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The World Hunger Shindig

Written by Mary Skrenes

Jem and the Holograms are going to perform in the World Hunger Shindig in Houston. Eric, who is the promoter, brings the Misfits along. Miss Sally allows the Misfits to perform, but they can't be on the live album unless someone backs out. So Eric plans to have Zipper get rid of Jem and the Holograms. Kimber finds out that Sean, one of the other performers whom she has found interest in, is actually an old friend of Pizzazz.

Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms, The Misfits, Synergy (voice only), Rio, Eric, Sean, Zipper, Mizz Sally Brand, Ellen Sue Tanner, C.B. Dodd, Curly.

Focus on:

Locations & vehicles:
Helicopter, Houston in Texas, stage in Houston, Misfits' rental car, guesthouse where the Misfits stay, Mizz Sally's ranch, Jim's Western Music club, horse and carriage, Astrodome arena.

First appearance of:
Sean, Zipper with black hair.

"We Can Make A Difference" Jem and the Holograms
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" The Misfits
"Share A Little Bit Of Yourself" Jem and the Holograms

Message, Action, Romance, Humor, Drama, Adventure.

Original airdate:
26 July 1986

Released on VHS. Released on DVD.

Italy: Aired on TV. Released on DVD. The episode title was "L'Operazione Fame Nel Mondo" (The Hunger in the world Operation).
France: Aired on TV. Released on DVD. The episode title was "La Grande Aventure" (The Big Adventure).
Venezuela: Aired on TV. The episode title was "El Concierto Contra El Hambre" (The concert against hunger).
UK: Aired on TV.
Australia: Released on VHS. Released on DVD.
Korea: Released on VHS.
New Zealand: Released on VHS.


This is one of the few episodes outside of the first 8 that actually had corrections to the animation.

Kimber writes alot of, if not all of Jem and the Holograms' songs, and one she wrote was "We Can Make A Difference".

Pizzazz and Sean know each other from before, they met at a club in London, back then Sean was a little more tough according to Pizzazz.

This is also where the rivalry between Pizzazz and Kimber starts, which is going to continue in later episodes.

Kimber has a good hand with animals.

Synergy makes ones of her biggest holograms of the entire series, a huge weather hologram.

Zipper works for Eric for a flat fee, not procentage.

On the DVD by Rhino, two songs for this episodes are badly out of sync between the singing and music, the second song "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" and "Share A Little Bit".

The character Mizz Sally Brand, was perhaps named after Skrenes' fellow comic writer Michele Brand.

This episode is about Jem and the Holograms going all the way to Houston, Texas, to stay there for some charity performances and also some freetime. The Misfits and Eric are there trying to join in on the publicity things and Eric wants to make money. And Eric hires Zipper and his gang to keep Jem and the Holograms out of the way. We meet Sean Harrison for the first time, who is fought over by Kimber and Pizzazz. Sean and Pizzazz talk about their past. Sean and Kimber get to know each other. And the charity people even have a bet amongst themselves.

This is the first of five fun and playful but somewhat typical (well not typical at this point since this was the very first) standalone episodes, which is taking the episodes into a different direction than what we're used to before. You can tell the series is changing alot by here, just like it did for the Starbright episodes. It's like someone decided, lets make some fun episodes where the Holograms go on adventures and let's make the characters a little more cheerful. But without ruining any of the rest of the series as for storylines. Why I say it's the first of five episodes, is because then comes another two-parter by Christy, which always kinda takes charges of the series and introduce lasting changes.

The only bad thing about the main characters going away from their regular surroundings is when too many familar things of the show and the main themes get replaced with offtopic adventures. But I think this episode handles it unsually well.

I like the pace of this episode. We're thrown right into the adventure with the Holograms in a helicopter, no preparing scenes where we get to see how they find out about the event or how the Misfits decide to join in. This is infact the first time we see a helicopter in Jem, unless you count one that flies by in a second or so in the very first scene in the first episode. This is the first time Jem and the Holograms fly in a helicopter, but it's going to happen quite a few more times in this series. So what's the big deal with helicopters? Well I get the feeling they were quite extraordinary at the time, especially expensive to include in live-action like Airwolf and Magnum P.I. which were two helicopter-based shows there were active before and at the time Jem came around.

This must be the first episode where we're starting to see a silly Eric Raymond. He was so mean and humorless in the first 8 episodes. But in the rest of the series he gets this silly side especially when he screws up, if you know what I mean. And this also goes for Pizzazz and even Kimber and Ashley who get a little sillier. Pizzazz and the Misfits really kick this off a bit later with videos like "We're The Misfits In Hawaii" in "Hot Time In Hawaii", by another writer though. And as for Kimber and Ashley (not that Ashley is in this episode) it seems they kinda lose that nerve of being complex and moody and start sounding more cheerful, silly and goofy.

