10. Crimes without any sense of punishment
In the cartoon series, Jerrica Benton (Jem) had her home burglarized, set on fire (admittedly, it was an accident, but it was related to the burglary), had her foster kids kidnapped and assaulted, and her friends the Countess and Sands’ property damaged, including with a bomb! Oh, and I don’t think Hollywood would be cool with plots that demonstrate a complete disregard for union safety rules and payment (see the original cartoon episode “Starbright Pt. 2: Colliding Stars”, although the next episode remedied this…a little too easily).
9. Obvious villains are obvious
We knew from the beginning that CEO Eric Raymond was the bad guy, but to keep continuity, even after his biggest threat got him arrested, he was back causing mayhem with the Misfits in the next episode. Paying lawyers to somehow get charges of everything from conspiracy and embezzling to kidnapping is ridiculous. Eric Raymond can be a great villain, but not if he’s two-dimensional.
8. Whiny everybody
The show many have been called “JEM” and the Holograms, but it’s got an ensemble cast. People who can’t relate to Kimber’s second-fiddle fears because of her whining, or The Misfits’ desire to break free of the standard pop-star mold but still be liked are going to hate the movie and its characters for again, being two-dimensional.
7. A “Clash” in music styles
The Misfits didn’t LOOK like a pop band—if anything, they were more of a punk rock group, what with their even-crazier hair styles and colors, facial tattoos, torn clothes, and angry lyrics. If Jem and the Holograms are to have some serious competition, it’s got to be with a band that logically WOULD compete with them…but still have style of their own.
6. Clark Kent Syndrome
It’s never adequately explained why Rio, Jerrica’s love interest, “can’t ” know about her “secret” identity as Jem, but the rest of the Holograms, including Jerrica’s sometimes-jealous sister Kimber, could. Jerrica dropped plenty of hints, including acting close to Rio upon her debut, even though Rio initially said he had no idea who she was. But he slowly warmed up to Jem, mainly because she acted like she already knew him—because she did as Jerrica, except when it didn’t suit her! It makes sense that she wouldn’t want Raymond to know, since she wouldn’t want him stealing even more of her father’s technology, or subverting her attempt at getting Starlight Music back under reasonable control, instead of giving him something more to embezzle.
5. High-technology without modernization
Back in the 80s, convincing holograms were a cool future-possible thing, but we’ve had Tupac show up at Coachella, so now we have to amp it up. We can’t just have Synergy via iconic star-shaped earrings and crazy-looking flashing organs, we’ve got to have something that makes Jem and the Holograms seem even more amazing than today’s over-the-top stars. Whether that’s seen outside of the music side or ONLY when she’s giving concerts and doing movies (although I imagine only one “big event” can fit into a feature film), we’ve got to see a bit more than just “holograms.” Here’s where product placement can come in. I saw someone suggest a super-smartphone to be Jem’s concert-styled link to Synergy, with detachable microphone headband, which sounds like a good idea.
4. A lack of star power
Though it’s going to be hard to find “triple-threat” talent that can adequately sing, dance, AND act, it definitely exists. That doesn’t mean everybody needs to be AMAZING at it; whoever plays Jem needs to be a talented singer above all else, even if it starts out as a hidden or un-nurtured talent. Even if the film ends up being a “discovery” role for the actresses for Jem, Shana, Kimber, and Aja, the role of Eric Raymond, Pizzazz of the Misfits, and fashion designer Countess Danielle can all be played by [surprise] big-name stars.
3. Music videos every ten minutes
Yes, music is at the heart of the Jem story, but that doesn’t mean we can do without the overly-fantastic flights of fancy. But there are ways to demonstrate the storyline without breaking into song so often, especially if all the songs do is “send a message,” about how selfish The Misfits are, or how giving and determined Jerrica and her friends are.
2. No overall “good message.”
True, songs that are all trite and obvious aren’t fun after the first listen, but Jem started out as a show with characters doing good things: Jerrica’s no homeless orphan, she’s a wealthy, educated heiress who was raised with a sense of justice, loyalty to her friends and those in her care, like the girls of the Starlight House. If there’s nothing for us to root for besides Jerrica “succeeding” at beating Eric Raymond and The Misfits, the movie won’t be true to the Jem origin story, and won’t be all that memorable, especially in a day and age where musical comedies are fairly common.
1. Too Much Pink
Jem was defined by her trademark pink hair, which can totally stick around, but she often wore a pink wrap dress with a darker pink fringe sash/belt-thing. It was pink overload, perfect for little 80s girl, but presumably not modern teenagers or fans of the original JEM series, who are now in their late 20s. If one of the major guest stars (say, someone who plays Countess Danielle) is a REAL fashion/costume designer, we’ll be able to get modern fashions that are star-worthy but still Jem-like, not a clone of what Katy Perry or Lady Gaga might wear, or too 80s.