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The Rock Fashion Book
Written by Rick Merwin

Jem and the Holograms accept a business proposal for a rock fashion book, in which they will be wearing Shana's designs. The Misfits decide to make their own rock fashion book, and have it out first. But when no one will publish their book, the Misfits decide to wreck the Jem book.

Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms, The Misfits, Rio, Clash, Howard, Harvey, Robert Arlington publisher, Robin whale trainer, Harvey photographer, guard, Soo Mi art director, Richard Carling photographer.

Locations & vehicles:
Starlight Music, Rockin' Roadster, Gabor Mansion, Marine park, beach, amusement park, Red Wood Publishing. Co, Fashion Publishers. Co, The Book Publishers, Book Publisher, Wonder Publishers, Washington monument in Washington D.C., Grand Canyon in Arizona, Gabor business building, Misfits' car, Nassau, Richard Carling's darkroom in LA, Fashion Publishers in LA.

"Come On In, The Water's Fine" Jem and the Holograms
"We're Off And Runnin'" The Misfits
"We Can Change It" Jem and the Holograms

Action, Adventure, Humor, Romance.

Original airdate:
27 September 1986

Released on VHS. Released on DVD.

Italy: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. The episode title was "Il Libro Di Moda Rock" (The rock fashion book).
France: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. Released on DVD. The episode title was "Les Photos" (The Photos), or "Le Livre Du Rock A La Mode" (The Rock Fashion Book).
Venezuela: Aired on TV. The episode title was "El Libro De Modas De Rock" (The fashion book of rock).
UK: Aired on TV. Released on VHS.
Australia: Released on DVD.

Behind the scenes:
See the Animation Cels page for this episode.

In this episode the character Robert Arlington is referring to the fashion contest Jem and the Holograms won in the episode In Stitches, which places this episode after that one.

Kimber likes dolphins, she thinks they're cute.

Jerrica is having trouble underwater, the Jem star earrings are shorting out by the deep water.

Rio seems concerned what Jerrica will think about him holding Jem after she makes it up after almost dying in the water. But Jem leads him on and tells him to hold her and that Jerrica would understand.

The rollercoaster The Misfits are riding with is called "Monster Machine".

The title of a Jem song is included, "too close".

Stormer is afraid of bats.

Kimber is afraid of heights.

Synergy can create sound effects to scare away bats.

There's a newspaper called "Daily Day News" with an article on Jem and the Holograms.

Harvey Gabor hates to make snap decisions.

Jem and the Holograms are offered a deal of a fashion book, and from then on there are alot of dangerous situations. As usual The Misfits see this as the next big thing that could really make their career. This is a good of example of how the Misfits think. First try yourself, and if it doesn't work, sabotage for you opponent, if that fails buy out your opponent. The Misfits first try to compete by photographing their own fashion book, then wreck the Jem and the Holograms fashion book, and then buy the creative rights to it. How much of a fashion book is it though? 8 new fashions in total for Jem and the Holograms, and most of them aren't extraordinary but some of the more simple outfits of the series. I guess it's more about showcasing Shana's fashions, new or old, and about seeing different poses, settings and sights.

This is yet another playful early episode. There are also later episodes like this, but at this point with the bunch of standalone adventures added up so early in the series, with this kinda relaxed feeling, makes it seems the series was still trying to find it's tone.

Already about 20 seconds into the episode, Jerrica changes to Jem, and reminds the viewers what this show is about. I wish this had been done more often in other episodes to really showcase the whole Jem/Jerrica thing.

This is one of the first examples of when Jem and the Holograms accept an offer very quickly. Although it's with a probably wellknown and thrustworty person in this case. It's hard to tell how quickly Jem and the Holograms really jump into things considering the time limit of the episodes and how the story needs to get going. But sometimes in later episodes they make even riskier decisions.

Clash mentions that the price has gone up at the Marine Park. I'm not sure whether this means she hadn't been there for years, or that she is cheap, or a personal complaint by the writer. But then Clash doesn't seem to have a steady income, so it makes sense. Not sure how much you get for being a groupie sabotager for the Misfits.

At the Marine Park during a photo shoot, suddenly a music video starts. But it doesn't connect to anything in the episode. It rather talks about Jem's and Rio's relation. It almost seems like a scene was missing here, explaining why there was suddenly talk about Jem and Rio's relationship. Or more likely the romance theme was thrown into a music video to fill a quota since the rest of the episode had a lack of romance. This is the second underwater video after "Like A Dream" in the second episode. The music video is about mermaids and the lyrics mentions the word "Splash", which was the title of an 1984 movie with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. There is a moment I like especially about this video, when we see Jem and Rio standing in a boat with the Holograms rowing, combined with the music and singing it really stands out and takes the song to another level.

Remember they mention early in the episode they're going to wear Shana's designs in the photo book? Well that probably means all clothes they wear during photographing are designed by Shana. So when Shana says the funny line "we're wearing killer outfits" in response to Jem, she is actually complimenting herself.

With the first dangerous scene, the writer is able to make a scene that reminds us viewers about Jems special earrings, and the fact that not even Rio knows about her real identity. So this is the second early reminder in this episode about one of the main ingredients of the show, Jem's secret identity. I appreciate these kind of scenes that reminds us if what Jem is about, and even markets the idea of the Jem doll at the same time.

