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#5205-05
Adventure In China
Written by Beth Bornstein

Synopsis:
The chinese government has invited Jem and the Holograms to perform at the great wall. Eric only managed to get the Misfits on a second rate tour. But when the Misfits see Jem getting stuck in customs when refusing to take off her earrings, they realize how important the earrings must be for Jem. Roxy steals the Jem star earrings, and Eric has copies made. When Jem can't appear at the summer palace concert, the Misfits replace them, wearing star earrings. Now Jem and the Holograms have to get the real pair of earrings back before their big concert at the great wall.

Characters:
Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms, The Misfits, Synergy (voice only), Rio, Eric, Lin, Lin's father, air hostess.

Focus on:
Jerrica and Aja.

Locations & vehicles:
Air China airplane, Beijing in China, airport in Beijing, the Holograms' limousine, the Misfits' limousine, hotel in Beijing, summer palace in Beijing, riksha, aerial lift, The Great Wall of China, cable car, Yungang Grottoes near the city of Datong in the Chinese province of Shanxi, Longmen Caves south of Luyng in Hnn province, train, jewelry factory, Lin's family's house, newsstand, museum.

Songs:
"You Can't Catch Me" The Misfits
"Something Is Missing In My Life" Jem and the Holograms
"Love Unites Us" Jem and the Holograms

Part of songs:
"Makin' Mischief" by the Misfits.

Genres:
Adventure, Humor, Action, Message.

Original airdate:
23 August 1986

Releases:
Released on VHS. Released on DVD.

International:
Italy: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. Released on DVD. The episode title was "Avventura In Cina" (Adventure in China).
France: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. Released on DVD. The episode title was "Voyage En Chine" (Travel In China).
Holland
UK: Aired on TV. Released on DVD.
Australia: Released on VHS. Released on DVD.
New Zealand: Released on VHS.

Fashions:

Trivia:
When this episode first aired, there was no episode title at the beginning.

Stormer is reading a magazine called "Music USA".

Roxy doesn't care about seeing the Great wall of China, she considers it just a big wall.

Jem and the Holograms are famous in China.

Roxy doesn't notice Misfits is mispelled, but Pizzazz does, which speaks for that Roxy is illiterate.

The Misfits and Eric, are wondering why the earrings are so important to Jem, and Stormer has noticed that Jem always wears them when she performs.

Aja speaks a bit chinese.

Pizzazz was the one of the Misfits who actually wore the real Jem star earrings.

Aja is in tears when she realizes they definitely have to cancel the great wall concert, maybe because China is her homeland.

The scene where Jerrica takes the earrings in the museum is so much fun, as she tries to explain they belong to her, and the guard replies "oh, then you must be a princess of the Ming dynasty".

Pizzazz flirts with Rio again.

Review:
This starts off like several other episodes, with Jem and the Holograms going somewhere and the Misfits coming along to see what they're up to and hopefully cause trouble or upstage them. It starts off a little slow with scenes on the airplane and airport. But then it gets going with the customs scene, and the chasing across China. This time it's the Holograms chasing the Misfits since they stole the Jem star earrings.

This is the first episode Beth Bornstein wrote for Jem, but in as much as three of four of her episodes, Jem and the Holograms do some travelling.

Not a very imaginative title of an episode. I wonder if there was another title originally and this was just thrown in there when needed, because as we know, this episode was missing a title screen in some releases.

Jem and the Holograms are travelling in their original stage fashions, all the way to China, and Aja doesn't get to sit with the others, but with some other guy, but atleast she gets a window seat. And actually Pizzazz is sitting by herself too, and without a window seat. The Misfits seem to be on the same plane, but perhaps in business class.

I think China was a good choice because this is where Aja is from, and the writer took notice of this from the Jem bible and gives Aja some scenes where she shows of her knowledge of the Chinese language aswell as martial arts.

The customs scene shows us that some writers do take in consideration the limitations of the earrings. They can't project through a solid item, and Jem's hologram would disappear for a moment as she put them down and pass through the metal detector. But with such a small problem, it makes you wonder how Synergy's signal could reach all the way to the earrings in China to begin with. But apparently the problem is not that the signal is not strong, as long as it's not blocked by a solid item, or by a security system like in another episode also written by Beth Bornstein, "The Presidential Dilemma".

