This essay was original published at Roxy Reviews and is reprinted here with permission.
Adventure in China
Both the Holograms and the Misfits voyage to China to perform. The Misfits steal the Jemstar earrings and have fakes made from them. Jem spends the episode trying to recover the earrings so the Holograms can play their concerts.
This is a fun first (or second, if you will) season episode, in spite of its flaws. Unlike other episodes which attempt some semblance of realism, this is a day in the park for the characters. The Misfits are at their absolute worst, and it's delightful to watch. All in all, this is one entertaining show.
Jem wins the Brainless Clod of the Year award for this episode. She makes a scene at the airport because she doesn't want to take her earrings off to go through the metal detector...and yet, when she gets to the hotel spa, she leaves them unattended on a bench?! What's more, she pays so little attention that she doesn't even realize someone has come into the room, walked up to the edge of the pool and swiped her earrings. Swift move, Ms. Benton. =)
Mystery #2 of this episode: Jem's voice is not generated by Synergy, as evidenced later in the series (for instance, "One Jem too Many" where Jerrica records a song in the studio without changing over). Why not find a bottle of pink hair dye, slap some makeup on the girl and do the concert anyway? Jerrica could always be mysteriously ill or unavailable, as she is in other episodes. Yes, I know, if they did that it would have been a very, very short show.
Let's not get started on the earrings. First, a team of archaeologists mistakes them for Ming Dynasty artifacts, and then they are placed on display in a museum in a day. Second, a man manages to set up an entire factory to manufacture copies of the earrings and place an ad in a magazine, again within 24 hours. Far-fetched, much?
And now, the Misfits. Without a doubt, all three of them have their diabolical moments here. They leave Aja to fend for herself on a cliff, they throw the earrings out of a moving train, they manage to make Eric squirm. Stormer takes out a martial artist or two (watch closelyshe's the one that kicks the line of kung fu artists over). Roxy steals the earrings and is remarkably perceptive. Pizzazz has fun with the cable car controls. The extended chase sequence, in which the Holograms trail the Misfits via rickshaw, foot, bicycle, cable car and train, is the best scene in the episode, slickly animated and well directed.
More interesting things on group dynamics here. The Misfits truly work as a team--there's no way they could have pulled off the great chase without cooperation. Roxy comes up with the idea to toss the earrings out the window and the others listen to her without question. She also puts Eric on the spot in the airplane with her comments about their tour. Pizzazz and Roxy walk arm and arm as they cross the bridge after their concert. Roxy and Stormer hang out together on the plane, leaving Pizzazz alone. And of course, when Roxy sees the fans' sign at the airport, she doesn't comment on the fact that it says Misfats--she probably couldn't read it, but nobody (except Stormer, methinks) will know about her illiteracy until next season.
You Can't Catch Me, The Misfits: Most appropriate for the chase sequence, this video features the Misfits running from the Holograms on various modes of transportation. It's like a scene from a spy picture. =)
Something is Missing, JatH: It's a strong JatH ballad, but I think it is used better later in the series, in "Father's Day." Jerrica singing about her lost earrings doesn't have quite the same impact. '
Love Unites Us, JatH: The Holograms' Chinese concert song, with lyrics about peace and unity. It's early in the series yet, and most of the Holograms' music is still good--this is no exception. The video is standard Holograms.
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