Jem—Season 1

jem and the holograms season 1 dvd cover episode guide
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Retro fun, '80s flashback

Cliche stories and awful music

jem season 1 title card episode guide

She’s truly outrageous!

Jerrica Benton has just lost her father, but discovers her inheritance includes a super-computer named Synergy.  Now in an attempt to save her orphans home Starlight House, Jerrica discovers that Synergy could be the key to saving her charity…and turn her and her friends into superstars!  Jerrica, her sister Kimber, Aja Leith, and Shana Elmsford are now Jem and the Holograms and they must keep Jem’s secret!  As Jerrica juggles her love for Rio and Rio’s feelings for Jem, the Holograms have an enemy in Eric Raymond and his rival band the Misfits!

Jem—Season 1 is an animated musical series.  The season aired from December 6, 1985 to March 15, 1987 in syndication and was also known as Jem and the Holograms.  The series was a Hasbro collaboration to tie-in to Hasbro’s Barbie competition line of dolls.

jem season 1 opening misfits

We know you’re music is better Misfits

G.I. Joe, Transformers, and He-Man were for boys and She-Ra, Jem, and My Little Pony were for girls…in the ’80s.  That being said, it didn’t mean that boys never watched the series…I watched She-Ra rather regularly due to my love of He-Man.  I didn’t watch Jem very often however (mostly because it didn’t air at a time when I could see it).  Rewatching Jem shows that the series is a great reflection of what was popular in the ’80s and how corporates saw “pop music”.

The series is essentially presented as a “super hero” story with Jem having a secret identity (an idea later used in the Miley Cyrus series Hannah Montana).  It is cheesy and often doesn’t make sense…Synergy seems to be able to do anything, but Jerrica and her friends “forget” to use her often, and it really could get them out of problems (like just have Synergy contact the police half the time…or as seen in the shipwrecked episode, they could have just let Synergy alert people that they are stranded on an island).

jem season 1 episode 1 the beginning synergy

I bet even the computer thinks…these girls don’t deserve me

When Jem slows down and the writers are stretching for a story, they mix in a storyline with the Starlight girls.  It seems really random and feels like Jerrica actually is often neglecting them since they aren’t always around.  You get stories like Bae Nee looking for her dad and Deidra running away…it feels like they should either be more involved or less involved in the show.  The animation for the girls is also amusing since they just look like adults…but smaller.

While Jem is the star, the Misfits are the fun ones.  They actually seem to develop the Misfits a bit more with Pizzazz’s relationship with her father and Stormer’s “nice girl” actions.  Their music is generally better, but it is ironic that most of their actions are usually completely criminal and there is no police involvement, but I’d still rather watch a Misfits show.

jem season 1 episode 24 the jem jam part 1 i can see me ashley and the starlights

Yeah….a song by the kids from the Starlight kids…ugh

Each episode highlights songs by Jem or by the Misfits.  The show started out with three songs an episode, but often cut down to two by the end of the first season (with a replay at the end of the two songs).  The songs are great ’80s pop in the vein of Debbie Gibson or Tiffany.  The lyrics are awful, the titles are awful, and the “videos” look like clichés of videos from the time…it is the best part of the show.

Jem is a quick and kind of fun watch.  The episodes are short and predictable and they quickly get repetitive, but most ’80s cartoons are like that (though the series does have some surprisingly long continuing storyline episodes).  I do think that the basic concepts would hold up for younger kids who haven’t seen the show and it is a nice show to return to if you haven’t seen it since you were little.  Don’t go in expecting much however and be prepared for some “so sweet” saccharine moments that are hard to stomach…and guess what Jem always wins.

Jem—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

jem season 1 episode 1 the beginning showtime synergy

“The Beginning”

1.1       The Beginning Airdate:  10/06/85

Jerrica Benton finds herself struggling for money after her father’s death and trying to support  Starlight House.  While Jerrica’s father’s Eric Raymond business partner tries to turn the rock group the Misfits into stars using Starlight Music, Jerrica finds her own opportunity to save Starlight House through Synergy…who transforms Jerrica, Kimber, Shana, and Aja into Jem and the Holograms…and all it takes is the magic earrings!

Songs:  “Outta My Way”—The Misfits, “Only the Beginning” —Jem and the Holograms “Winning Is Everything” —The Misfits

jem season 1 episode 2 disaster pizzazz click clash


1.2       Disaster Airdate:  10/27/85

Starlight House has burned down at the hands of one of Eric’s agents named Zipper.  In a desperate effort Jem tries to get Howard Sands’ permission to move into his mansion for the orphans, but the Misfits and Eric have other ideas.

