So the trailer for Universal’s Jem and the Holograms movie has arrived starring Aubrey Peeples in the title role, and well, let’s be honest, it seems like a pretty big misfire here. For those of you out there who were too young to remember (or not born yet) when the character first hit it big in the 1980s as a cartoon series and a line of toys, Jem was about Jerrica Benton, a young woman who inherited her father’s record label, as well as his experimental artificial intelligence called “Synergy.” Jerrica then moonlights as her alter ego, Jem, a holographic disguise that projects onto her body via her earrings. (It’s an accessory and futuristic technology, all in one.) Along with her sister and her friends, they take the music world by storm as Jem and the Holograms, getting into crazy adventures, which usually finds them getting tangled up with their rival band, the bad girl group The Misfits.
Based on this new trailer though, I think Jem fans will forever refer to this movie as JINO, or “Jem In Name Only.” Instead of a capable woman, Jerrica is now a teenager because the common thinking is that teen girls only want to see things about themselves. She becomes a YouTube sensation, then a big radio star, but the entire “Jem” persona is now one that is cooked up for her by the evil record label, not something she chooses for herself. Also, no holograms, no Synergy, and, worst of all, no Misfits. Plus, Jem’s boyfriend Rio doesn’t even have purple hair! This trailer is selling Jem as your typical Disney Channel-style movie aimed at young teenage girls, which is fine, but call it something else. The brand doesn’t carry any weight with these kids anyway, so if you’re going to call it Jem, then have it be Jem.
In the meantime, check out the trailer above and let us know what you think. If you really want to see Jem updated properly for the 21st century, check out IDW’s Jem and the Holograms comic. You won’t be disappointed.