Thursday, January 7, 2016

Erika VS Jem and The Holograms: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (episode 5)

FINALLY THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS. It's what we've been waiting for! For four whole episodes. Or at least the title of the episode is "battle of the bands", so I'm assuming that's what's going to happen. After binge watching some weird horror movies Will decided it was time for a "refreshing episode of Jem and the Holograms". I know the movie is out, but I'm not sure I'm ready to see it. Not yet. It looks like it takes away a lot of what makes this show so bizarrely amazing. Like terribly low production values, plots that I could hammer out in an afternoon, and the zero shits given by the 80s. I don't know if you can try to recreate that level of outrageous. I think it just needs to happen. Outrageous is something where organic really makes a difference.

The last episode ended when the PI Eric hired smashed up Synergy and left their secret base in a panic because we all know PIs are known for their panicky smashing. However, it seems that they didn't actually hurt Synergy. She projected a hologram to let him think he did, and somehow he didn't notice the total lack of resistance as he hit things. It was the 80s; people didn't know how computers worked yet. The girls follow the PI, with projections of them being a bunch of little old ladies as they do so, but there is a minute where it seems these random old ladies are stalking the PI and I got super excited for a plot twist that is never coming.

Still, the second Eric is told anything about Synergy, which the PI is on his way to do, he's gonna steal her. So the girls load her onto a truck, because Synergy being a complicated piece of machinery comes apart in handy little modules with a few plugs and screws getting undone is all it takes. Will wonders if she was from Ikea, but I don't think he's ever tried to build Ikea furniture if he thinks it would be that easy.

Zipper, being competent, shows up to steal Synergy with Eric. "THIS IS THE LAST TIME THOSE GIRLS WILL MAKE A FOOL OF ME!" yells Eric into the empty garage. Oh, how wrong you are.

The girls get Synergy home and reassemble her, and then sing an ode to her having the power. The whole song is basically singing about how she is some sort of terrifying amazonian sorceress. WHICH IS REASONABLE.

The girls prepare for the BATTLE OF THE BANDS while Ashley goes to pay The Misfits back the money they gave her before. Pizzazz takes it, and Eric is all "OH HEY WHO IS THIS. ONE OF JERRICA'S WAIFS YOU SAY?" Yes, he calls her a waif. Plot twist, Eric is actually from the past and is trying to take over this music company because he needs to build a time machine to get home. "LEAVE THE CHILD WITH ME. I SHALL CALL JERRICA AND USE THIS HUMAN CHILD AS A HOSTAGE."  HOW IS ERIC RAYMOND NOT IN JAIL?! He literally says "Come here and tell no one or the kids pays the price" What is the price? Is he gonna kill her? Is he going to charge her for overdue library books? Is he going to make her wear solid, moderate colors?

Pictured: Ashley wearing her usual yellow and black button up with a bright pink undershirt, holding a fistful of money ready to bribe her way out of wearing moderate colors.

Even though the it's an obvious trap they go because WHAT ELSE CAN THEY DO THEIR ORPHAN IS IN DAAAANGER! Eric offloads Ashley on The Misfits, who are no longer friends with her, and THROW HER IN A TRUNK. Not a car trunk--like a treasure chest, except instead of treasure there is a traumatized orphan inside. I'm surprised Stormer lets them do this, but it seems likely she'll let her out when no one is looking. Or at least that's her plan, but The Misfits make her choose between them or freeing the child. She shockingly chooses The Misfits. In the name of tension The Misfits perform at the BATTLE OF THE BANDS first, and sing about "Taking it all", which involves going to a money dimension, turning into giant football players, and stealing Rio away from Jem. Shockingly without a burlap sack.

Eric tries to hold Jem at the now empty drive in and kidnap the whole band. There's a chase scene between Jem in the rockin' roadster and Zipper on a motorcycle, but because she's not willing to run him over she loses. The girls are locked up and kept under watch by Zipper and his flunkies. Rio hears Ashley, who's about to get tossed in the garbage compactor, and rescues her. She tells him where to find the band, which I guess is slightly better treasure. She doesn't seem that upset that she nearly just died.

With the help of Synergy the girls nearly escape with some slapstick shenanigans (including fake lions) but are foiled. However Rio turns up with the cops--which shows how serious things are. HE FINALLY CALLED THE COPS. They make it to the battle of the bands in the nick of time and win. The Misfits are peeved and swear vengeance; the girls get everything they want.

The episode finishes with Jerrica and Rio going up to Eric's office, with Jerrica talking about how this is more exciting, it's like coming home. Rio rips Eric's name plate off the door and opens it for Jerrica to see ERIC RAYMOND INSIDE WHAT!? HOW IS HE NOT IN JAIL? Which is what Jerrica asks. Lawyers, apparently. Overpaid lawyers. Or lawyers bribed into giving a shit? It's not totally clear.

He leaves with a MYSTERIOUS ENVELOPE and smacks Jerrica on his way out (which prompts Rio to deck him). Once he's gone Jerrica swears, looking out onto the city as Rio holds her, she's going to make something of Starlight Music. She'll make her Dad proud. I almost wonder if this was supposed to be a pilot run, because this would be a super tidy ending to the series. Or maybe things were faster paces in the 80s? It's hard to tell. I do wish she was embarking on this new chapter of running her Father's business with her sister, Kimber. I think the writers forgot they're supposed to be sisters, repeatedly. Which is a shame, because Kimber obviously has some resentment about always being shoved aside, and if she was ever acknowledged that would hold a lot more weight to compare how often she is ignored. As it stands she's ignored in regards to family matters so often I'm amazed she hasn't fucked off on her own.

Also over the course of this episode it has been established that Rio/Jem are a thing as far as everyone else is concerned, and Rio is no longer concerned about cheating on his girlfriend with his girlfriend. He also isn't worried about her finding out. Despite the fact that The Holograms are Jem's band mates, and see them together, as well as being very good friends of Jerrica. Does Rio just assume she knows, and she hasn't said anything, so... eh? Must mean she's cool with it? 80s cartoons gave me unrealistic ideas about what dating and monogamy would be like when I grew up. I never got the opportunity to trick someone I was dating into cheating on me with me while being a secret pop sensation. I never even got the opportunity to be a secret pop sensation! Just the normal kind.

How about you readers? Have you ever gotten to pull those sorts of dating shenanigans?

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