Songs:  “Like a Dream”—Jem and the Holograms, “Click-Clash”—Jem and the Holograms & The Misfits, “Makin’ Mischief”—The Misfits

jem season 1 episode 3 kimbers rebellion kimber

“Kimber’s Rebellion”

1.3       Kimber’s Rebellion Airdate:  11/17/85

The Misfits’ attempts to sabotage The Countess’s ship is thwarted by Rio…but Rio struggles with his feelings toward Jem due to his relationship with Jerrica.  Jem and the Holograms head to Paris to shoot a music video…but Eric has sent Zipper to Paris to sabotage the video.  Kimber finds herself jealous of Jem, and Eric tries to take advantage of it.  Ashley runs away to the Misfits when she is criticized by Jerrica for her theft.

Songs:  “Twilight in Paris”—Jem and the Holograms, “Gettin’ Down to Business”—Jem and the Holograms, “I Got My Eye on You”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 4 frame up stormer disguise

“Frame Up”

1.4       Frame Up Airdate:  12/08/85

The Misfits are signed to open up for the Misfits in Las Vegas, and the Misfits intend to use Ashley to fix the problem.  Jerrica debates telling Rio her real relationship to Jem.  The Misfits sabotage Aja and could jeopardize the Holograms’ chance of performing at the concert.  Eric has a plan to frame Jem…and Jem could find a surprising ally.

Songs:  “Deception”—Jem and the Holograms, “Too Close for Comfort”—Jem and the Holograms, “Truly Outrageous”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 5 battle of the bands music is magic holograms

“Battle of the Bands”

1.5       Battle of the Bands Airdate:  12/29/85

Eric has hired a private detective to find Jem’s secret, and Jerrica has to hide Synergy before Eric finds it.  The Battle of the Bands is coming and it is going to be Jem and the Hologram’s final showdown with the Misfits!  When Ashley is kidnapped by Eric and the Misfits, Jem’s chances of winning could be destroyed!

Songs:  “She’s Got the Power”—Jem and the Holograms, “Takin’ It All”—The Misfits, “Music Is Magic”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 6 starbright part 1 falling star ba nee eyes

“Starbright—Part 1: Falling Star”

1.6       Starbright—Part 1:  Falling Star Airdate:  07/05/86

Jem and the Holograms deal with their new found success after winning Battle of the Bands and taking control of Starlight Music.  When Pizzazz convinces her father to buy the movie studio making Jem’s movie, Jem finds Eric Raymond and the Misfits could wreck their plans.  Plus, Jerrica gets bad news about a girl named Ba Nee living in Starlight House.

Songs:  “Who Is He Kissing”—Jem and the Holograms, “Jealousy”—Jem and the Holograms, “Universal Appeal”—The Misfits

jem season 1 episode 7 starbright part 2 colliding stars pizzazz

“Starbright—Part 2: Colliding Stars”

1.7       Starbright—Part 2:  Colliding Stars Airdate:  07/12/86

Jem learns Ba Nee’s eye surgery will cost $250,000 and is forced to return to the movie…but as a result they are forced to work for the Misfits and Eric.  As Eric makes the set more hostile, things could get dangerous for Jem.

Songs:  “Congratulations”—The Misfits, “Show Me the Way”—Jem and the Holograms, “Love Is Doin’ It to Me”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 8 starbright part 3 rising star rio kisses

“Starbright—Part 3: Rising Star”

1.8       Starbright—Part 3:  Rising Star Airdate:  07/19/86

Clash’s attempt to sabotage Kimber’s stunt leads Jem to quit…and puts the crew on strike.  Pizzazz takes over the movie putting Eric’s budget in jeopardy.  With Ba Nee still needing her surgery, Jem and the crew decide to make their own movie…but Clash goes undercover to sabotage the film.

Songs:  “Putting It All Together”—Jem and the Holograms, “Welcome to the Jungle”—The Misfits, “People Who Care”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 9 the world hunger shindig holograms

“The World Hunger Shindig”

1.9       The World Hunger Shindig Airdate:  07/26/86

Jem and the Holograms are going to be on a charity album for world hunger…but the Misfits intends to get in on the action.  As Kimber and Pizzazz compete for the affections of Sean, Eric has his own plans for getting the Misfits on the album.