We're introduced to a character, Sean Harrison, who probably wasn't supposed to appear beyond this episode, but since this was still an early episode and he had a flirt with Kimber, his appearance probably made a lasting impression on the other writers. Because they certainly couldn't find him in the Jem bible. Well actually it was first Mary Skrenes herself who re-used him in another episode, and then he appeared in three episodes by Roger Slifer.

Then we go straight into a music video for world hunger. And we don't just get to see the Holograms in different poses, but lots of scenes from countries, representing world hunger. So the writer did more than just use the topic as an excuse for a story, since the first music video aswell as the last one in the episode, makes us think of world hunger. We learn to work togheter and to share with other countries. This is infact the first episode to create the trend in Jem episodes to spread messages of charity. Unless you count all the positive messages in Christy's episodes and the time they all work togheter to save Ba Nee's eyesight. But I still think this episode made a lasting impression on the rest of the series in that way.

Sean is quite impressed with Kimber at first sight, and it isn't just the way she looks or the fact that she is a rockstar. But he finds out she is the songwriter and he liked what he just heard. And it seems she likes him already there and then aswell.

I like how they created a background character, Mizz Sally, with her own personality. She could very well have been a re-appearing character if she didn't live so far away.

Early on in this episode, the writer cleverly reminds the viewers that Jem is actually Jerrica, when Jem switches place with a hologram of a taxi with Jerrica in it. Also, Jerrica and the Holograms remind the viewers that Eric is the bad guy, by warning Mizz Sally.

It's not surprising that Jem and the Holograms, Jerrica and the Misfits start off in their original doll outfits in this first stand-alone episode of the series. It's for recognition for the viewers of course. Speaking of that, it's just funny how much other cartoon characters are connected and dependant on their outfits. Not to mention superheroes who seldom have a change of outfit unless it's a slight update. But this series more than makes up for any lack of new fashions in the rest of the episodes, and infact already in this one. There were even unusued fashions designed for this episode.

The Misfits arrive hoping to be in the shindig aswell as the live album, and according to Eric it will be their ticket to international recognition (charity shows by rockstars were big in the 80's).

It's just like Roxy to be the one who can't stand being turned down like that, by Mizz Sally, and it happens again later when Sean isn't impressed by the Misfits singing. She is the Misfit who takes things a step further, so she is very in character here.

When Pizzazz meets Sean Harrison, we find out that they have some kind of past togheter, perhaps they even dated. What's interesting is that Pizzazz says they last saw each other in London, which may not be surprising for Pizzazz since her father probably paid her travels. But since she mentions a club it sounds almost like she was there singing with the Misfits, and already a year ago, at which time the Misfits would have been quite new as a group. Maybe Pizzazz was alone there. Of course Pizzazz and/or Sean could have just been there without doing anything music-wise, but since both now do music it speaks for that it was part of their careers. Besides, he knows her by her stagename Pizzazz, and Pizzazz later mentions that Sean used to like good songs. She also makes it sound like Sean was a troublemaker in the past. On another note, it's funny that the Misfits/Pizzazz were in London already back then. Perhaps they could theoretically have met Jetta already back then, since it's her home country.

The Misfits refuse to share room with each other, which is just like them to be that selfish. And this is a clever sign of the fact that the Misfits don't like to "share" which is the theme of this episode. This must have been written in on purpose for that reason. This educating way of letting the good character respresent the good thing to do and the bad one showing what the worst thing to do is, makes the theme more obvious.

We later hear The Misfits sing that they don't like sharing, so how were they planning to be on the live album anyway with that kind of attitude? Also Eric shows his greedy side by trying to raise charity money for himself, and not wanting to share so much with Zipper "you work for a flat fee, not a percentage". Zipper shows greed and unloyalty to Eric right after, by apparently trying to steal the money by going back to the hiding place as soon as Eric left the room.

Even Stormer isn't ready to share, and while Pizzazz and Roxy are in character, I see no sign of Stormer being the kind Misfit in this episode. Another note of this is when Stormer angrily asks Eric what he is getting out of this shindig.

Zipper suddenly has dark hair instead of blonde in this episode. This may be because he got slightly new clothes designed for this episode, and perhaps no note was made that he had appeared before.

The writer builds up what is to come, the hologram of a flood that Jerrica is about to create to escape Zipper and his men, by letting the character Mizz Sally warn Jerrica and Kimber for rain and floods. Mizz Sally even tells them what they can do, riding, swimming. And they do just that, and create a hologram of a flood. Although speaking about the flood, it came a little too much water a little too quick to be realistic. That's probably because of time limits of the show and to really scare off Zipper and his gang. But besides that, wasn't this hologram a little large for Synergy to create, and didn't it disappear too sudden to scare away Zipper and his men, which gave them time to notice they weren't getting wet?

