Retro Rewind: ‘Jem & The Holograms’

Published: Saturday 17th Dec 2016 by David

Welcome to another edition of Retro Rewind, the TGJ original feature carved out to take our readers on a journey back to the TV and Film’s glorious and game-changing past.

Today, we revisit the hit children’s TV series ‘Jem & the Holograms.’ 

Created by Christy Marx, ‘Jem’ was built to offer TV lovers a female-led alternative to the action and adventure forces that were G.I. Joe and Transformers.

In it, we are introduced to a young mogul named Jerrica Benton who is the owner of a company named ‘Starlight Music.’

After her father’s death, she and her racially diverse group of musical friends discover Synergy, a computer built to be “the ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesiser” with the power to turn their wildest creative dreams into a holographic reality.

What happens when Jerrica uses its software to transform into the Pop Rock royal Jem?

Music, magic and the Misfits below…

Free of the financial constraints which limits much of today’s animated content, ‘Jem’ offered its viewers epic labyrinthine storylines, original music, fashion and nuanced characters whose stories would often speak to the social issues of the day.

The series ran from October 6th 1985 to May 2nd 1988 and spawned three critically-acclaimed seasons.

Ready to meets its maker?

Marx had this to say about its poorly received live action reboot:


I’ll answer the obvious and most frequent question first: No, I had no inkling that the movie was being developed or had reached this stage until a couple of days ago. Someone high in the Hasbro PR department thoughtfully reached out to me to let me know about the movie and the impending announcement so that I wouldn’t be blindsided by it. I appreciated that gesture.

That same afternoon, John Chu also reached out and called me and we had a long, wonderful talk. I greatly enjoyed talking with him, sharing our love of Jem, and becoming acquainted.

Many people wonder how I feel about it. I don’t think I can hide that I’m deeply unhappy about being shut out of the project. That no one in the entertainment arm of Hasbro wanted to talk to me, have me write for it, or at the very least consult on it. I wouldn’t be human if that failed to bother me.

My other unhappy observation is that I see two male producers, a male director and a male writer. Where is the female voice? Where is the female perspective? Where are the women?

Now, as far as not bringing me on-board, that’s the reality of franchise IPs. It’s their property, they can do whatever they want with it, and they have no obligations whatsoever to me. Was it a smart decision? You decide.

Finally, I want to say good things about John Chu. He treated me with honesty and respect. He is sincere, passionate, and filled with a desire to make the best Jem movie he can make. He wants to reinvent Jem for a current audience. His take is somewhat different from the approach I wanted to take, but that just means it’s different, not that there’s anything wrong with it. I urge everyone to judge the merits of his work on the result and I hope he delivers us an excellent, truly outrageous movie.

 Do you remember ‘Jem’?

Share your memories below!

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  1. Chasin Time December 17, 2016

    This is a dope show. It’s on Netflix if you haven’t seen it. That reboot was terrible. I could picture the legit reboot having a star studded cast of all the heavy weight pop chicks like Rih and Katy.

  2. Tru Voice December 17, 2016

    I always thought the black character was modeled after Whitney’s 80s style.

  3. just rad December 17, 2016

    Jem was my show back in the day. It’s funny u brought this show up because I used to think that Beyonce was like jem but she’s really like the misfits leader. Lol

  4. sashafromdonetsk December 18, 2016

    Wow, super, thank you! I ordered “Jem” TV series on a DVD discs and wathced it at the summer 2010. And you forgot to mention a mystical component.

    Also was “Beverly Hills Teens” series, this is one more good topic for an Retro Rewind.

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