Songs:  “We Can Make a Difference”—Jem and the Holograms, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”—The Misfits, “Share a Little Bit of Yourself”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 10 adventures in china love unites us

“Adventures in China”

1.10     Adventure in China Airdate:  08/23/86

Jem and the Holograms have been invited to China to perform, but when the Misfits learn of Jem’s attachment to her earrings, the concert could be off when they steal Jem’s earrings.

Songs:  “You Can’t Catch Me”—The Misfits, “Something Is Missing in My Life”—Jem and the Holograms, “Love Unites Us”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 11 last resorts pizzazz skiing

“Last Resorts”

1.11     Last Resorts Airdate:  08/30/86

Jem and the Holograms go on vacation to a ski resort, but they learn the resort owner Rick Franklin could lose the resort due to challenges from a new resort.  Rio finds a challenge from Swenson who seems to have caught Jem’s eye.  Eric works with the rival resort own, and the Holograms discover themselves in a ski race against the Misfits to save the resort.

Songs:  “You Gotta Be Fast”—The Misfits, “It’s Workin’ Out/It’s Doin’ Me In”—Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits, “Love Is Here”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 12 in stitches holograms misfits fashion show

“In Stitches”

1.12     In Stitches Airdate:  09/06/86

Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits are facing off in a fashion adventure in Venice.  Shana finds herself under pressure when she learns her designs are going to be featured in the fashion show…and the Misfits plan to sabotage Shana’s styles.

Songs:  “It Depends on the Mood I’m In”—Jem and the Holograms, “Designing Woman”—The Misfits, “Time Is Runnin’ Out”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 13 the music awards part 1 synergy breakdown

“The Music Awards—Part 1”

1.13     The Music Awards—Part 1 Airdate:  09/13/86

Jem and the Holograms are up for a major music award, but the Misfits intend to beat them.  When Eric employs a man called Tech-Rat, Tech-Rat’s jammer could destroy Synergy.  Deidra questions if Jerrica has stopped caring about the kids of the house and runs away with Ba Nee and Krissie.  Jem adds a choreographer named Dance to help spice up the Hologram’s routine, and Dance asks Jem to help get funds for Dance’s Haven House…but finds there is a conflict.

Songs:  “She Makes an Impression”—Jem and the Holograms, “When It’s Only Me and the Music”—Jem and the Holograms, “I Am a Giant”—The Misfits

jem season 1 episode 14 the music award part 2 pizzazz misfits

“The Music Awards—Part 2”

1.14     The Music Awards—Part 2 Airdate:  09/20/86

Jem and the Holograms search for Ba Nee, Krissie, and Deidra but find that the Misfits have called in social services.  Ba Nee, Krissie, and Deidra find their new friend Danny could be in trouble.  When Tech-Rat goes to Jem’s benefit concert for Haven House, Jem’s secret could be revealed…and the Misfits could get their biggest win yet!

Songs:  “You Oughta See the View from Here”—The Misfits, “Runnin’ Like the Wind”—Jem and the Holograms, “Friend or Stranger”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 15 the rock fashion book shana kimber aja

“The Rock Fashion Book”

1.15     The Rock Fashion Book Airdate:  09/27/86

Jem is contacted by a book publisher who wants to put out a fashion book for Jem and the Holograms.  The Misfits set out to sabotage Jem’s book, and Pizzazz has her own plans.

Songs:  “Come On In, The Water’s Fine”—Jem and the Holograms, “We’re Off and Runnin’”—The Misfits, “We Can Change It”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 16 broadway magic

“Broadway Magic”

1.16     Broadway Magic Airdate:  10/04/86

Jem and the Holograms are in the running for a major Broadway production, and the Misfits decide to push themselves by questioning Jem’s true identity and offering a bounty for the truth!

Songs:  “Who Is She Anyway?”—The Misfits, “Can’t Get My Love Together”—Jem and the Holograms, “Broadway Magic”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 17 in search of the stolen album holograms

“In Search of the Stolen Album”

1.17     In Search of the Stolen Album Airdate:  10/11/86

Jem prepares to release the new Holograms’ album, but the Misfits and Eric manage to steal the master tapes.  With the Misfits sending Jem and the Holograms on a scavenger hunt, the Misfits plan their own release using Jem’s music.

Songs:  “There’s a Melody Playin’”—Jem and the Holograms, “There Ain’t Nobody Better”—The Misfits,

jem season 1 episode 18 hot time in hawaii shana race

“Hot Time in Hawaii”

1.18     Hot Time in Hawaii Airdate:  10/18/86

Jem and the Holograms are invited to the Battle of the Music Stars in Hawaii and face off against the Misfits.  While Kimber grows closer to the Hologram’s trainer Steve, the Holograms must face cheating by the Misfits.