Kimber seems to have a way with animals. Birds and horses. Which is also later established in the episodes "Scandal" and "Father's Day". And Sean notices it and actually uses it as a pick up line to get to come along on their horse riding adventure.

C.B. Dodd has a mobile phone of some kind that probably existed back then. You can tell it's not a modern one since it has an antenna. But seeing it now it fits right in, and so does Shana's comment "just don't answer it". But back then, it was probably something very cool and new. I never saw the episode back then, but I probably would had paid attention to it.

Something that was never explained in this episode, is why Sean gets a call just in a perfect moment for him, aswell as C.B. Dodd, to leave Jerrica and the Holograms alone, so that Zipper and his gang can kidnap them. Did Zipper arrange for Sean to be called? Cut out scene?

I like that Kimber was the smart one for once (considering how silly she is in some episodes), who decided to create a diversion for Jerrica to contact Synergy. And it was a smart move by the writer, because at other times in other episodes it seems Jem/Jerrica would just talk to her earring while people like Rio were watching, episodes "Broadway Magic" and "Trick or Techrat" come to mind. And by the way, what were they planning to do about Jem, since she was not there. Did they even try locating her before she came to the Astrodome? The writer almost wrote it as if taking for granted that Jem is Jerrica.

The love triangle between Jerrica and Rio is present in this episode, as Rio seems occupied and asks Jerrica for Jem. And later, Rio actually follows up on where Jerrica is, by asking Kimber for her at the Astrodome. And once again in this episode, Kimber does some quick thinking and says Jerrica caught Jem's "cold".

Pizzazz tricks Sean to come along with him to a club. It makes sense why she wanted to steal him away from Kimber. But we never hear how she found out that he had a date with Kimber, and what is the point of bringing him to that club? To perform for him with the Misfits, perhaps to impress him and win him back.

The music video "Gimme Gimme Gimme" wasn't either not very well animated or planned. Roxy and Stormer had nothing to do other than walk around in funny poses.

I'm not sure it was the best commercial break cliffhanger, nor why the Holograms were going on a hayride to begin with, but when the Misfits are about to crash into the Holograms' hayride, the writer manages to bring togheter the storylines of the Holograms and the Misfits in a clever way. And for once it wasn't intentional troublemaking by the Misfits. The writer was also clever enough to make this a moment where Kimber sees that Sean stood her up for Pizzazz, and that he left without checking if she was okay. I like this kind of writing, where something is given several meanings in one. And it's followed up upon. But why didn't Sean demand the Misfits to stop the car afterwards?

Clever by the writer to have Zipper and the others cover their faces when capturing the Holograms earlier, because otherwise they would have been recognized in the second attempt at the Astrodome. This is something not alot of writers think about, the episode "In Stitches" comes to mind.

This is the first time it happens, but it is going to happen several more times in the series, the repeating of the Misfits trying to take over a gig and the Holograms making it in the last moment. The ending episode of the original five parter had a lasting impression apparently. This is not a very popular sighting in an episode for us Jem fans, atleast not later when it keeps happening in more episodes.

Who is it really that announces Jem and the Holograms just when the presenter was about to let the Misfits take their place. It sounds like Synergy's voice, the presenter seems to wonder where the voice is coming from, and Jem thanks Synergy shortly after. But doesn't Ellen Sue Tanner share the same voice actor? And would Synergy really talk in front of all those people? I would be kinda funny how Ellen Sue Tanner manages to notice how Jem, Shana and Aja climbed out all the way up on the score-board though. By the way, Jem, Aja and Shana were quite lucky to find a big enough air passage like that, leading to the stage. And they grab a net of balloons and just jump down several meters, which is quite dangerous and unrealistic. This was not a safetynet, it was a net holding balloons, and there's no way they would risk their lives like that.

Whos idea was it to have Jerrica appear singing in the last music video? Jem's secret is practically revealed right there.

Jem and the Holograms even make a tribute to a Beatles album cover in this music video, standing side by side with a lot of people of behind them and a drum and grass in front.

We actually see Jem and the Holograms in Mexico in the last music video. Perhaps it means they went there to film part of their music video, meaning they were there before the episode Aztec Enchantment, without Raya.

The Holograms and especially Jem, change clothes so many times in the last music video. Count Jerrica and Jem as the same person, and she has as much as six different outfits.

Conclusion: This is a must see because it is the first stand-alone episode of the show, and a little different from what we're used to. It re-defines the show somewhat. We get a look at the Holograms going out on a gig in their early careers. We get to see Sean for the first time. This episode's strong side is that it manages to tell the story about charity aswell as include interesting scenes with the main characters. There's alot of clever usage of holograms and lots of exciting cliffhangers. There are a few off-model close-ups in the music videos aswell as a few animation bloopers here and there, and it's not the absolutely best animated episode, but not far from.

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