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Jem is truly outragous.

Truly outrageous 1980's cartoon

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Why ‘Jem and the Holograms' is the Progressive Leg Pop Culture Stands On

  • Oct 5, 2010
  • by

You’ve probably never heard of Jem and the Holograms before, and that’s why I’m here, Lunchers. Jem and the Holograms was a cheesy 80s TV show that featured an all girl band that doubled as a group of costume-wearing, ever-vigilant crime stoppers. To fit with the wonderful world that was the 80s, they sported bright, big hair, shoulder pads and the show itself underlined a particular interest in fashion. Each 30-minute episode followed a serial plotline that featured original songs by the band as well as others, and a nail-biting cliff-hanger.

So what does this have to do with today’s pop-culture? I’m glad you asked. Let’s start with the recent resurgence in shoulder pads. ‘Dynasty’ may be long gone, but Alexis Carrington’s signature look lives on in videos including The-Dream’s ‘Love King’, Rihanna’s ‘Hard’, and an assortment of performances by the 80s-doused pop super starlet herself, Lady Gaga. Which leads me to my next topic.

The ‘poker face’-pop tart not only dons the shoulder pads with grace, but thrives on a strong emphasis of the world of fashion, and (if you look closely) has resembled the likes Jem and the Holograms themselves. Click the link to catch the girls in action -

But that’s not all…

I don’t know if Jem and the Holograms was the first show to include music in their programming on a regular basis, but they are certainly not the last. Fox Networks’ breakout hit ‘GLEE’ has become a cultural phenomena, single-handedly keeping the music publishing industry in business (highlight episodes include, Britney, Madonna, and Gaga herself.).

So are all of these things coincidence? Maybe part of some ‘pop-culture freemasons’ who simply like to toy with societies ‘flavor of the decade’? Maybe I just have too much time on my hands. The point is, ‘Jem’ may have had a jet-setting heel that may have come and gone, but it’s complete structure is one that artists, writers and producers alike seem to keep in the back of their creative closets. Diamonds may be forever, but ‘Jems’ never seem to go out of style.


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June 26, 2011
Jem was truly, truly outrageous! I LOVED this show growing up, so yes, I do remember it as a child of the 80s and thanks for bringing her to the modern masses. Great parallel between her and today's pop culture!
October 05, 2010
I'm ashamed to admit that I've only heard about Jem and the Holograms in recent years (I barely remember the 80's!) and still never really followed up looking things up about it, so thanks for this review!  By the way, I think it would be totally awesome of you to add this review into my Awesomeness community because this is pretty awesome :)
October 09, 2010
hahaha thanx devora. yes I would definitely check it out, the pilot is actually incrediballs (trademark) and it will totally have you hooked; plus you'll notice every single nuance I wrote about.
More Jem and the Holograms reviews
review by . May 05, 2009
"Glamour and glitter, fashion and fame: JEM! Jem is truly outrageous, truly,truly,truly outrageous!"    If you can proudly sing that line in key and without a hint of irony as a knowing smile creeps upon your face, I dare say that you too must indeed be a fellow "Child of the 80's".    And as this true Child of the 80's can attest, there was likely no young female-focused cartoon series nearly as respected and beloved at that …
About the reviewer
Lester Hussie ()
   I'ma pop culture analyst with an emphasis onits' provocative mechanics and how entertainment continues to evolve.I'll simultaneously keep you guys in the know about the privvy … more
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About this tv show


Jem (also Jem and the Holograms) is an American animated television series that ran from 1985 to 1988 in U.S. first-run syndication. The show is about music company owner Jerrica Benton, her singer alter-ego, Jem, her band the Holograms, and their adventures.

The series was a joint collaboration by Hasbro, Marvel Comics, and Sunbow Productions, the same team responsible for G.I. Joe and Transformers. The creator of the series was Christy Marx, who also had been a staff writer for the aforementioned programs. The animation was provided by a Japanese animation studio called Toei Doga (now Toei Animation).

The show was originally designed to appeal to both girls and boys, with a mix of action/adventure, drama, music, and fashion, however as the show progressed, the audience became almost entirely girls.

Jem Episodes
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Genre: Cartoons
Original Air Date: October 6, 1985

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