by Keidra Chaney and Raizel Liebler
So the last time we saw Jerrica and The Holograms their ramshackle orphanage, The Starlight House was burning down, thanks to the jack-booted thug that was hired by Eric Raymond to put a scare into them. You know, if there had not been a scene with Eric Raymond on the phone with the guy, I would have thought that it was Jerrica that hired him. Think about it, they could barely afford the place, the expenses were piling up. They were already considering embezzlement, Why not arson? Anyway, Jerrica, her friends, and the orphans watch in shock as their home burns down.
Ashley (remember her? she was the kid that tried to steal money from the rest of the orphans so she could get the hell out of there.) takes off while no one is looking. The fire department shows up and asks if everyone made it out. Oh no! Ashley’s gone! She emerges from the burning house with the “honor jar” filled with, like, 30 dollars and Jerrica gives her a stern talking to.
The next morning, as the girls are shivering in the cold outside in blankets(wait, the fire department didn’t offer them a place to rest?) RIo shows up. Finally. Where the fuck was he all night? Does he live in another town? The Misfits show up too, in their badass black van and make some snarky remarks about the fire. Well, not Stormer, as she has a moral compass.
“Where are we gonna live now?” asks one of the orphans.
“There’s a place just waiting for us!” Jerrica answers. How would you like to help Jem and the Holograms put on a show right now?”
The girls chatter excitedly.
RL: So … their house burns down? And she wants to put on a show? Really?
KC: That’s Jerrica’s answer for everything. Don’t sell your expensive custom computer system, put on a show. Don’t figure out what your insurance policy situation, put on a show. She just wants to be in a band. As we all do.
The band heads out and the Misfits follow suit.
Considering that the last time there was a Misfits/Holograms van chase, the Holograms almost went over a cliff, I feel like a confrontation is in order. Aja would have done this. I feel like she, of all the Holograms, has kicked someone’s ass before. But this is a children’s show and they certainly don’t want to encourage beatdowns.
RL: Why are the Misfits following them — didn’t they steal the Holograms gear last time?
KC: Because they’re criminals!
There’s a boring chase and the Holograms lose their pursuers by turning a corner and transforming the van into a large trash bin with hologram power. The Misfits decided to stalk Rio instead and the Holograms head over to the old drive-in/secret rock lair.
Shana, the band’s fashion expert gives them all clothes.
KC: Hey here’s where the Holograms get all the clothes that their dolls had! All the the Jem fashions had long-ass names, like “Going to the Grammys!” or “Stepping Out On the Town!” or whatever.
Jerrica transforms into Jem and they all pile into the Rockin’ Roadster. Segue to a classic Jem club banger, Like a Dream. The video is hilarious. They play on top of a waterfall. Jem and Rio fly on a magic carpet to some Arabian Knights-looking castle that has a room that’s covered in gigantic vinyl records and floating musical notes. Jem’s eyes bug out. So do mine. Also let’s talk for a second about the fact that Rio is the “dude” in this video but as far as we know he has no interest in her. This is really unfair to Rio. He really is a crappy boyfriend but he’s just propped in like a dummy. He has no agency! Poor Rio.
RL: Hey, what is Rio’s job?
KC: He’s their tour manager.
RL: No, that can’t be right — they formed a band literally the day before — what is his pre-Jem and the Holograms job? To date Jerrica?
KC: Maybe he’s a “student”? But whatever he’s doing, he’s too busy to show up until the morning after their house burns down.
Also this is another song with a pretty cool bassline AND NO BASS PLAYER.
So then we see that the Holograms are playing a show outside of the house of film producer Howard Sands, the dude that likes to randomly give movie contracts and mansions to rock bands. The orphans are there. as a small supportive crowd. And Rio. OK, I am going to assume he had the gear. The Misfits show up as well. “Let’s trash ‘em!” says Pizazz. My goodness, they are violent women.
Jem runs off to hide from the Misfits, transform back into Jerrica while the Misfits and Holograms fight in front out Howard Sands. Jerrica does her sob story in front of Sands about the house burning down and needing a place to stay. “It’s not that we’re asking for special favors, but …”
RL: You are.
Sands is moved by their story and immediately agrees to let them stay in the mansion. Jerrica has the magic touch, man. The Misfits are of course, pissed off once again, and Pizzazz, being fairly easy to enrage, pushes Sands into a nearby pool. Then inexplicably, Roxy runs over to a nearby tractor and just starts driving it towards people.
KC: WHAT!? ARE? WHAT!? WHY IS ROXy ON A TRACTOR? I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. Is she trying to run over someone? Is she trying to bury Howard Sands in dirt while he’s in the pool? Why was her immediate response to jump into this tractor?
Roxy loses control of the tractor after slamming into a tree. Meanwhile, Jerrica runs to help Sands out of the pool and, predictably, loses her balance and does a dramatic flop directly in the tractor’s path. And… commercial!
