Jem and the Holograms PSAs were less creepy than GI Joe

Originally published at: Jem and the Holograms PSAs were less creepy than GI Joe | Boing Boing

Random members of an elite US anti-capitalist special forces team …

Since when was G I Joe anti-capitalist? They were all about protecting 'Truth, Justice, and the American Way" which was always more about capitalism and profit than it ever was fairness, equality, and democracy.

Also, the Misfits songs were all better than the songs by Jem and Holograms.

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COBRA was just a giant corporation with health care and cool employee perks. Perhaps anti-corporatist is better.


Jem is truly outrageous! Truly, truly outrageous. And, in hindsight, looks like Nancy Gribble.

As for GI Joe, all the PSAs have been conveniently assembled into one clip:


Spirit was problematic but he was also the first time I can remember seeing a guy who looked like my uncles portrayed in a positive light even with his awful stereotypes (he’s a mystic tracker who wears moccasins and a loincloth, speaks in pidgin English, and carries an assault rifle that…fires arrows). I wouldn’t discover Jay Silverheels’ Tonto for a couple years after this cartoon, for another example of a problematic portrayal of a character that was oddly progressive for the time period. I’ll always have a soft spot for Spirit despite knowing they could do so much better. And knowing is half the battle.


GI Joe’s use of accents to portray characters other-ness while also being included in team Joe is likely now recognized as ‘problematic.’ I also feel the character here may have cut the young woman off early, and perhaps she was not devaluing the contribution of her blind compatriot at all, just suggesting they get to work quickly!

I dunno - I don’t really hear accent with Spirit’s voice. Maybe a slight stutter in cadence in his first lines, but pretty normal in the last one.

But really, kids are just being re-enforced to include others. That is going to be the take away - not anything else we might notice as adults.

Don’t judge people too quickly, bro.


Wow, that was amazing.

The captions are pretty awesome too:


I recall the COPS series had exactly two animated PSAs: one suggesting that you shouldn’t count your money in public, and one about not stealing street signs. Two rather significant, memorable, and useful lessons! Then they cheaped out (who would imagine DiC being capable of such a thing?) and switched to live-action two-minute lectures from actual police officers that couldn’t be more forgettable.

And while we’re at it, let’s not forget Sonic Says.

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… the other half is violence.


Especially when they got a little help from their good friend Peaches.


I call your “Spirit” and raise you whatever this asshole’s name was:

Of course he’s shirtless (except for a bandolier of throwing stars) and barefoot on a goddamn glacier…

Also, I blame the Baroness for my adult taste in women.


Ah, that’s Quick Kick. The G.I. Joe’s names were about as imaginative as He-Man characters.

However there are a few standout episodes. There’s of course the best story of the entire show, the two-part “There’s No Place Like Springfield”, but also a few other good ones like “Computer Complications” which had some great character building for some relatively minor characters (Mainframe and Zarana) and the two-part “Worlds Without End” which also features some relatively minor characters being caught in an alternate timeline where Cobra had successfully defeated G.I. Joe and taken over the world.


Written by Steve “Howard the Duck” Gerber!


Also they were literally a toy commercial.


All I can think of…


Quick Kick. Some Joes were named after their attack. Like Bazooka. Barbacue. Torpedo, Blowtorch… probably more.

I mean come on!!

Loved that episode!


Probably because the Baroness is a good guy in the alternate dimension, so you feel even less guilty for being attracted to her. If I were Steeler and learned that my girlfriend in an alternate dimension was the Good Baroness, heck yeah I’d stay in that dimension too.

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I dunno - some people like “bad girls”.

Ah, so this is why the picture above has a less stern vibe than I recall getting from her.

Both Jem and GI Joe had PSAs about downed power lines (did Transformers have one as well?), which leads me to wonder how often those things were coming down back then. I was pretty young back then, so either I don’t remember or just lived in an area where downed live power lines were simply not an issue. But I remember these PSAs making me very wary of power lines anyway.