Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Robots Trying Too Hard: Erika vs Jem and The Holograms, Episode 2

Last time on Jem and the Holograms: EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE

I'm not even being melodramatic; that was how we left things. Oh, and Jerrica and Raymond made a bet on who could make their band more popular in six months--winner gets the company AND A NEW MANSION (the mansion is from a third party who popped out of no where).  And, uh, there's an AI named Synergy that can project holograms from Jerrica's earrings.

They mean it when they say it's truly outrageous.

So the episode starts with EVERYTHING BURNING DOWN and the Holograms pulling orphans from the flames. Rio happens to drive up in his van (there are four cars we see repeatedly, three of them are vans. I suspect they're easier to animate) and comfort Jerrica before she decides it's time to go after that BRAND NEW MANSION and tells Rio to take the girls while they go find Jem to put on a show. Rio does not question this and loads up his van with orphans. The Misfits happen to be driving by and decide to follow Jerrica because.... reasons? This leads to the most hilariously mundane van chase I have ever seen. Just... yup, still driving. We get a few reaction shots of the girls' completely neutral facial expressions as this happens, before Jerrica uses Synergy to disguise their van as a dumpster. The Misfits somehow know who Rio is and decide to follow him instead when they spot him.

How big is this town? There's at least one recording studio and one film producer just giving out mansions, as well as an abandoned drive-in theater that horny teenagers aren't trying to impregnate each other at... yet everyone seems to know each other? Or maybe Rio just knows everyone. I thought Jerrica was the secret spy, but maybe Rio is too. MAYBE THEY'RE A SPY COUPLE.

So the girls get to the drive-in, Synergy is projecting herself on the screen BECAUSE THAT WON'T CATCH ANYONE'S ATTENTION, SUPER SUBTLE, to tell them "ENTER". Synergy. I get it. You take your role as deus ex machina and robo-guide very seriously, but they've been there before, and you were way more subtle leading them here last time. Tone it down. We still know who you are, you don't need to be a giant talking head to get the audiences attention. You're literally a holographic AI who can make people look however the flunch you want. If that doesn't get their attention holo-project spinach in their teeth that they can never get out.

So the girls get ready and... uh... they somehow have instruments even though theirs were smashed last episode? I guess there were backups? Did Daddy Bently think "I know my daughter, the spy, gets into a lot of trouble, so if I am going to set her up to be A SECRET POP SENSATION I should make sure she has some backup gear. It's only the responsible thing to do"? What sort of person was this man? He owns a foster home for girls and a recording company and makes AI's that are basically autotune.

We are launched into the next song, which is presumably being performed outside of the movie producer's house, which just... had people hanging out in front of it. Did they just perform for creepy paparazzi who were stalking this dude? But that is not what we see. What we see is Jem taking Rio on a variety of fantastical adventures, including but not limited to: summoning castles that are filled with magical gardens with questionable perspective shifts, unicorns that can walk into the air and then summon rainbows under them, the ability to breath under water with no apparent cause, and dance in midair. Not walking, ONLY DANCING. Not a bad superpower; I could boogie everywhere if it let me essentially fly.  Or even just be able to gain height. I'm short, that would save me from having to bring a chair or tall person with me everywhere I go.*

Maybe this is how Rio knows Jem? It kinda looks like he proposes to her at one point. He seems to not know Jerrica=Jem so he's cheating on his girlfriend with... his.. girlfriend? Awk.

I fucking love this show.

The Misfits are unhappy that The Holograms are trying to get ahold of the mansion but Mr. Movie Producer Dude (whose name I can't quite catch and will henceforth be named Mr. Mustache) points out "Until there's a winner it's still mine and YES THESE ORPHAN CHILDREN CAN LIVE THERE UNTIL THEY GET ON THEIR FEET. I'll go get the keys."

One of the Misfits is enraged and pushes him into the pool. Another hops on an earth mover and starts tearing up the guys lawn. Jerrica meanwhile is trying to pull Mr. Mustache out of the pool (pond?) but slips and flies hilarious like twelve feet through the air and lands on the ground RIGHT AS THE EARTHMOVER THAT THE MISFIT WAS DRIVING AND ABANDONED IS COMING STRAIGHT AT HER OH NO RIO MUST SAVE THE DAY NOW!!

He runs in, scoops Jerrica up and runs with enough time that she... could have stood up and walked. Is this some sort of foreplay? Do they have an ongoing damsel in distress/white knight roleplay scenario going on? Is this a weird sex thing? HOW OLD ARE THEY?