Songs:  “We’re the Misfits in Hawaii”—The Misfits, “How You Play the Game”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 19 the princess and the singer kimber adriana

“The Princess and the Singer”

1.19     The Princess and the Singer Airdate:  11/01/86

Jem and the Holograms are invited to Morvania by Princess Adriana for a concert.  When Adriana and Kimber realize they are dead ringers, danger surfaces when Kimber’s relatives plan an assassination…and Jem and the Holograms’ only hope may be Eric and the Misfits!

Songs:  “Here Comes Trouble”—Jem and the Holograms, “The Queen of Rock and Roll”—The Misfits

jem season 1 episode 20 island of deception misfits it takes alot

“Island of Deception”

1.20     Island of Deception Airdate:  11/08/86

Jem and the Holograms are invited on a cruise by the captain.  When a prank by the Misfits goes wrong, the Holograms and the Misfits find themselves stranded on an island…and Stormer could find out Jerrica’s secret!

Songs:  “Set Your Sails”—Jem and the Holograms, “It Takes Alot”—The Misfits

jem season 1 episode 21 old meets new lets not forget the past kimber bobby

“Old Meets New”

1.21     Old Meets New Airdate:  11/15/86

Jem and the Holograms meet the Bobby Bailey who wrote their latest 1950s hit but learn that he’s living in a building that Eric is trying to bring down.  As Eric tries to destroy the apartment for a recording company, Kimber befriends Bobby.

Songs:  “Rock and Roll Is Forever”—Jem and the Holograms, “Jack, Take a Hike”—The Misfits, “Let’s Not Forget the Past”—Jem and the Holograms

jem season 1 episode 23 intrigue at the indy 500

“Intrigue at the Indy 500”

1.22     Intrigue at the Indy 500 Airdate:  02/01/87

Jem and the Holograms back Martino Grandzetti in the Indy 500.  When Grandzetti is involved in an accident with Rio, the Holograms must find a way to get the car into the race.

Songs:  “I’m Coming from Behind”—Jem and the Holograms, “Ahead of the Game”—The Misfits

jem season 1 episode 24 the jem jam performers

“The Jem Jam—Part 1”

1.23     The Jem Jam—Part 1 Airdate:  02/08/87

Jem putting on a major music show with an all-star line-up.  Krissie finds herself at odds with Lena Lerner’s son Dominic while Ba Nee wishes she could find her father…and has an idea of who he could be.  When Jem’s headliner Luna Dark is targeted by the Misfits, the concert could be in trouble.

Songs:  “I Can See Me”—Ashley and the Starlights, “A Father Should Be”—Ba Nee

jem season 1 episode 24 the jem jam part 2 performers

“The Jem Jam—Part 2”

1.24     The Jem Jam—Part 2 Airdate:  02/15/87

Jem must get Luna Dark from the Misfits and the Misfits decide Tech-Rat’s new invention could be the edge they need.  Ba Nee thinks Randy is her father and her belief could lead to danger.  Krissie tries to befriend Dominic.

Songs:  “You May Be a Star”—Krissie, “Gimme a Gimmick”—The Misfits, “Jam All Night Long”—Jem and the Holograms, Luna Dark, Johnny Deacon, Lena Lerner, Ron Cox, Roland Owens

jem season 1 episode 25 culture clash i believe in happy endings

“Culture Clash”

1.25     Culture Clash Airdate:  02/22/87

Jem and the Holograms are in New York City to shoot a new music video with famed artist Fitzgerald Beck, but when Eric gets involved with smugglers using Beck’s sculptures, the Misfits realize they can use it to sink Jem and the Holograms.

Songs:  “Surprise! Surprise!”—The Misfits, “I Believe in Happy Endings”—Jem and the Holograms

jem seaosn 1 episode 26 glitter and gold hologams misfits

“Glitter and Gold”

1.26     Glitter and Gold Airdate:  03/15/87

The Misfits have a new album out and it is putting a lot of pressure on Jem and the Holograms in a record sales competition.  Jerrica debates telling Rio the truth about her relationship with Jem, but Rio’s actions could prove that the truth must never be revealed!

Songs:  “How Does It Feel?”—The Misfits, “Glitter and Gold”—Jem and the Holograms, “We’re Up/You’re Down”—Jem and the Hologram/The Misfits

Related Links:

Jem—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Jem—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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