It was announced today, via YouTube, that a live-action film adaptation of 1980s television cartoon Jem and the Holograms is in the works. However you may feel about yet another '80s treasure being updated (and bastardized) for today's youths, one thing is undeniable: the show's music is awesome.
First, the gritty details. Jem was a mid-'80s animated series following a young girl named Jerrica Benton who is transformed into her secret identity, sensational pop-singer Jem, using a pair of high-tech earrings (yes, like Hannah Montana). Her backing band, the Holograms, include her sister and friends. There were rival bands. All in all, it's very '80s.
Flash forward to 2014, producers Jason Blum and Scooter Braun and director Jon M. Chu are bringing Jem to the big screen. Blum typically produces horror flicks like Paranormal Activity (but he also produced The Tooth Fairy, so), Scooter Braun is Scooter Braun, and Chu has directed two Step Up sequels, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and the Justin Bieber documentary. Check out their announcement:
The fact that these three "bros" are behind the Jem reboot and plan to update it for a "social-media age" doesn't exactly have fans of the original stoked, but it's pretty cool that they plan on crowdsourcing the casting.
Whatever they do with the plot and story, we only ask one thing: don't mess with the music. Because the original Jem music is seriously terrific. It is '80s pop in all its glory. Not only is the theme song a capital-J jam, but the show produced multiple tracks that in our opinion should have gone platinum.
First, there's "I Got My Eye On You," which is your classic I'm-crushing-on-you pop song only better, because it's performed by an animated TV heroine with truly bitchin' hair.
And then there is girl power anthem "She's Got The Power" which is an 80-second capsule of empowerment.
Or how about Jem's rivals, The Misfits (thankfully, no relation to the real-life horror-punk band)? Here's "Winning Is Everything," which helps explain why The Misfits were the show's villains (as much as a show like this could have one).
And "Universal Appeal," which is as confident as it is catchy.
All told, the show produced more than 150 original songs. We haven't listened to all of them but based on the ones we have heard, it's safe to assume no other television show has been as prolific in putting out hits. The biggest mistake the films producers could make is screwing up the music.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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