Jem (a.k.a. Jem and the Holograms) was a weekday afternoon animated
drama about a pop star and her holographic alter-ego. Complementing
the popular toy line of Jem dolls, the cartoon series featured a
well written script expanding 3 seasons about the main character,
Jerrica Benton. Recovering from the loss of her father, Jerrica
works to stop her late father's partner Eric from signing the rock
group 'Misfits' to the company, Starlight Music. Upon receiving
Synergy - a holographic machine that resembled a high-tech piano
organ (which also had its own intelligent holographic manifestation),
Jerrica wears star-shaped earrings that visually change her appearance
into alter-ego Jem, lead singer of the Holograms: including her
sister and keyboard player Kimber, and friends Aja Leith [Cathianne
Blore] - guitarist, Shana Elmsford [Cindy McGee] - drum pads/guitarist,
and Raya [Linda Dangcil] - drummer. Aside from band tours, Jerrica's
other main concern is the Starlight House - an foster home for children.
on similarities with characters like Spiderman or Superman, Jerrica
constantly battles the emotional divide between herself and her
secret identity, Jem. This spills out into her love life with boyfriend
Rio, who remains attracted to both personas (unknowing about Jem's
existence as a holographic disguise). Elements of soap opera are
also found in various love connections amongst background characters
and the band, and even intertwined with rival group, the Misfits.
Misfits, led by singer Pizzazz [Ellen Bernfeld], included Clash,
Stormer [Susan Blu], Roxy [Bobbie Block] and Jetta [Louise Dorsey].
Eventually, the Holograms take on the Misfits in various worldwide
performances, while Jerrica and friends deal with various dramas
in their off-stage lives. A third group, the white-haired 'Stingers'
were introduced as yet another competitive threat to the band, later
on in the season.
of Jem included one to two minute-long music videos with animated
sequences that were prepared just for the plot of each show. In
fact, the premise of the show incorporated music into it as an essential
piece - between the cartoon's music videos, the doll's inclusion
of a special cassette tape, and the "Jem Dream Tour" mail-out
cassette, featuring actual radio hits from artists such as The Jets,
Catrina and the Waves, New Edition, The Fixx, Loverboy, Thompson
Twins, Eddy Grant and Toto. The character Jem appears to be a mix
of styles including Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.
debuted on the rotation series "Super Sunday," as a 5-7 minute segment,
mixed alongside Sunday morning episodes of "Bigfoot and the Muscle
Machines," "Inhumanoids," and "Robotix." The show was seemingly
not partial only to girls, but to both audiences. Its own syndicated
debut showed a different light, as the popular doll and accessory
line blasted off, marketing the show primarily as one for girls.
released the DVD series for "Jem" in 2004.