WTF, Barbie, That’s Jem’s Thing

I do not even know where to start with this. As you well know, the world is cray these days. As if Jem’s branded weren’t affronted enough with a movie that never should have existed, now Mattel has gone and created “Hello Barbie Hologram.”

So Barbie thinks she’s entitled to a little Synergy, huh?


This new toy is literally a hologram that lives in a tiny pink box, so little girls can ask her what the weather in Malibu is like…and she can also dance and change her outfits…and remember birthdays…because well what else would little girls want?


For Your Consideration: Satisfaction

cd90d059fe2f263f038a5565f6ec7161I have an HBONow largely because Silicon Valley is the funniest show on television. But I’ve also been justifying the membership cost by expanding my movie horizons. That’s how I found Satisfaction, a 1988 film starring Justine Bateman, Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, and a bunch of other people. Julia Roberts caught my eye on the movie poster, Liam Neeson lent this a shred of credibility, but it was Justine Bateman who drew me in. I love her and I want to go back to 1988 and marry her, but I realize I’ll have to settle for this movie instead.

Justine is the lead singer of a rock band. They spend the first few minutes of the movie proving how tough they are. This includes: throwing a jay-walking citation in the trash and ripping the radio antenna off of their car to use as a weapon.

And why is this weapon necessary? They’re engaged in a turf war with some teenage boys because they “popped” a vending machine over on Freemont.

Well, like how are you going to listen to the radio now?

But actually this is really high stakes. This dude pulls a knife and one of the girls has to whip his hand with the radio antenna. And then he hits their van with his van and their van ends up in the river. (But don’t worry, the girls jump out just in time.)

So what kind of music does this tough-girl band play?

They play covers of late 60’s music. Justine plays the cowbell. She also does all of her own singing. (It’s not great.)


Also, they’re so hardcore that their guitarist is addicted to (check-it) MARIJUANA! (I sense an intervention to follow.) The first major conflict in this film is that the bar they’re supposed to play at is closed on the first night of their summer-long gig.

So they go to some random house where I guess the bar owner lives? I have no idea. But they’re greeted by an angry Doberman Pinscher, so the stoned guitarist sings him “Amazing Grace” until he is docile. Ohhhh okay, so this is Liam Neeson’s house. He has a lot of Gold Records and is apparently in charge of the auditioning bands for this bar residency.

los-10-chicas-mas-sexys-de-las-historietas8-pngHOLD ON A MINUTE. I felt like the stoned guitarist had such a familiar voice. It turns out that she is the singing voice of Jem!! Maybe I judged this movie too hard. Plus, the stoned guitarist is also on pills, so they’re starting to raise the dramatic stakes.

Fake-Jem is the best part of this movie. Well, pretty much no one else has a character. Actually, she doesn’t really either since her whole character is a drug-addict gimmick. But she really won me over when she had a long discussion with the Doberman Pinscher about how he may be a narc because he wasn’t interested in her pot.

familytiesbandontherun-0212Ugh, now I’m listening to Justine Bateman butcher “Dedicated to the One I Love.” Really, if they were going to nominate a Family Ties cast member to head up a girl rock group movie, it should have been Tina Yothers.

Um then Justine Bateman (who cannot swim) jumps into the water after Liam Neeson (who is clearly not drowning). And now she’s only wearing his shirt. And they’re playing that light 80’s hookup music. But like this movie just clearly stated that she graduated from high school RIGHT before coming to this rich dude’s house.

Omg I just saw Justine Bateman’s underwear which means Liam Neeson probably just saw Justine Bateman’s underwear too. But then she goes upstairs to change into her now-dry jeans. And she’s just like asleep in the bed. (Oh yeah, he’s making all of the band members sleep in a crappy cabin that is mostly full of fishing poles.) And then Liam Neeson just goes downstairs to write a song.

Oh thank goodness, we cut to fake-Jem singing “Mr. Big Stuff.” This is by far their best cover song so far. This also comes with a montage of them having fun on the beach, including but not limited to Justine Bateman and Liam Neeson horesback riding in the surf.