It was a very clever way of the writer to add some action into the story by adding all these photoshoots that could go wrong for different reasons, whether the Misfits were directly involved or not (although it makes it slightly less believable that so many thing go wrong even without the Misfits involvment). This is really an imaginative episode, in a good way of course. Interesting to see what kind of places the writer decided upon, some very different spots, and how the Holograms ended up in trouble without the locations being too dangerous to begin with.

The men jump into the water to save Jem and the Holograms. Why not the girls? Perhaps men are stronger, perhaps it doesn't matter. But actually the girls do help, and one of the girls reacted faster than the male photographer. But shouldn't the one expert who seems to be working there be jumping in? She should know more about how the killer whales act towards humans under water. And why does Rio help both Kimber and Aja, and then both the guys help Shana and no one looks for Jem. I guess it's more realistic for people to act differently in a situation like this and save whoever you reach first.

I really like that there is a scene where Jem and Rio not simply flirt with each other, but it's commented upon first by Rio who gets embarassed by being so close to Jem so mentions Jerrica, and then Jem says "just hold me for a minute Rio, Jerrica would understand".

Ever wondered why Jem and the Holograms always keep going in so many episodes, like this one, no matter how much of a danger they end up in? The following line by Aja seemed a little too entusiastic: "Well we survived the high dive, so what's next?". Of course this is because of the short format of this show, but it wouldn't surprise me if they said "Well we just barely survived three major accidents today, what's next? Crocodile hunting? Ok let's go".

When the Misfits are going to the amusement park, we see an overview of the park, where there is a ferris-wheel with a giant star in the middle. Although this is not uncommon for ferris-wheels to have a star like that, it's funny it looks like the Jem star earrings.

I wonder if the writer choose the Washington monument as one of the locations for patriotical reasons, because you would hardly be able to tell from the pictures they're taking, where they're at, because the monument is so large it's appears as any flat wall covering the entire background behind them. And besides, the writer needed to go to extra effort to think up the set they're standing on to cause the danger in this scene. And even so, although Clash is at the location and ready to sabotage, she isn't even directly involved in the accident. And on top of that, the animation-work here where the golfcar bounces into the stand, seems a bit messed up.

Clever use of Synergy at the Grand Canyon with the sound waves to scare the bats, very different and unique idea. Nice to see a writer who realizes Synergy is alot more than an image-projector.

Kimber is the one person commenting on the heights of the location, which is nice for reality touch. But the reason she mentions it is of course to build up suspense for the upcoming scene. But would the Misfits really risk their lives at a dangerous location like this just to ruin the Jem and the Holograms book? There doesn't seem to be enough at stake to risk their lives for. I guess this is an example of how things are personal for the Misfits, but they're not always logical.

The writer didn't just add a scene where Pizzazz asked her father to buy something for her, he figured out that Pizzazz needed a special approach, presenting it as a business proposition, making him proud and making it seem like a good investment. In some episodes Harvey seems very easy to convince, while in other episodes, like "Father's Day", he is very concerned with his money.

The idea of the Misfits buying up the fashion book with the help of Harvey Gabor, and being able to control Jem and the Holograms by contract, and Howard Sands showing up for a less obvious reason, seems a bit inspired by the Starbright trilogy. But unlike that, here when the Misfits control the Holograms fashion book, they really try to make them look bad, while it was more subtle in the Starbright episodes. And I guess Howard is included so that he can later buy up the rights again.

I think Christy set it up perfectly in the Starbright trilogy. And some things should really be kept to a minimum to keep the show realistic: Harvey buying anything for the Misfits, Techrat inventing anything for the Misfits, or Synergy creating too many over the top holograms. These are great ingredients that could be misused easily, but I think Jem writers handled it very well, with very few exceptions.

Next time when Jem and Rio get close in the end of the episode, it's actually Jem who mentions Jerrica, to once again remind the viewers that Jem and Jerrica is the same person, although this information has been absent during most of the second half of the episode.

All characters seem to be in character. Stormer the nice Misfit, Rio worries about Jerrica, Pizzazz is the leader, Clash does the dirty work for the Misfits, Kimber is immature and clumsy, Harvey is convinced by Pizzazz, Howard comes to the rescue.

Although this is not the kind of episode where Jem and the Holograms go on a single adventure far away, but rather back and forth on lots of little things, lots of things are missing. This is the very first episode where Eric is not included at all. Eric is absent soon again in "Hot Time In Hawaii" but his exclusion isn't really common until after the bands expand, which probably leaves less place for him. Also missing in this particular episode is the sight of Synergy, the roadster, Starlight Music, Starlight Mansion, and the Starlight girls. It also lacks a direct connection to music, although there's a "rock fashion book", but this is a nice variation and we still of course get music videos.

Very nice animation throughout the entire episode.

Conclusion: What I really consider to be the strength of this episode is it's good connection to making the characters in character, and including some Jem ingredients into the storyline. It has an imaginative setup and fun resolution of how Jem and the Holograms turn it back to their advantage even before the fashion book is saved by Howard Sands.

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