Before we go back to the show, I’d like talk a little bit about Jerrica’s outfit in this episode. She is wearing:
a.) A white, wide brimmed beach hat
b.) A white turtleneck stop
c.) A blue and white striped tunic with pink sash
d.) Pink tights
e.) Blue open-toed sandals
In other words, she is dressed like a toddler. Which I guess is appropriate considering the target market of this show. But dang.
Anyway back to the show, Jerrica has fallen in front of the tractor and Rio rescues her because that’s his job,essentially. “I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to you,” he says as Jerrica blushes. Awwww.
Aja jumps into the tractor and stops it. “When I get hold of that Roxy…” She says angrily. I told you she is used to giving beatdowns. I think the Misfits figure this out too, and they run away. Sands tells the girls that the mansion is theirs for the time being. But he warns:
“If the Misfits win the contest, the mansion is theirs. I can’t change that.”
KC: Wait a minute dude, you totally can, it’s your contest!
Meanwhile back at Starlight Music, The Misfits are berating Eric Raymond about his lack of attention to their career.
RL: They always call Eric Raymond by his full name, like he’s Charlie Brown.
“It’ll take all of my pull to keep Howard Sands from suing us.” he says.
RL: Suing? Suing? Suing? Actually engaging in attempted assault might lead to a lawsuit in this universe? I know this bit of reality is a temporary lapse!
Eric Raymond assures the girls he’s got it covered and calls the jack booted thug again. His name is Zipper! Even though a few seconds ago he was worried about getting sued, he calls Zipper about doing some more assault-y activity again.
Cut to the girls moving in, oohing and ahhhing over exciting new technology like door intercom systems. There is a particular Starlight orphan that keeps switching from white to black and back throughout this episode … and I think later episodes too. It’s a special treat to watch her in the background and see what race she is at the time.
Rio shows up and reminds the girls about the big photoshoot for hot new rock bands. The band is three days old and already has a photoshoot. Seriously, Jerrica is a PR genius. The photo crew comes in … and so does Zipper.
There’s a boring subplot about Ashley, and orphans and the damn honor jar, blabitty blah. That one orphan is black again even though she was white a few minutes ago, blabitty blah. Anyway, all you need to know is that Ashley lets the Misfits sneak into the mansion for $30.
Meanwhile, Zipper sneaks into a back room WITH A BOMB. Way to not get sued, Eric Raymond.
RL So this guy puts a fucking bomb in the couch. Sticking out of the couch, like the way Meatwad and Master Shake would if this was an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Now it’s time for another song! Click/Clash. This is a jam.
KC: True story! There’s a recording of me as a kid singing a multi-track version of this song with harmonies and everything! I did weird shit like that.
While the Holograms are doing their photoshoot and the Misfits butt in, the countdown to the explosion continues. Eric Raymond, being an awful attempted murderer shows up to the scene of the impending crime… I dunno, just to see who makes it out alive? I dunno. He notices the Misfits are there too, and in a panic he screams at them to get off the premises. Is it too late?
RL: That was a really pointless bomb too, it only blew up the couch.
It’s true. Only the couch and the back wall blew up. Though I am impressed that Jem is able to push Kimber out of the way of the explosion in those high-ass heels.
The cops are called but apparently is no one is under investigation. Then randomly, a well dressed blond french lady shows up. It’s the Countess Du Voison! She seems to not care that they were all nearly killed by a bomb several minutes ago and invites the Holograms to hang out on her yacht that evening.
RL: Nothing about “let’s investigate who bombed that old couch in our mansion.” Just let’s go hang out on a yacht.
Also, during this time we learn Rio’s actual job. He’s the Holograms “road manager.”
KC: They’ve never toured.
RL: They just became a band two days ago.
Cut to the yacht party. Rio is with the band but misses Jerrica.
“She’s got a lot to do! But she told me to make sure you have a good time.” Jem purrs.
KC: I think she gets off on this dual identity thing.
The Countess is thrilled to see the band and introduces them to Lindsey Pierce, a VJ. She asks if they have a video, and they sheepishly say no. They are introduced to Anthony Julian, a music video director. He’s black. So of course, he’s immediately into Shana.
KC: Hey black guy and black lady it’s time to immediately become a romantic pair because it’s TV in the 80’s.
The Misfits crash the party, and as usual destroy things and menace people. This time to the tune of “Making Mischief.” I don’t love this Misfits song, but it is similar to their actual awesome songs like Designing Women. ALL SYNTH BABY.
While there’s a weird moment where Jem tries to convince Rio to cheat on Jerrica with herself, the Misfits head up to the steering room and of course mess with things, sending the yacht directly in the direction of a fucking tanker. Are you surprised? I’m not.
See you next week!