MSDSATI FE001But actually, this is the worst script ever. It’s so horrible. Although, they did manage to get Debbie Harry to make a cameo. She’s Liam Neeson’s friend who acts all icy to Justine Bateman. But he’s all like noooo it’s not like that. So he and Justine make out and then we have to endure her singing over an acoustic guitar in which a lyric is actually “like the birds sing to be free talk to me.”

Poor Fake-Jem overdoses. Ugh nooo she’s the only character I care about. Why, cruel world???? While she recovers, the rest of the group disposes of all of her drugs. She wakes up and discovers this and can only yell, “You mothers!” (Because anything else would have been too much for the PG-13 rating.

Ugh, okay so how can I sum up this awful script:
Liam Neeson breaks things off with Justine Bateman and she freaks out and doesn’t want to go to school or tour with her band. So the band decides to prove to her that they are there for her. The drug addict says, “I’m not gonna kill myself no more.” And Julia Roberts says, “I’m blowing off Frankie” (who is the boyfriend she’s been talking about marrying for like the past 30 minutes straight).

But then the dude whose van they stole (oops yeah they stole a van, did I mention that?) shows up to basically murder them. Also, the tour guy only wants Justine to tour and sing with studio musicians. But that’s seriously the least plausible part of this crapy-film because Fake-Jem is the only one with any musical talent in this group.

MSDSATI FE002So Justine goes back to the city to go to college and hang out with her band. She tells Liam that she’s keeping his shirt and by forever. I guess that worked out for the best since she’s like eighteen and he’s like thirty-four and them moving in together like she wanted would have been a disaster.

Oh okay, this was brought to you by NBC, the same people who brought you Family Ties. So that explains a lot.

Very Special Lesson: Don’t watch this movie. If you think “Hey, that doesn’t sound half bad,” watch Girls Just Want to Have Fun instead.

Jem: A Father Should Be

jerrica_benton_jemSo happy to be catching up with my girl Jem. Over at the starlight house, Ba Nee is super sad because she has no father. So Jem goes down to the record studio to find the drummer in Riot’s band. Ba Nee once thought this drummer was her father, so they’re hoping to use him as a surrogate dad. (Woah, keeping it real, Jem.) Hoping to make Ba Nee feel better, the studio musician heads back to the Starlight House with Jem.

But Ba Nee is way past wanting to hang out with a fake dad. She even says she “doesn’t want to live.” Woah, so now we learn about how to take Ba Nee to the hospital, right? Nope, no, cue music video about “family.”

maxresdefaultBa Nee can’t understand why her real father won’t come to the Starlight House to pick her up. And Jem decides to comfort her by saying hey, “we don’t even know if your father is alive.” So Jem & The Holograms start a missing persons investigation. All they know about Ba Nee’s father is that he is a Vietnam vet who has red hair and is named Martin.

Jem goes to Riot (again for help). Turns out he’s a military brat and his dad is pretty high up. So the military prints a list of possible red-headed Martin’s for Jem. And there are only 3 possible names! Can you believe it? Neither can I.

The Holograms split up across the country to check out all of the Martins. Tons of people are willing to help them as soon as they say they’re trying to help a little girl. A doctor even gives them some guys home address!

So things get really, really sketchy here. I’m like totally freaked out and I feel like this almost needs a trigger warning. Kimber has quite obviously found the right father. But Jem brings back some creep-0 who seems to be pretending to be the father. This pretending also seems pretty obvious, but Jem is slow on the uptake and let’s the fake father take Ba Nee from the Starlight House. And he takes her to a freaking abandoned zoo. WTF Jem. This is giving me nightmares as an adult. If I’d seen this as a kid I would have straight up cried.

Ba Nee has now been kidnapped and is being held captive in an abandoned zoo exhibit. This is a freaking horror film, you guys. The creep-o calls Jem and demands 1 million dollars in exchange for Ba Nee. The real father uses his army training to try to rescue Ba Nee from the abandoned zoo exhibit.

And then he has a freaking Vietnam War flashback in the middle of the abandoned zoo. This is the heaviest children’s cartoon subject matter I have ever seen in my entire life. But this flashback actually turns out to be the best thing to have possibly happened. You see, the real father has been suffering from amnesia. And aside from the intense war moments, he also begins to remember Ba Nee’s mom.

mqdefaultJem uses synergy to fool the creep-o into thinking a gorilla is chasing him. Then he runs right into Ba Nee and her real father (who has rescued her). Her real father also captures the creep-o. And then they have a big party to celebrate that everything turned out okay! Even The Misfits show up to wish Ba Nee well. Like seriously. They’re being nice to her.