This episode could be giving an early hint that Roxy is illiterate, which might not have been decided until the episode "Roxy Rumbles" though. As the Misfits exit the plane onto the airport, Roxy points out that the Misfits have fans waiting for them, but it's Pizzazz who points out that they misspelled "Misfits" as "Misfats".

The entire story revolves around the earrings. I like when they write stories that take the special Jem details in consideration. The funny thing is though, that the earrings are in focus without really being used alot. I wonder if the hardcover Jem book "Night Of A Thousand Earrings" was inspired by this episode.

There's never really a follow up on the earring issue, and this was an early episode for Eric and the Misfits to notice such an important thing as the earrings. Then they just kinda dropped the whole thing for a while. It probably would have ended the series early, but I can't help to wonder why Eric and the Misfits didn't investigate the earrings more. Especially when noticing Jem had to cancel a concert because of them. Or why didn't the Misfits just keep them secretly rather than pose in them on their concert, go through an entire chase scene and then throw them away. But that's just like the Misfits, to cause trouble, wanting attention for it, and then just leaving when they're done.

It's nice to see that Rio really questions why Jerrica is suddenly in China.

The chase scene isn't really that dramatic, but perhaps kinda immature, like the title of the song "You Can't Catch Me". But even here the writer and storyboard artist takes notice of a cultural thing like Rikshas, and beautiful sights along the way.

The Misfits run right into an aerial lift, with Jem and the Holograms right behind them, without stopping for tickets or any line, and they're even able to get into a control room where no one is present.

Unfortunately Aja manages to ruin a large sculpture at a sighting in her old home country. Ooops. I assume they offered to pay for it.

The song "Something Is Missing", might seem a little deep for being about a couple of earrings, even if they were a gift from Jerrica's father. But the more I think about it, the earrings is what Jem is dependent on an also what is supporting their band, and their entire way of life including being able to support the Starlight girls. But as for Aja, the thing that makes her eyes tear, is when she learns they won't be able to play at the great wall of China.

This episode and the hunt for the earrings actually take place during several days. But we barely get to realize how many days are passing other than it being told to us.

At times Jerrica and the Holograms end up in trouble trying to find the earrings, but the trouble is always a quick solution away. It's almost like things resolve by themselves without an effort in this episode. It's like building up alot of suspense and then just dropping it.

The hero at the end of this episode is a girl named Lin. Not much unlike the later episode Hot Time In Hawaii, also written by Beth Bornstein, where Jem is also rescued by an unknown girl. Maybe it's a way of saying we fans are important.

I like the scene where Jerrica talks to Lin, and gets the earrings for Jem, and Jerrica replies that she once got a pair of earrings like that from her father. A great sense of detail by the writer to remember where Jerrica got her earrings.

By the way, how is Jerrica able to talk to Lin. Does Lin speak fluent English? This is just one of those things that needs to be overlooked to be able to make episodes in this length. But sometimes it makes you wonder if americans think everyone in the world speaks English but just with different accents.

We get to see martial arts several times in this episode. But the most noticable place is near the end, in a cool scene where Lin is able to defend herself against a mean boy trying to steal her earrings.

By the end of the episode, for the last song, there are some nice Chinese inspired fashions for the Holograms.

Conclusion: This is yet another episode where Jem and the Holograms appear for a concert at the last moment. Although this is a standalone episode, I still hold it higher than many other episodes because it makes use of a main subject of the show, the earrings. But since the earrings are missing, we don't see alot of Jem in this episode. Infact we even see an entire music video without Jem. But it gives us a chance to see more of Jerrica. Jerrica, Kimber, Aja and Shana are making their way across the different sights, which is a really nice way of presenting the country and culture. The animation is quite good throughout the entire episode. With some exceptions like the closeup when Jerrica just lost her earrings, and when Rio questions Jerrica. Over all, this episode could have been something very simple and like some of the more basic storybooks, but time after time the writer proves that she had a plan all along, and manages to put in some great details, and characteristics to make this an episode definitely worth seeing.

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