Jem and the Holograms.
Once on top of the world, these girls could do no wrong.
In the mid-eighties, they took off with such mega-hits as, “Truly Outrageous,” “The Jem Theme (Truly Outrageous),” and “(Truly Outrageous) Jem Girl.”
With such a wide variety of outrageous songs, no one was prepared for the Hologram’s meltdown…
…which was caused by a Trojan worm virus created by Synergy…
But, before all of that there was the good life that Jem had created for herself, her sisters, both real and conveniently adopted, and the hot teenagers of Starlight House. And the biggest player in that good life had to be Jem’s purple haired heart throb boyfriend, Rio Pachenco…
Rio: “How you doin’?”Rio Pachenco was every girl’s dream in 1985. A racially ambiguous hunk who appeared to have a heart of gold. But, what the fans didn’t know was that under the appearance of a gold heart was a level of douchebaggery that was beyond comprehension.
We caught up with Rio at his undisclosed offices somewhere in Central Florida…
VH1: “Rio, what exactly do you do here in central Florida?”
Rio: “Well, you know…I counsel people…”
Rio: “You know, I set things up…”
VH1: “Set things up?”
Rio: “Well, you know, I have a lot of experience...juggling multiple ladies, so I offer my multi-tasking talents to others…in the area…”
VH1: “Are you Tiger Woods’ whore collector?”
Rio: “Yes, yes I am.”
VH1: “You…collect the whores for Tiger Woods?”
Rio: “Collect, manage, send them first class plane tickets to random golf events in Australia so Tiger can get some on the side, tomato, potato. You know, I do a little bit of everything.”
VH1: “Well, you’re doing a bang up job with that.”
Rio: “Hey! Hey! I will not have my professional reputation sullied! I told Tiger, if there’s one thing you don’t do, you don’t cheat on your wife…”
VH1 [interrupting]: “Really? You told Tiger not to cheat on his wife?”
Rio: “Absolutely! I told Tiger, if there’s one thing you don’t do, you don’t cheat on your wife and then get in a car accident at 2 o’clock in the morning! If you do both of those things the cat gets out of the bag!”
VH1: [heavy sigh]
Rio: “Well, I may have said the whore gets out of the bag…”
“No, no, I definitely said the cat gets out of the bag…”
VH1: “Oh, really?”
Rio: “Yes, now that I think about it, it was definitely “cat out of the bag.” Definitely cat.”
VH1: “Look, Rio, everyone wants to know what it was like dating Jem at that time. So just enlighten us so the crew and I can leave and disinfect ourselves…”
Rio: “No, problemo…”
VH1: “Geesh, I feel like I’ve caught herpes just by breathing the same air as you…”
Rio: “You know that was an exhilarating time dating Jem and Jerrica. Of course, they’re the same person, you know?”
VH1: “NO, WAY! YOU DON’T SAY?!?” [/end sarcasm]
Rio [clueless]: “Yeah, they were the same.”
“Anyways, at first, I tried to do the right thing and be the stand-up guy. I told Jem, ‘I can’t cheat on Jerrica with you. What if I get in a car accident at 2 o’clock in the morning? Then the cat will be out of the bag!’”
Rio: “But, Jem was adamant. I’d try to leave and she’d grab me and practically rape me and force me to stay with her. Really, I was sexually abused into participating in the Jem/Jerrica farce.”
VH1: “Right, right. So when did you realize that Jem and Jerrica were the same person?”
Rio: “Hmmm…it had to be the night of Countess Danielle DuVosin’s fashion show aboard her luxury yacht.”
“Everything was going great until The Misfits showed up and sabotaged the engine room. Everyone was scared and we ALMOST SUNK A BATTLESHIP!”
VH1: “Wait a minute, I think that last phrase there is trademarked.”
Rio: “No, it’s okay. We’re both Hasbro, so we cool.”
VH1: “Alright, continue.”
Rio: “Well, like I said, we almost sunk a battleship. But, then everything was cool again somehow. You see, that’s how stuff worked back then. Things would be life-threateningly bad and then everything would be cool again.”
“Well, anyways, we looked around to make sure all the passengers were accounted for. That’s when I noticed that Jerrica was missing. I asked the Holograms where Jerrica was and they told me that she was standing right in front of me wearing Jem’s clothes.”
“And that’s when I figured it out- Jem is Jerrica!”