Very Special Lesson: Wow, there’s just so much to unpack here. I think the most important take away from this is not to assume someone is your father without extensive genetic testing on the front end.

Me and My Friends are Jem Girls!

Tonight on a Very Special Episode of the The Very Special Blog, I will be reviewing MAKEUP! What?? I’ve watched some videos on how to do this and if I was going to do it the right way, I would be sitting at an all white vanity while dub step played in the background.

But I took note of the steps and I think we can do this the low-tech way.

Step 1: Introduce the Product
I have a feeling we can thank that terrible “Jem and the Holograms” movie for this product line, but I don’t care. I haven’t been this excited to purchase lipstick since I was matching my Tinkerbell lipstick to my stick on earrings. And then I saw this little nugget of joy on the Sephora website for only $10.

I’m guessing real “Beauty Bloggers” do not use stovetops as the backdrop for product shots.

Step 2: Unpack the Product
The lipstick is called “Truly Outrageous” and, in classic Jem style, it’s hot pink.

I’m guessing real “Beauty Bloggers” do not use stovetops as the backdrop for product shots.

It also has a branded top, which excited me way more than I’m willing to admit…and of course Sephora co-branded the lipstick on the side.

Step 3: Demonstrate the product
This is the part of makeup videos that’s always kind of lost on me. Maybe it’s because all of the presenters have either peaches-and-cream or golden-olive skin tones. Nevertheless, here is a “swatch” of “Truly Outrageous” on my pasty-white arm:IMG_2585

I’d say it’s highly-pigmented, yet not as intense as you might think from looking at it. But still, it’s hard to truly identify the color and what it might look like on your skin tone, so on a scale of Madonna’s Material Girl Dress
to Frenchie’s Hair
I’d rate it at about these shoes:
fdafec056514adb14830e7513211dae2…which by the way look a little dangerous.

Anyway, here’s the lipstick on my lips (which are statistically not the same color as your lips, but for $10 and a piece of pop culture, who cares?) It glides on smoothly and is non-drying. It’s definitely not long-lasting but it doesn’t rub off too easily either. All in all, the wear is pretty average. And it’s definitely something you’d wear for the fun of it, not the practicality at all. I plan to wear it to work when I anticipate having a hard day.
Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 8.29.44 PM
It could be the poor quality of my iPhone photo or the weird lighting in my bathroom, but do I detect a hint of Jem sparkle?

Jem: Alone Again

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.16.42 PMThere’s a new girl in the Starlight Home. Jerrica finds her crying while cradling a ping-pong paddle like a baby doll. Laura says no one understands her and she doesn’t “measure up” to all of the other abandoned children at the Starlight House. They’re so cool with their fashion sense and talents. Jerrica tries to tell her that everyone is good and something and Laura’s all like everyone but me! Then she goes off to film this music video:

Jem and The Holograms enter the room and are all like you’re so talented! They ask her to play at their concert with them, but she says she’s not good enough. Finally, she accepts  under protest and then she starts to crack under the pressure. A drug pusher overhears her talking to herself on the see-saw at school. He offers her pills that will make her “play great.” Then he tells her he’ll be at the concert and hopes she will play her best. This makes Laura be all like, okay if the cute boy wants me to!

I’Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.23.05 PMm not sure what kind of pills this dude gave her. She starts of feeling “lighter and faster” but then she starts hallucinating like crazy. She sees the thermos in her lunch box turn into a bird. Then she decides she’d like to fly like a bird and climbs out on her ledge. She yells at Jerrica, who is below the windo begging her not to jump, angrily and says, “You may be prettier than me and smarter. But I can fly. I can fly!” Okay, so I’ve narrowed down the drug options here to PCP. If I were Jerrica, I’d call the paramedics and then seek shelter immediately. But Jerrica’s a rescuer, so she runs upstairs while Laura is doing a countdown to blastoff and reaches the window just in time. Laura ends up slipping, but Jerrica has super human strength, so she catches Laura by the arm while also maintaining her own balance and then uses her core strength to lift Laura up into a standing position as she pulls her through the window.