Aja, being the most useful of The Holograms, DIVES ONTO THE STILL MOVING EARTHMOVER, snatches the key, and grumbles about needing to throttle Roxy. (Apparently that's the name of the Misfit who did it but honestly they're sort of a hive mind thing to me. They at least once all talk in unison but only one voice comes out.) No biggie. ANOTHER TUESDAY. Not like I was dragging orphans out of a fire earlier or anything and haven't really slept in 24 hours.

Mr. Stache promises Jerrica/Jem to help the orphans in any way he can, but if the Misfits win, well, they're all SOL.

Another scene of The Misfits being scolded for engaging in DEEPLY ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR and being told they're lucky there's no one suing them. Which is true. Because they've nearly killed like six people this week. Raymond tells them to please stop TRYING TO FUCKING KILL PEOPLE and chases them out of his office. They then trash his waiting room. How are they not fired and in jail? WHY IS THERE NO LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THIS TOWN? IS IT SO SMALL THAT IT ONLY HAS A REALLY INTENSE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND NOTHING ELSE?

Cut to the girls happily settling into their new ("temporary") home which is totally sweet (pinball machines EVERYWHERE) and--oh yeah, The Holograms have a photo shoot! The photo shoot is also a musical number where Shana is conveniently shoved behind the others on the drums out of sight. You know, Shana, the only black character? Yeah.

How do you do makeup on Jem? She's wearing a hologram; does Synergy just... adjust the hologram to match the makeup being applied? While this is happening, The Misfits pay one of the kids thirty bucks to get in, and Zipper, the guy Raymond hired to try and scare the girls last time, is hired again. REALLY RAYMOND? DO YOU NOT KNOW ANY OTHER LOWLIFES? I bet the Misfits do, just ask them. I'm sure they have a few excellent references to give.

So Zipper goes AND PLANTS A FUCKING BOMB IN THE HOUSE. Just... shoves it under a couch cushion. It is not remotely hidden. This guy is so bad at his job BUT WHERE DID HE EVEN GET THIS BOMB? Did he make it? Are timed bombs easily acquired around here? So this town's industries are music and... explosives? This actually isn't sounding like a terrible place to live.

So Raymond just happens to be driving by and sees The Misfits have snuck onto the grounds and yells for them to get out of there because there's a bomb. Cue explosion, which damages a wing of the house and no one is hurt. Suddenly there are media everywhere and Raymond claims that someone said they planted the bomb to get The Misfits. Mr. Stache is all "No way he's so full of shit his eyes are brown you girls should stay 5evar" AND THEN A COUNTESS TURNS UP?! Also apparently Rio is their road manager? When did that happen? Either way the Countess is all "u should totes play my party" as she tries to eyefuck Stache who is all "Er, yeah, they will--I mean, er... ugh. We will." She then snubs The Misfits on her way out to go chill on her yacht and have young, nubile, oiled boys feed her grapes and fan her with palm leaves as she awaits her guests.

The Holograms get there by a smaller boat, rather than... wait, did this yacht not dock for people to board for this party? Okay... So the girls get there and are introduced to some VJ. who then introduces them to like the only black guy at the party (a music video director). Jem starts trying to play matchmaker with Shana because, hey, you're black... he's black... you should touch junk! He looks a lot older than the girls who are still living in a group home, like, he's able to grow an entire, thick mustache. He also looks a bit like Lando Calrissian. So Shana admits yeah, we have no money or backers and Lando is all "that's alright sweet thang I can hook you up" and starts trying to kiss her (DUDE YOU'RE LIKE 40 NO) while Jem is hitting on Rio who is pining after Jerrica.

"Rio, do you like me?"
"I hardly know you! And you won't tell me who you really are!"

He's got a point Jem. She says maybe she should and they're about to kiss. Rio, you're bad at this.

They are all naturally interrupted by The Misfits. According to their music video, they manage to turn things into a full out pie fight and don't nearly kill anyone, but I am skeptical because they have spent most of their time nearly killing people. Wait, no, I take it back. They get onto the control deck and promptly initiate RAMMING SPEED at a near by giant-ass military ship of some sort. DOES THIS MEAN CERTAIN DOOM FOR OUR HEROES? Lol no. BUT TUNE IN NEXT WEEK TO FIND OUT!!!!!11!!eleventy!!!!

*My husband and Will are both over 6" for a reason. They know I'm only using them to reach things.

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