From Our Readers

Glamor and Glitter! Fashion and Fame!

In 1985 the “truly outrageous” TV show JEM and the Holograms premiered to the delight of 9-year-old girls all over.  This new animated series focused on the dual life of beautiful Jerrica Benton, co-owner of Starlight Music, and her pop star alter-ego Jem, lead singer for the all-girl band JEM and the Holograms.  Before Hannah Montana had her Miley Cyrus dual identity issues, Jem was rockin’ out with the Holograms at night and by day, running The Starlight House, a home for troubled foster girls. Does Hannah have a home for troubled girls? Noooo.

Now, for those of you old enough to remember, as awesome as Jem was, it was a bit cheesy and preachy at times. Who can forget the After School Special-esque episode “Alone Again”, where troubled girl Laura Holloway starts popping pills and hallucinating that she can fly? Not a bird? What a bummer!

Or the Roxy Rumbles episode where we discover Roxy from the Misfits can’t read!

Most of the episodes deal with Jem having to perform a show somewhere or star in a movie of some sort and how The Misfits try and mess things up for The Holograms. The entire run of the series was so totally ’80s. All the Jem and Misfits girls dressed like rejects from some new wave version of Vixen coupled with The Bangles, which means that all I want to do now is tease my hair with drugstore glitter spray, paint lightning bolts on my face, and wear spandex pants with a blazer!

There were even Jem dolls and I think the Jerrica one had light up earrings.


And a Halloween costume!

And, on October 11th, you can order the entire 65 episode Truly Outrageous box set on Amazon!

Do any of you fondly remember Jem? What was your fave episode?

Eve Vawter owns Sugar Circus and is a writer. You can follow her on Twitter.

  • Careth Tash

    SO glad to see you here.

  • Alyssa Olszewski

    I definitely used to read the one Jem book that was in my elementary school library. One of the orphan’s fell into the bear den at the zoo and they had to rescue her by forming a human ladder. I remember the human ladder and Jem’s fancy earring. That’s about it! I never knew it was also a tv show!

  • Joanna Boese

    I actually had that costume at age 7. 😀 And Jem and Pizazz…I even heard they were an influence on the design of the Monster High dolls.

    Oh but man, I loved it. I have not watched the show when it started airing again on The Hub, but maybe I need to sit through some for nostalgia’s sake…

  • Jasmine Marie Young

    I had the Jerrica doll with light up earrings. As early as I can remember, I always loved everything Jem. Even nowadays, I’ll ask people if they watched Jem or had the dolls, I’ve never met another fan. Thank you so much for this!

  • Holliewood Hollie

    OMG I had that costume for halloween one year!!

  • Laura Roberts

    Loved Jem! Still a massive fan. Yes, there was a doll line.. but the ones you have pictured above aren’t the toys from the 80s..

    • Jamie Barnett

      I was just thinking my dolls didn’t look like that. lol I remember them being able to wear Ken’s shoes, but not Barbie’s…lol

  • Shannon Leigh Day

    i too had that costume. i loved the cartoon and the dolls were my life. jem and rainbow brite.

  • Ashley McGee

    Jem was actually my Halloween Costume just 3 YEARS AGO! :-) And pictures to prove it! Truly Outrageous!

  • Natalee Willett Dobbs

    I not only had the Jem doll (w/light up earrings) and the Halloween costume, but I still have their song “Set Your Sails” memorized. It came on a tape w/my Jem doll, and I used to play it on constant repeat in my room. I’m almost 34 now, lol.

    • Mädi Kircher

      Yes! “Set Your Sails” was on the cassette that came with the Flash’n Sizzle version of the Jem/Jerrica doll. I had that one too! I’m also in my 30s, and I have to admit I still have a LOT of the Misfits’ songs memorized to this day as well.

  • Alma Lira

    Awww I was born quite a bit after it was first aired but I love the show none-the-less. It’s cheesyness made the show “truly truly truly outrageous”.

  • Daniela Rogers

    Not onlydidi love JEM but I still have all my dolls and clothes . I would use JEM clothes on barbie because it was so much cooler.

  • Abbey Lile-Taylor

    You just made my entire month!! MUST PURCHASE!!

  • Ardella Anderson

    THANKS for this! Anyone else notice that if you played with your Barbie dolls with Jem, she was uber taller than your Barbies? To this day when I see a really tall girl, I’m like “oh look there’s Jem!”

  • Shannon Humphreys

    So happy to see you here, Eve! I loved Jem!! I had all of the Hologram dolls and a few of the Misfits. I had that costume, and I totally watched the cartoon every Saturday. Picking a favourite episode, though? That’s like picking a favourite flavour cheesecake. UNPOSSIBLE! ;D

  • Jessica Vignola

    Jem is now on the Hub so I get to pretend I’m a kid again and still wish I had those awesome earrings and powers to turn into a rockstar. I had the doll. I had the costume. I will have the series on DVD. Obsessed much? Nope!

  • Amber Mills

    I still have my Jem dolls, I was a total Misfit girl! I am buying the boxed set as we speak! I also own the entire She-Ra boxed set. GIRL POWER! 80’s style

  • Krissy Kirlin

    And no one ever mentions that she was voiced by the amazing Britta Phillips, of Dean & Britta fame. Beautiful voice!

  • Anonymous

    OMG I had that halloween costume!!! :) lolz

  • Jerrica Pitzen

    I was named after Jem! My sister (who was 5 at the time) decided that I apparently needed a truly outrageous name. I never had my namesake’s doll but I think I had the costume!

  • Amy Lopez Fitzgerald

    My first Barbie was actually Jem! She had this giant head, to accomodate for the flashing earring mechanisms. She had a guitar, and this dusty salmon pink glittery dress and pink pumps. Jem is truly, truly, truly outrageous! Last Summer I called my local indie video stores to see if they had Jem & they didn’t. But the cool part was, they were all really bummed that they didn’t have it, and some of them have since bought it. My favorite Jem quote, “Who is this tense and negative person that has taken over Shayna!”

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