You know what happens when you take a beloved pop culture property and strip it of most of the elements that people love about it, leaving just the name and some surface similarities in common with the original? Well, you get the most recent Fantastic Four reboot for starters (too soon?) but, based on what we’ve seen so far, you also get the upcoming big screen version of classic 1980s cartoon series Jem and the Holograms. The reboot just dropped its second trailer today, which you can watch above.
So is this new trailer any better than the first one, that caused such an uproar among fans of the original show?
For starters, there is still no sign of the Misfits, the “bad girl” rival band that is pretty much everyone’s favorite part of the old series. Instead, there’s a lot of Disney Channel style music and apparently, a story about how the evil record label wants Jem to ditch her friends and bandmates and go solo. (Because that story hasn’t already been done in every single movie or TV show about a band that suddenly got famous.)
Unfortunately, this trailer inspires as much confidence as the first.
One element from the old show that is in this new trailer that wasn’t in the first one (which makes me wonder if it was added in reshoots) is the addition of Synergy, the A.I. that Jerrica Benton’s father created and left to her when he died. Synergy is the one who created the whole Jem holographic identity for Jerrica in the first place. Except now Synergy is a cute little robot that rolls around on the floor like BB-8 from the new Star Wars movie, instead of a projection of a glamorous woman with a fierce headband and no pupils.
In the original cartoon, Jerrica Benton had her own record label, and wasn’t pushed around by anyone. The creation of Jem was a way for her to cut loose and have fun, and in this new movie it seems like a burden (she even looks sad in the promo image!) It’s not like the old show was Masterpiece Theater or anything, but they seems to be robbing it of most of the things that made it empowering to little girls. We hope that’s not the case, but in the meantime, we’ll keep rewatching old episodes and reading the new Jem comics series.
Jem and the Holograms is directed by Jon M. Chu, and stars Aubrey Peeples as Jem, Stefanie Scott as Kimber, Aurora Perrineau as Shana, Hayley Kiyoko as Aja and Ryan Guzman as Rio. Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also star. It’s set to hit theaters on October 23, 2015.