VH1: “Rio, I must say your powers of deduction are legendary.” [/end sarcasm]
Rio: “Oh, well thank you!”
VH1: “Dude, did you not see the [/end sarcasm] tag? Are you that stupid? Seriously? I mean, seriously!?!?”
VH1: “Okay, that’s a rap on Rio!” We left Rio in the pits of hell to look for The Misfits who we knew had to be close by.
Their name strikes fear in the hearts of fame whores everywhere.
They were the rival group to Jem and the Holograms. They claimed their songs were better and that they were going to get her…her being, Jem.The Misfits tried unsuccessfully to eliminate Jem on several occasions. And while they killed many innocent bystanders in their attempts to eliminate Jem, they were never capable of even putting a tiny scratch on Jem’s head.
We talked to two of the Misfits at Saint Mary’s Convent for Reformed Killers in Volterra, Italy…
VH1: “Stormer and Roxy, how are you?”
Stormer: “Peace be with you my brothers and sisters.”
Roxy: “Yeah…what she said.”
VH1: “Now, Stormer you are a born again former murderer, is that correct?”
Stormer: “Oh, yes. You know back then I used to feel just awful about trying to kill Jem and Kimber and Shana and Aja and the Starlight Girls and Rio and Lin-Z and Mrs. Baily and all the others…”
Stormer: “I tried my best to convince the Misfits that killing was not the answer, but no one would ever listen to me. And, I for my part, always participated in setting up the murderous schemes.”
VH1: “But, why Stormer? Why did you do it? Why didn’t you just leave the Misfits?”
Stormer: “Peer pressure. I’m far too sensitive.”
VH1: “Mmm-hmmm…and Roxy, what about you? We’re told that you just arrived here in Volterra.”
Roxy: “Well, yeah, I’m here on some business…”
Stormer: “She’s here to take out the cast of Twilight!”
Roxy: “STORMER!! WHAT THE HELL?!? YOU’LL BLOW MY COVER!!!”
Stormer: “Don’t worry girls! I won’t let her kill Jacob!!”
VH1: “So, Roxy, you’re still killing people?”
Roxy: “Well, yes, but now I do it for money which is much more respectable then doing it because you’re crazy.”
VH1: “Mmmm-hmmm…so Stormer, tell us more about the Misfits in their heyday.”
Stormer: “Well, that was a hurtful time for me...and other people who were actually physically hurt. I really don’t like to talk about it. All I’ll say to the kids out there is to just say no…to killing people. Reject peer pressure!”
VH1: “And now, they know, Stormer.”
Stormer: “And knowing is half the battle!”
Stormer: “Hasbro here- we cool.”
Roxy: “Soooo, when are ya’ll leaving because I got a job to do…”
VH1: “Right, right.”Pizzazz.
The dictionary defines the word pizzazz as “the quality of being exciting or attractive.”
Of course the Pizzazz we know was none of those things. But, let’s catch up with her anyway, shall we?
Pizzaz is currently serving time in the women’s federal correctional institute in Dublin, California.
VH1: “Well, P…”
Pizzazz: “Call me “P” again and I’ll rip your hair out of your nostrils.”
VH1: “Mrs. Pizzazz, it’s no surprise that you ended up in a federal prison.”
VH1: “But, the audience might be a little surprised by how you got here.”
Pizzazz: “Well, after the faux punk rock era died down, Roxy and I needed to make some money. So, we created a business.”
VH1: “A business?”
Pizzazz: “Yeah, that’s what I said, ain’t it?”
VH1 [scared]: “Yes, ma’am!”
Pizzazz: “Right, so we created a little business. You help us out with a little cash, and we help you out by taking out your biggest rival.”
VH1: “You were responsible for some of the biggest rival takedowns of the last twenty years.”
Pizzazz [proud]: “Sure was.”
VH1: “Nancy Kerrigan?”
Pizzazz: “Boy, we clubbed her good!”
VH1: “Kerri Strug?”
Pizzazz: “That little firecracker Dominique Moceanu insisted that Kerri had it coming!”
VH1: “The 2004 U.S. Men’s Basketball Dream Team?”
Pizzazz: “What? I have a soft spot for Argentina. I think Rio’s from there.”
VH1: “I also see Beyonce is on this list? Well…now that doesn’t make any sense, she’s more popular than ever.”
