Jem, The Movie

Photo by Ryan Visima

Photo by Ryan Visima

It’s with great confusion that I have to announce something to all of you. I. Am. Old. So old, in fact, that when they announced the cast for Jem, The Movie I had no idea who anyone was. I had to Google nearly every cast member, except for Haley Kiyoko, who I knew because my kids have watched the movie Lemonade Mouth about a thousand times.

I’m also so old that I couldn’t even sit through watching my girls experience the original cartoon for the first time. The neon pink, glitter filled episodic escapade filled with BAD pop tunes a la 1983 has now become so grating to my nerves I had to leave the room. I was SO EXCITED to revisit my youth. I used to race home from school to watch each episode, and then breathlessly call my girlfriends to discuss each one. Though I still knew all of the lyrics to the songs (yikes) I found the entire show ridiculous. And I really, really tried to enjoy it.

The girls loved it. They will probably love the movie too.

Here’s the thing though. Making a live action version of Jem is another obvious cash grab targeting parents of our generation who feel nostalgic for our youth. I hated the video announcement of this film so much, it inspired me to writ this post today. Check out these three smug bastards. Not a one of them gives a rats ass about Jem, especially not the obnoxious dude shooting the toy gun through the whole thing. (Why the hell is he doing that anyway??) These guys have probably never even seen an episode of the show. Watch this, and tell me they don’t rub you the wrong way.

What a joke. As if ANYONE sending in an audition would even be considered for casting. It’s such an obvious social media manipulation. “If you have a cool mom, she’ll definitely know who Jem is.” Ugh!

They don’t care that I loved Jem so much I bought every single mannish, ungainly Hasbro Jem doll, with my own allowance much of the time, forsaking my beloved Barbies for years in favor of their tranny-like competition. They don’t care that I ached to put my lips on Rio and would secretly make out with my pillow, pretending I was Jem and the pillow was my purple-locked paramour. They don’t care that I cried when Stormer felt so conflicted about whether her loyalties lay with bad girls The Misfits or with what she knew was right. They don’t care that ALL of my “tween” fashion choices came from the show.

The directors and producers don’t care that Jem and the Holograms was my first real foray into developing my own identity as a young woman with big dreams and a love of fashion. They only care that there were millions of girls like me who now have daughters the same age and money to spend. Those daughters should be treated to role models that are fresh, and new and relevant to their generation. Hollywood is so desperately lacking in vision and imagination, production teams keep barfing up the same ideas with the dollar sign acting as the only motivating factor.

If the first appeal for our attention and excitement ¬†about the Jem movie came from the talented young women they’ve cast, maybe I wouldn’t feel so cynical. Those girls would have ignited something that three thirty-something dudes who have dollar signs in their eyes just can’t touch. At least these young ladies have the skills to embody the pop sensations that stole my little girl heart. Guess what production team? I won’t be watching this one in the theatres.

The whole thing, if you ask me, is truly outrageous.

Jem the Movie poster