Right at this moment, Laura seems to be coming down from the drug and is genuinely shocked and depressed that neither the thermos nor she is a bird. Jerrica says a lot of things like let’s talk but she never actually says anything of substance other that “WHERE ARE THE DRUGS?” and Laura says “THERE ARE NO DRUGS!” So then she goes back to school and gets more drugs from the pusher/boy she has a crush on.

This drug seems more like cocaine. She can’t sleep and all she wants to do is play guitar ALL NIGHT! One of the other Starlight Girls beats her up because she’s being so annoying. She’s like totally pummeling her but they’re only grounded for a week each. The next morning, Laura is extremely irritable and cannot find her drugs. She starts destroying the house because she can’t play her music or live without the drugs she’s taken like twice now.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.52.48 PMJerrica finds her stealing money from her purse (the pusher has started charging now). Laura looks all around school for the drug pusher, but when she overhears him giving the same sales pitch to another starlight girl she starts subbing because he didn’t love her at all! Jerrica finds her outside of the school and takes her for a drive to talk her into going to rehab. She fails to mention that the drug pusher was selling to another Starlight girl literally moments earlier, but she does agree to go to the group, and also to participate in a sting operation to catch the drug pusher. (Luckily, the other Starlight girl didn’t want the drugs and gave them to the police right after the drug pusher gave them to her.)

Now Laura is immensely more confident, and just in time for the concert!

Very Special Lesson: Taking drugs won’t fix your stage fright. But becoming addicted to drugs and kicking the habit in a week will make you feel badass enough to play an arena concert.

JEM: The Movie You Never Asked For

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew this was happening. But it seemed so ridiculous that I thought it would die in pre-production. And while I always want to give a movie cool points for securing Juliette Lewis, this trailer reminds me of Hannah Montana mashed up with the Josie and the Pussycats movie. In the words, of Buzzfeed Top Commentor, Ze Ofdensen: “Fuck this movie. I watched an episode of Jem today on Discovery Kids and THIS.IS.NOT.JEM.”

Jem and the Holograms: Roxy Rumbles

JemBefore there was Hannah Montana there was Jem and the Holograms. Jem was a cool glam rock version of Barbie, but she also happened to be totally normal person when she wasn’t in her glam rock makeup. Jem is also pretty interesting in that it has music videos intermingled with the plotline.

It is always surprising to me when cartoons have very special problems. I mean these are two dimensional creatures who live in a world where no matter what happens to them they can look as good as new in the next frame. But they do have problems, you see. Sometimes cartoons can’t read and it really messes up their daily lives.

What’s a show about girl rock bands without a little gang rivalry, right? The Holograms rival gang The Misfits happens to have an illiterate band member, Roxy. They all make fun of her and call her an idiot. She finally has enough of their harassment, so she quits the band and moves back home. When Roxy gets home, Jem and the Holograms are coincidentally there for a charity event to raise money for literacy programs.


Oh by the way, did I mention that Roxy wins the lottery before she moves back home? Yes, well she does win the lottery and she almost does not know it because she cannot read the numbers. This lottery money gives Roxy tons of money in which to one up Jem’s event with a big carnival. Turns out, Roxy loses all of her money, since she signed a contract that she could not read. Jem helps her pay everyone back even though Roxy has been a total jerk to her all the time.

Roxy basically never cared about reading because she always had material things. Like why on earth would she need to read if she had tons of lycra-spandex and hair spray already at her fingertips?roxy

This episode, which is supposedly about raising literacy rates, concludes with a song called “Open a Book.” The entire music video is full people picking up random things that you can read, like a cereal box or a job application. But I feel like Jem’s viewership was always mostly kids. And while they may not have been able to read, I don’t think they would have gotten the context of the help wanted sign in a store window or scribbling on a job application. To me this is just a big montage of boring words that did not make reading look fun at all. Open a book…okay..what book? I could open the dictionary and that would be a pretty disappointing book. If this is all people were throwing at Roxy then it’s no wonder she procrastinated on her abc’s. Sure that stuff is crucial to being self-sufficient and all, but she was a rock star you guys!

Very Special Lesson: You don’t need to learn how to read until you start losing money.