You can thank poster EricasEvilTwin for this. When she told me that Jack and Erica's squish name from All My Children was Jerica, it reminded me of one of soap opera's classic heroines, Jerrica Benton from the 80's cartoon soap Jem and the Holograms. Anyone who was a fan of 80's cartoons like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Transformers or even the ultra-macho GI: Joe, no doubt realized these cartoons heavily utilized the tenets of serialized drama and continuing storylines and arcs, but none did it as well as Jem.
For those of you too young to have watched the show, Jem was the story of sisters Jerrica and Kimber Benton. The sudden death of their father left the young adults lives turned upside down, as their dad left half of his successful record company Starlight Music to his greedy, nefarious business partner Eric Raymond. Eric prevented the girls from using funds from Starlight Music to underwrite the girls' home the Bentons ran at Starlight Mansion.
Faced with possibly having to close down the Starlight Foundation, Jerrica vowed to do whatever it took to seize control of her father's legacy. Enter Synergy, a state-of-the-art computer that could produce realistic holograms long before Wil.i.am showed up on CNN on election night. The girls' father had left Synergy, who looked a bit like Deidre Hall from her Electra Woman and DynaGirl days, except with purple hair. With the help of a pair of fetch, ruby Starlight earrings from Synergy, sensible, reserved Jerrica Benton transformed into one-named rock goddess Jem, a combination of Madonna, Janet Jackson and Blondie's Debbie Harry with a little bit of Barbie thrown in for good measure..
As Jem, Jerica formed a rock band called, you guessed it Jem and the Holograms, with Kimber and two of their foster sisters the Asian-American Aja and the African- American Shana (Even cartoon soaps were more diverse than daytime.) and challenged Eric's pet group The Misfitsts, the evil Pizzazz, butch Roxy and sensitive Stormer to a battle of the bands. Dorian vs. Viki had nothing on Pizzazz vs. Jem!
Of course Jem and her Holgrams won the battle of the bands, see on cartoon soaps the good guys prevail, and Jerrica gained control of Eric Raymond's shares in Starlight, but the animated J.R. Ewing didn't stop there. He formed his own label and came after Jerrica and Jem week after soapalicious week.
To give the show a nice supercouple spin, Jerrica and Jem were caught up in a love triangle with the Holgram's manager Rio, cartoon soapdom's answer to Austin Reed or Brad Snyder, a guy too dense to realize the two women he was torn between were one in the same!
Damn I miss the 80's. And no it's not just nostalgia Luke, everything simply was better then! If you don't believe me tune in to your latest rapemance or How Many Types of Cancer Can Reva Shayne Be Diagnosed With? Someone really should put Jem and the Holgrams back on TV. If not on Cartoon Network, then why not SOAPnet? At least Jem really is a soap. Check out a few clips from this classic show below!