It," a song about the survival of a relationship, and its music video set in a photographer's red room work very well.
This episode also contains some fun dialogue between Jem and Rio. First, after Jem is saved from being eaten by a whale, she asks Rio to hold her and says that "Jerrica wouldn't At the end, she assures Rio that Jerrica knows he acted very bravely while breaking the fourth wall and winking at the audience. Young viewers, who are in on her secret, may feel a closer bond to the heroine through that little moment.
The episode suffers from a lack of a relevant message or any sort of meaningful urgency. The only urgency comes from the fashion book directors, who push the Holograms from one location to the next, making the story feel very rushed.
Finally, the outfits worn by the Holograms for the book seem very plain and conservative by today's pop standards. Of course, this is from the Debbie Gibson era when female pop stars wore jean jackets, derbys, and side ponytails.