Commentary from Stormacage

by Rachel Stewart / notprolificnotprofound

Everyone has that one pop culture thing they’d love to see properly brought to life on the silver screen. It could be a beloved comic, a television show, or a musical.

For me, it’s Jem and the Holograms. My mother wouldn’t let me watch MTV, but I could watch Jem every morning before school. And thus an obsession was born. My collection of dolls, cassettes, and VHS tapes grew, long outside my childhood and into my teens and college years. Now it’s easy to see in the influnence Jem had on girls in the 80s. Look at Lady Gaga at the 2010 Grammys. Or consider Katy Perry’s ever changing hair colors and pop personalities. The glitter and grittiness of Ke$ha smacks of the Misfits’s mischief. Think of Nicki Minaj’s retro pop-influenced rap and pink hair. The older I get, the more I see Jem in pop culture.

Then the Jem and the Holograms movie was announced.

At first, I was elated. Then, as I read more about the new adaption, I became conflicted. The film will be set in modern day. While super computer Synergy could easily fit into today’s hyper-connected world, in my heart, Jem is everything I love about the 80s. The flashy colors, the over-the-top materialism of Eric Raymond balanced by the good doing of Jerrica Benton and Starlight Music. THOSE RIDICULOUS 80s FASHIONS AND MUSIC VIDEOS! [The show was created to sell dolls, after all!]  There was also the troubling fact that none of the original cast or writers were consulted or asked to participate at the time of the inital announcement.

This week, Samantha Newark announced on Facebook her and Britta Phillips will both have cameos in the film. [Newark provided Jem/Jerrica’s speaking voice and famous “It’s Showtime, Synergy” catch phrase, while Phillips did all the vocal work on the songs.] This thrilled me to no end, because both of these women, who are now talented musicians in their own right, were an intergral part of my childhood and deserve to be up there on the big screen!

The cast was also announced, complete with a teaser graphic. It’s encouraging they selected up-and-coming actresses so they can really own their parts. [Sometimes having a bigger star equals skequed source material.]

So, what do I think of  the first image? Let’s break it down by band member.

Jem: The makeup and hair is spot on. I like the pensive look the actress has in the pic, because part of Jem’s struggle is being two people at once, and having to keep that secret safe from everyone but the Holograms.

Kimber: Whoa. Where’s the fire engine red hair? I AM DISSAPOINT. GIVE ME THAT RED HAIR/BLUE EYEBROW COMBO.

Aja: Aqua blue hair, yesssss.

Shana: Not a fan of the braid, but purple, yes, good.

So, so far, so good? I’m really going to be interested to see how the costuming department interprets the band’s iconic outfits. As a cosplayer, that could make or break this movie for me. But I have a feeling no matter what  happens, I’ll still be marching up to my local cinema in my pink wig and glitter lame dress to buy a ticket. Expect more outrageous commentary from this Jem girl as photos and trailers become available!

About notprolificnotprofound

Rachel Stewart has been obsessed about all things pop culture from an early age, but counts Doctor Who and Jem and the Holograms among her main obsessions. She blogs about her cosplay adventures at conventions, weekly geek-inspired outfits and whatever else takes her fancy at her blog notprolificnotprofound. Like her cosplay profile at AllBackToFront.