For Your Consideration: Jem and the Holograms, 2.16 “Trick or Techrat”

When I was a little girl, I was super into Jem and the Holograms, a television show created in the late 80’s about a girl named Jerrica who uses a hologram generator built by her deceased father to change herself into Jem, a pop star with pink hair. She also changes her younger sister and friends into the Holograms, her backing band. Jem and the Holograms have a rival band called The Misfits who stir up trouble and try to ruin their lives/kill them on the regular. Throw in a purple haired boyfriend named Rio who often makes out with Jem despite not knowing that she’s Jerrica and you have one of the most insane premises ever to run three seasons.

One of the cheesier episodes was the Halloween-themed “Trick or Techrat”. I hope you enjoy it (and cringe at it) as much I have.

OBSERVATIONS

I love that the girls at Starlight House are all about getting into the Halloween spirit by wearing scary masks and jumping out at Jerrica and the gang. Unfortunately there’s always one girl in the bunch who is a total fraidy-cat. Starlight’s wet blanket is called Terri.

Bonus points to the animators that decided these were the faces of fright.

Bonus points to the animators that decided these were the faces of fright.

What’s even better is that the masks aren’t that scary but she freaks the fuck out anyway. You can see that the arms and legs belong to little girls. Chill Terri.

This is not worth peeing your pants over.

This is not worth peeing your pants over.

Rio is a bit of a scumbag. Why would he come to Starlight House to see Jem and take her for a ride when Jerrica is his girlfriend? More importantly, why is Jerrica okay with Rio scamming on another girl. Well, someone he thinks is another girl. She needs higher self-esteem.

And that's what he wears on a date.

And that’s what he wears when he does it.

Rio wanted to take the band for a ride in his van. Does anyone else think this leads a porny and/or rapey vibe to the episode? It even looks like the van has tinted windows. Word of warning: never climb in a van to go to an abandoned opera house with a guy named Rio.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-21h51m50s245I love that Jem wants to throw a benefit concert to save the old opera house. Because they are super easy to throw together (NOT) and of course everyone wants to hear a Jem and the Holograms concert. Jem’s self-esteem is through the roof. Why can’t she lend a little to Jerrica every once in a while?

Why does the owner of the opera house have to be talked into a benefit if he is about to lose the building due to finances? If it were my opera house – which would be amazing- I would be doing everything in my power to keep it. I just love old, creepy buildings.

I could throw the most amazing Halloween party ever here!

I could throw the most amazing Halloween party ever here!

The owner is a vampire! Just kidding. He’s an actor named Frederick Vincent who was in the scary movie that the girls were watching until Terri ruined everything.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-21h59m19s131

Homage to Vincent Price much?

Of course Freddy is going to immediately give them permission to host a benefit. He’s one smart cookie for being a man that wears a cape on the regular.

The girls are wearing the most outrageous costumes outfits. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 80’s of it all.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h05m30s247 vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h03m31s17“It’s Fun to be Scared” is the first big musical number. It’s not my favorite, but it helps Terri stop being such a drip.

Does Pizzazz just sit around looking for articles on Jem and the Holograms? Please tell me yes because it will make my day.

I'll be ecstatic if you tell me she was wearing that jacket while doing so.

I’ll be ecstatic if you tell me she was wearing that jacket while doing so.

The Misfits are having their own Midnight Madness concert on Halloween. Brilliant. Is it wrong if I would prefer to attend their concert? I just tend to like their songs more.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h34m28s236The Misfts are trying to use their connections to get the opera house condemned. How very upper-middle class.

Danse totally gets flattened by a giant wooden pumpkin! Or so we are led to believe. Good thing the commercial break ended to reveal that she was smart enough to dance to one of the eyeholes.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h14m32s19Rio knows that something is amiss because he checked the chains holding the pumpkin earlier that day. And wouldn’t you know, they’ve been destroyed by something stronger than a mere man!

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h15m48s24

And this is clearly the outfit of a man who knows a thing or two about construction.

Mr. Vincent thinks his opera house is haunted and tries to cancel his own benefit. Even better, he delivers his speech in a horror movie voice. I hope he talks like that all the time in real life.

The Misfits appear with a building inspector. I can already tell he’s bad at his job because he takes Rio seriously. He is also hilarious. He’ll close you down before you can say “Trick or Treat!”

He also looks like one of the Marx brothers.

Am I wrong in thinking he looks like one of the Marx brothers?

A mummy hand burst out of a cabinet and grabbed The Misfits. This is the best thing that happens because it leads to their big song and dance. I love that they use it as an opportunity to scare a little orphan girl. I would expect nothing less from them.

The world’s largest chandelier came crashing down. Why doesn’t Jerrica think that The Misfits could be responsible? They have done way worse. Like having a bomb planted in an orphanage. They really hate those orphans.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h33m33s202Is it weird if I want a dressing room with a screen for a ghoul to appear on? Or a scary statue? And a floor board that drops away to what is probably a secret basement? All the things that make the opera house seem haunted are my favorite things.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h35m49s18 vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h36m38s253Of course scaredy Terri runs away and falls through a hidden trap door just before the building inspector arrives. Is she trying to ruin everything? Good thing Rio is there to distract him.

Terri finally made herself useful! She comes across Freddy and the real estate agent who supposedly wants to tear his opera house down. And they are meeting with a masked man! A man who only needs one eye hole and knows a lot about technology.

Who ever could be under that pillowcase mask?

Who ever could be under that pillowcase mask?

Another Mr. Vincent is trapped in the basement! You can tell he’s different because his cape is blue instead of red!

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h44m34s155A crowd is rioting outside of the opera house. They want Jem! They want Jem! How much does a Jem and the Holograms ticket cost? It doesn’t matter because Jem wants to give up and cancel the concert. What a buzzkill.

The opera house also has a staircase that turns into a slide? And it conveniently aims right at some sort of chute that spills out into the lobby? Fabulous!

Synergy came up with the best special effect of all! I think it’s supposed to be Jem and the Holograms as ghosts. Even if it isn’t, it’s still awesome.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h49m12s107Eric Raymond was pretending to be Frederick Vincent! Where did he come across a mask that was an exact mold of his face?

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-22h51m29s208Poor Misfits. I’m not quite sure how lightening can rip a hole into a tent, but there goes their concert. They never seem to be able to catch a break.

The best part is their outraged faces.

At least they get to use their outraged faces.

“We Can Change It” isn’t really a Halloween song but it has the coolest special effects. Plus it has Danse thrashing around.

While Techrat is never revealed I think it’s safe to say that he’s probably sleeping on a pillowcase with one eye hole cut out of it. Oh Techrat. Life would be so boring without you!

COSTUME WATCH

Jem as a witch

Jem as a witch

Shanna as a she-devil and Aja as the Bride of Frankenstein

Shanna as a she-devil, Aja as the Bride of Frankenstein, and Raya as a mummy

Kimber as a skeleton

Kimber as a skeleton

Ashley as a pirate and Terri as Raggedy Ann

Ashley as a pirate and Terri as Raggedy Ann

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