Jem and the Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series

By: Jase Peeples

Last week we brought you an exclusive interview with Samantha Newark, the speaking voice of Jem from Jem and the Holograms, in anticipation of Shout Factory’s release of the complete series on DVD.

Tomorrow, Octbober 11, Jem and the Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series will rock onto home entertainment shelves everywhere and we’ve got an early look at what you can expect to find in this beautiful collection.

The Packaging

Although the image here doesn’t do it justice, the slipcase for this box set is gorgeous. The artwork perfectly captures Jem at her most iconic and the holographic background (which doesn’t show up in this image) glimmers and shines under the light adding an extra level of dimensionality to the package.

Inside the slipcover are three individual DVD cases, one for each season of the show, with equally beautiful artwork.

The Extras

The very first thing I watched when I cracked open this set was the exclusive bonus DVD. The large number of extras included make this a must-have for any Jem fan. 

11 commercials from the toy line are included that span the time the line was in production. There’s also high resolution images of the original toy catalogs and the writer’s bible in PDF format included as a DVD-ROM extra.

3 featurettes are included featuring interviews with many members of the original voice cast and a few super-fans as well. However, the crown jewel here is the featurette, Showtime Synergy! The Truly Outrageous Creation of an ‘80s Icon, which focuses on the creation of the show and takes an in-depth look back at the evolution of the series.

The Episodes

Jem first appeared as a part of a show titled Super Saturday (or Super Sunday depending on where you lived.) It was a half-hour program comprised of six-minute matinee style segments of shows like Robotix, Inhumanoids, Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines, and Jem. When Jem became a stand-alone series, the Super Saturday segments were expanded and edited together to create the first few episodes of the syndicated series.

For the most part, the original Super Saturday segments appear to be what Shout Factory used to produce the box set. Scenes that were later added to fill out the first five episodes are missing here and a couple of the episodes even have the credits used at the end of the Jem segments forSuper Saturday—though this is inconsistent.

The sound quality is also inconsistent in these early episodes and the music often suffers from a strange echo that pops up throughout the set. However, it mostly seems confined to these first few episodes, commercial bumpers, and the original opening sequence. Aside from these spots, the sound throughout the set is mostly crisp and clean with nice highs and lows.

The video quality, though not as sharp as the previous partial release from Rhino Home Video, is still decent and seems to improve in later episodes. In fact, the previously unreleased episodes were a joy to watch and with the exception of a small echo during the commercial bumpers, there were no noticeable issues. It was wonderful to watch episodes like “The Stingers Hit Town,” “Riot’s Hope,” and “A Father Should Be…” looking as good as they did the day they aired.

If you’re a fan, Jem and the Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series is definitely worth checking out. The extras alone will make you glad you picked it up. Even if you already own the partial series release from Rhino Home Video, the alternate versions of the early episodes included in this set will make an interesting addition to anyone’s collection and provide a rare peek at the unique evolution of the iconic animated series. You can snag the whole set for less than $60.00 on Amazon or directly through Shout Factory.

Tags: TV