The Persistence of Memory

Of all things, these thoughts are attributable to Jem and the Holograms.

Yup. These Holograms.

I’m a pretty big fan of the show – it’s big, bold, fun, and actually more sophisticated for the era it was produced than most people give it credit for (you can thank uber-writer Christy Marx for that!)   The dolls being produced by Integrity Toys are also amazing, and I’m officially addicted to them.

So you can imagine that I’m quite interested in how the upcoming movie is being torn apart and derided prior to its release by the fandom due to straying incredibly far from the source material.  Jem has always combined superstardom, fashionable excess, magical girl elements/secret identity plots, a great sci-fi element with Synergy, and the best music of the 80s.  So of course to see the upcoming movie pretty much jettison all of that material for the much more modern but less fabulous version of success via YouTube is a little heartbreaking.  I tend to think a straight period piece set in the 80s would have been the best choice for this film.

But as disappointed as I am with what the movie appears to be (final judgment reserved until viewing, of course), my heart is warmed that so many people are speaking out.  Their memories of this franchise are strong and warm, and seeing it trampled like this outrages them.  Jem is the first big 80s female-targeted property to get the movie treatment.  She deserves the same respectful treatment of source material and love that have gone into the Transformers, TMNT, and GI Joe films.  Though they’re not always great movies, they take where they come from seriously and don’t try to hand wave it away as unimportant.  I hope if we ever see She-Ra or Rainbow Brite reboots the creators learn from this debacle.

It’s been a long-held daydream of mine to have something I create be loved and live as long in people’s memories as Jem has.  I want that for the characters that have lived with me and played in my head for so long.  My characters and stories are all part of the persistence of my memories.  Some of my stories have been with me since I was nine or ten.  If they hadn’t stuck around inside me so long and instead faded away like many childhood memories, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this post today.  I may have even been happy with my boring day job.  So I’m thankful for my characters – that they had to gumption to turn themselves into persistent memories that have influenced the course of my life.  Who knows where I’d be without them.

And here’s to Jem.  *Raises a glass of sparkling pink champagne*  Thanks for reminding me of the truly outrageous power of fictional characters and their stories.   I hope mine can stand proudly next to you someday.

chriskanther

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