Jem is Truly Outrageous for My Girls in 2015

If you’re now a mom who grew up in the 80’s, chances are you rocked out to at least one “Jem and The Holograms” episode in your life. Okay, admit it, probably dozens more!



In case you were living under a rock during the 80’s, Jem is the alter ego of Jerrica Benton. Jerrica has these super-cool star earrings and an out of this world computer named Synergy that help transform her to the pink-haired rocker Jem, lead singer of the totally rad Holograms. Jerrica’s little sister Kimber is part of the band along with friends Aja and Shana.

Of course the Holograms have an enemy…The Misfits. These girls look like a cross between KISS and Poison, but with a bad girl attitude. They’re no Debbie Gibson or Punky Brewster. Pizzaz is the lead singer of The Misfits and would love to pull a Karate Kid on Jem and her little Holograms. Her little crew get into it with Jem in every episode. It’s fan-flippin-tastic. And who could forget Rio! Rio is Jerrica’s boyfriend/Jem’s stage manager. I think every little girl had a crush on Rio growing up!

Jem & Rio!

Jem & Rio!

So, why am I going on about an 80’s cartoon that has long been canceled? Because my girls are now rocking out to Jem too some 25 years later! One morning during their spring vacation last week I was flipping through the kiddie channels and stumbled upon Jem on the Discovery Family channel. Transported back to my electric youth, I made my girls watch it with me. They asked a lot of questions about this Jem person. Why is she two people? Why is Pizazz so mean? Why do they all have different colored hair? I could go on, but you get the point.

After about ten minutes, they were hooked, cheesy music and all! Another episode followed and they sat down and watched the entire thing, then asked for more when it was over! This was truly outrageous!

On Saturday morning they woke me up at 7:15 to ask for Jem or as my three-year-old calls her “Hem”. They were actually disappointed that it wasn’t on during the weekend! This was so “out of the blue”! I felt like this could happen “only in my dreams”. But, I really was reliving my “Electric Youth”. It was so refreshing and such a nice change from our usual “Lalaloopsy”, “Kate & Mim-Mim”, and ” Max & Ruby” cartoons.

This morning I even had to yell at them to leave “Hem” on the screen to eat breakfast before school. Bring back ALF and this 80’s obsessed mama would be one silver spoon away from taking out her old Kirk Cameron posters from BOP magazine! (Come on, I know I’m not the only one out there who had them!)

Needless to say, I’m ready to relive my 80’s childhood with my girls. I even hear a Jem movie is in the works! Now, if I can only find my Jem dolls! Hmmm….






Monday’s Mommas: Melinda Ziskinder

It’s a new year and that means more mommas to introduce you on The Mommy Rundown! We’re kicking off 2015 with Melinda Ziskinder.

melinda picMelinda is an attorney, wife, and mom to three boys. Since 2013, she has written about parenting and modern life on her blog,There is a Season. When she and her family aren’t watching Glee, they enjoy playing Catchphrase, reading J.R.R. Tolkien books, and gathering in the kitchen for family meals.

Do you and your spouse agree on TV shows? If you do, I think you’re one of the few.

Check out Melinda’s story here in her guest post.


“Newly Discovered Evidence”

Think you know your mate from every angle?  Confident you would take the disco ball trophy on the Newlywed Game or pass the INS toothbrush test?  Think again!

I’ve been married for more than a decade to my love.  Not so long, I know, but surely long enough to know what he enjoys and what he would use scorched earth tactics to avoid.  One thing I thought I knew for sure:  he doesn’t like music.  Disco, 80s greatest hits albums, yes.  Music?  No.

Case in point, a handful of years ago, I purchased tickets to see Paul McCartney with my mom and brother.  My brother couldn’t go because of a last minute work schedule change.  I asked . . . ahem begged my husband to go in my brother’s stead.  Mainly so I wouldn’t have to drive in the dark.  I hate driving in the dark.  My husband declined.  Years later, a friend of his heard this story and pronounced my husband an “a%$%$e” for not going.  Say what you will but my husband relayed his friend’s pronouncement to me and agreed, without any trace of shame, that he was an “a#$#$#e”.  What’s that line from Sex and the City?  He just wasn’t that into Paul McCartney.

At least not live.  My husband enjoys music, but it has to sound the way it sounds on the radio or on the album.  No improvisation allowed!  And original music by unknown artists?  He’ll pass.  Anyway, through the years, he has been subjected to the Paul McCartney concert guilt trip on many occasions.  It must have been a gift from God that he didn’t go.  He has paid for that decision many times.

For instance, the other night I decided that it would be fun and meaningful for our family to watch some television together.  Miracle on 34th Street?  You must not know my family.  I settled on Modern Family. But the series wasn’t on Netflix.  Grrr!!!! So I asked my son to scroll through the television series options and I spotted Glee.  I had never seen an episode but I had a vague memory of Facebook friends losing their minds over the show.  And I am a music geek.  I decided my boys, all four of them, needed to be exposed to the arts.  Since I’m too lazy to schlep them all to a museum during the weekend, Glee would suffice.

The menfolk all grumbled but they ceded to my offer:  “We’ll watch ten minutes.  If it sucks, we’ll find something else.”

The show began with a scene of a puppy-eyed young guy with a hairy chest agonizing over how to help his students.  I was sold.  Hairy chest? Tortured teacher type?  Sign me up!!!  My husband muttered, “This show was made for you babe.”  Yes it was!!  How did I never watch this?

A half hour passed.  My sons were watching.  They were not complaining.  It was a pre-Hanukkah miracle!  My husband was laughing.  At the end of the episode, he yelled (my husband yells a lot – in a non-threatening way):  “Let’s watch another one!!!”  He adored the characters, who he labeled, “really great,” especially “that neurotic lady.”  I was worried he might cry when Kurt’s father, a stoic lumberjack lookalike, revealed that he had known his son was gay since he was a toddler and that he still loved him.  I made a mental note:  Force husband to watch Mr. Holland’s Opus.

I’m not a big TV person.  My husband and I usually have one TV show that we watch together.  When we were dating, it was Ally McBeal and at some point, South Park.  After we married, we moved on to (of course) The Sopranos.  Of late, we have looked forward to Mad Men and Homeland, and my husband – a history buff – has convinced me that there is value in Pawn Stars.  Glee’s whimsical quality has reminded me of Ally McBeal and of the first years of our courtship, when I hung on my husband’s every word, and he believed I was an angel.  Things have changed for sure but apparently some things are still the same.

I was surprised that my husband, in short order, became an avid fan of a show about musical theater dorks, but on another level I was reminded of his soft heart, his love for underdogs, his inability to steel himself against 80s schtick.  There is plenty of 80s schtick on Glee – Journey songs abound.  We should watch TV shows more often.