Jem and the Holograms is a franchise about a woman named Jerrica Benton who, along with her sisters, after the recent death of their father (and years after the death of their mother) find out that their father left them a supercomputer named Synergy. They use Synergy's holographic projection abilities to disguise Jerrica as a singer named "Jem" and become a hit pop band. The villains of the series include the Corrupt Corporate Executive Eric Raymond and the rival band and arch-enemies of Jem and the Holograms, The Misfits.
Jem and the Holograms is known for its very 1980s aesthetic. Even modern day incarnations keep the '80s Hair and 80s fashion. It is also one of the few franchises to get out of the Girl-Show Ghetto. It has a Periphery Demographic of both boys and LGBT adults. The franchise was considered dead, though well-remembered amongst 80s kids, until in the early 2010s it was revived with a film and a comic book.
Works in this franchise include:
- The Jem doll line: The cartoon was created to market a line of fashion dolls for girls by Hasbro. The doll line was discontinued after a few years (and the cartoon subsequently canceled and replaced with Maxie's World) due to toy sales not being up to expectations. Despite this, there are still gets adult-aimed collectable dolls being released to this day. The doll line averts Clarke's Law for Girls' Toys by making it clear that there is science behind Jem's abilities and not magic.
- Jem: The original 1980s 65-Episode Cartoon. It was initially called Jem but has been renamed to Jem and the Holograms in the 2010s due to everyone calling it that anyway. It is about a woman named Jerrica who has an alter ego as the hit pop star Jem, of the band Jem and The Holograms. Jerrica has a boyfriend named Rio who gets mixed up in a Two-Person Love Triangle with her when he falls for her alter ego. Along with her friends and her boyfriend, Jem goes on adventures, sings music, and goes through a lot of Soap Opera-eque drama (usually caused by The Misfits). Despite being aimed at little girls, the cartoon handles a lot of mature topics such as infidelity, drug addiction, and Parental Abandonment.
- Jem and the Holograms (2015): The 2015 Live-Action Adaptation of the cartoon. It is mostly In Name Only and lacks the campiness or adventure of the source. It is about a teenage girl named Jerrica who becomes an Instant Web Hit when her younger sister Kimber uploads a video of her singing onto YouTube. This leads to her and her sisters getting a record deal. Unlike the cartoon, it is a Coming-of-Age Story. The film took away a lot of the more sci-fi elements of the cartoon and The Misfits are mostly Adapted Out. Due to poor reception Jem and the Holograms was a Box Office Bomb and ended up a Stillborn Franchise.
- Jem and the Holograms (IDW): The 2015 comic book Continuity Reboot by IDW Publishing. It was developed separately from the film of the same name. It is much more similar to the source but modernizes it to being in the The New '10s (much like the film), redesigns the characters, and has several differences from the cartoon. It's somewhat more realistic than Jem cartoon but still keeps the same general aesthetic. Its development team includes fans of Jem (including comic book artist Sophie Campbell) and thus that keeps it truer to the source than other reboots often are. The comic is aimed at an older audience than the cartoon or film but is still family-friendly. Jerrica is a young woman in a pop band with her three sisters who suffers from Performance Anxiety. She can sing around family, but around anyone else she freezes up. When she and her sisters find out about their late father's supercomputer, Synergy, they use her to disguise Jerrica as "Jem" so that she can sing without feeling anxiety.