The fabulous 80's show is truly, truly outrageous on DVD...
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Showtime Synergy! Jem and the Holograms originally began airing way back in 1985, created by Christy Marx, who was brought over from G.I.Joe to write the character bible for the new series. Originally the concept was going to be boy-themed and involved a male rocker but the idea was quickly switched to a female cast as development on the toy line was fleshed out. The central themes of the show; glamour, glitter, fashion, and fame, are presented in cartoon’s opening with the ultra-catchy theme song. And speaking of songs, almost every episode had three new songs written with around 165 different songs for the series
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzhxSyMYezk&feature=relmfu"]Jem and the Holograms - Opening Credits - YouTube[/ame]
Thanks to Shout! Factory, Jem and the Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series presents all 65 episodes of the beloved show in an 11-disc box set, complete with one disc entirely devoted to special features. This is the first time that the show has been collected in one set as previous offerings only had individual seasons. The plot of the shows revolves around a young girl named Jerrica Benton who inherits both a home for girls called Starlight House and half of a recording company called Starlight Music from her father who has passed away. However, the other half is owned by the show’s villain Eric Raymond, who intends to take over the entire company for himself and promote groups such as the trashy, scheming Misfits. Just when she thinks things are over, a third inheritance is revealed in Synergy, a hologram projecting computer designed by her father. She uses this newfound hope to create a new identity as Jem, a female pop star and sets up a rival band along with her sister Kimber and two of her friends to challenge Raymond and his Misfits for control of the company. Along with her rivals, Jerrica must also deal with whether to reveal her secret to her boyfriend Rio (who is also her manager), who ends up falling for Jem as well. As the series progresses, the two bands continue to butt heads even as a third group, The Stingers, enters the fray. Will everything work out for Jem and the Holograms? You’ll have to watch and find out!
In addition to the show, fans will appreciate the incredible special features that Shout! Factory has put into this fantastic set. This boxed set is the perfect example of what should be on every DVD box set dedicated to an 80’s property. Such love and dedication has been shown to this property that it makes me sad to think about what could have been on earlier releases such as M.A.S.K. The special feature disk itself has some great content, but is supplemented by a ton of additional DVD-ROM content. Several animated storyboards are presented including an early concept for the show’s opening. A big plus for me is the inclusion of a huge chunk of the original toy commercials. The featurettes include: Showtime, Synergy! The Truly Outrageous Creation of an 80’s Icon, Glamour and Glitter-Cast Members Look Back at Jem and the Holograms, and Jem Girls (and Boys!) Remember-The fans of Jem and the Holograms. These three documentaries deal with the creation of the show, the music, the voice work, and how it impacted pop culture and the kids who grew up watching it.
If you thought the DVD special features were awesome, the DVD-ROM content will blow you away. They have included the Jem Writer’s Bible with all of Christy Marx’s original character concepts. The Licensing Kit features PDF files of the original book sent out to gain retailer interest in the line. The rock Rap Magazine reproduces a fan book that mimics the look of popular magazines of the time. And my personal favorite addition is the original Toy Catalogs that show off all of the dolls, vehicles, fashion, and accessories created for the doll line.
Since Jem has been recently re-syndicated on Hasbro’s Hub network, there has been a sudden new interest in the 80’s property, becoming one of the highest rated shows airing on the channel. Recently Hasbro announced plans to re-launch the franchise, with possible new dolls and a cartoon on the horizon. Whether you’re a fan of Jem or just discovering her for the first time, Jem and the Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series is an incredible boxed set and a must-own for any fan of classic 80’s animation. The set, along with Jem Season 1, is available now from Shout! Factory’s online store HERE, as well as at many other fine retailers. Show’s Over Synergy!
Be sure to check out the totally outrageous coloring sheets below or download the pdfs HERE!
Review By Michael Klein
Sample Courtesy of Shout! Factory