This essay was original published at Roxy Reviews and is reprinted here with permission.
The Presidential Dilemma
SUMMARY: Jem and the Holograms are invited to play for the President in Washington, D.C. Complications ensue when Synergy is confiscated by the government and the President is kidnapped.
This episode doesn't have a tight plot or writing. Bad, bad, bad.
Much of the plot is centered around Synergy. She has to come to Washington because her holograms can't get past the Kennedy Center's security system. OK. Synergy is able to project her holograms to China, to Paris, to deserted islands and airplanes, but she can't get them into the Kennedy Center? It doesn't make sense. Even the technicians who examine Synergy in the episode remark that her technology is beyond theirs, so why would her signal be blockable by the Secret Service? Oh, and if it's the building blocking the signal, why would they set up Synergy in the hotel room? WOuldn't they need to keep her backstage?
Also, Synergy successfully thwarted an intruder in "Truly Outrageous" by pretending to be destroyed. Couldn't she think of something similar to get rid of the government officials?
The Misfits seem somewhat out of place here. They appear in the first segment and then vanish for the rest of the episode. If they were going to thwart JatH, one would think they would want to get something out of it--perhaps their own concert for the President, filling in for the unavailable Jem?
Eric expresses an interest in Synergy, and then turns her over to the government. Weird.
I don't think this exactly presents a good image of America. The US government steals Syngery from a private hotel room, puts her in danger by dismantling her, and then tries to arrest the Holograms when they try to reclaim her. And while the Secret Service is busy with all this, the President is left wide open to be kidnapped. How is this positive?
1. The Misfits: "Star-spangled Fantasy." Oy vey. The intro is good, but the song itself...ugh. It is, possibly, the strangest Misfits video yet. Between the band doing an interpretive dance-conga line and riding out-of-control rockets, it's a wee bit weird to say the least. Perhaps Fitzgerald Beck directed this one?
2. Jem and the Holograms: "Time is Running Out." A repeated song, not quite as good as the original in "In Stitches," but quite appropriate for the story and well constructed.
3. Jem and the Holograms: "Freedom." The patriotic song, appropriate to the episode, but not a favorite of mine.
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