Pizzazz: “Two words for you: Lady Gaga.”
VH1: “And the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards?”
Pizzazz: “Yeah, see. It all started as a takedown of Taylor Swift…”
Pizzazz: “But, then Taylor’s people paid us some money to reverse the plan to make it a takedown of Kanye West.”
VH1: “I see…”
Pizzazz: “Yeah, but Taylor’s people are good. They disavowed any knowledge of the takedown plan and I ended up in jail on five counts of Making a Young White Woman Cry
. That’s messed up!”
VH1: “Messed up, indeed.”
“But, Pizzazz, why all of the violence during the Jem era? If the Misfits really believed they were better, why not just prove it through the music?”
Pizzazz: “Okay, have you actually listened to our music?”
“Our most popular song was, “Making Mischief
The lyrics were “We’re making mischief. Making mischief. We’re really making mischief. We’re making mischief. Making mischief. We’re really making mischief. We’re making mischief…”
VH1: “STOP!! I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE!!”
Pizzazz: “So…that’s why we had to kill Jem. Because we couldn’t write songs, duh!”
VH1: “Alright, let’s talk about something more pleasant. Describe some of the changes that happened during the second season, I mean second year of the height of the Jem and the Holograms phenomenon.”
Pizzazz: “Well, now I hate the phantom zone mind that is Jem, but I will say this…”
“There was one girl who became a Hologram who contributed so much to mankind. What was her name, now? Oh, yes, Ray---“
[camera cuts away from Pizzazz]Ahem…as Pizzazz has nothing further to add to the discussion, let’s go talk to some of the Holograms.
VH1: “Aja, what were your fondest memories of those days?”
Aja: “Well, there was one Hologram who I feel so fortunate to have met. And that person is Ray--“Let’s talk to Kimber…
VH1: “Kimber, at the height of your fame…”
Kimber [interrupting]: “The amazing Ray--“Stormer…
Stormer: “I feel so blessed to have met Ray--“Roxy?!?
Roxy: “The only person who could get me to give up a life of crime is Ray--“Oh, for pete’s sake! Can’t someone go 5 seconds without praising the name of Raya?!? She was just another tool used by “The Man” to conquer and divide the brown people in the Holograms!!
Aja: “There was only one brown person in the Holograms.”
Shana: “And, I’m not brown! Look at me!!”
“I’m literally in black face here!”Yes, well this program will not participate in the further marginalization of Shana. First they take her role as drummer away and give it to Raya. Then they take her role as fashion designer away and give it to someone named Regine Cesare.
We will not let these slights against our sister…
Shana: “I’m white!”…go unnoticed! Besides, we did a poll of the audience and found that no one wants to hear about Raya’s “remarkable story.”
Look, let’s ask a random audience member.
Ummm…you there! The beautiful and talented attorney with the gorgeous hair and impeccable wardrobe… Do you want to hear about Raya?
Reese the Lawgirl: “Who the hell is Raya?” Exactly!
Besides, there are far more interesting stories to be heard about other minor characters.
I mean, who could forget, Jetta…She became a saxophone player!
Roxy: “But, she was always a saxophone player…”And Danse! The Hologram’s choreographer. Whatever happened to her?
Kimber: “She’s dead. Raya tried to save her life, but she couldn’t pull both Danse and her five year old daughter from the ledge of that cliff.”And, who could forget that girl…you know the one with the thingies on her wrist…
[silence]You know, the girl...with the thingies?Yeah, her. Where’d she go?
[silence]And, of course, there’s all the others…Classic. They were just…full of…awesome.Having thoroughly examined all the stories Behind the Music
of Jem and the Holograms, we leave with just a few more words of reflection from Jem…
VH1: “Jem, why do you think it all ended?”
Jem [wistful]: “Well…[hack, cough, hack]…little girls grew up. Instead of cross colored hair, they got into cross colored jeans.”
“They became enemies of the public. Trying to do the right thing during their school daze. Always balancing between Love and Hate.”
VH1: “Soooo…you’re saying Spike Lee destroyed the Holograms?”
Jem: “Yes…yes…it was always Spike Lee…”And there you have it folks. The crazy last words from a fractured, delusional mind.
This was the story of your heroines, America. A truly, truly outrageous story.
But, also a clusterfrak of ridiculousness.
This was Behind the Music: Jem and the Holograms.All text is © Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.