The other day, I was thinking how weird it is that the singing voice of the ’80s Hasbro/Sunbow pop singer character Jem–whose old animated series of the same name is currently one of the Hub cable channel’s most-watched programs–actually belonged to musician Britta Phillips of Luna and Dean & Britta fame (was Gillian Jacobs’ Community character Britta named after her?).
After the releases of the Hasbro-inspired (and not-so-good) Transformers and G.I. Joe live-action movies and the filming of an upcoming Peter Berg-directed movie based on the Hasbro-owned property Battleship, what’s next? A movie based on Jem? According to a 2009 Pajiba post, that’s exactly what the screenwriter who penned the High School Musical TV-movies has been trying to get off the ground for Universal.
The only things I remember about Jem are its tagline “Truly Outrageous!” and a sequence where the show’s evil band the Misfits–which has nothing to do with the Misfits I’m more familiar with–sang the quintessential ’80s number “Winning Is Everything.” Because the only Hasbro toy lines/cartoon shows my younger self was into involved death and destruction, Jem was one of those Things from the ’80s I Never Cared for, so a Jem movie–especially one that I assume will be done in the style of the often-imitated Glee and the annoyingly squeaky-clean High School Musical–doesn’t interest me much.
The only kind of Jem movie that would interest me would be one that’s done as
a Bridesmaids-esque female ensemble comedy about has-been rockers in the vein of Spinal Tap, Stephen Rea’s Still Crazy and Rainn Wilson’s much-maligned The Rocker (and this is the point in the post where the under-18 and mostly female target audience that’s currently enjoying Jem reruns on The Hub starts to doze off). If I made the movie, I would have set it long after Jem and the Holograms broke up.
In this movie, Jem’s secret identity is ashamed of her big-haired teenybopper past and is a Britta Phillips-style singer/songwriter with tons of indie cred. Her former rivals reform their band and try to take over the world through their music, and the former Jem has to revive her past in order to save the day, with the help of a Lyndsy Fonseca-in-Nikita-style younger protégé who’s there because unless there’s an audience surrogate who’s closer to their age, teenage moviegoers will turn away in droves. Among the dilemmas the film’s heroine would have to face: Can she and her old bandmates get through their reunion without killing each other, and can she save the day without betraying her indie self?
And who would I have asked to provide Jem’s singing voice? None other than the original Jem’s singing voice–Phillips. Now that idea would have been truly outrageous.